Betting News and Notes - Feb 13

Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 13

Jeff Haney highlights the betting opportunities that stand out in the future book for the NBA and college hoops

An axiom among some talented sports bettors holds that you should be able to walk into any major sports book, study the board for a few minutes and point out the advantageous betting opportunities.

Unless it’s, say, Christmas Eve or the day before baseball’s All-Star Game, at least one or two good bets should stand out — maybe a halftime line, maybe a money line, maybe something in the future book.

I saw the theory play out in real time the other night during a short stop at the Venetian sports book on the Strip. After scanning the entire board, two bettors independently concluded that a wager on the Portland Trail Blazers to win the NBA Finals at juicy odds could be worth a look.

True, the Blazers are relatively inexperienced compared with Western Conference powers such as the Dallas Mavericks or Phoenix Suns. They have cooled significantly since winning 17 of 18 games in December. As a result, the odds on Portland have drifted up to 100-1 (available at the Las Vegas Hilton).

Anyone can pick heavy favorites such as the Mavericks, Suns or Boston Celtics, but who wants odds of 5-2 with nearly half the regular season and the playoffs still to be played?

The Blazers, for example, have had the rest of the league as well as the oddsmakers catch up to them after their torrid December, failing to cover the point spread in nine of their past 10 games.

It’s conceivable Portland, which opened at 75-1 to win the championship, could put together another hot streak and make the playoffs. The team returns home — where it has performed much better (20-6) than on the road (8-17) — next week and just had All-Star guard and leading scorer Brandon Roy return after missing a couple of games because of a death in his family. Of course it’s possible the Blazers could miss the playoffs entirely ... then again, that’s why they’re 100-1.

The NBA’s other intriguing long shot can be found in New Orleans, which opened at about 50-1 in Las Vegas and is still available at 25-1 at the Hilton. (As always, odds can and do change frequently.)

The Hornets finally hit a skid, failing to cover in four of their past five, after a monster run against the point spread, but still own the second-best straight-up record in the conference behind Phoenix.

Watch for more possible fluctuations in the NBA future books in Las Vegas leading to the league’s trade deadline Feb. 21.

Likewise, in college basketball, anyone can pick Memphis, Duke or North Carolina to win the national title, hoping to get paid off at 2-1 or 3-1 after surviving the regular season, conference tournament and championship tournament.

Instead, consider Texas A&M, which Las Vegas professional sports bettor Alan Boston called a “team to watch in the NCAA tournament” on his conference call this past weekend. The Aggies, 20-4 overall, can be found at odds of 60-1 at the Venetian after opening in the range of 75-1. They’re ranked No. 16, have covered the spread in five consecutive games, and could well receive a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Consider No. 15 Wisconsin at odds of 60-1, attractive for a team that’s 19-4 overall and 9-2 in the Big Ten. The Badgers are just 4-7 against the spread in conference play, not exactly wowing the oddsmakers, but also could receive a No. 4 seed in the tournament.

Or consider Butler, the class of the Horizon League at 21-2 overall and 10-2 in the conference, at odds of 75-1. The Bulldogs, who opened at 150-1 and are ranked No. 9 nationally, will probably have to settle for a No. 4 seed in the tournament. The rap against them is they’ll be facing better athletes as the tournament progresses ... then again, that’s why they’re 75-1.

All-Star props

Unlike most “for amusement only” bets, these are a couple of good ones: The Las Vegas-based sports betting Web site Wiseguys.com has issued an over/under of 125 arrests linked to Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans, and an over/under of 2 1/2 NBA-related shootings. (They just have to be incidents involving gunfire; no one has to be hit by a bullet.)

It’s an imaginative prop, and the total of 125 seems like a solid number. It makes you think, and you could conceivably construct a decent argument for either the over or the under.

Spending too much time analyzing these morbid sort of props, however, might indicate something is wrong with you. I mean us.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 13

(20) Notre Dame (18-4, 9-10 ATS) at (17) UConn (18-5, 9-9-1 ATS)

Two of the hottest teams in the Big East square off when the Fighting Irish head to Storrs to take on Connecticut.

Notre Dame held off Marquette 86-83 Saturday for its fifth straight victory, all in Big East play. The Fighting Irish (8-2, 5-5 ATS Big East) failed to cash as a 4½-point favorite, falling to 1-3 ATS in their last four starts, but they did avenge a 92-66 January loss to the Golden Eagles. Marquette had more field goals (33-26), including a dozen 3-pointers to Notre Dame’s 10, but the Irish hit 24 of 31 free throws, while the Eagles were awarded just eight, making five.

