Betting News and Notes - Jan 4

Betting News and Notes - Jan 4

Detroit (25-7 SU, 22-9-1 ATS) at Toronto (17-15 SU, 17-14-1 ATS)

The Pistons take their 10-game SU and ATS winning streak north of the border into the Air Canada Centre for a matchup with a Raptors' squad fresh off a grueling seven-game road trip that crossed most of the country.

Detroit, which hasn't lost since Dec. 12, is in the midst of the team's longest winning streak in two years. The Pistons beat Washington 106-93 on Wednesday as five-point favorites, improving to 12-0-1 ATS in their last 13. Going back to Nov. 28, the Pistons are on an incredible 17-2 SU and 17-1-1 ATS run.

The Pistons are doing it with defense, giving up a meager 89.4 points per game this season and holding teams to 43.3 percent shooting. During the 10-game streak, Detroit's average margin of victory is 16.8 points.

The Raptors last played Monday in New Orleans, scoring a 97-92 win as six-point underdogs to end a 3-4 road swing (2-5 ATS). Toronto has only played one game on its home court since Dec. 14, and it is 8-6 SU and ATS at the Air Canada Centre.

Detroit is 8-2 in its last 10 against Toronto, but the Raptors are on a 15-7-1 ATS tear in this rivalry. Also, the underdog is 4-1-1 ATS in the last six.

The Pistons are on ATS runs of 6-0 as road chalk, 6-1 against Atlantic Division squads and 13-3 against Eastern Conference foes.

Toronto has covered its last six against Central Division opponents, but is just 1-7 ATS in its last eight home games against winning teams.

The Pistons have stayed under the total in nine of their last 11 overall and six of their last seven against the Atlantic Division. Conversely, Toronto has soared over the total in four of its last six, and the over is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Toronto.

ATS ADVANTAGE: DETROIT


Houston (15-17 SU, 14-17-1 ATS) at Orlando (22-12 SU, 23-11 ATS)

The Magic have struggled inside Amway Arena in Orlando lately and now have to face a Rockets' team that hasn't lost there in nearly six years.

Houston is on a 5-0 SU and ATS run in Orlando, and the Rockets have gone 9-2 SU and ATS in this series dating back to 2002. However, the Magic did score a 97-92 win in Houston on Dec. 19, cashing as 2½-point 'dogs.

Coming into this one, the Rockets are on a 3-6 slide (5-4 ATS), including Wednesday’s 97-93 loss at Boston. On the bright side, Houston covered easily as 11½-point underdogs and is 4-1 ATS in its last five on the highway.

Orlando leads the Southeast Division, but the Magic are just 7-7 at home both SU and ATS, including 2-5 in the last seven. They dropped a 96-95 home game to New Jersey on Wednesday, falling as a six-point chalk.

Orlando big man Dwight Howard has 15 straight double-doubles but was held to a season-low 13 points against the Nets. The fourth-year center is averaging just 11 points in three home games against the Rockets and center Yao Ming.

Their home woes aside, the Magic are 30-13-2 ATS in their last 45 overall and 6-2 ATS in their last eight Friday tip-offs.

The over is 8-3-1 in Orlando's last 12 against Southwest Division opponents, 7-3-1 in Houston's last 11 Friday games and 6-2 in the Rockets' last eight against Southeast Division competition.

ATS ADVANTAGE: HOUSTON and OVER


New Orleans (21-11 SU, 18-13-1 ATS) at Golden State (19-14 SU, 16-17 ATS)

The Hornets shoot for their fifth straight road victory when they visit the streaking Warriors in Oakland's Oracle Arena.

New Orleans scored a 95-81 win in Los Angeles Wednesday, easily covering the 5½-point spread against the Clippers. The Hornets have won and covered four straight since falling in Portland in mid-December, and they’re 6-1 SU and ATS in their last seven overall. Furthermore, Byron Scott’s club is riding ATS streaks of 9-2 as a road 'dog, 13-3 against Pacific Division competition and 11-3 overall as an underdog.

The key for New Orleans has been the explosive play of David West who is averaging 19.3 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. West and point guard Chris Paul (21.3 points,10.3 assists per game) also key a defense that allows just 92.5 points per game.

