Betting News and Notes - Jan 31

Betting News and Notes - Jan 31

Thursday's Tip Sheet
By Josh Jacobs

The weekly NBA report continues, rolling into Thursday’s four-game tilt.

As you should know by now, TNT will cover a pair of contests, beginning at 8:00 p.m. EST. A powerhouse pairing between Dallas and Boston will begin the televised slate, with the late night game wrapping up in San Antonio.

Seven of the eight teams hitting the hardwood own a winning record (over .500), with the lonely exception coming out of Seattle’s camp (10-35 straight up).

**L.A. Lakers at Detroit**

Ending Tuesday’s win with a late fourth quarter surge (outscoring the Knicks 35 to 22 in the fourth), the L.A. Lakers will be packing their bags for 12 road games in the next 13. Entering Thursday's contest with an 11-8 SU and 10-8-1 ATS resume away from home, the Lakers are shooting three points below its average at home (108.8 PPG in the Staples Center versus 105.4 PPG on the road). In its last six games, L.A. has limped into the winning column just twice (2-3-1 ATS). Allowing 101.8 PPG throughout the season, the Lake Show has inflated that number to 104.2 PPG in the last five.

Detroit will defend the Palace on a three-game winning streak. Scoring triple-digit figures in three of the last four games, there’s no doubt that the Pistons have placed emphases on offense. In-fact, when scoring 100 points or more, Detroit has gone an incredible 20-1 SU and 16-5 ATS. At home this season, the Pistons are shooting 47-precent from the field and are holding opponents 45.3-precent from the floor.

The Lakers are 1-7 ATS in their last eight meetings in Detroit and are 3-11-1 ATS in their last 15 head-to-head meetings.

**Dallas at Boston**

Coming off two days of rest, Dallas will look to stretch its winning streak to five games (2-1-1 ATS) when it hits the parquet floor inside the TD Banknorth Garden. In stark contrast to its relatively unblemished 20-3 SU home record, the Mavericks have gone an unimpressive 11-10 SU when designated the visiting team. Defending their side of the court for 92.3 PPG allowed in the last four (three points lower then its seasonal average), the Mavericks come into Thursday’s contest with a 3-7 ATS billing in their last 10 games following a SU win of more than 10 points.

Coming off a 21-2 SU and 14-8-1 ATS run from November to early January, the Celtics are now 6-5 SU and 5-6 ATS in their last 11 (5-6 on the ‘over’). In its last 11 home games, Boston is 7-4 SU and 4-7 ATS. Bottom line is that the men in green and white have taken a quick dip into the deep end of the pool. On a positive note, in the last five games the Celtics have shot 48-percent from the field, while allowing teams to shoot a low 43.2-percent (this number is highlighted by holding the Miami Heat to a tight 28% from the field on Tuesday night).

Boston’s Ray Allen (Flu) and Kevin Garnett (abdominal) continue to remain “day-to-day” on the injury list. Dallas’ Devin Harris (ankle) and Jerry Stackhouse (hamstring) are “day-to-day” as well.

**Cleveland at Seattle**

In their last 10 head-to-head meetings, Cleveland is 6-4 SU and ATS. If you’re a totals player, take note that the Cavaliers have gone 5-3 on the ‘over’ in its last eight, increasing its yearly record to 22-20-1 on the ‘over’. In their last eight wins, Cleveland has defeated its opponents in convincing fashion. A point difference of plus-10.3 PPG has been the norm throughout this run, shinning bright with a 36-point win over Washington and a 16-point victory over Seattle (out of all teams).

Seattle was blown out of the water against the Cavs on Jan. 8 (95-79), and finally ending a 14-game losing streak sure wasn’t easy. The good news for bettors is that the Sonics have finally hit a small stride with a 4-1 ATS performance. Either playing at home or away, Seattle has struggled to protect the ball. This season, the Sonics are allowing 104.5 PPG, with opponents shooting a smooth 39-precent from beyond the three-point line.

Cleveland’s Anderson Varejao (ankle) has been listed “day-to-day” with a ligament tear, and Seattle’s Damien Wilkins has been suffering from a case of the flu. Wilkins status has been listed as “day-to-day”.

*San Antonio at Phoenix **

Rolling down a sharp incline, the Spurs are officially involved in what we can call a slump. Dropping three games in a row, failing to cover the spread in four straight and hitting the ‘under’ nine straight times are some indications that this squad is suffering from offensive problems. While not a scoring machine this season (96.3 PPG), San Antonio has been suffering in its last five, finding the twine for a low 89.4 PPG.

In direct comparison, Phoenix has rocked the rim for 108.8 PPG. The Suns have also stepped up on defense recently, holding opposing teams to 99.8 PPG in their last five versus its yearly average of 103.7 PPG. Covering the spread 10 times in the last 18 games, Phoenix is looking to build upon a 14-4 SU run during the same 18 game period.

If your looking for an edge coming off one-day of rest you wont find it in the ATS department. San Antonio is 15-9-1 ATS when coming back to play after sitting one-day without a game, while Phoenix is a close 17-9-1 ATS during the same period. However, with an 88-85 loss against Seattle on Tuesday, the Spurs are now 1-8 ATS in their last nine games without a day of rest.

The Suns are without any significant injury, but the Spurs have officially taken Tony Parker out of action. Listed as out ‘indefinitely’, Parker will have time to nurse the bone spur in his left heel.

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Televised Tip Sheet
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**Boston College at North Carolina**

--North Carolina (19-1 straight up, 13-4 against the spread) is well rested coming into this spot after eight days off. The Tar Heels return to action after trouncing Miami 98-82 as eight-point road favorites last Wednesday. Tyler Hansbrough paced UNC with 35 points and eight rebounds, while Ty Lawson added 23 points and 10 assists.

--Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened North Carolina as a 20-point favorite with a total of 160.

--Boston College (12-6 SU, 6-7 ATS) owns a 2-3 record both SU and ATS as an underdog. The Eagles won outright as ‘dogs at Maryland and at Michigan.

--Al Skinner’s squad has lost back-to-back games, including a gut-wrenching overtime defeat Saturday. Virginia Tech went into Chestnut Hill and captured an 81-73 victory as a five-point underdog. BC’s Tyrese Rice scored a game-high 27 points in the losing effort.

