Betting News and Notes - Dec 22

Betting News and Notes - Dec 22

Saturday's card stacked
By Brian Edwards

Gamblers have games galore to wager on Saturday in college basketball. The action starts at noon Eastern and continues past midnight in Hawaii at the Rainbow Classic.

The best game of the day tips off at noon when Memphis plays host to Georgetown on ESPN. Most sports books have installed the Tigers as five-point favorites. Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened the total at 131.

Both teams are undefeated, but Memphis has been a major disappointment for our purposes. In fact, the Tigers own an abysmal 2-6-1 spread record. They haven’t cashed a ticket since Nov. 16.

John Calipari’s squad has quality wins over Oklahoma, UConn, USC and Cincinnati. The Tigers went on the road this week and beat the Bearcats by a 79-69 count. Freshman sensation Derrick Rose paced the winners with a game-high 26 points. However, they failed to take the cash as 12½-point ‘chalk.’

Before Memphis gets into Conference USA play, it will take on Arizona. The Tigers also have non-conference games on the horizon against Gonzaga and Tennessee.

Georgetown (8-0 straight up, 3-3 against the spread) has played mostly cupcakes,but the Hoyas have double-digit wins over Alabama, Old Dominion and Michigan. They are led by senior center Roy Hibbert, who is one of the nation’s premier post players. Hibbert is averaging 12.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.

These schools haven’t met since 1998 and ’99, when the Hoyas swept a pair of games both SU and ATS.

The ‘under’ has cashed in four straight games for Georgetown.

After Memphis-Georgetown, ESPN will take bettors to Xavier for its matchup against Tennessee. Most spots are listing the Muskateers as 3½-point favorites, while LVSC sent the total out at 155.

Xavier (8-2 SU, 4-3 ATS) saw its seven-game winning streak snapped last Saturday in Tempe, where Arizona St. cruised to a 77-55 win as a three-point home underdog. Meanwhile, Tennessee will be looking for its sixth straight victory in this spot.

The Volunteers are off an 86-73 win over UNC-Asheville in a non-lined affair. Chris Lofton scored 24 points to pace Bruce Pearl’s team. The senior 3-point marksman has shot no lower than 46.6 percent from the floor in a season at UT, but he has inexplicably struggled with his shot this year, as evidenced by his 35.6 percent connection rate.

Tennessee (10-1 SU, 3-4 ATS) has only played two quality teams, beating West Virginia and losing to Texas. We’ll find out more about the Vols on this road trip. Remember, they are without Duke Crews, who is out indefinitely with a heart ailment.

A pair of undefeated teams will collide in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Clemson and Ole Miss are scheduled to square off at 5:30 p.m. Eastern. The Tigers destroyed the Rebels 89-68 as six-point home favorites in last season’s NIT.

James Mays did not play in Clemson’s win over Depaul on Friday. He remains “questionable” with a hip injury that’s kept him out the last three weeks.

Texas (11-0 SU, 5-1 ATS) will put its undefeated record on the line Saturday at the Palace of Auburn Hills against Michigan State. Most books are listing the Spartans as 3½-point favorites.

The Longhorns have won 10 of their 11 games by double-digit margins. They captured a 63-61 win at UCLA in their lone game that went to the wire. Rick Barnes’ squad also has a big-time win over Tennessee, dropping the Vols 97-78 on a neutral floor.

Michigan St. (10-1 SU, 4-1-2 ATS) has won six in a row since its lone loss, a gut-wrenching defeat to UCLA in Kansas City. The Spartans had the lead for the first 39 minutes before the Bruins rallied in the final minute of play.

vegasinsider.com.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 22

Pitt's Mike Cook to miss season
December 21, 2007

PITTSBURGH (AP) -Senior small forward Mike Cook will miss the rest of the season for No. 11 Pittsburgh after injuring his left knee in overtime in the Panthers' 65-64 victory over No. 6 Duke on Thursday night.

Cook will have surgery in the next two weeks to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and other injuries, the school said Friday.

Cook, a Philadelphia native from Friends Central High School, transferred to Pitt from East Carolina after the 2004-05 season. He has started 48 consecutive games for Pitt, during which time Pitt has gone 40-8.

``We are thoroughly heartbroken for Mike,'' Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon said.

``When I asked Mike why he wanted to come to the University of Pittsburgh, he simply said he 'wanted to win.' And he has won.''

Gilbert Brown, a 6-6 redshirt freshman from Harrisburg, is expected to play more with Cook out of the lineup. Brown has averaged 5.1 points and 2.1 rebounds playing about 17 minutes a game this season.

Cook was hurt as he drove the baseline about a minute into overtime of Thursday's game against Duke at Madison Square Garden. He remained down for several minutes and Pitt played the remainder of the overtime knowing he probably had suffered a significant injury.

Cook, is in his second year as Pitt's starting small forward, has averaged 10.4 points and 2.8 rebounds this season, and scored in double figures seven times. He has 1,204 points, 362 rebounds and 293 assists in 103 career games, including 87 starts, at Pitt and East Carolina.

Cook will have the surgery at Pittsburgh's UPMC-South Side hospital and his rehabilitation will take nine to 12 months. He is on track to graduate with a degree in communications this spring.

Cook ``has become an outstanding example for the younger players in our program and we will continue to count on his leadership throughout the year,'' Dixon said.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 22

Georgetown Hoyas visiting No. 2 Memphis in early showdown
December 20, 2007

Memphis guard Antonio Anderson got an indication of how big the Tigers' next game is when he stopped at a gas station to fill up his tank.

``Two guys ran up to me and said, 'We can't wait for the game. You guys got to beat Georgetown.' Everybody's talking about it,'' Anderson said Thursday. ``Things are a little crazy around here for this game.''

Memphis coach John Calipari did his best to toughen up his Tigers' nonconference schedule. But with the Tigers ranked second and Georgetown fifth, Saturday's game at the FedExForum brings the added baggage of history with it.

This will be the first time the Tigers have hosted a game in which both teams were ranked in the Top Five and only the third such game in Memphis' history.

``People are calling about tickets, and I'm telling them there are none,'' Calipari said. ``They're saying the arena holds 18,000, and there's got to be tickets, but there are none. I mean, I don't have any.''

The Memphis Tigers come into this game 9-0 in their best start since 1984-85, and they also have the nation's second-longest home winning streak at 36 games. BYU has won 37 going into Friday night's game with Southern Utah.