The Warriors, who have only been home for four of their last 14 games, wrapped up a three-game road swing with a 121-99 loss in Dallas on Wednesday, falling as a 5½-point underdog. Despite that setback, Golden State has won six of its last nine (5-4 ATS) and is on ATS runs of 13-3 against the Southwest Division, 14-6 in Friday matchups and 11-6 this year when playing on one day of rest.

Golden State's high-flying offense puts up 108.2 points a game, but the Warriors also allow 106.5 per outing.

The favorite has gone 6-2-1 ATS in the last nine meetings in this series, with the Warriors going 3-0 SU and 4-0 ATS versus the Hornets dating back to 2006.

The under is 5-2 the last seven times these two have met, 7-3 in New Orleans' last 10 overall and 7-2 in the Hornets' last nine against the Western Conference.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER

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NBA Today - Friday, Jan. 4
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD Friday, Jan. 4

Detroit at Toronto (7 p.m. EST). The Pistons have won 10 straight.

STARS Thursday

-Jarrett Jack, Trail Blazers, drove for a go-ahead basket and converted a three-point play with 19 seconds left in the second overtime to lead Portland to a 115-109 victory over Chicago.

-Amare Stoudemire, Suns, had 34 points and 11 rebounds in a 104-96 win over Seattle.

BLAZIN'

Jarrett Jack drove for a go-ahead basket and converted a three-point play with 19 seconds left in the second overtime Thursday night and the Portland Trail Blazers outlasted the Chicago Bulls 115-109 for their 15th win in 16 games. Brandon Roy had 25 points and Travis Outlaw 21 for Portland, now 2-0 since its 13-game winning streak was ended on Monday by Utah.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Ben Gordon scored 32 points to lead the Bulls and Joe Smith added a season-high 31 in a 115-109 double-overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night.

SPEAKING

''The ball sprung loose and I was just ready to get it. I knew I was going to attack him after that. It was me and him. My problem is being able to finish in the lane and luckily I was able to get it down.'' - Jarrett Jack, who drove for a go-ahead basket and converted a three-point play with 19 seconds left in the second overtime as the Trail Blazers outlasted the Chicago Bulls 115-109 on Thursday night for their 15th win in 16 games.

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Pick ‘n’ roll: Friday’s best NBA bets
COVERS.com

Detroit at Toronto

The Pistons are arguably the most talented team in the NBA.

Detroit has won 10 straight, including four in a row outside the Motor City.

The Pistons outscored their last four road opponents by an average of 10 points and are 4-0 against the spread (ATS) over that stretch.

Toronto has lost four of its last six and is 2-4 ATS in that span.

Houston at Orlando

The Magic are 2-5 both ATS and straight up (SU) in their last seven home games, including Wednesday’s setback to the Nets.

Houston center Yao Ming, averaging 21 points and 10 rebounds, accumulated 19 points and 17 rebounds in last month’s five-point loss to Orlando.

The Rockets are also an impressive 9-2 ATS in their last 11 tilts with Orlando.

Atlanta at Indiana

The Hawks have been soaring in the East recently.

Atlanta has won four of its last five against the Eastern Conference, including last Wednesday’s triumph over the Pacers.

Hawks leading scorer Joe Johnson, averaging 22 points, registered a team-high 26 points and 11 assists against the Indiana. Josh Smith chipped in with 16 points.

The Hawks are 5-0 ATS in their last five versus the East.

Memphis at Boston

The Celtics are a league-leading 15-1 SU and 11-5 ATS at home.

Boston has won nine of its last 10 and is 7-3 ATS in that stretch. It is also 9-0 SU against the Western Conference.

The Celtics outlasted Houston on Wednesday thanks to five players scoring in double figures. That included a game-high 26 points from Kevin Garnett.

Memphis, meanwhile, is 2-5 ATS in its last seven versus the Eastern Conference.

Charlotte at New Jersey

The road team has dominated this matchup recently, winning eight of the last 10 meetings. It is also a remarkable 8-2 ATS in that stretch.

That does not bode well for the Nets, who are a dismal 4-13-1 ATS in the Swamp. They are also a shaky 2-4 ATS in their last six at the Izod Center.

Charlotte, though, is 4-2 ATS in its last six meetings with the Nets.

Sacramento at Cleveland

Sacramento lost to the Cavaliers 93-91 on Nov. 9 at Arco Arena. Bettors should expect a different outcome on Friday.

Cleveland is 3-7 ATS in its last 10, including Wednesday’s victory over the Hawks. It is 2-4 ATS in its last six in the Forest City.

