Betting News and Notes - Dec 29

Betting News and Notes - Dec 29

NBA Today - Saturday, Dec. 29
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD

Saturday, Dec. 29

Boston at Utah (9 p.m. EST). The Celtics have won nine of their last 10 games.

STARS

Friday

-Allen Iverson, Nuggets, scored 39 points to lead Denver to a 124-120 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

-Ben Gordon, Bulls, scored 19 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter to lead Chicago to a 103-99 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

-Dwight Howard, Magic, had 29 points and 20 rebounds in a 121-114 overtime win over the Heat.

BASKETBALL ROYALTY

Phil Jackson pulled even with Red Auerbach in regular-season victories, 5 1/2 seasons after tying the Boston Celtics' coach for the most NBA championships won. The Lakers beat the Utah Jazz 123-109 Friday night, giving Jackson his 938th career win and a share of seventh place on the career list. Jackson will get a chance to pass Auerbach when the Lakers host the Celtics on Sunday night in the 177th regular-season meeting of the NBA's greatest rivalry. They've faced each other 10 times in the finals, with Boston winning the first eight and the Lakers prevailing in 1985 and 1987.

NOT ENOUGH

Dwight Howard had 29 points and 20 rebounds, Hedo Turkoglu capped his 22-point night by hitting a huge 3-pointer with 11 seconds left and the Magic survived some late-game Miami heroics to beat the Heat 121-114 on Friday night - giving coach Stan Van Gundy a victory in his return to South Florida. Wade matched a career high with 48 points, 20 of them coming in the fourth quarter and all of them in regulation for Miami, which fell to 8-22.

STREAKING


Brandon Roy scored 22 points despite not playing the second quarter, and the Portland Trail Blazers got their league-leading 12th straight victory Friday night by beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 109-98. The streak matches Portland's best run since winning 12 in a row during the 2001-02 season, the team's second-longest stretch. Portland's longest streak was 16 games in the 1990-91 season.

WINNING DEBUT

Ben Gordon scored 19 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter and the Chicago Bulls beat the Milwaukee Bucks 103-99 Friday night to give Jim Boylan a win in his debut as interim coach. Boylan was promoted from his assistant's role Thursday, replacing Scott Skiles, who was fired on Christmas Eve after the Bulls' horrendous start. Chicago is now 10-17.

DIALING IT DOWN

Amare Stoudemire scored 28 points on 12-of-15 shooting Friday night and the Phoenix Suns won for the first time this season with fewer than 100 points, pulling away over the final 1 1/2 minutes to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 94-88. The Suns were 0-5 when scoring under 100.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Miami's Dwyane Wade matched a career high with 48 points in a 121-114 overtime loss to the Orlando Magic on Friday night. ... Michael Redd scored 34 points for the Bucks in a 103-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls. ... Baron Davis had 29 points and 13 assists in Golden State's 124-120 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

SPEAKING

''The longer you stay here, the more wins you're going to accumulate. But I've never really followed that stuff, you know? I think the night that made the most sense to me, in terms of numbers of wins, was when I got my 500th and Bill Fitch was coaching on the other side. He was my college coach, and he came over and shook my hand after the game.'' - Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who pulled even with Red Auerbach in regular-season victories at 938 with a 123-109 win over the Utah Jazz on Friday night.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 29

Saturday's NBA matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Atlanta at Dallas

Dallas is 13-3 at home, where it has won three straight and eight of nine against Atlanta.

Miami at Washington


The Wizards have won just twice in the teams' last 17 meetings dating back to the beginning of the 2003-04 season, including a 1-7 mark at home over that span.

Charlotte at Orlando

Orlando has already defeated the Bobcats twice this season, winning by an average of 14.5 points.

Detroit at Indiana

The Pistons have won four of their last six visits to Indiana.

Cleveland at New Orleans


These teams split their two meetings last season, with the home team winning each game.

New Jersey at Milwaukee

The Nets lost 115-104 at Milwaukee on Dec. 23, 2006 - the teams' most recent meeting. The Bucks snapped a five-game losing streak to New Jersey with that victory.

Toronto at Houston

The Raptors have won five of seven games against the Rockets since 2004-05, including their first meeting this season.