The Hoyas are enjoying a strong start themselves at 8-0. The team that reached the Final Four last spring is enjoying its highest ranking in more than a decade with preseason All-American Roy Hibbert one of three senior starters.

Georgetown coach John Thompson III said scheduling is an inexact science.

``Hopefully, those games help prepare you for when you have to go to all those Big East cities. This is the same thing. We're going down there, playing a terrific team, a veteran team in their building, so hopefully we're prepared,'' he said.

But Memphis plays in Conference USA, not the Big East. That is why Calipari tried to pack his non-conference schedule with tough competition, and Georgetown is just the first of the ranked opponents visiting this season.

No. 19 Arizona comes to Memphis on Dec. 29 followed by 18th-ranked Gonzaga on Jan. 26, and No. 12 Tennessee hits town Feb. 23 in another nationally televised game.

``This is a game that we need to see where we are,'' Calipari said. ``If we're where we need to be, it's going to be a heck of a game. If we're not, we'll get that picture too.''

Georgetown guard Jeremiah Rivers has been hearing from friends excited about this game, which tips off at noon EST.

``Everybody in the country's going to watch the game if they're up. The game's a little early. It's noon eastern time, and in California it's 9. I thought it out,'' he said.

The Tigers have gotten to the regional finals of the NCAA tournament the past two years and failed to advance to the Final Four. Last March, they lost 92-76 to Ohio State and struggled against Greg Oden.

Georgetown hasn't played since last weekend when the Hoyas beat Radford 110-51. Memphis beat Cincinnati 79-69 on the road Wednesday night.

But this game offers an excellent chance to see if the Tigers with their deep bench can handle the 7-foot-2 Hibbert. Reserve forward Shawn Taggart is the only Tiger taller than 6-9, and he's only 6-10. The Hoyas are deeper this season as well with nine players averaging 17 minutes, which could help.

Georgetown is shooting 51.9 percent from the floor - sixth-best in the nation. The Hoyas also defend well, holding opponents to 34.5 percent shooting. Memphis shoots 47.3 percent, but this will be the Hoyas' first ranked opponent this season.

``It's going to get us ready for league play, Big East,'' Hibbert said. ``Obviously, we have a lot of competition as high a caliber as Memphis, so it's going to get us ready.''

Memphis has beaten Georgetown only once in seven tries, and that was in the 1983 NCAA tournament when Keith Lee outplayed Patrick Ewing in a 66-57 victory that kept the Hoyas out of the Final Four for the only time during Ewing's tenure.

The difference this time around could be Memphis freshman Derrick Rose. He had a season-high 26 points at Cincinnati and has heard people talking up Georgetown as a big game. He welcomes the pressure.

``That's one of the reasons why I came here, was for this schedule to play the best teams in the nation,'' Rose said.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 22

Saturday's NBA Tip Sheet
By Brad Young

**Bobcats at Bucks**

-Caesars Palace installed Milwaukee as a 6 ½-point home ‘chalk’ over Charlotte, with the total set at 188½. This game is scheduled to start at 8:35 p.m. ET.

-Charlotte (10-14 straight up, 9-15 against the spread) is riding a modest two-game SU and ATS winning streak after upending New York Friday as a 5 ½-point home favorite, 105-95. The combined 200 points eclipsed the 192 ½-point closing total, ending a string of three consecutive ‘under’ outings.

-Gerald Wallace paced the way with 27 points, while Nazr Mohammed added 20 and 14 rebounds. The Bobcats were in control most of the game, even taking a 24-point lead in the second quarter.

-Charlotte has struggled to a 1-8 SU and ATS road record, dropping those affairs by an average score of 102-87.

-Milwaukee (10-15 SU, 10-14 ATS) is 1-3 SU and ATS its last four games after falling to Sacramento Wednesday as a six-point home ‘chalk,’ 102-89. The combined 191 points failed to topple the 195½-point closing total, helping the ‘under’ improve to 4-1 the past five games.

-The Bucks fell despite outrebounding the Kings, 40-32, while also shooting 49 percent (34-of-70) from the field. Michael Redd had 27 points on 7-of-14 shooting, while Maurice Williams contributed 17 and seven rebounds.

-Milwaukee is 8-3 SU and 5-5 ATS on its home court, winning those matchups by an average score of 98-96.

-Charlotte is 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS the previous three meetings with Milwaukee after winning the lone encounter this year (Nov. 2) as a 3½-point home ‘chalk,’ 102-99. The combined 201 points went ‘over’ the 197-point closing total, ending a string of four straight ‘under’ outings in this series.

-Milwaukee center/forward Michael Ruffin (wrist) is ‘probable’ versus the Bobcats, while forward Charlie Villanueva (ankle) is ‘questionable.’ Forward David Noel (wrist) and guard/forward Desmond Mason (thumb) are ‘out.’

**Raptors at Suns**

-Caesars Palace lists Phoenix as a 10-point home favorite over Toronto, with the total set at 208. This contest is scheduled to tipoff at 9:05 p.m. ET.

-Toronto is playing its second game in as many nights after taking on Seattle Friday night. The Raptors were 7-6 SU and 7-5 ATS on the road heading into that matchup with the Sonics.

-Toronto has been winning their road outings by an average score of 97-95, helping the ‘over’ go 8-5.

-Phoenix (18-8 SU, 11-14 ATS) is returning from a three-game road trip that concluded with Wednesday’s loss to Dallas as a three-point underdog, 108-105. The combined 213 points failed to topple the 216-point closing total, helping the ‘under’ cash the fourth consecutive contest.

-The Suns never recovered after falling behind, 37-20, in the first quarter. Phoenix was dominated on the boards, 49-35, but shot a blistering 52 percent (43-of-82) from the field. Center Amare Stoudemire had 25 points and eight rebounds, while point guard Steve Nash added 21 and 18 assists.

-The Suns sport a 7-3 SU and 4-6 ATS home record, with the ‘over’ going 6-4. Phoenix has been winning those games by an average score of 109-104.

-The Suns have dominated this head-to-head series with Toronto, going 5-0 SU and 3-2 ATS the last five meetings. Phoenix upended the Raptors Dec. 5 as a 7 ½-point road favorite, 136-123. The combined 259 points soared ‘over’ the 207-point closing total.

-Toronto guard T.J. Ford is ‘out’ indefinitely with a neck injury.