--Rice is one of the best guards in the ACC and is undoubtedly the catalyst for the Eagles. The junior is second in the ACC in scoring, averaging 20.0 points per game. Rice leads the conference in minutes played, logging 37.9 minutes per game.

--Hansbrough leads the ACC in scoring at a 22.0 PPG clip. He also paces the league in rebounding, pulling down 10.1 RPG.

--Roy Williams’ team has won nine of its 10 home games, compiling a 6-1 spread record in the process.

--Since BC joined the ACC, these teams have split four head-to-head meetings, but the Eagles have taken the cash in three of those encounters.

--The ‘over’ has hit in five consecutive UNC games. The ‘over’ is 12-5 overall for the Tar Heels, 5-2 in their home games.

--BC has also seen the ‘over’ cash in five consecutive games. The ‘over’ is 10-2 in its last 12 outings.

--ESPN will provide television coverage at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

**Providence at Notre Dame**

--LVSC opened Notre Dame (14-4 SU, 8-7 ATS) as an eight-point ‘chalk’ with a 155-point total. The Irish are out to a 4-2 start in Big East action, trailing only Georgetown with its 6-1 mark.

--Notre Dame is off a 90-80 win at Villanova as a 2½-point underdog. Kyle McAlarney drained 5-of-8 shots from 3-point land and scored a game-high 30 points. Luke Harangody added 25 points and 10 rebounds.

--Providence (12-7 SU, 8-9 ATS) has lost three of its four Big East road games both SU and ATS. The Friars capped a three-game winning streak both SU and ATS by winning 77-65 at UConn as nine-point underdogs two weeks ago. However, they have dropped back-to-back games since then, including Sunday’s 71-64 loss at Syracuse as five-point ‘dogs.

--Mike Brey’s team is undefeated in 12 home games, compiling a 6-3 spread record.

--Providence has posted a 2-4 record both SU and ATS in underdog roles.

--Notre Dame has won four in a row and eight of the last 10 head-to-head meetings against the Friars. The Irish are 6-4 ATS in those 10 games, 3-1 ATS in the last four.

--The ‘over’ is 8-7 overall for the Irish, 5-4 in their home assignments.

--Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.

**Indiana at Wisconsin**

-- Indiana (17-2 SU, 8-7 ATS) will put its unbeaten Big Ten record on the line here. Most spots have installed Wisconsin (16-3 SU, 7-9 ATS) as a four-point favorite. LVSC sent the total out at 127. The Badgers are one-half game back of the Hoosiers with a 6-1 mark in league play. Purdue and Michigan St. are both 6-1 also.

--Bo Ryan’s team has a 12-1 SU record at home, but the Badgers are a mediocre 3-7 ATS in Madison.

--Indiana saw its 29-game home winning streak snapped Saturday when UConn came into Bloomington and captured a 68-63 win as an 8 ½-point underdog. Eric Gordon scored 14 points, but he made just 5-of-16 shots and committed four turnovers to equal his four assists.

--Wisconsin saw its 10-game winning streak halted in Saturday’s 60-56 loss at Purdue as a 1½-point ‘chalk.’ The non-cover was the third straight for the Badgers, who have burned their backers with a 1-5 spread record in their last six outings.

--Indiana has only been an underdog once this season, winning 64-51 at Southern Illinois as a four-point ‘dog. This factoid implies that the Hoosiers haven’t played the most difficult of schedules. Couple that with the loss against UConn, and you have an IU squad that has a lot to prove in this spot, at least for a team that’s unbeaten in conference play.

--IU has won back-to-back games against Wisconsin and has taken the cash in four of the last five meetings.

--The ‘under’ is 11-5 overall for the Badgers, 7-3 in their home games.

--ESPN will have the telecast at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

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Back-to-back NBA bets: TNT Thursday breakdown
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Dallas Mavericks at Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics haven’t beaten the Mavericks since 2003. That’s not really surprising when you look at the teams the Celtics put on the court in recent years, but obviously, things are different in Beantown this year.

The new Big Three have transformed the C’s into a juggernaut and have taken this team to the top of the NBA mountain. But this could turn into a throwback game of sorts – and we’re not talking about the Bird-McHale-Parish glory days here. Ray Allen (flu) and Kevin Garnett (abdominal) are both listed as day-to-day heading into this showdown with Dirk and the Dudes.

The Celtics showed some surprising depth on Tuesday night when Allan and Garnett were on the sideline. A few guys who haven’t featured in the box score all season had big nights, including Rajon Rondo (23), Tony Allen (20), Leon Powe (25) and Eddie House (20). But in the interest of full disclosure, it must be noted that was against the Miami Heat, a team that is sinking like a bloated log in the Everglades.

The Mavericks are having an up-and-down season, but they’re in the midst of the best stretch they’ve had all year. Although it hasn’t translated into ATS wins, they’re 11-2 in the month of January (6-5-2 ATS). Dallas isn’t without injury problems of its own. Guard Devin Harris is out for 2-3 weeks with a sprained ankle. They’ve also struggled against the east this year, with losses to Washington, Cleveland and Toronto contributing to their 10-7 (7-10 ATS) record versus a conference they went 27-3 against last year.

San Antonio Spurs at Phoenix Suns

Hold on a second. What the heck happened to the Spurs? The last time I checked, they were the defending NBA champions, but you wouldn’t know it from their recent results. They’re 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games. They’re averaging fewer than 90 points in their last five. And to put an exclamation point on all that, they actually lost to Seattle on Tuesday.

Things will probably only get worse now that Tony Parker is on the shelf indefinitely as he deals with a painful bone spur in his heel.  That’s no way to start a long road trip. The annual Rodeo Road Trip got started in Utah on Monday and it won’t bring them back to San Antonio until Feb. 19. Now the Spurs will have to find a way to turn up their game when they arrive in Phoenix, where the Suns have lost only once in the new year.

Even though the Spurs’ last nine games have played under the total, it should be interesting to see what happens against a Phoenix offense that is scoring 113 points per game at home. They put up 125 against Atlanta on Tuesday and it was no fluke. It was, in fact, the fifth time they'd hung 120 or more on an opponent.