The Kings have covered the spread in two of their last three trips to Ohio.

Denver at Minnesota

Don’t underestimate the rebuilding Timberwolves.

Minnesota forward Al Jefferson is averaging career-highs in points (20) and rebounds (12). Former second round pick Craig Smith is also having a strong sophomore season, averaging 11 points and four rebounds.

The Timberwolves covered the spread as 14-point road underdogs in their first meeting with Denver. Big Al tallied 15 points and 14 rebounds in the triumph.

Minnesota is 2-0 ATS in two meetings this season with the Nuggets.

Washington at Milwaukee

The Wizards are 3-1 ATS in their last four outside D.C.

Washington veteran Caron Butler accumulated 72 points and 23 rebounds in his last three road games. Butler is shooting a career-high 49 percent from the field.

Wizards point guard Antonio Daniels, who missed the last seven contests with a sore knee, returned to the lineup on Wednesday. Daniels scored 18 points in a 106-93 setback to the surging Pistons.

Washington is 5-2 ATS in its last seven visits to Wisconsin.

New York at San Antonio

New York has lost nine of its last 10, including Wednesday’s 10-point setback to the shorthanded Kings.

The Knicks are also a miserable 1-11 SU outside MSG. San Antonio, on the other hand, is 13-2 SU and 11-6-1 ATS at home.

Spurs reserve Manu Ginobili, out three straight with a sprained finger, will also likely suit up against the Knicks. Ginobili is averaging 19 points and four rebounds.

Miami at Dallas

Miami is a respectable 9-8 ATS outside South Beach.

However, with center Shaquille O’Neal and guard Jason Williams sidelined with injuries, it’s unlikely that the Heat can compete with the surging Mavericks.

Dallas is 7-3 SU in its last 10 and has won two straight over the Heat going back to last January.

Philadelphia at L.A. Lakers

Philadelphia native Kobe Bryant loves playing the 76ers.

Bryant has averaged 35 points in his last four meetings with the Sixers. He also ranks second in the league in scoring, averaging 27 points.

Philadelphia, meanwhile, has struggled against the Lakers. It is 1-4 both SU and ATS in its last five visits to L.A. dating back to 2003.

New Orleans at Golden State

The Hornets love road trips. They are 12-5 SU and 11-5-1 ATS outside the Big Easy.

New Orleans has won four of its last five road outings, outscoring its last two road opponents by a combined 28 points.

Golden State, meanwhile, is 2-5 ATS in its last seven outside Oakland.

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Isiah Thomas predicts a title  big_smile

Although Isiah Thomas has not won a single playoff game since coming to New York, the Knicks' embattled president and coach predicted on Wednesday night that the franchise will win an NBA championship.

With Thomas in charge.

Seriously.

Sounding delusional, Thomas appeared to be talking to Garden chairman James Dolan through the media by saying he believes the Knicks will win a title and by reiterating that he has no plans to resign.

"My belief and what I see and where I believe we can go as a team and an organization, I believe one day that we will win a championship here and I believe a couple of these guys will be a part of that," Thomas said before the Knicks were walloped at the Garden by the depleted Sacramento Kings, 107-97. "I believe I'll be a part of that."

Thomas admitted that his comments, which border on the absurd, leave him open for ridicule.

"As I sit here and I say it today, I know people will laugh even more at me, but I'm hell-bent on getting this accomplished and making sure that we get it done. And I'm not leaving until we get it done."

With Walt Frazier sitting 10 feet away, Thomas even went a step further by stating that his goal is to leave a "legacy" that future Knicks team will live by.

"I don't necessarily want to win a championship," Thomas added. "I want to leave something that's going to stand for a long time. I want to leave a legacy. I want to leave a tradition. I want to leave an imprint, a blueprint in terms of how people play and how they coach and how they respond when they put on a Knick uniform.

"I want to leave what I left in Detroit. Every person who walks through that door as a Piston, when they put on that uniform, there's a certain pride that they carry. I want to put that here and I want to leave that here in New York. I want to leave a championship legacy."

Of course, Thomas' legacy after four years is a losing record, bad trades, poor free agent signings, a bloated payroll and a sexual harassment lawsuit won by a former female employee.

"This is a dark time for us, but I know there's a light at the end of this tunnel and I'm going to keep digging and I'm going to keep pushing and I'm not going to quit. I'm going to do it here," he said.