-Phoenix guard Raja Bell (ankle) is ‘questionable’ against the Raptors.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 22

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

(5) Georgetown (8-0, 3-3 ATS) at (2) Memphis (9-0, 2-6-1 ATS)


A battle of unbeatens is set for the FedEx Forum in Memphis, as the Tigers battle Georgetown in the season’s first matchup of Top 5 teams.

Memphis improved to 9-0 with Wednesday’s 79-69 victory at Cincinnati. However, the Tigers failed to cover as a 12½-point road chalk, dropping to 0-4-1 ATS in their last five.

Georgetown has been idle since last Saturday’s 110-51 rout of Radford in a non-lined home game. The Hoyas haven’t faced a lined foe since beating Alabama 70-60 as an eight-point road chalk on Dec. 5.

Including neutral-site contests, Georgetown is 3-0 on the highway (2-1 ATS), and going back to last season, the Hoyas are on an 11-3-1 ATS roll as a visitor. This year, Georgetown has outscored its hosts by 12 points per game (64-52).

Memphis is 5-0 on its home floor, but 0-4-1 ATS. This despite the fact that John Calipari’s troops average 87 points per game in their building while giving up just 64.

The Hoyas are 23-9-2 in their last 34 overall and 4-1-1 ATS in their last six against Conference USA. However, they’ve failed to cover in four straight games on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Tigers are 0-4-1 ATS in their last five Saturday outings.

The over is 7-3 in Memphis’ last 10 games, including 4-0 at home, and 5-0 in its last five against the Big East. However, Georgetown has stayed under the total in six of its last seven lined games dating to last year’s Final Four, and the under is 39-16 in the Hoyas’ last 55 overall and 8-0 in their last eight Saturday contests.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE


(12) Tennessee (10-1, 2-4-1 ATS) at Xavier (8-2, 4-3 ATS)

Tennessee puts a five-game winning streak on the line when it visits Xavier, which is looking to bounce back from its worst defeat of the season.

The Vols have ripped off five straight wins since suffering their only loss of the season to Texas on Nov. 24, but they’re 1-4 ATS in their last five lined contests. On Wednesday, Tennessee topped North Carolina-Ashville 86-73 in a non-lined contest.

Xavier traveled to Arizona State last Saturday and got hammered 77-55 despite being a two-point road chalk. That snapped the Musketeers’ seven-game winning streak (3-1 ATS).

Tennessee has played three games away from Knoxville this year, going 2-1 SU but 0-3 ATS. The Vols are just 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 on the highway.

Xavier is perfect through six home games (2-1 ATS), outscoring its visitors by an average of 28 points per game (86-58). Dating to last season, the Musketeers are 14-5-1 ATS at home.

These teams met in 2004 in Knoxville, and Tennessee pulled out a 71-69 victory, but came up short as a 5½-point home chalk.

The over is on runs of 19-8 for Xavier at home and 10-4-1 for Xavier on Saturday.

ATS ADVANTAGE: XAVIER


(8) UCLA (10-1, 5-3 ATS) at Michigan (4-7, 1-8 ATS)

UCLA takes a three-game winning streak to Ann Arbor, Mich., to face a Wolverines squad that is struggling under first-year coach John Beilein.

The Bruins routed Western Illinois 77-52 in a non-lined home game on Tuesday, their third straight double-digit rout since suffering a two-point home loss to Texas back on Dec. 2. Nine of UCLA’s 10 wins have come by double digits, as the Bruins are outscoring their foes by an average of 20 points per game (76-56).

Michigan’s miserable start to the season continued with last Saturday’s 78-67 home loss to Central Michigan as an eight-point favorite. The Wolverines are 1-5 in their last six, with the only victory coming against Division II Oakland (103-87). Michigan has failed to cover in eight straight lined outings.

UCLA is 3-0 (1-1-1 ATS) away from home, but all three were neutral-site contests, so this marks the first true road game of the season for Ben Howland’s squad, which is 25-12-1 ATS in its last 38 road outings.

The Wolverines are 3-2 on their home floor (1-2 ATS). Also, going back to last season, they’re mired in a 2-12 ATS slump against non-Big Ten opponents.

These teams have faced off each of the last five years, with UCLA winning the last three by scores of 81-79 as a 5½-point home chalk in 2004, 68-61 as a 7½-point road underdog in 2005 and 92-55 as a 10-point home chalk in 2006. Prior to last year’s blowout win by the Bruins, the underdog and road team had covered four straight meetings.

The over is 8-2 in Michigan’s last 10 lined contests, but the under is 4-1 in UCLA’s last five against the Big Ten and 24-11 in the Bruins’ last 35 Saturday games.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UCLA


Florida (11-1, 2-2 ATS) at Ohio State (7-3, 3-4 ATS)

A rematch of last year’s national championship game is scheduled for Value City Arena in Columbus, where Ohio State will be looking for payback against the two-time defending champion Gators.

Florida won its second straight national championship by upending Ohio State 84-75 as a 4½-point favorite back on April 2 in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. These teams also squared off in Gainesville, Fla., in the regular season exactly one year ago, and the Gators won that one too, 86-60 as a 5½-point home chalk.

Florida has won six straight games, but Billy Donovan’s squad has faced a bunch of cupcakes so far, with the exception of instate rival Florida State, which handed the Gators their only loss of the season 65-51 back on Nov. 23. In fact, Florida has played just four lined games this year, going 0-2 ATS in the last two, including failing as a nine-point home chalk against Florida State.

The Buckeyes have followed up a two-game SU and ATS slide with three straight wins and covers, including Tuesday’s 80-63 rout of Cleveland State as a 6½-point road chalk.

The Gators have played just one game outside of Gainesville, and that was on a neutral court in Jacksonville, Fla., against Georgia Southern last Saturday. Florida prevailed 52-49, but failed to cover as a 14-point chalk.

Ohio State is 5-1 at home (1-2 ATS), the lone loss coming to top-ranked North Carolina (66-55) back on Nov. 28.

Dating to last season, Florida is on ATS runs of 10-4 overall and 23-8-1 in non-league games. However, the Gators are 0-4 ATS in their last four road games and 2-5 ATS in their last seven against the Big Ten, though both covers came against Ohio State.

The Buckeyes are 0-6 ATS in their last six versus the SEC.

The over was the play in both matchups between these squads last year. Also, the over is 10-3 in the Gators’ last 13 non-conference games, 7-1 in Florida’s last eight against the Big Ten and 5-1 in Ohio State’s last six against the SEC.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OHIO STATE and OVER


(4) Texas (11-0, 5-1 ATS) vs. (9) Michigan State (10-1, 4-1-2 ATS), at Auburn Hills, Mich.