Phoenix already beat the Spurs once this year (100-95 in San Antonio as 2-point underdog) and with Steve Nash having one of the best years of his career, it could be more of the same - as everyone isn’t too distracted by the Super Bowl hullabaloo.

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Boston College (12-6, 6-7 ATS) at (4) North Carolina (19-1, 13-4 ATS)

Boston College, on a two-game SU and ATS skid in the Atlantic Coast Conference, won’t find it easy to end that streak when it travels to Chapel Hill to take on the Tar Heels.

Boston College, which has only played two games the past two weeks, lost to Virginia Tech 81-73 in overtime Saturday as a five-point home chalk. The Eagles, who are 2-2 SU and ATS in the ACC, are shooting 46.0 percent from the field this season. However, they hit just 37.4 percent against the Hokies, after a 38.7 percent effort in an 84-66 blowout loss at Virginia. B.C. also got beat on the boards (46-39), with Va-Tech grabbing 19 on the offensive end.

North Carolina quickly got over its upset loss to Maryland, ripping Miami 98-82 on Jan. 23 to cash as an eight-point road favorite, which hatled an 0-2 ATS skid. The Tar Heels (4-1 SU, 2-3 ATS in the ACC) continue to rank second in the nation in both scoring offense (91.4 points per game) and rebounding margin (41.3-30.3 per game).

North Carolina beat Boston College twice last year after the Eagles took both contests in 2006. Last year, the Tar Heels earned a 77-72 road win as a 6½-point chalk, then drilled the Eagles 71-56 in the ACC tournament giving 11 points. BC is 3-1 ATS the last four in this series.

The Eagles, who average 73.8 ppg, are mired in a 2-5 ATS slump overall. On the positive end, they’re 32-15 ATS in their last 47 roadies (2-1 ATS this season) and 28-13 ATS in their last 41 against teams with a home winning percentage above .600 (Carolina 9-1).

The Tar Heels, who have the second best pointspread record in the nation, are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games and are on additional positive ATS runs of 24-7 at home (6-1 this season), 37-15-1 coming off a spread-cover and 37-17-1 following a SU win.

For B.C., the over is on runs of 5-0 overall, 6-1 in Thursday contests and 13-5 coming off a loss. For Carolina, the over is on streaks of 5-0 overall, 6-0 in ACC play dating to last year, 10-4 at home, 11-4 on Thursday and 20-8 after a win. On the flip side, both of last year’s meetings stayed low.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NORTH CAROLINA and OVER


(11) Indiana (17-2, 8-7-1 ATS) at (13) Wisconsin (16-3, 7-9-0)

Two Big Ten rivals that had lengthy winning streaks snapped on Saturday clash at the Kohl Center in Madison, as Wisconsin hosts the Hoosiers.

Indiana stepped out of conference play and lost for the first time in more than two months, falling 68-63 to Connecticut as an 8½-point favorite, which ended a 13-game winning streak. Indiana went a more middling 6-4-1 ATS during its lengthy winning run, including 3-2-1 ATS in Big Ten play.

Shortly after Indiana lost to UConn, Wisconsin saw its 10-game winning streak go by the wayside in a 60-56 loss at Purdue laying 1½ points, the Badgers’ third straight non-cover. Wisconsin, which was held to season-low point total in the defeat, is now 6-1 in Big Ten action, but only 2-5 ATS, including 1-5 ATS in the last six.

Indiana has won and covered the past two meetings and is on a 4-1 ATS run in this series (3-2 SU). In the lone battle last year, the Hoosiers prevailed 71-66 as a 2½-point home favorite.

The Hoosiers (6-0 SU, 3-2-1 ATS Big Ten) are on positive ATS runs of 8-1 on Thursday, 5-1 on road trips and 4-1 against teams with a winning record. However, they are 4-10-1 ATS in their last 15 Big Ten starts and 1-5 ATS in their last six when coming off a loss.

Indiana has been an underdog just once this season, and it pummeled Southern Illinois 64-51 as a four-point road pup.

The Badgers carry nothing but cold ATS streaks into this game, including 1-5 overall, 1-5 on Thursday and a startling 0-7 at the Kohl Center.

For Indiana, the under is 4-1 in the last five games, 6-1 in its last seven against teams with a winning percentage over .600 and 15-7-1 after a SU loss. For Wisconsin, the under is on streaks of 9-2 overall, 5-1 at home, 11-3 in Big Ten play and 4-1 versus teams with a winning record. Finally, the under is 4-0 the last four series meetings at Wisconsin.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


Arizona State (14-5, 9-6 ATS) at (5) UCLA (18-2, 11-6-2 ATS)

The Sun Devils, on a three-game losing skid, travel to Pauley Pavilion for a Pac-10 matchup against UCLA, which is looking for its third straight victory.

Arizona State found its home floor none too hospitable last week, losing to Washington last Thursday (72-61 as a 5½-point chalk) and Washington State on Saturday (56-55 as a 2 ½-point underdog). The Sun Devils (4-3, 5-2 ATS in the Pac-10) are shooting 48.3 percent for the season, but they’ve dropped to 37.6 percent during their three-game slide, which comes on the heels of a 10-game winning streak.

UCLA found its trip to Oregon much more fruitful, edging Oregon 80-75 as a 3½-point favorite Thursday, then pounding Oregon State 85-62 on Saturday to easily cover the 16-point spread. The Bruins, shooting 48.1 percent for the season, hit 49.5 percent on the road trip in moving to 6-1 in Pac-10 play (5-2 ATS).

UCLA has owned this series, winning the last six meetings, but the Bruins have only covered twice during this stretch, going 0-4 ATS in the past four. Last year, UCLA posted a 60-50 home win laying 18½ points, then held on for a 67-61 road victory as an 11½-point favorite. ASU is 6-2 ATS in its last eight trips to Pauley.

The Sun Devils are on positive ATS runs of 9-3-1 in Pac-10 play, 5-1-1 coming off a loss, 4-0 against winning teams, 12-4-1 against teams with a winning percentage over .600 and 4-1-1 on Thursdays.

The Bruins carry solid ATS trends of 4-1 on Thursday, 10-4-2 following a win and 12-5-2 versus teams with a winning percentage above .600. However, they are 2-5 ATS in their last seven home starts.