Boston at Utah

This season's Celtics would seem to have a better chance against the Jazz than last year's club, which lost both games in the season series.

Minnesota at Seattle

The Sonics have won the last four meetings against the Northwest Division rival Timberwolves, including the teams' first meeting this season Dec. 14.

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Giricek back with Jazz following 3-game cooling-off period
ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOS ANGELES -- Gordan Giricek is back with the Utah Jazz, a week after coach Jerry Sloan ordered him to the locker room during a road game against Charlotte and then sent him home.

The sixth-year veteran guard was in uniform Friday night against the Los Angeles Lakers after spending the last three games back in Salt Lake City. But he declined to detail the reasons for his heated discussion with Sloan during a timeout in the second quarter of Utah's 98-92 loss at Charlotte on Dec. 19.

''It's not something that we'll discuss right now,'' Giricek said at his locker. ''We all have the knowledge that we're going to move forward. We smoothed things out, and it's going to get better. It's always better to be on the court, not at home, so I'm happy. Now I'm back with the team, so we'll go from here see what happens.''

When asked before the game if Giricek's three-game absence could be classified as a suspension, Sloan said: ''I guess you could call it that, but there was no fine involved. We just had a little verbal exchange that got a little bit too far out of hand. It's not a big deal, really. We're going to go about our business and see what happens. He's here and I'm here, and that's the way life is.''

As far as Giricek's role on the club is concerned, Sloan said: ''His role is to play. If and when I say 'We need you in the game,' that's what he's got to be ready to do.''

Sloan and general manager Kevin O'Connor met with Giricek before practice Thursday, leaving Giricek with the impression that Sloan is willing to let this incident blow over.

Giricek, who entered Friday averaging 4.3 points in 12.7 minutes per game, played a season-high 24 minutes on Nov. 12 against Sacramento. But he was dropped from the rotation 13 games into the season, and played only 4 minutes in each of his previous two contests - including the Bobcats game.

But he emphasized that wasn't the reason for his blowup with Sloan, and he's taking a wait-and-see attitude regarding the rest of the season.

''I was (bumped) down to the third shooting guard. But things change during the season, and in a minute it can turn around. So I'll just wait and be patient,'' Giricek said.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 29

Spurs sign Langford, waive Washington
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SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs signed guard Keith Langford on Friday.

The 6-foot-4 Langford has been playing with the Austin Toros, the Spurs' affiliate in the NBA Development League, where he averaged 23.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists in nine games.

Langford, who played four seasons for the University of Kansas, spent training camp with the Spurs and was waived in late October.

Langford wasn't picked in the 2005 draft and spent time with Vanoli Soresina in Italy, the Fort Worth Flyers of the D-League and the Kansas Cagerz of the United States Basketball League.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Also Friday, the Spurs waived guard Darius Washington. Washington played in 18 games for San Antonio, averaging 2.9 points and 1.1 rebounds.

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Saturday's Top 25 NCAAB matchup notes
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

Wisconsin at No. 9 Texas

The Longhorns and Badgers have met four times, with Wisconsin having won three. Texas has dropped the last two in the series, including the last meeting in Austin, 65-62 on Dec. 15, 1998.

American U. at No. 8 Georgetown

The Eagles have dropped the last four in the series since their 62-61 victory on Dec. 15, 1982, and 11 of their last 12 meetings.

Tenn.-Martin at No. 15 Vanderbilt

The Commodores have won all four matchups against Tennessee-Martin, including a 94-60 win in their last meeting on Nov. 29, 2003.

Florida A&M at No. 11 Texas A&M


This is the first meeting between the teams.

Savannah State at No. 13 Marquette

Marquette has won both meetings between the teams.

No. 12 Tennessee vs Gonzaga

The Bulldogs are facing the Volunteers for the first time.

Samford at No. 20 Clemson

Clemson has won both of the previous matchups in this series, including a 96-56 rout at home in 1990.

Wis.-Green Bay at No. 7 Michigan State

The teams have played each other each of the past three seasons, with the Spartans winning all three by an average of 33 points.

Winthrop at No. 19 Miami-Florida

Miami is 2-1 all-time against Winthrop and won 81-56 in the last meeting on Dec. 16, 1995.