Asked if he believed that Dolan will give him time to accomplish those goals, Thomas, who fired Lenny Wilkens after 81 games and Larry Brown after 80 games, said: "As long as I'm sitting on that bench and as long as I'm in my office, that's what I'm committed to doing and that's what I'm working on doing. If someone turns the lights out, that's where I am."

Thomas made his comments after being asked him why he is ruling out making any trades before the February trading deadline. The Knicks are now 8-22. The franchise has yet to win a playoff game since 2001 and its record with Thomas as coach is 41-71.

Also, many of his player transactions have backfired, especially deals for Eddy Curry and Stephon Marbury. Coincidentally, when Thomas talked about the team's strong nucleus he failed to include Marbury and David Lee.

"I believe we're on the right path and I believe we have the right players," he said. "Our record doesn't show that, but I'm not ready to give up on these players.

"We have good talent. We have good players. We have young players ... and we have a good nucleus. We just need to get them to play well together. It's not about breaking them up or tearing them down, it's about getting them to play better as a team because individually I believe they're pretty good."

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Lamar Odom suspended for one game for flagrant foul
ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK -- Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom was suspended for one game without pay Tuesday for committing a flagrant foul in the fourth quarter of his team's 110-91 loss to the Boston Celtics.

Odom threw himself into Ray Allen and knocked the Boston guard to the floor with 2:56 remaining Sunday night and the outcome already decided. Besides the suspension, Odom was assessed a flagrant foul, penalty two, NBA executive vice president Stu Jackson said in a press release.

Odom, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds in the one-sided loss to Boston, will serve his suspension Friday night when the Lakers (19-11) play the Philadelphia 76ers (14-17).

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Friday's Tip Sheet
By Chris David

Gamblers get a chance to turn their attention to the hardwood on Friday, especially with no college football action on tap. The NBA takes center stage with a dozen games scheduled, including a televised double-header on ESPN.
Without further adieu, let’s break it down.

Double-Digit Mismatches

Dallas (21-11 straight up, 14-17 against the spread) hosts Miami (8-24 SU, 12-19 ATS) at American Airlines Center in what was probably once considered a must-see matchup before the season started. Unfortunately, South Beach’s squad has been pathetic this season for both fans and gamblers alike. Miami enters this contest with a five-game losing streak intact and has gone 4-13 SU and 8-8 ATS on the road this year. Dallas has gone 15-3 SU and 9-8 ATS at home this year, outscoring opponents by a score of 105-98. Last year, the Mavericks won both meetings against the Heat but went 0-1-1 against the spread. The total was 1-1.

Similar to Miami, the New York Knicks (8-22 SU, 12-18 ATS) had high expectations this season but have fallen on hard times too. Isiah Thomas and company have dropped five in a row, four coming by double digits as well. The club has been embarrassed on the road this year, getting blasted by an average of 12 points per game (105-93) en route to a 1-11 mark. That record should notch another “L” on Friday with a trip to San Antonio (16-2 SU, 12-6 ATS). The Spurs will be playing in a back-to-back spot and Manu Ginobili (finger) is listed as ‘doubtful’, but they should improve on their impressive 16-2 SU and 12-6 ATS mark at home.

Looking Ahead?

Detroit and Boston meet for the second time of the regular season on Saturday from The Palace of Auburn Hills. Before the Eastern Conference powers battle, they both have games on tap for Friday. The Celtics (19-9) and Pistons (22-9) are an amazing 41-18 ATS this year. If you bet these teams every night, you would be up $2,130 dollars based on one-unit wagers ($100) and that doesn’t include the Pistons 87-85 win and cover over the Celtics on Dec. 19.

The Pistons will look to win and cover their eleventh straight game on Friday against Toronto (17-15 SU, 17-14 ATS. Detroit took two of three against Toronto last year both SU and ATS, while the ‘under’ cashed in all three battles.

Boston brings a seven-game winning streak into Friday’s matchup at home versus Memphis (9-22 SU, 13-17 ATS). The Celtics own an eye opening 15-1 SU and 11-5 ATS mark at home. Opponents are averaging just 83 PPG on Boston’s homecourt, which has helped the ‘under’ produce a 10-4-1 mark.