For ASU, the under is 20-8 in its last 28 overall (3-0 in the last three), 11-3 in its last 14 roadies and 19-7 in its last 26 against the Pac-10 (5-2 this year). Also, the under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings at UCLA. Conversely, the Bruins have topped the total in four straight games.

ATS ADVANTAGE: ARIZONA STATE and UNDER


NBA

L.A. Lakers (28-15, 24-17-1 ATS) at Detroit (32-13, 27-17-1 ATS)


The Lakers begin their grueling nine-game, 14-day road trip in Motown when they battle the surging Pistons.

Los Angeles outscored the Knicks 35-22 in the fourth quarter on Tuesday night, rallying for a 120-109 win to halt a three-game losing skid. The Lakers even cashed as a nine-point favorite, but they’re still just 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine.

Detroit has followed up a three-game slide with three straight wins, including Tuesday’s 110-104 win at Indiana. However, the Pistons came up just short as a 7½-point road chalk against the Pacers, and they’re 4-8 ATS in their last 12 games, which comes on the heels of an 18-1-1 ATS roll.

The Lakers routed Detroit 103-91 as a 3½-point home chalk back on Nov. 16. Despite that result, the Pistons have won eight of the last 10 SU against Los Angeles, and they’re 11-3-1 ATS in the last 15 series clashes, including 7-1 ATS in the last eight battles in Motown.

L.A. has followed up a five-game road winning streak (3-2 ATS) by dropping back-to-back games on the highway at San Antonio (103-91 as an eight-point underdog) and Dallas (112-105 as a seven-point pup). For the season, the Lakers are 11-8 away from Hollywood (10-8-1 ATS).

The Pistons have split their last four home games both SU and ATS, but for the season, they’re 15-4 SU and 13-6 ATS at the Palace of Auburn Hills, including 9-2 SU and ATS in the last 11. The straight-up winner is 15-0 ATS in Detroit’s last 15 at home.

Los Angeles is 2-9 ATS in its last 11 Thursday contests, while Detroit has cashed in 10 of its last 14 on Thursday

The Pistons are on ATS rolls of 14-3 when playing on one day of rest, 11-3-1 against teams with a winning record an 6-2-1 against the Western Conference.

L.A. is 9-5-1 ATS as an underdog this season.

The under is on runs of 37-15-1 for the Lakers against the NBA Central, 4-1 for the Lakers in Thursday games, 39-13-1 for Detroit on Thursday, 6-0-1 for the Pistons against the Western Conference and 3-0 in this rivalry.

ATS ADVANTAGE: DETROIT and UNDER


Dallas (31-13, 19-22-3 ATS) at Boston (35-8, 26-16-1 ATS)

A potential NBA Finals preview is on tap at Banknorth Garden in Beantown, where the Celtics host the red-hot Mavericks in the first meeting of the season between the two squads.

Dallas has ripped off four consecutive wins and is 12-2 SU in its last 14, including Monday’s 103-84 rout of the Grizzlies. The Mavs covered as a 5½-point favorite at Memphis, ending a 1-4-2 ATS slump.

Boston went to Miami on Tuesday without ailing superstars Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, but had little trouble disposing of the Heat 117-87 as a 4½-point road chalk to snap an 0-3 ATS slide. The Celtics, who started the season 29-3, have cooled a bit lately, going 6-5 SU in their last 11 and 6-8 ATS in their last 14.

Dallas swept the season series last year, winning 106-101 as a 13½-point home favorite and 109-95 as an 8½-point road choice. The Mavericks have won the last seven in a row against Boston, and they’re 9-4-1 ATS in the last 13 clashes.

The Celtics have split their last six home games, and they’re 2-6 ATS in their last eight on their own floor. But for the season, they’re 19-4 SU as a host (13-10 ATS).

The Mavericks are just 11-10 on the highway this season (9-12 ATS), though they’re 5-2 SU (4-3 ATS) in their last seven as a visitor (2-0 SU and ATS in the last two).

Boston is 6-2 ATS as a favorite of less than six points and 11-5 ATS when laying less than eight. Meanwhile, Dallas has been an underdog just three times this season, going 2-1 ATS.

For Dallas, the under is on runs of 16-7 overall and 9-3 on the road. However, the Celtics have topped the total in four of their last six overall and seven of their last 10 at home. Also, the over is 5-0 in the last five series meetings (3-0 in Boston).

ATS ADVANTAGE: DALLAS and OVER


San Antonio (28-16, 19-24-1 ATS) at Phoenix (32-13, 22-23-1 ATS)

The struggling Spurs limp into Phoenix with a rare losing skid and without starting point guard Tony Parker, and awaiting the defending champs will be the streaking Suns, who are shooting for their fourth straight victory.

Playing without Parker, San Antonio went to Seattle on Tuesday and got dumped 88-85 by a Sonics squad that had lost 14 consecutive games. The Spurs have lost three in a row, including consecutive road defeats at Utah and Seattle. They’re also 3-12 ATS in their last 15 contests, including four consecutive non-covers.

Going back to mid-December, San Antonio is playing sub-.500 basketball at 11-13 SU. Moreover, Gregg Popovich’s squad is a money-burning 5-16 ATS in its last 21, including 1-8 ATS on the highway.

Phoenix hammered the Hawks 125-92 as a 9½-point home favorite on Tuesday for its third straight win and cover. The Suns are 7-1 SU and ATS in their last eight (3-0 SU and ATS at home), and the winner has cashed in each of the team’s last nine outings.

San Antonio ended the Suns’ season last spring with a mildly controversial six-game playoff series triumph. Phoenix got some measure of revenge in the lone meeting this season, going to Texas on Dec. 17 and prevailing 100-95 as a two-point road underdog. The straight-up winner is 8-0-1 ATS in the last nine series battles.

Phoenix is 16-4 at the U.S. Airways Center, but only 9-11 ATS, though it has cashed in its last three as a host.

In addition to their overall and road ATS woes, the Spurs are mired in pointspread funks of 0-4 on Thursdays, 1-4 against the Western Conference, 1-4 against the Pacific Division and 2-6 as an underdog this year. One positive note: San Antonio is 8-3-1 ATS in its last 12 visits to the U.S. Airways Center (playoffs included).

The Suns are 6-0 ATS in their last six when playing on one day of rest.