Oklahoma vs. No. 23 West Virginia

Oklahoma is facing West Virginia for just the second time. The Mountaineers beat the Sooners 92-68 on Dec. 22, 2005 in the first meeting.

La Salle at No. 16 Villanova

Villanova has won five straight against La Salle and leads the all-time series 30-26, including a 64-51 road win on Dec. 23, 2006, in the teams' last meeting.

Chicago State at No. 14 Indiana

The Hoosiers look to finally put forth that total effort Saturday as they look to defeat Chicago State for the second straight season.

UC Davis at No. 5 UCLA

This is the first meeting between UCLA and UC Davis.

Yale at No. 3 Kansas

The Jayhawks look to improve to 3-0 versus the Bulldogs and win their 19th straight contest over a non-conference opponent at Allen Fieldhouse.

No. 6 Pittsburgh at Dayton

One of Pitt's non-conference wins last season was an 84-54 victory over Dayton, the first time the teams had ever met.

No. 21 Brigham Young at Boise State

Boise State, which is 3-8 against BYU, will face its second ranked opponent this season.

No. 18 Arizona at No. 2 Memphis

Last season's meeting was the first between the programs since the 1965-66 season, but they're 3-3 against each other all-time.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 29

Jerret Smith dismissed from Michigan's basketball team.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Jerret Smith has been dismissed from Michigan's basketball team by coach John Beilein for not meeting the expectations for a student-athlete.

''After over a month of evaluation and discussion, our coaching staff has decided that Jerret has not made sufficient effort to meet those expectations,'' Beilein said in a statement Friday. ''Therefore, it is in the best interest of the future of our basketball program that we move in a different direction.''

Smith played in 65 games with 13 starts, averaging 4.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists during his three seasons.

K'Len Morris and Kendric Price both left Michigan's basketball program earlier this year for personal reasons. Morris decided to transfer, while Price remains at Michigan.

Morris and Price were recruited by Tommy Amaker, who was fired after last season and replaced by Beilein.

The Wolverines next game is against Wisconsin on Jan. 2.

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North Carolina guard Bobby Frasor out with torn ligament in left knee.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The knee injury that will sideline North Carolina junior Bobby Frasor for the rest of the season is limited to a torn ligament.

Frasor tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the top-ranked Tar Heels' win over Nevada on Thursday night. The school said tests performed Friday morning found no additional damage to the knee.

The injury robs North Carolina (12-0) of a versatile veteran who can play either guard position. Coach Roy Williams said Frasor will need surgery, which is expected to be performed in the coming weeks.

Frasor stole the ball twice in the backcourt shortly before the injury in the second half, helping him earn the team's award for top defensive player for the fifth time this season.

He averaged 3.0 points before the injury.

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Wisconsin (9-2, 4-4 ATS) at (9) Texas (11-1, 5-2 ATS)

Texas looks to bounce back from its first loss of the season when it hosts Wisconsin in a battle of perennial NCAA Tournament teams.

The Longhorns traveled to Detroit last Saturday and succumbed to Michigan State 78-72, falling just shy as a four-point road underdog. Despite the setback, Texas has still tallied at least 70 points in 10 of its 12 games, and 10 of its 11 wins have come by double digits.

Wisconsin rolled to its third straight win last Saturday, upending Valparaiso 68-58. However, the Badgers fell short as a 12-point home chalk, their third consecutive non-cover.

The Longhorns are 7-0 at home, outscoring their visitors by an average of 26 points per game (83-57). However, only two of those contests in Austin have come against lined foes, with Texas going 1-1 ATS.

Wisconsin is 1-1 SU and ATS on the highway, but the one loss was an ugly 82-58 disaster at Duke as a 9½-point underdog. On the bright side, the Badgers are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven following a non-cover.

Going back to last year, Texas is on ATS runs of 12-4 overall and 7-3 at home.

The under is 4-1 in Wisconsin’s last five road games and 6-2 in its last eight Saturday games.

ATS ADVANTAGE: TEXAS


Washington (7-4, 3-7 ATS) at LSU (7-4, 1-5 ATS)

Washington puts a three-game winning streak on the line when it visits LSU for a Pac-10/SEC battle in Baton Rouge.