The second Top 10 matchup of the day takes place on the outskirts of Detroit, where Texas puts its unbeaten record on the line against Michigan State.

The Longhorns are coming off consecutive double-digit non-lined home wins over Southwest Texas State (96-81) last Saturday and Oral Roberts (66-56) on Tuesday. Texas has won 10 of its 11 games by double digits, the only exception being a 63-61 win at UCLA as a 10-point road underdog back on Dec. 2. Overall, the Longhorns are outscoring their opponents by an average of 19 points per game (82-63).

Michigan State has ripped off seven straight wins since suffering its only loss of the season, a 68-63 setback to UCLA in a preseason tournament in Kansas City a month ago. On Wednesday, the Spartans destroyed San Jose State 85-45, covering easily as a hefty 25-point home chalk to improve to 3-0-2 ATS in their last five lined contests.

Texas is on ATS runs of 5-1 overall, 6-0 on the road, 5-0 on Saturdays. This season, the Longhorns 4-0 SU and ATS as a visitor, outscoring opponents by an average of 16 points per outing (86-70).

With this game being played near Michigan State’s home in East Lansing, it’s interesting to note that the Spartans are 8-0 SU at home, prevailing by an average final score of 82-60. However, only four of the visitors were Division I schools, with Michigan State going 3-1 ATS. Dating to last year, Tom Izzo’s squad is 7-2 ATS as a host.

Michigan State edged the Longhorns 63-61 as a 4 ½-point underdog at Madison Square Garden in New York last November. Including that contest, the Spartans are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 against the Big 12.

For Michigan State, the over is on streaks of 4-1 at home and 5-1 against the Big 12. However, last year’s meeting with Texas stayed well under the posted price.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 22

Clippers C Davis leaves game with right knee injury
ASSOCIATED PRESS

DALLAS -- Los Angeles Clippers reserve center Paul Davis left Friday night's game against the Dallas Mavericks in the second quarter with a sprained right knee.

Davis landed awkwardly as he was running to get back on defense. He immediately fell to the ground clutching his right knee with 8:53 left in the first half.

Two Clippers players had to help Davis off the floor. He was not putting any pressure on his right leg.

Davis, a second-year player from Michigan State, has averaged 2.4 points and 2.1 rebounds in 21 games.

This is potentially another blow for the Clippers, who have battled injuries all season.

Forward Elton Brand ruptured his left Achilles tendon over the summer and hasn't played a game. Guard Shaun Livingston is still trying to recover from a dislocated left knee injury he suffered last season, and guard Sam Cassell missed his 12th straight game Friday with a strained left calf.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 22

Bucks' Desmond Mason to miss 6-8 weeks because of thumb injury
ASSOCIATED PRESS

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Bucks forward Desmond Mason was scheduled to have surgery Saturday to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Mason, injured Wednesday night against Sacramento, is expected to miss six to eight weeks, general manager Larry Harris said Friday.

Mason has played 25 games this season, averaging 8.0 points and 3.9 rebounds

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 22

Nets' Antoine Wright injured, leaves game
ASSOCIATED PRESS

MIAMI -- New Jersey forward Antoine Wright left the Nets' game against the Miami Heat on Thursday night because of an undisclosed right leg injury.

He jumped for a rebound with 0.3 seconds left in the quarter, came down awkwardly and remained under the basket for a couple of minutes while a member of the Nets' medical staff tended to his right knee area.

Wright covered his face with a towel, and was eventually carried into the locker room by teammates. He entered the game averaging 9.1 points this season.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 22

Georgetown’s success begins and ends with Hibbert
Covers.com

It just makes sense that the biggest guy in the biggest game would have the biggest impact.

Roy Hibbert, Georgetown’s 7-foot-2 center, is the X-factor heading into this Saturday’s highly-anticipated showdown with the Memphis Tigers.

Hibbert’s size and strength are a handful for defenders of any size. But when you’re an undersized center, like Memphis’ Joey Dorsey, battling a monster like Hibbert for 40 minutes can take its toll.

The Tigers, ranked second in the country, don’t have many weaknesses. There one, and maybe only flaw, is the lack of size. Memphis’ starting frontcourt of Dorsey and Robert Dozier only go as tall as 6-foot-9.

Memphis’ solitary size comes from 6-foot-10 reserve Shawn Taggart, who has been plagued with inconsistency. Early foul trouble to any forward would be troublesome for head coach John Calipari this weekend.

Though Dorsey and Dozier have faced plenty of ominous frontcourts, they have not always performed well against towering true centers.

Memphis’ frontcourt was held in check this season by Connecticut seven-footer Hasheem Thabeet. Last March, the Tigers ran into standout big men in Nevada’s Nick Fazekas and Ohio State’s Greg Oden. .

The opposing centers overpowered Memphis on offense in those games and limited frontcourt effectiveness on defense. Hibbert is also that kind of two-way threat in the paint.  He is averaging almost 13 points and seven rebounds, while keeping offenses honest with 2.3 blocks a night. Hibbert is the biggest cog in head coach John Thompson III’s halfcourt sets.

Georgetown’s methodical Princeton offense is the polar opposite of Memphis run-and-gun style. The Hoyas patiently look for the best shot by setting numerous screens and making cuts away from the basketball.

Hibbert can be isolated to exploit the size mismatch within the Princeton offense. He’s putting up a 65.6 field goal percentage this season, improving the team’s combined shooting to 51.9 percent.

Defensively, Georgetown switches between a hard-nosed man-to-man and various zones. Memphis had a tough time against USC’s unconventional zones on Dec. 4. Keeping Hibbert in the middle of the lane makes opponents think twice about dribble penetration and forces them to fire from outside.

The Hoyas’ defense ranks second in the nation, allowing just 52 points on 34.5 percent shooting. The Tigers could struggle on offense if they try to avoid Hibbert inside and rely on outside threats.

Though Memphis is scoring 80 points per game, it is shooting just 33.5 percent from beyond the arc.  Willie Kemp and Chris Douglas-Roberts, the Tigers’ best snipers, haven’t produced from the arc this season.

Las Vegas odds consultant Keith Glantz says he originally set a line as high as -6 for the hometown Tigers, but sent out a spread closer to 4-points. He expects sports books to drop that number even further.