The Spurs have stayed under the total in nine straight games, and the under is 19-5 in their last 24 overall, including 10-1 “under” on the highway. Furthermore, the under is on streaks of 38-18-2 for San Antonio on Thursday, 5-2 for San Antonio against the Pacific Division, 4-0 for Suns on Thursday and 4-1 for the Suns against the Southwest Division.

Finally, the under is 5-2 in the last seven head-to-head clashes in Phoenix.

ATS ADVANTAGE: PHOENIX and UNDER

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NBA Today

STARS Wednesday

-LeBron James, Cavaliers, had 37 points and 14 rebounds to lead Cleveland to an 84-83 win over Portland.

-Al Jefferson, Timberwolves, had 26 points and 20 rebounds in Minnesota's 83-67 victory over Chicago.

-Brad Miller, Kings, had 22 points and a career-high 21 rebounds to lead Sacramento to a 105-91 victory over Charlotte.

-Allen Iverson, Nuggets, scored 32 points and had 12 assists and Denver beat Memphis 106-102.

-Deron Williams, Jazz, had 22 points and 12 assists for his fifth straight double-double, and Utah defeated New York 100-89.

-Al Thornton, Clippers, scored a season-high 33 points, and Los Angeles beat Atlanta 95-88.

BUCKS STOP HERE


Andre Iguodala scored 18 points to lead Philadelphia to a 112-69 victory over Milwaukee on Wednesday night, the 76ers' largest win in 12 seasons at the Wachovia Center. This was their largest blowout victory since defeating Atlanta 132-85 on Dec. 8, 1982. The Sixers recorded 32-point wins over Charlotte in 2005 and Seattle in 2001. That had been Philadelphia's widest margin in a victory since the building opened in 1996. The Bucks haven't won on the road since winning at Philadelphia on Jan. 8. They are only 5-22 on the road. They also matched their lowest point total of the season.

KING OF THE ROAD

LeBron James' reverse layup with less than a second left gave Cleveland an 84-83 victory over Portland on Wednesday night, the Cavaliers' fifth straight on the road. James had 37 points and 14 rebounds. Cleveland has won 13 of its last 16 games. They had not won five straight road games since March 17-April 1, 1998.

SMOOTH JAZZ

Deron Williams had 22 points and 12 assists for his fifth straight double-double, and Utah extended its winning streak to a season-high six games with a 100-89 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night. Utah has won 10 straight at home for the first time since 1999 and hasn't trailed in its last two games.

THREE FOR THE SHOW

Andrea Bargnani scored 19 points, Chris Bosh had 16 and Toronto used a big second quarter and a flurry of 3-pointers to beat Washington 122-83 on Wednesday night. The 39-point margin of victory matched the biggest in team history, a 112-73 win over Atlanta on April 12, 2002. Toronto finished 13-of-18 from 3-point range. The Raptors are the NBA's best 3-point shooting team, making 42.3 percent.

SNAPPED

Stephen Jackson scored 26 points, and Golden State beat New Orleans 116-103 Wednesday night to snap the Hornets' nine-game winning streak. Chris Paul had 28 points and 12 assists for New Orleans, which lost for only the third time in 20 games. ... Denver beat Memphis 106-102 to snap a six-game road losing streak.

SUSPENDED

Knicks forward Renaldo Balkman was suspended without pay for Wednesday night's game against the Utah Jazz for committing a flagrant foul against the Los Angeles Lakers' Sasha Vujacic. Balkman was assessed the foul for throwing an elbow that hit Vujacic in the jaw in the second quarter of the Lakers' 120-109 win Tuesday. Balkman, a second-year reserve, is averaging 2.9 points and 2.8 rebounds.

OUT

Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao will miss up to four weeks with a left ankle sprain. Varejao sprained the ankle when he accidentally stepped on Sasha Vujacic's foot during a win Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Brazilian is averaging 7.8 points and 8.5 rebounds in 22 games. Cleveland beat Portland 84-83 on Wednesday night.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Chris Paul scored 28 points and had 12 assists, New Orleans lost to Golden State 116-103 Wednesday night. ... Rudy Gay scored 30 points in Memphis' 106-102 loss to Denver. ... Jamal Crawford scored 26 points and added nine assists, but New York lost to Utah 100-89.

SPEAKING

''We get paid to play and I'm embarrassed.''- Milwaukee's Royal Ivey after the Bucks' 112-69 loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday night. It was Philadelphia's largest blowout victory since defeating Atlanta 132-85 on Dec. 8, 1982, and its widest margin of victory in 12 seasons at the Wachovia Center.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Jan 31

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Detroit Pistons

- The fans at The Palace of Auburn Hills will be treated to a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Detroit Pistons when they take their seats on Thursday.

Kobe Bryant tossed in 24 points and hauled down eight boards Tuesday, as the Lakers cruised past the Knicks 120-109. The Lakers easily covered the 9-point spread, while the combined score sailed OVER the posted total of 207.

Lamar Odom tossed in 22 points with 12 rebounds to complete a double-double for the Lakers, and Sasha Vujacic added 20 in the win.

Rasheed Wallace dropped 24 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the Pistons past the Indiana Pacers 110-104 on Tuesday night.

The game resulted in a push as oddsmakers had the Pistons as 6-point road favorites heading into the contest. The teams played over the 194-point total set by books.

Current streak:
Detroit has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
Los Angeles: 28-15 SU, 24-18-1 ATS
Detroit: 32-13 SU, 27-17-1 ATS

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 9-1
Before playing Toronto are 3-7
After playing New York are 4-6
After a win are 7-3

Detroit most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 6-4
Before playing Dallas are 6-4
After playing Indiana are 5-5
After a win are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
LA Lakers are 13-5 SU in their last 18 games
LA Lakers are 5-2 SU in their last 7 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 7 of the LA Lakers last 10 games when playing on the road against Detroit
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the LA Lakers last 6 games
Detroit is 5-0 SU in their last 5 games when playing at home against LA Lakers
Detroit is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games when playing at home against LA Lakers
Detroit is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games at home
Detroit is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games at home

Next up:
LA Lakers at Toronto, Friday, February 1
Detroit home to Dallas, Sunday, February 3

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Dallas Mavericks vs. Boston Celtics

- The Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics will both be trying to pick up a win on Thursday when they battle at TD Banknorth Garden.