The Huskies followed up a heartbreaking 75-74 home loss to Pittsburgh with three straight home wins over Portland University (67-63), Portland State (84-65) and Cal-State Northridge (80-66). Washington, which opened the season in a 1-7 ATS funk, has cashed in its last two contests.

LSU has alternated wins and losses in its last five outings, most recently getting past Oregon State 67-61 a week ago today. However, the Tigers failed to cash as a 13-point home chalk against the Beavers.

LSU is perfect through six home games, but last Saturday’s non-cover against Oregon State was its first lined game at the Pete Maravich Center. The Tigers are just 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 lined home games. Also, they’re 3-18-1 ATS in their last 22 tip-offs on Saturday.

Washington 0-3 SU and ATS in road/neutral-site affairs, losing by an average of 15 points per contest (88-73). Dating to last year, the Huskies are mired in an 0-5 ATS funk on the highway.

These teams met last year in Seattle, and Washington cruised to an 88-72 win as a one-point home chalk.

The under is 21-7 in LSU’s last 28 Saturday games.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE


(11) Tennessee (11-1, 3-4 ATS) vs. Gonzaga (9-3, 7-5 ATS), at Seattle

Tennessee hits the road for a difficult test for the second time in as many Saturdays when it takes on Gonzaga, which makes the short trek south from Spokane to Key Arena in Seattle.

The Vols pulled off an 82-75 upset of Xavier as a 3½-point road underdog last week, running their winning streak to six in a row while at the same time halting a 1-4 ATS slide.

Gonzaga dropped its third of the season – and fell out of the Top 25 – with last Saturday’s 72-68 setback at Oklahoma as a 2½-point underdog. The Bulldogs have split their last four games (1-3 ATS), with the wins coming against lightly regarded Northern Colorado (77-57) and Cal-State Northridge (85-59).

Tennessee has played four games away from Knoxville this year, going 3-1 SU but 1-3 ATS, actually getting outscored by a point per game (79-78). The Vols are just 5-9-1 ATS in their last 15 on the highway.

Gonzaga, which has regularly played at least one game a season in Seattle, is the designated home team in this contest. The Zags are 5-2 as a host this year (4-3 ATS).

The Zags are on positive spread runs of 13-6 overall and 16-5 on Saturdays. However, they’ve failed to cash in each of their last five battles against SEC schools.

The Vols are 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 non-conference outings, but 7-19-1 ATS in their last 27 at neutral sites.

The over is 7-2 in the last nine neutral-site games for both schools and is 4-1 in Tennessee’s last five overall.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER


Oklahoma (9-3, 7-3 ATS) at (23) West Virginia (10-1, 4-1 ATS)

Having cracked the Top 25 for the first time this season, West Virginia aims to stay there with a win over suddenly surging Oklahoma.

The Mountaineers have ripped off eight straight wins since a 74-72 loss to Tennessee on Nov. 23. All eight wins have come by at least 14 points, including a 77-54 rout of Canisius last Saturday, though West Virginia failed as a 28-point chalk, its first non-cover of the season.

Oklahoma held off then-No. 18 Gonzaga 72-68 as a 2½-point home chalk a week ago. The Sooners have won four of their last five (4-0 ATS), the only blemish being a stunning 66-62 home loss to Stephen F. Austin in a non-lined contest on Dec. 8.

The Sooners will be seeking payback in this one as they look to avenge last year’s ugly 92-68 home loss to West Virginia as an eight-point chalk. Including that contest, the Mountaineers are on a 4-0 ATS roll against the Big 12.

The Mountaineers are 6-0 at home, with only one of those wins coming against a lined opponent. Meanwhile, Oklahoma has split its four road/neutral-site games, both SU and ATS.

West Virginia is 42-18-1 ATS in its last 61 non-conference games.

Oklahoma has topped the total in four straight lined games, the over is 7-2 in the Mountaineers’ last nine Saturday outings and last year’s meeting soared way over the posted total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: WEST VIRGINIA and OVER


(6) Pitt (11-0, 5-2 ATS) at Dayton (10-1, 4-2 ATS)

Pitt will try to avoid a letdown today when it hits the road for a dangerous non-conference game against Dayton.

The Panthers remained perfect with a 65-64 overtime win over then-No. 6 and unbeaten Duke on Dec. 20. Pitt won despite being limited to a season-low in points, but the victory came at a price, as starting forward Mike Cook suffered a season-ending knee injury in the overtime session.