This game is scheduled for 12 p.m. ET and will be broadcasted live on ESPN.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 22

New Mexico State suspends two players
ASSOCIATED PRESS

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- New Mexico State starting center Hatila Passos and reserve guard Paris Carter were suspended indefinitely on Friday by coach Marvin Menzies.

Passos and Carter, along with starting forward Justin Hawkins, returned to Las Cruces after Wednesday night's 83-69 loss at New Mexico as 8-point dogs, while the rest of the team traveled for Saturday's game at Louisville.

The Aggies are only 1-9 against the spread this season and 0-4 on the road.

Hawkins, who leads the Aggies (5-8) with averages of 18.2 points and 7.5 rebounds, addressed an academic issue and left for Louisville on Friday. He was expected to play.

School officials said the suspensions for Passos and Carter were prompted by violations of undisclosed team rules. Passos has started all 13 games, averaging 10.5 points. Carter made one start, averaging 6.1 points.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 22

College basketball bettors' TV guide
Covers.com

Pittsburgh’s thrilling win over Duke this Thursday was just an appetizer for this Saturday’s NCAA hoops schedule. There are plenty of possible March matchups including the most anticipated game of the first half of the season.

No. 4 Georgetown Hoyas at No. 2 Memphis Tigers (12 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Saturday gets off on the right foot with this probable Final Four preview. Memphis leading scorer Chris Douglas-Roberts has only tallied a combined 19 points in the last three games. While the Tigers’ junior guard hasn’t played as many minutes in those contests he seems reluctant to shoot.

Memphis head coach John Calipari says that Douglas-Roberts should improve on his activity without the basketball. He put his star player through an additional 30 minute workout this week in hopes of improving Douglas-Roberts’ intensity. Calipari notes that a timid Douglas-Roberts isn’t drawing the amount of fouls he normally does.

No. 8 UCLA Bruins at Michigan Wolverines (2 p.m. ET, CBS)

Kevin Love wants more handles. Ben Howland wants less love handles.

The Bruins head coach addressed his center’s frustrations this week, stating that the 6-foot-10, 260-pound freshman is at about 80 percent fitness. And if Love wants the ball more he’ll need to improve his conditioning.

"I know Coach Howland says I'm not in the best shape," Love told the Los Angeles Times. “I don't know where that came from.”

No. 12 Tennessee Volunteers at No. 24 Xavier Musketeers (2 p.m. ET, ESPN)

It took the Musketeers a couple days to recover from last week’s loss to Arizona State. It wasn’t so much the 77-55 pounding that had Xavier reeling. It was the epic pilgrimage back to Cincinnati and a week of final exams.

The team had travel troubles before catching the red-eye flight back from Arizona, getting the players home just in time for the last week of school. Head coach Sean Miller finally had a full practice on Wednesday when injured center Josh Duncan returned. Miller hopes to have Duncan back for this Saturday’s game against Tennessee.

Florida Gators at Ohio State Buckeyes (4 p.m. ET, CBS)

This is a rematch of last year’s national title game. Not much is expected from the Florida Gators after losing all five starters and their sixth man. Head coach Billy Donovan almost left town too but remained in Gainesville.

Keeping Donovan also meant keeping the country’s best recruiting class which includes talented guards Jai Lucas and Nick Calathes. The nation will get their first taste of these two plus others this weekend.

No. 25 Stanford Cardinal at Texas Tech Red Raiders (4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Brook Lopez showed little rust in his season debut for the Cardinal, scoring 20 points in 19 minutes this past Wednesday. The seven-foot freshman was suspended due to academics at the start of the season but was declared eligible once grades were released this past week.

Brook reunited with his twin brother Robin, who is also seven feet tall, in the Stanford frontcourt. The Cardinal crept back into the Top 25 but are only 2-4 ATS in their last six games.

No. 5 Texas Longhorns at No. 10 Michigan State Spartans (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

No matter what the Spartans do this season, Tom Izzo will never be satisfied. The MSU head coach ripped his team’s rebounding, turnovers and post play despite the Spartans’ 40-point win over San Jose State on Wednesday.

"We did not play that well in areas that we need to play well in if we're going to beat a top 5 team," Izzo told the Oakland Press. "And you all think it's a motivational tactic and they all think it's a motivational tactic, and, since I never lie to anybody, I'm telling you it's not a motivational tactic, it's a fact and it's a big-time fact and we're going to see what can do about it in the next 48 hours."

Santa Clara Broncos at Minnesota Golden Gophers (7 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

It’s tough to find another school in the country that has been away from home more than Santa Clara. The Broncos have already played eight games on the road, making this weekend’s tilt in Williams Arena No. 9.

Sophomore center Josh Bryant will once again be the go-to-guy this weekend. Bryant is averaging almost 20 points and nine boards per game and has four double-doubles so far this year.

Illinois Fighting Illini at Missouri Tigers (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Braggin’ Rights are on the line when the Illini and Tigers meet in St. Louis this Saturday. Illinois has won 25 of the last 37 games of this rivalry. However, Mizzou is 6-3-1 ATS in the past 10.

Last season the Tigers suffered a disappointing 73-70 loss when guard Stefhon Hannah mishandled the ball and didn’t get off the final shot of the game. Missouri coach Mike Anderson coached in his first Braggin’ Rights game last season and feels more prepared this time around.

“This is a test for us,” Anderson told the Columbia Missourian. “But I got a little bit better feel for our basketball team, and they’ve got a better feel for each other.”

No. 21 Oregon Ducks vs. Oakland Golden Grizzlies (9 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

Oregon comes to the Palace of Auburn Hills following its upset loss to Nebraska last weekend. Head coach Ernie Kent is all about defense with the Ducks allowing more than 75 points a game so far this year.

“We’re averaging about 90 points a game, and yet we’ve lost two games,” Kent told The Register-Guard. “Those two games we’ve lost, we gave up (too many) points so if you get 10 percent better in terms of locking down people (defensively), you’re going to be pretty good.”

Kent made sure the two defeats were fresh in his players’ minds this week and scheduled extra film sessions to review the team’s defense against Nebraska and St. Mary’s. Both games played over the total.

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What a weekend in college basketball
FoxSports.com

SATURDAY

UC-Santa Barbara at North Carolina


Frank Says: The top-ranked Tar Heels shouldn't have too many problems with the 10-1 Gauchos (Stanford didn't, beating the Big West Conference's best squad by 19 points on the first weekend of the season). But Coach Bob Williams' team has at least one player, 6-6 Alex Harris (23.4 points per game) who is of "ACC-caliber".