New-Hot Teams

New Jersey (15-16 SU, 12-19 ATS) started 2008 with a solid 96-95 victory over Orlando on Wednesday as a six-point road underdog. The Nets have won five of their last six games, and face Charlotte (11-19 SU, 11-18 ATS) at home on Friday. NJ is 4-2 ATS during this stretch and all five of the victories have come by five points or less. Last year, the Nets won and covered two of the three meetings against the Bobcats. Lawrence Frank’s team still has work to do at home, considering the club owns a 7-11 SU and 4-14 ATS mark.

New Orleans (21-11 SU, 19-13 ATS) has captured six of its last seven games, which includes four wins on the road. The Hornets and head coach Byron Scott have produced a stout 12-5 record on the road this year both SU and ATS. The boys from the Big Easy get tested Friday with a battle at Golden State (19-14 SU, 16-17 ATS). The Hornets were 1-3 SU and 0-4 ATS versus the Warriors, and were lit up for 101 and 121 points in the two trips to the Bay Area.

Under like Thunder

If you’re looking for low-scoring affairs and ‘under’ tickets to cash, then check out Atlanta. The Hawks have watched the ‘under’ go 20-9 on the year, including a league-best 11-2 on the road. The Hawks’ offense is averaging 88 PPG on the road and travel to Indiana (15-18 SU, 15-18 ATS). The Pacers have been slumping, losing five in a row and their offense is coming off its worst performance on Wednesday in a 90-72 loss Memphis.

Philadelphia is another club that has had trouble scoring away from home, posting just 93 PPG. The ‘under’ has gone 19-13 for the 76ers this year, including 11-5 on the road. On Friday, the club faces the L.A. Lakers at Staples Center, who has been known to light up the scoreboard (109 PPG) at home.

Other ‘under’ teams to keep an eye on are Minnesota (20-10) and the L.A. Clippers (20-10) this year. The Clippers have a little more talent than the Timberwolves, but have been hampered by injuries all year. Minny is just downright inept offensively and playing an ‘over’ on this team is a very risky proposition, especially against a sound defensive club.

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Randolph’s Suspension Means New Starting 5 for Knicks

SAN ANTONIO – Misfortune found the Knicks again Friday afternoon, wrecking plans to revive their original starting lineup and attempt a fresh start.

Forward Zach Randolph, who threw his headband at a referee Wednesday night, was suspended for Friday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs. The N.B.A. announced the suspension just five hours before tipoff.

The Knicks conducted their morning workout with Randolph as the starting power forward on the assumption that he would be eligible to play. Stephon Marbury was also back in the lineup, restoring the Knicks’ opening-night starting unit: Marbury and Jamal Crawford at guard, with Randolph, Eddy Curry and Quentin Richardson in the front court.

”We have everybody back healthy and we just have to get back to basics,” Thomas said after the shootaround. ”We’ve got to start from basically trying to make the first step.”

Hours later, that plan was dashed. Randolph was punished for a moment of frustration late in the third quarter of Wednesday’s 107-97 loss to the Sacramento Kings. Angered by a foul call, his fourth, Randolph took off his headband and tossed it at the referee Tony Brothers, who immediately ejected Randolph.

”Frustration,” Randolph explained Friday morning. ”A little bit of everything -- the way we was going, frustrating fouls, losing. I’ve got to control my frustration better.”

The league has a zero-tolerance policy for throwing anything at referees, even if the object does not hit them. In the 2006 playoffs, Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat drew a one-game suspension for throwing his mouth guard at the court, near the referee Joey Crawford. Haslem was punished even though the mouth guard did not hit Crawford.

The Knicks learned that the commissioner’s office was looking into Randolph’s behavior after the team landed here Thursday evening. But the Knicks clearly planned on having Randolph available to play, and their preferred lineup intact for the first time in a month.

Marbury has not started a game since Dec. 8, just before he began an extended leave after the death of his father. He finally returned to the rotation on Wednesday, playing 30 minutes off the bench.

During Marbury’s absence, Thomas experimented with a number of lineups, benching Curry and Randolph for one game each, while giving David Lee and Jared Jeffries a handful of starts. Richardson, Fred Jones and Nate Robinson have all started at guard in recent weeks.

With Marbury appearing physically and emotionally sturdy again, Thomas at last had his best players available. With their original starting five, the Knicks went 2-1 to open the season. But they lost their next two games, prompting Thomas to bench Marbury and incite a rift that has gnawed at the Knicks for two months.

Over all, the Knicks are 5-8 with their original starting lineup, and 3-14 with all other lineups.

nytimes.com

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