Dayton comes into this contest on a nine-game winning streak (4-1 ATS), most recently blasting Loyola-Maryland 91-74 as a 14-point home chalk last week. The Flyers, whose only loss this season came at George Mason on Nov. 17, have faced one ranked foe this season, stunning Louisville 70-65 as a 12½-point road underdog on Dec. 8.

The Panthers trashed Dayton 84-54 as a 12½-point home favorite last year.

Dayton is 7-0 at home (2-1 ATS), winning by an average of 15 points per game (75-60). The Flyers had held seven straight opponents under 70 points before giving up 74 to Loyola.

Pitt is 3-0 away from its own gym (2-1 ATS). The Panthers averaged 71 points in those three wins, but gave up 69 ppg. Also, despite being held to 65 points by Duke, the Panthers have still scored at least 73 points in all but two of their 11 games, and they’re averaging 80.5 per game for the season.

The Panthers are just 2-7 ATS in their last nine Saturday affairs.

The over is 10-1 in Dayton’s last 11 home games and 24-10 in Pitt’s last 34 Saturday contests. However, the Panthers have stayed low in 12 of their last 14 on the highway.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER


(17) Arizona (9-2, 5-3-1 ATS) at (2) Memphis (10-0, 3-6 ATS)

The game of the day in college hoops takes place at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, where the second-ranked Tigers face their second straight quality opponent in No. 17 Arizona.

Memphis overwhelmed then-No. 5 Georgetown in a dominating second half last Saturday, cruising to an 85-71 victory and easily covering as a four-point home choice to halt an 0-4-1 ATS slide. The Tigers have now won 37 consecutive home games, the second-longest streak in the nation. Also, with a win today, John Calipari’s squad will match its second-best start to a season since the 1982-83 campaign.

The Wildcats are coming off a blowout win as well, though theirs came in last Saturday’s 74-58 whipping of San Diego State as an 11½-point home favorite. Arizona has ripped off six straight wins (3-1-1 ATS) since a 76-72 overtime loss at then-No. 4 Kansas on Nov. 25.

This is Arizona’s third game of the season against a Top 10 opponent. In addition to the loss at Kansas, the Wildcats downed No. 9 Texas A&M 78-67 as a 2½-point home chalk. On the road, Arizona is 2-1 SU and 2-0-1 ATS.

Memphis is 6-0 at home, but 1-4 ATS, the lone cover occurring against Georgetown last week. Despite that, the Tigers are outscoring their visitors by 22 points per game (87-65).

This is a rematch of a game played 53 weeks ago in Arizona, where the Wildcats prevailed 79-71 as a 7½-point chalk, one of just four losses the Tigers suffered all season. In fact, Memphis went on a 25-game winning streak after that defeat, with the run ending in the Final Four against Ohio State.

Including last year’s win over Memphis, Arizona is 4-1 ATS in its last five against Conference USA foes. Conversely, the Tigers are just 1-5 ATS in their last six against the Pac-10.

The over is 8-3 in Memphis’ last 11 games, including 4-0 at home. However, Arizona has stayed low in three straight games, and the under is 12-3 in its last 15 non-conference games and 8-3 in its last 11 road outings.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 29

76ers acquire G Giricek from Utah for F Korver
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia 76ers acquired guard Gordan Giricek and a first-round draft pick from the Utah Jazz for guard Kyle Korver on Saturday.

Giricek, 6-foot-5, averaged 4.3 points in 22 games for the Jazz this season and has career average of 9.8 in six seasons.

''We are excited about acquiring a player of Gordan's ability, as well as an additional asset in the form of a first-round draft pick,'' 76ers general manager Ed Stefanski said. ''This move will provide us with increased salary cap flexibility this offseason and also allows us to continue our evaluation and development of the young talent we have on this team.''

Korver averaged 10.0 points in 25 games with the 76ers and was their top 3-point threat. Korver played four seasons with Philadelphia, averaging 10.5 points and shooting 42 percent.

''I want to thank Kyle for the positive impact he has made on this team and the city of Philadelphia through his play on the court and, even more importantly, his philanthropic efforts off of it,'' Stefanski said.

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