Connecticut stepped out of conference Saturday and beat Georgia Tech 80-68 as an 8½-point chalk, posting its seventh straight win (5-1-1 ATS). The Huskies (8-3, 7-3-1 ATS Big East) killed the Yellow Jackets on the glass (43-21) and they continue to get it done with their seventh-ranked defense, having kept their last five opponents in the 60s while holding them to 37.5 percent shooting.

Notre Dame is on a 5-2 ATS run in this series, including a 73-67 home win last month, barely covering as a 5½-point favorite. However, UConn whipped the Irish 88-74 at home last year laying 7½ points. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.

The Fighting Irish, who have outscored opponents by 11 points per game (88-77) during their five-game run, are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 Wednesday starts and have additional positive ATS runs of 5-1 after a non-cover, 5-2 against teams with a winning record and 28-13-1 on the highway (2-3 this year in true road games). On the negative side, Notre Dame is 1-5 ATS in its last six coming off a SU win.

The Huskies carry positive ATS trends of 4-0-1 following a SU win and 4-1-1 at home. But they are 2-5 ATS in their last seven against teams with a winning record, 3-10-1 ATS in their last 14 after a spread-cover and 1-4 ATS in their last five on Wednesday.

For Notre Dame, the over is on runs of 8-0 overall, 4-0 on the road and 12-2 in Big East play. Conversely, for Connecticut, the under is on streaks of 5-0 overall, 4-1 at home and 10-4-1 on Wednesday. Finally, these teams have also stayed low in the last two in this series.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


Maryland (16-8, 9-10 ATS) at (2) Duke (21-1, 13-7-1 ATS)

The Terrapins aim to avenge last month’s home loss to Duke when they travel to Durham to take on the soaring Blue Devils in an Atlantic Coast Conference battle.

Maryland rolled past North Carolina State 84-70 on Saturday as an 8½-point home favorite, improving to 4-0 SU and ATS since losing to Duke. The Terrapins (6-3 SU and ATS in the ACC) shot a scorching 56.9 percent from the field (33 of 58), the fifth straight game they’ve been over 50 percent.

Duke beat Boston College 90-80 Saturday for its 11th straight victory, but fell well short of covering as an 18-point chalk to halt a 7-0-1 ATS streak. The Blue Devils (9-0, 7-1-1 ATS in the ACC) are third in the nation at 86.0 ppg, but they’ve eclipsed that number in each of their last five games, scoring 90 or more three times and winning by an average of nearly 13 ppg.

Duke erased a nine-point halftime deficit and beat Maryland 93-84 last month in College Park as a six-point favorite. Maryland won and covered both meetings last year, including an 85-77 road upset catching seven points last February. These teams are dead-even in the last 10 meetings, going 5-5 SU and ATS, with the straight-up winner a perfect 10-0 ATS.

The Terrapins are on ATS tears of 36-15 on Wednesday, 5-0 on the road, 5-0 against teams with a winning home record, 4-0 in ACC play and 6-1 coming off a SU win.

Duke is also on several positive ATS runs, including 7-0-1 against teams with a winning percentage above .600 and 7-3-1 at home. However, they are just 3-9 ATS in their last 12 Wednesday games.

The over is 5-1 in Maryland’s last six starts and 7-0 in Duke’s last seven contests. In addition, for the Terrapins, the over is 6-1 on the highway, 5-1 in the ACC and 4-0 against teams with a winning percentage above .600, but the under is 21-5 in their last 26 Wednesday games. For Duke, the over is 4-0 in Durham and 6-0 against teams with a winning percentage over .600. Finally, these teams have cleared the posted price in three of the last four in this series, including last month’s matchup (total 149½).

ATS ADVANTAGE: DUKE and OVER


(15) Wisconsin (19-4, 9-11 ATS) at (13) Indiana (20-3, 10-9-1 ATS)

Wisconsin, which had its three-game winning streak snapped over the weekend, looks to get back on track in Bloomington in a Big Ten matchup against the Hoosiers, who have won three straight since a road loss at the Badgers.