A quick start helped propel the Mavericks to a 103-84 win over the Grizzlies last time out. The Mavericks easily covered the 5.5-point spread, but the 187 points fell UNDER the posted total of 201.5.

Josh Howard shot 10-for-17 from the field with a game-high 26 points, while hauling down six rebounds and four assists.

Leon Powe dropped 25 points and pulled down 11 rebounds off the bench as the Celtics embarrassed the Miami Heat 117-87 on Tuesday night.

The Celtics cashed as 7-point road favorites as the game played over the 184-point total listed by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Dallas has won 4 straight games.

Team records:
Dallas: 31-13 SU, 19-22-3 ATS
Boston: 35-8 SU, 26-16-1 ATS

Dallas most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 8-2
Before playing Detroit are 9-1
After playing Memphis are 9-1
After a win are 8-2

Boston most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 3-7
Before playing Cleveland are 7-3
After playing Miami are 5-5
After a win are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
Dallas is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Boston
Dallas is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing on the road against Boston
Dallas is 12-2 SU in its last 14 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Dallas's last 5 games when playing Boston
Boston is 19-4 SU in its last 23 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Boston's last 5 games when playing Dallas
Boston is 19-6 SU in its last 25 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Boston's last 7 games

Next up:
Dallas at Detroit, Sunday, February 3
Boston at Cleveland, Tuesday, February 5

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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Seattle SuperSonics

- The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Seattle SuperSonics will both be trying to pick up a win on Thursday when they battle at KeyArena.

LeBron James tossed in a game-high 37 points, as the Cavaliers slipped past the Trail Blazers 84-83 on Wednesday. The 167 points fell UNDER the posted total of 188.

James shot 13-for-29 from the field and hauled down 14 rebounds to complete the double-double in the win.

The SuperSonics pulled off an upset with a come-from-behind 88-85 win over the Spurs on Tuesday. The SuperSonics won the game as a 7.5-point underdog, while the combined 173 points fell UNDER the posted total of 194.

Kevin Durant led the SuperSonics with 26 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Current streak:
Cleveland has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Cleveland: 25-19 SU, 21-23 ATS
Seattle: 10-35 SU, 21-23-1 ATS

Cleveland most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 4-6
Before playing LA Clippers are 4-6
After playing Portland are 2-8
After a win are 8-2

Seattle most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 2-8
Before playing New York are 4-6
After playing San Antonio are 4-6
After a win are 3-7

A few trends to consider:
Cleveland is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Cleveland is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
Cleveland is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games
Cleveland is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games
Seattle is 11-2 SU in its last 13 games when playing at home against Cleveland
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Seattle's last 6 games when playing Cleveland
Seattle is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Seattle's last 5 games

Next up:
Cleveland home to LA Clippers, Saturday, February 2
Seattle home to New York, Saturday, February 2

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San Antonio Spurs vs. Phoenix Suns

- The San Antonio Spurs and the Phoenix Suns will both be trying to pick up a win on Thursday when they battle at US Airways Center.

The Spurs were defeated 88-85 by the SuperSonics last time out, as 7.5-point road underdogs. The combined 173 points fell UNDER the posted total of 194.

Manu Ginobili shot 10-for-17 from the field with a game-high 29 points, while Tim Duncan chipped in with 27 points.

Six players reached double-digit scoring on Tuesday, as the Suns scorched the Hawks 125-92. The Suns easily covered the 9-point spread at home, while the combined score sailed OVER the posted total of 210.

Amare Stoudemire shot an impressive 10-for-11 from the field with 24 points and seven rebounds for the Suns.

Current streak:
San Antonio has lost 3 straight games.
Phoenix has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
San Antonio: 28-16 SU, 20-24 ATS
Phoenix: 33-13 SU, 22-23-1 ATS

San Antonio most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 8-2
Before playing Indiana are 4-6
After playing Seattle are 7-3
After a loss are 5-5

Phoenix most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 6-4
Before playing Charlotte are 7-0
After playing Atlanta are 6-4
After a win are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of San Antonio's last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of San Antonio's last 5 games on the road
San Antonio is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games when playing on the road against Phoenix
San Antonio is 18-7 SU in its last 25 games when playing Phoenix
Phoenix is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
Phoenix is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games
Phoenix is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Phoenix's last 7 games at home

Next up:
San Antonio at Indiana, Tuesday, February 5
Phoenix home to Charlotte, Monday, February 4

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Jan 31

Tony Parker now inactive, needs MRI on Friday  

The Spurs announced on Wednesday that Tony Parker (bone spur in left ankle) will be on the inactive list for Thursday's game against the Suns, and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Friday.

We should have a clearer picture of how long he'll be out once the MRI results are known. The Spurs are expected to sign Damon Stoudamire in the near future, who will team up with Jacque Vaughn as the team's fill-in point guards.


LeBron James hopes to shake off injuries

LeBron tweaked his right ankle in Wednesday's win over the Blazers, then later he jammed his left wrist. Neither injury is considered serious, but the way his ankle responds could determine whether he plays on Thursday.

"It's still warm [after the game]," James said of his sore ankle, "but I'm sure I'm not going to be enjoying it in the morning. Hopefully it won't keep me from playing [against the Sonics on Thursday]." We'll update you as soon as we know more about his status.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Jan 31

Mike Rose

Dallas Mavericks @ Boston Celtics u187.0

The first of TNT’s offerings tonight finds the (31-13) Dallas Mavericks taking on the NBA’s best (35-8) Boston Celtics in a game that’s been circled on both teams calendars for quite some time. The Mavericks currently sit a half game in back of the New Orleans Hornets for Southwest Division supremacy, while the Celtics boast the best record in the league and hold an 11-game lead over the Toronto Raptors in the Atlantic Division. Dallas has been outstanding at home this year (20-3), but they’ve been very beatable on the road coming into tonight’s clash with an 11-10 SU road record. They also treated their backers poorly when playing the role of visitor only covering 9 of their 21 overall games. The Celtics at one point had been pointspread
Gold at home, but they now only sport a winning mark at 13-10 ATS.