Chris Douglas-Roberts and Memphis will get their toughest test of the season when they face Georgetown. (Tom Uhlman / Associated Press)

Georgetown at Memphis

Frank Says: Boy, oh, boy ... this should be a good one, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! The 8-0 Hoyas have won just one game by a margin of fewer than double-figure points (57-48 over 0-10 Ball State) but have played just one team (Alabama) with a decent shot at being in the NCAA tournament field. This game will be decided by tempo: If the score is in the 50s/60s range, the visitors will have a reasonable chance of knocking off the Tigers. If the score is in the 70s/80s, the Hoyas almost assuredly will be leaving with their first loss of the season.

Texas vs. Michigan State (at Auburn Hills, Mich.)

Frank Says: The second "Final Four-like" matchup of the day will do wonders for the respective RPIs, regardless of who comes out of the building with another victory. The Longhorns' D.J. Augustin, who outplayed another elite-level guard (Darren Collison of UCLA) a few weeks ago, will likely match up a large percentage of the time with another potential All-American guard in the Spartans' Drew Neitzel. This game will be part of the equation when the NCAA Championship Committee is trying to separate the No. 1s (seeds) from the 2s in March.

Tennessee at Xavier

Frank Says: The Musketeers can remove a lot of the sting from that loss to Arizona State with a nifty (and winning) performance against the No. 14-ranked Frankhoops.com club. Freshman center Brian Williams (24 points and 22 rebounds over the past two games) has given the Vols a nice lift of late from the bench, as has Arizona transfer J.P. Prince (21 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in the same stretch).

Mississippi vs. Clemson (San Juan, P.R.)

Frank Says: The San Juan Shootout will knock at least one team from the list of the country's remaining unbeaten clubs. By the way, that was a very nice hire (Andy Kennedy) by the Oxford-based SEC school in the spring of 2006.

San Diego State at Arizona

Frank Says: The Wildcats take on another one of the better teams from the Mountain West Conference after their come-from-behind victory at UNLV Wednesday night. The Wildcats have suddenly become a very efficient "grind it out, possession-by-possession" club of late under interim (and, eventually, head) coach Kevin O'Neill.

Florida at Ohio State

Frank Says: The school names and colors are the same but a lot of the names have departed since the Buckeyes and Gators hooked up in the national championship game in Atlanta last April. Billy Donovan's plethora of freshmen and sophomores get their first taste this season of what college basketball is like on courts not located in Gainesville. Florida's Nick Calathes (15.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game) is shaping up as the leading challenger to Vanderbilt's Andrew Ogilvy for SEC Freshman of the Year honors. Another freshman, 7-foot Kosta Koufos, has grabbed just 20 rebounds over the past five games (and 130 minutes) for the 7-3 Buckeyes.

Stanford at Texas Tech

Frank Says: On paper, Stanford should leave Lubbock at 10-1 — especially since the return to academic good graces of 7-foot sophomore Brook Lopez, who had 20 points and six rebounds against Santa Clara Wednesday night in his 2007-08 debut. But, if you recall, Bob Knight-coached teams have won a lot of games that, on paper, it appeared that they "should" lose. One of those came last month, when the 6-4 Red Raiders knocked off Gonzaga in Anchorage.

Hofstra at Rhode Island

Frank Says: On paper (which, by the way, isn't where games are normally contested), the 10-1 and host Rams have a bit too much for the 2-5 visitors. But Hofstra's 6-3 senior Antoine Aguido is having a dazzling season: 27.4 points per game, while shooting .483 from behind the 3-point arc. If the Rams don't contest all of those jump shots, he'll go for 30-plus for the fifth time this season

New Mexico State at Louisville

Frank Says: Aggies coach Marvin Menzies was formerly an assistant with the Cardinals under Rick Pitino. The teams (5-8 and 6-3, respectively) share something else besides coaching connections: Both will have to play a lot better than they have so far in order to get into the NCAA tournament.

SUNDAY

Virginia Tech at Wake Forest


Frank Says: An ACC opener between 6-4 and 7-3 teams, both of which will be hard pressed to finish in the upper tier of the conference. Six-eight James Johnson (12.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game) is a charter member of that "Very good freshmen who don't get nearly as much publicity as Derrick Rose, Eric Gordon, O.J. Mayo and Kevin Love" club.

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NBA Today December 22
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD

Saturday, Dec. 22

L.A. Clippers at San Antonio (8:30 p.m. EST).

The Spurs are tied for the league's best home record at 13-1.

STARS

Friday

-Joe Johnson, Hawks, had 32 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter, and Atlanta beat Washington 97-92.

-Paul Millsap, Jazz, scored a career-high 28 points to lead Utah over Orlando 113-94.

-Andrew Bynum, Lakers, scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help Los Angeles get past Philadelphia 106-101.

-Al Jefferson and Sebastian Telfair, Timberwolves. Jefferson had 29 points and 13 rebounds and Telfair added 27 points and dished out 11 assists and Minnesota defeated Indiana 131-118.

-Gerald Wallace, Bobcats, scored 27 points and Charlotte ran over New York 105-95.

-Kevin Durant, SuperSonics, poured in 27 points to lift Seattle over Toronto 123-115.

BLAZING

Martell Webster scored 19 points to help Portland extend its winning streak to 10 games with a 99-96 victory over Denver on Friday. The Trail Blazers, who have the longest current winning streak in the NBA, haven't won as many games since taking 12 straight during the 2001-02 season. Portland started the streak with a win Dec. 3 at Memphis, after going 5-12 to start the season.

BACK TO NORMAL

Charlotte beat New York 105-95 on Friday to send the listless Knicks back to their losing ways. The Knicks dropped to 1-10 on the road this season and failed to win consecutive games for the first time in nearly a month. New York allowed the league's second-lowest scoring team to shoot 50 percent.

BOUNCING BACK

Paul Pierce 22 points, including 15 in the third quarter and Boston beat Chicago 107-82 on Friday. Recovering quickly from their only home loss of the season, the Celtics never trailed in the game and never gave up their double-digit lead after scoring 10 consecutive points to make it 40-22 with 7:50 left in the first half.

STRUGGLING

Dallas defeated the Clippers 102-89 on Friday to hand Los Angeles its 12th loss in 15 games following a 6-4 start to the season. Chris Kaman scored 24 points and grabbed 19 rebounds for the Clippers. It was his 21st double-double of the season and his 11th straight in December.