Wisconsin stumbled at home to Purdue 72-67 Saturday as a 10-point favorite for its second straight ATS setback and second loss to the Boilermakers this season. The Badgers (9-2, 4-7 ATS Big Ten) are shooting 45.6 percent for the season but hit a paltry 32.7 percent (17 of 52) against the Boilermakers. Also, their second-ranked scoring defense gave up 17 points more than its season average (54.9 ppg) as Purdue became the first team in the last 15 games to break 70 on Wisconsin.

Indiana is coming off Sunday’s 59-53 win at Ohio State catching 2½ points for its second straight win and cover. The Hoosiers are just behind Big Ten leader Purdue with a 9-1 mark, but are just 5-4-1 ATS in league play despite outscoring league opponents by an average of eight ppg (70-62).

Wisconsin stifled Indiana 62-49 two weeks ago as a four-point home favorite, ending the Hoosiers’ 2-0 SU and ATS run in the series. Last year, Indiana won 71-66 at home giving 2½ points, but the Hoosiers are just 4-6 ATS in the last 10 meetings.

The Badgers sport positive pointspread streaks of 4-1 on Wednesdays, 4-1-1 after a SU loss and 5-2 on the highway. But they are 2-5 ATS in their last seven overall, all in Big Ten play.

The Hoosiers are just 4-13 ATS in their last 17 Wednesday contests, but they are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six after a SU win and 5-2 ATS in their last seven at home against teams with a winning road record.

Wisconsin has topped the total in its last two games, but the under is still 11-4 in its last 15 overall, 8-3 in its last 11 on the highway and 13-5 in its last 18 in Big Ten play. For Indiana, the under is on runs of 12-2-1 against teams with a winning percentage above .600, 4-1 against teams with a winning mark overall and 5-2 coming off a SU victory. The under is also 4-1 the last five in this series, with last month’s battle falling far short of the 128½-point posted price.

ATS ADVANTAGE: INDIANA and UNDER


Arkansas (17-5, 8-9 ATS) at (4) Tennessee (21-2, 11-8 ATS)

Arkansas takes a four-game SU and ATS winning streak into Knoxville for an SEC battle against one of the best teams in the country.

The Razorbacks topped Mississippi 75-69 at home Saturday, barely covering the five-point spread in gaining its eighth win in the last 10 games (5-4 ATS in lined contests). The Razorbacks (6-2, 4-4 ATS in the SEC) have outshot their opponents 43 percent to 35.5 percent during their four-game winning streak.

Tennessee got its fifth straight victory on Saturday, edging LSU 47-45 thanks to a JaJuan Smith steal and layup with 11 seconds remaining. However, the Vols never came close to covering as an 11½-point road chalk, which snapped a 4-0 ATS streak. Tennessee, which owns the best record in the SEC at 8-1 (6-3 ATS), has actually been outshot 46.2 percent to 45.0 percent in the last five games.

Tennessee is on 6-2 SU and ATS run versus Arkansas, winning last year’s only meeting 83-72 as a 4½-point road pup. The underdog is on a 5-0 ATS run in this rivalry, and the road team has cashed five straight times.

The Razorbacks carry into this one negative ATS trends of 22-45-2 on the road (1-3 this year), 7-19-1 on Wednesday and 1-5 ATS versus teams with a winning home record.

The Volunteers are unbeaten through 12 home contests, going 6-2 ATS in lined games. They’re also 4-1 ATS in their last five when facing teams with a winning road record. However, Bruce Pearl’s squad has failed to cash in five of its last six Wednesday outings.

The under is 7-2 in Arkansas’ last nine Wednesday starts, 4-1 in its last five coming off a SU win and 5-2 in its last seven in SEC play. However, the over is on runs of 24-9 for Arkansas against teams with a winning home record, 4-1 for Arkansas on the road and 6-2 for Tennessee in Knoxville.

ATS ADVANTAGE: TENNESSEE


NBA

San Antonio (33-17, 23-26-1 ATS) at Cleveland (29-22, 23-27 ATS)


The Spurs conclude their season-long nine-game road trip tonight at the Quicken Loans Arena, where they will look to avenge last home month’s loss to LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

After losing the first two games on its grueling trip, San Antonio has won five of the last six (4-2 ATS), including Monday’s 93-88 victory at Toronto as a one-point road chalk. For the season, the Spurs are now 13-12 on the highway, but just 10-15 ATS.

Cleveland bounced back from Sunday’s ugly 113-83 home loss to the Nuggets with Monday’s 118-111 upset win at Orlando as a 9½-point road underdog. The Cavs have alternated SU wins and losses in their last five games, going 2-3 ATS.