The Mavs were last in action on Tuesday night when they went into Memphis and handed the Grizzlies a 103-84 defeat. They covered the 5.5-point spread with ease and it was the second game in a row that they held their opponent to 80+ points. The Mavs have turned their play up a couple notches winning 8 of their L/10 overall games, but they’ve only managed a 4-6 ATS mark during that stretch. The Mavericks have made minced meat out of the Celtics the L/10 times they’ve squared off by winning nine of those contests. They’re 9-4-1 ATS the L/14 times they’ve faced each other, and that number includes their 5-2 ATS mark their L/7 trips to Boston.

The Celtics last took the court without the services of both Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, but still managed a road win and cover as they bludgeoned the woeful Miami Heat 117-87. Tony Allen, Rajon Rondo, Leon Powe, and Eddie House all registered 20+ points in the win. Boston’s alternated wins their L/4 games, but they come into this contest winners in 6 of their L/10 overall with a 5-5 ATS mark. Boston hasn’t had much success against Dirk and the Mavs of late, but this is a much different looking Celtics squad than the ones Dallas faced in the past.

Vegas tagged the Celtics short 1-point home chalks in this spot with the ‘Total’ set at 184.5. Once the line was posted, bettors immediately bought into the Celtics raising the game line to 2.5-points. They also foresee a higher scoring contest since the ‘Total’ has inflated to its current number of 186. While The Over is 5-0 ATS the L/5 meetings, I’m expecting a much lower scoring game here with a couple of key cogs out for both teams. The Mavs have seen the Under cash in 5 of their L/6 overall road games, while the C’s have played to the low side of the ‘Total’ in 13 of their 22 home games this season with one push. Both clubs Defenses will rule the show, so hit the Under up for a nice sized position….

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Jan 31

Dave M@linsky Comp 4* play

GAME: Wisconsin-Milwaukee @ Detroit
SPORT: College Basketball Picks

PICK: Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Offered at: -2.5

REASON FOR PICK: 4* WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE over DETROIT

An opener of UWM -4.5 has dropped all the way to -2.5 for this one, and it gives us an opportunity to step in to a classic case of two teams heading in opposite directions, while also using some of the laws of basketball to come into play as well.

In the first meeting between these two this season we had a 4* backing on a Wisconsin-Milwaukee team that was playing with a lot of chemistry and enthusiasm, with the absence of some talented prima-dona’s actually turning into a plus, against a disheveled Detroit team that was not only lacking in talent on the court, but also direction off of it due to the absence of long-term head coach Perry Watson. And for the most part we saw what we had projected – the Panthers had a lot more energy than the Titans, which led to two more field goal attempts; 10 more free throw attempts; more rebounds; more assists; and fewer turnovers. That would usually call for a much bigger margin than the 55-53 win but non-cover that they went home with, but there was a missing piece – that night Rob Jeter’s team could not buy a basket. They shot 32.1 percent from the field, including 22.2 from 3-point range, and 62.5 from the free throw line. It was not as though a few guys had a bad night – of the nine players that took a shot in that game, no one connected at better than a 50 percent clip.

Now let’s fast forward a bit. If we could project more energy from the Panthers that night, imagine what we can do here, now that a tightly-knit roster (five players scored in double figures in beating Cleveland State in their last outing) has played their way into Horizon League contention at 7-3. The only loss since beating the Titans earlier came at Butler, and the other three road games in that span were all easy ATS successes (they beat the spread by a combined 45.5 points) as well as SU wins. As for Detroit, a downtrodden team has not won a game since November, and there is a realistic chance that the Titans could go winless in conference play, having already failed at home vs. Youngstown State in their best opportunity for a breakthrough. With Jon Goode the only reliable scorer they are an easy team to defend, and there is only the most minimal of home court advantages as the crowd counts continue to drop – in their only previous weeknight conference game they drew just 1,625 in a loss to Cleveland State.

If anything, the energy and confidence gaps between these two teams are even wider than the first meeting, and we expect that to show on the floor once again, but this time with the Panthers making their shots at a much higher rate. With the market surge the other way enabling us to cash a ticket with a close win we have excellent value, and there is no hesitation to call for a team that is shooting 74.9 percent from the free throw line in conference play (which, of course, includes the earlier lousy showing vs. Detroit) to be able to close this one out in the latter stages.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Jan 31

Garnett out, Allen in

The Celtics will be without the services of forward Kevin Garnett, who will miss his third straight game tonight against the Dallas Mavericks because of an abdominal strain.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers says he didn't know when Garnett will return to the court. When asked if he would play Tuesday in Cleveland, Rivers said he didn't know.

Garnett did shoot some today at the team's shootaround.

He has had the strain for a while, but didn't disclose it. The first time people were aware of his injury was last Friday against Minnesota.

Guard Ray Allen, who missed Tuesday's game at Miami with flu-like symptoms, will play tonight against the Mavericks.

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Thursday’s Pregame Buzz

NBA
 
Los Angeles Lakers at Detroit Pistons


LA begins its longest road trip in franchise history in Detroit, a 9-game trek that covers 14 days. The Lakers will travel a total of 8,173 miles, and they have lost 8 in a row at The Palace of Auburn Hills by an average of nearly 16 points. LA star Kobe Bryant has averaged just 21.4 points in 20 lifetime meetings with the Pistons, his lowest scoring average against any opponent. EDGE: PISTONS
Detroit has won 3 games in a row after dropping 6 of 9, which followed a season-high 11-game winning streak. The Pistons open a 5-game homestand against the Lakers and are 15-4 SU at The Palace this season. "We're just playing ball," Detroit's Rasheed Wallace said. "We've run into some teams that are all geeked up to play us and that just lets us know that we're still one of the top teams in this league." EDGE: PISTONS
The Lakers are hurting not only without center Andrew Bynum but also sans Trevor Ariza (broken right foot) and Luke Walton (hip), who injured himself in the 1st quarter of a win over the Knicks on Wednesday. Sasha Vujacic has averaged 10.8 points in his last 6 games and will need to step up if Walton can't go. "Everybody loves to play," Vujacic said. "My moment has arrived here with the Lakers. Unfortunately, it's because of injuries." EDGE: PISTONS
Pistons are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 home games.
Lakers are 1-7 ATS in the last 8 meetings in Detroit.
Lakers are 3-11-1 ATS in the last 15 meetings.
Lakers are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 Thursday games.
The UNDER is 37-15-1 in LAL last 53 vs. Central Division.
The UNDER is 39-13-1 in Detroit's last 53 Thursday games.