STREAKING

Dirk Nowitzki scored 30 points to help Dallas beat the Los Angeles Clippers 102-89 on Friday for its fifth straight win. Nowitzki has scored at least 30 in his last three games. ... Detroit routed Memphis 92-67 on Friday to win its fourth straight game and have now won 11 of 13 overall. The Pistons have won six straight over the Grizzlies and 12 of 14 overall in the series.

SNAPPED

Utah ended a seven-game road losing streak with a 113-94 victory over Orlando Magic on Friday. The Jazz hadn't won road game since Nov. 28. ... The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the 76ers 106-101 to win their first regular season game in Philadelphia since February 2000. ... Atlanta topped the Wizards 97-92 for its first win in Washington since December 2003. ... Minnesota beat Indiana 131-118 to snap a six-game slide and won just its fourth game of the season.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Hedo Turkoglu scored a season-high 27 for Orlando and Dwight Howard had 20 points and 13 rebounds in a 113-94 loss to Utah on Friday. The Magic have lost six of their last eight and haven't won a home game since Nov. 24. ... Antawn Jamison led Washington with 30 points and nine rebounds in a 97-92 loss to Atlanta. ... Mike Dunleavy had 30 points in Indiana's 131-118 loss to Minnesota. ... Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony each had 34 points for Denver in a 99-96 loss to Portland. ... Chris Bosh scored 26 points and Jose Calderon matched a season-high with 16 assists but Toronto fell to Seattle 123-115 for its second straight loss.

SPEAKING

''Why wouldn't we be? Are you not going to be OK with your sister or your brother or whoever you get in a misunderstanding with? We're OK.'' - New York's Quentin Richardson, on an argument he had with coach Isiah Thomas on the bench in the third quarter of a 105-95 loss to Charlotte on Friday. Richardson did not return to the game afterward.

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Saturday's NBA matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Washington at Indiana

Washington has won four of five overall against the Pacers, including both meetings in Indianapolis last year.

Golden State at New Jersey

Golden State has dropped nine games in a row at New Jersey, since winning 117-108 on Feb. 28, 1997. It has won only two of the last nine matchups overall.

Utah at Miami

The Jazz have not won at Miami since an 83-73 victory on March 10, 2003.

Minnesota at New Orleans

New Orleans beat Minnesota 100-82 in Minneapolis on Nov. 17 in the first meeting between the teams despite Paul being sidelined with a sprained ankle.

Houston at Chicago


The Rockets swept both games from Chicago last season, and have won 12 of the last 16 meetings.

Charlotte at Milwaukee

Milwaukee is 5-1 at home versus Charlotte. The Bobcats won 113-92 on April 14 in their most recent trip to the Bradley Center.

L.A. Clippers at San Antonio

The Spurs have won 13 of their last 14 against Los Angeles and are 33-4 against them since drafting Duncan prior to the 1997-98 season,

Toronto at Phoenix

Toronto, which is 1-2 on its season-high seven-game road trip, hasn't won in Phoenix since a 101-94 victory on Feb. 10, 2004. The Suns have won seven of 10 at home this season.

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Saturday's college basketball matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Coppin St. at No. 14 Indiana

This is the first meeting between the teams.

No. 4 Georgetown at No. 2 Memphis

Memphis has beaten Georgetown only once in seven tries.

UC Santa Barbara at No. 1 North Carolina

On Nov. 25, 2005, Tyler Hansbrough had 15 points and 11 rebounds against UC Santa Barbara as North Carolina beat the Gauchos 83-66 in the schools' only meeting.

Miami (OH) at No. 3 Kansas

Kansas and Miami have never met, but the Jayhawks are 7-1 against MAC teams and the RedHawks are 2-4 all-time against Big 12 opponents.

No. 12 Tennessee at No. 24 Xavier

Tennessee is 9-4 all-time against Xavier, and the two programs have not met in Cincinnati since 1963.

NO. 8 UCLA at Michigan

UCLA looks for its fourth straight victory over Michigan.

UC Irvine at No. 11 Texas A&M

These schools have faced each other only once, but that game holds some significance in Texas A&M history. The Anteaters won that meeting, 91-74, in the opening round of the 1980 KOA Classic.

San Diego St. at No. 19 Arizona

Arizona, which has won 12 of the 13 meetings in Tuscon, won 69-48 last Dec. 9 in San Diego.

No. 15 Clemson at Mississippi

This will be the Tigers' first game versus a ranked opponent this season. Clemson leads 3-1 in the all-time series between the teams.

No. 5 Texas at No. 10 Michigan State

The Longhorns had won the programs' two previous meetings, including one in the regional finals of the 2003 NCAA tournament.

No. 18 Butler at Florida Gulf Coast

Butler beat Florida Gulf Coast 79-65 on Feb. 13 in the first meeting between the teams. It was the first game against a ranked opponent for the Eagles.

Columbia at No. 16 Villanova

The Lions lost 74-66 at Villanova on Dec. 22, 2003 in the last meeting between the teams. The Wildcats lead the series 3-1.

No. 21 Oregon at Oakland

This is the first meeting between Oregon and Oakland.

Tennessee St. at No. 17 Vanderbilt

The Commodores have won all five meetings with Tennessee State and each game was played at Memorial Gym, where Vandy is 6-0 this season. The Tigers lost 87-65 in the most recent matchup in 2004.

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Washington Wizards vs. Indiana Pacers

- The Washington Wizards and the Indiana Pacers will both be trying to pick up a win on Saturday when they battle at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Washington were outrebounded 49-33 in Friday's 97-92 loss to Atlanta, falling as 4.5-point home favorites. The 189 points scored were UNDER the posted total of 190.5.

Antawn Jamison notched 30 points and nine rebounds, and Nick Young came off the bench with 14 points for the Wizards.

Indiana lost an early 20-point lead in Friday's 131-118 loss at Minnesota, falling as 5.5-point road favorites. The 249 points scored were OVER the posted total of 202.

Mike Dunleavy led the way with 30 points, while Danny Granger had 14 points for the Pacers.