Dallas Mavericks at Boston Celtics

Boston had no problems crushing the Heat on Wednesday without Kevin Garnett (abdominal injury) and Ray Allen (flu). The Celtics won by 30 points but will face a bigger challenge at home hosting Dallas. Allen is more likely to play while Garnett could be held out longer to prevent a more serious injury. "If he can play Thursday, we'll play him," Boston head coach Doc Rivers said. "But again, it's got to be almost 100 percent. That's the way I look at those types of injuries." EDGE: MAVS
Dallas cruised to an easy 103-84 win at Memphis on Monday but now must play 3 Eastern Conference division leaders to close out a 4-game road trip. "It's going to be a tough trip," Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki said. "Boston is the best team right now in the league. Best record. We all know what Detroit is like at home. They're tough to beat. It's going to be a fun trip. Very tough." SLIGHT EDGE: CELTICS
Celtics are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 home games.
Mavs are 9-4-1 ATS in the last 14 meetings and have won the last 7 games between the teams SU.
The OVER is 7-3 in Boston's last 10 home games.
The UNDER is 9-3 in Dallas' last 12 road games.
The UNDER is 16-7 in Dallas' last 23 overall.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Seattle SuperSonics

Cleveland is coming off a thrilling victory at Portland on Wednesday, as LeBron James made a reverse layup with less than a second left to win the game. The Cavs have won 5 straight on the road for the 1st time in almost 10 years, and they are 11-2 SU in 2008. BIG EDGE: CAVS
Seattle snapped a team-record 14-game losing streak with an 88-85 win over San Antonio on Tuesday. Rookie Kevin Durant hit the go-ahead jumper with 32.6 seconds left and admitted this was a huge weight lifted off his shoulders. "It was like we won the championship," Durant said. "It was a big-time win for us." That being said, insiders believe there could be a huge letdown after breaking the skid. EDGE: CAVS

The OVER is 6-2 in Seattle's last 8 games vs. Central Division.
The UNDER is 6-2 in Cleveland's last 8 road games.
The UNDER is 36-17-1 in Cleveland's last 54 Thursday games.
The UNDER is 6-2 in SEA last 8 home games.

San Antonio Spurs at Phoenix Suns

San Antonio will be trying to avoid its 1st 4-game losing streak in over 4 years. The Spurs are continuing their longest road trip of the season, coming off a stunning loss at Seattle on Tuesday. They are just 8-11 away from home this season. EDGE: SUNS
The Spurs have shut down point guard Tony Parker due to a bone spur in his left heel, and they are also playing without 3-point specialist Brent Barry due to a calf injury. They are only 1-4 without Parker in the lineup this season. EDGE: SUNS
Spurs are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 road games.
Spurs are 5-16 ATS in their last 21 games overall.
Suns are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
The UNDER is 21-6 in San Antonio's last 27 games overall.

CBB

Boston College at #4 North Carolina


Boston College is 32-15 ATS in its last 47 road games.
North Carolina is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 games overall.
North Carolina is 24-7 ATS in its last 31 home games.
The OVER is 11-4 in North Carolina's last 15 Thursday games.

Providence at Notre Dame

Notre Dame is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games vs. Big East.
Road team is 7-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings.
The UNDER is 7-3 in Providence's last 10 Thursday games.
The UNDER is 9-3-1 in Notre Dame's last 13 Thursday games.

#11 Indiana at #13 Wisconsin

Indiana is 8-1 ATS in its last 9 Thursday games.
Indiana is 4-10-1 ATS in their last 15 games vs. Big Ten.
The UNDER is 9-2 in Wisconsin's last 11 games overall.
The UNDER is 11-3 in Wisconsin's last 14 games vs. Big Ten.

North Carolina State at #3 Duke

North Carolina State is 2-8-1 ATS in its last 11 games overall.
Duke is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 home games.
The OVER is 8-1 in North Carolina State's last 9 games vs. ACC.
The OVER is 7-1 in North Carolina State's last 8 games overall.
The OVER is 27-11 in Duke's last 38 games vs. ACC.

Pregame.com

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Jan 31

Sonics F Wally Szczerbiak (13 ppg; ankle) has been added to the injury report as questionable for tonight's game.

Mavs G Devin Harris (14 ppg; ankle) is listed as not expected to play on Thursday night.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Jan 31

Stoudamire set to give Parker-less Spurs another option
January 31, 2008

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -Point guard Damon Stoudamire plans to sign with the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night, giving the defending champions another veteran option while Tony Parker nurses a left heel injury.

Stoudamire negotiated a buyout with Memphis earlier this week after falling behind two young players in the rotation. His agent, Aaron Goodwin, said the 34-year-old planned to sign with the Spurs sometime after clearing waivers.

The Spurs declined to comment.

Parker wants to play despite bone spurs in his heel, but coach Gregg Popovich has sidelined him indefinitely, saying the injury is getting worse. Results of an MRI exam were expected to be released Thursday.

The absence of Parker comes at a bad time for the Spurs. They've lost a season-high three straight and just started their annual rodeo road trip, a nine-game trek that made its second stop at Western Conference-leading Phoenix on Thursday night. Seattle ended a 14-game losing streak in the trip's opener.

Stoudamire has averaged 13.8 points and 6.3 assists in his 14-year career. He averaged 7.3 points and 3.9 assists in 29 games for the Grizzlies this season. His last game was Dec. 30 against the Spurs.

The Rookie of the Year for 1995-96, Stoudamire averaged a career-high 20.2 points in his second season before getting traded to Portland the following year.

After seven-plus seasons with the Trail Blazers, Stoudamire signed as a free agent with Memphis in 2005. A knee injury ended his first season with the Grizzlies after just two months, and his scoring average hasn't returned to double digits since.

Jacque Vaughn, the Spurs' other true point guard, is averaging 4.1 points and 2.4 assists in 36 games, five of them starts. He played a season-high 37 minutes in the Seattle loss.

Brent Barry and Manu Ginobili also have played the point in Parker's absence.

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