Current streak:
Washington has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Washington: 13-12 SU, 15-10 ATS
Indiana: 14-13 SU, 15-12 ATS

Washington most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 3-7
Before playing Charlotte are 8-2
After playing Atlanta are 7-3
After a loss are 4-6

Indiana most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 6-4
Before playing Atlanta are 4-6
After playing Minnesota are 6-4
After a loss are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Washington's last 5 games
Washington is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Indiana
Washington is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Indiana
Washington is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Indiana's last 9 games
Indiana is 19-6 SU in its last 25 games when playing at home against Washington
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Indiana's last 8 games at home
Indiana is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games

Next up:
Washington at Charlotte, Wednesday, December 26
Indiana at Atlanta, Wednesday, December 26

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Utah Jazz vs. Miami Heat

- The Utah Jazz and the Miami Heat will both be trying to pick up a win on Saturday when they battle at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Utah shot 53.2% from the field in Friday's 113-94 win at Orlando, coming in as 4-point road underdogs. The 207 points scored were a PUSH with the posted total of 207.

Carlos Boozer had a huge night with 24 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, and Paul Millsap came off the bench with 28 points for the Jazz.

Miami were upset 107-103 by New Jersey in OT last time out, as 2-point favorites. The 210 points sailed OVER the posted total of 189.

Dwyane Wade tossed in a game-high 41 points from 15-for-23 shooting from the field in the loss.

Current streak:
Miami has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Utah: 15-13 SU, 13-15 ATS
Miami: 7-19 SU, 12-14 ATS

Utah most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 5-5
Before playing Dallas are 4-6
After playing Orlando are 6-4
After a win are 6-4

Miami most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 4-6
Before playing Cleveland are 7-3
After playing New Jersey are 6-4
After a loss are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Utah's last 5 games when playing Miami
Utah is 9-4 ATS in its last 13 games when playing on the road against Miami
Utah is 2-8 SU in its last 10 games
Utah is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Miami
Miami is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Utah
Miami is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing Utah
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Miami's last 5 games when playing Utah
Miami is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Utah

Next up:
Utah home to Dallas, Wednesday, December 26
Miami at Cleveland, Tuesday, December 25

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Golden State Warriors vs. New Jersey Nets

- The Golden State Warriors and the New Jersey Nets will both be trying to pick up a win on Saturday when they battle at Izod Center.

Al Harrington poured in 25 points on Wednesday night as the Warriors knocked off the Minnesota Timberwolves by a final score of 111-98.

The Warriors managed to cover the 7-point spread on the road in that contest, while the combined score was a PUSH against the posted total (209).

Vince Carter netted 31 points with eight rebounds to lead New Jersey to a 107-103 OT win against Miami last time out, as 2-point underdogs. The 210 points sailed OVER the posted total of 189.

Richard Jefferson had 29 points and eight rebounds in the win, and Malik Allen added 18.

Current streak:
Golden State has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Golden State: 15-11 SU, 13-13 ATS
New Jersey: 11-15 SU, 9-16-1 ATS

Golden State most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 4-6
Before playing Cleveland are 4-6
After playing Minnesota are 7-3
After a win are 6-4

New Jersey most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 5-5
Before playing Detroit are 6-4
After playing Miami are 5-5
After a win are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Golden State's last 5 games when playing New Jersey
Golden State is 12-4 SU in its last 16 games
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Golden State's last 12 games on the road
Golden State is 6-3 SU in its last 9 games on the road
New Jersey is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing at home against Golden State
New Jersey is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Golden State
New Jersey is 8-1 ATS in its last 9 games when playing Golden State
The total has gone OVER in 4 of New Jersey's last 5 games when playing Golden State

Next up:
Golden State at Cleveland, Sunday, December 23
New Jersey home to Detroit, Wednesday, December 26

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Minnesota Timberwolves vs. New Orleans Hornets

- The Minnesota Timberwolves and the New Orleans Hornets will both be trying to pick up a win on Saturday when they battle at New Orleans Arena.

Minnesota fought back from a 20-point first-period deficit in Friday's 131-118 win over Indiana, coming in as 5.5-point home underdogs. The 249 points scored were OVER the posted total of 202.

Al Jefferson was 13-for-21 for 23 points, and Sebastian Telfair added 27 points and 11 assists for the Timberwolves.

New Orleans dominated the first half and went on to defeat Seattle 107-93 on Wednesday. New Orleans covered the 3-point spread, and the 200 points made it OVER the posted total of 191.5.

Chris Paul had 21 points and 15 assists, while Morris Peterson had a game-high 25 points.

Team records:
Minnesota: 4-21 SU, 12-13 ATS
New Orleans: 16-10 SU, 13-12-1 ATS

Minnesota most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 6-4
Before playing Golden State are 3-7
After playing Indiana are 5-5
After a win are 0-10

New Orleans most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 6-4
Before playing Memphis are 6-4
After playing Seattle are 1-9
After a win are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Minnesota's last 6 games on the road
Minnesota is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
Minnesota is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against New Orleans
Minnesota is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of New Orleans's last 6 games
New Orleans is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home
New Orleans is 11-3 ATS in its last 14 games when playing Minnesota
New Orleans is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing Minnesota

Next up:
Minnesota at Golden State, Wednesday, December 26
New Orleans at Memphis, Wednesday, December 26

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Philadelphia 76ers vs. Memphis Grizzlies

- The Philadelphia 76ers and the Memphis Grizzlies will both be gunning for a victory on Saturday when they meet at FedExForum.

Philadelphia were outrebounded by ten in Friday's 106-101 loss to the Lakers, falling as 2-point home underdogs. The 207 points scored were OVER the posted total of 199.

Andre Miller paced the attack with 21 points and eight assists, while Andre Igoudala had 20 points for the 76ers.

Memphis shot 33.8% from the field in Friday's 94-67 loss at Detroit, falling as 11-point road underdogs. The 161 points scored were UNDER the posted total of 202.

Rudy Gay fired in 18 points, while Pau Gasol had ten points and ten rebounds for the Grizzlies.

Current streak:
Philadelphia has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Philadelphia: 10-16 SU, 11-14-1 ATS
Memphis: 8-18 SU, 13-13 ATS

Philadelphia most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 7-3
Before playing Miami are 6-4
After playing LA Lakers are 6-4
After a loss are 5-5

Memphis most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 3-7
Before playing New Orleans are 3-7
After playing Detroit are 4-6
After a loss are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
Philadelphia is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Philadelphia's last 5 games when playing on the road against Memphis
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Philadelphia's last 8 games when playing Memphis
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Philadelphia's last 10 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Memphis's last 5 games when playing at home against Philadelphia
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Memphis's last 8 games when playing Philadelphia
The total has gone OVER in 17 of Memphis's last 23 games at home
Memphis is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Philadelphia

Next up:
Philadelphia home to Miami, Wednesday, December 26
Memphis home to New Orleans, Wednesday, December 26

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