Cleveland went into San Antonio as a 7½-point underdog on Jan. 17 and came away with a 90-88 upset victory, ending a four-game losing streak to the Spurs. The Cavs are also 5-3 ATS in the last eight series meetings overall (all as an underdog) and 5-1 ATS in the last six battles in Cleveland. Also, despite last month’s result, the host has still cashed in eight of the last 11 clashes.

The Spurs have cashed in six of their last seven games on Wednesday. However, they’re mired in ATS funks of 3-10 following a SU victory and 1-4 when playing on one day of rest.

Even including Sunday’s 30-point home loss to the Nuggets, the Cavs are still on a 10-3 roll at Quicken Loans Arena over the last two months, but just 5-8 ATS. For the season, Cleveland is just 8-15 ATS in its own building. Also, it is just 4-12 ATS in its last 16 on Wednesday and 0-4 ATS in its last four following a SU win.

The under is 6-1 in the last seven series meetings, including 3-0 in Cleveland. The under is also on runs of 22-8 overall for San Antonio, 13-4 for San Antonio on the road, 7-1 for Cleveland against the Southwest Division and 13-3-1 for Cleveland against the Western Conference.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


Denver (32-19, 27-24 ATS) at Orlando (32-21, 32-20-1 ATS)

The streaking Nuggets conclude their three-game, four-day Eastern Conference road trip at Orlando, which is looking to continue the home team’s dominance in this rivalry.

Denver needed overtime last night at Miami to run its winning streak to three in a row, topping the Heat 114-113, but failing to cash as a 5 ½-point road chalk. Not only are the Nuggets riding a three-game streak, but they’ve won six of seven and 10 of 14, going 8-3 ATS in the last 11. Also, George Karl’s club, which started the year 7-13 on the road, has won four straight on the highway (3-1 ATS).

The Magic have dropped consecutive home games to the Lakers on Friday (117-113 a one-point chalk) and Cavaliers on Monday (118-111 as a 9½-point favorite). Orlando has followed up a 7-1 run (5-2-1 ATS) by going 1-3 SU and ATS in its last four, all at home.

The home team is on a 10-0 SU and ATS run in this rivalry and is 11-1 SU and ATS in the last 12. That includes Denver’s 113-103 rout as a 5½-point home chalk back on Jan. 11. However, the Nuggets are 0-7 ATS in their last seven visits to Orlando, losing each of the last five by nine points or more.

Although they’ve dominated Denver on their own floor over the years, the Magic have not enjoyed much of a home-court advantage this season, going 13-11 SU and 12-11-1 ATS at Amway Arena. The straight-up winner is 23-0-1 ATS in those 24 contests.

Orlando is on ATS streaks of 10-4-1 on Wednesdays and 6-2 against the Northwest Division.

Denver is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 against Southeast Division foes and 39-18 in its last 57 against the Eastern Conference. On the downside, though, the Nuggets are 9-21 ATS in their last 30 on Wednesday and 4-12 ATS in their last 16 against teams with a winning percentage greater than .600.

The over is 5-1 in Denver’s last six overall and 5-1 in Orlando’s last six. However, the total has alternated in the last six series meetings, with last month’s 113-103 contest barely staying under the 218-point total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: ORLANDO


Phoenix (36-15, 22-27-2 ATS) at Golden State (31-20, 22-29 ATS)

The new-look Suns escape Phoenix for the first time this month when they battle the Warriors in a Pacific Division clash between teams playing well on the floor but struggling to cover pointspreads.

Phoenix completed a 4-2 homestand with Sunday’s 108-107 victory over the Wizards. However, the Suns never threatened to cover as an 11-point chalk, dropping to 0-4-1 ATS in their last five, a slump that comes on the heels of a 7-1 ATS tear.

Golden State has won four of its last five, including three of four on its current five-game homestand that ends tonight. In their two most recent outings, the Warriors scored three-point wins over the Kings (105-102 on Saturday) and Wizards (120-117 on Monday), but failed to cover as big favorites in both contests.

Golden State is 6-2 SU in its last eight overall (5-1 at home), but 4-10 ATS in its last 14, including 1-7 ATS at home.

In the only previous meeting this season, the Warriors rolled to a 129-114 victory as a 4½-point home underdog. Golden State is 5-1 ATS in the last six series clashes (3-3 SU), including 4-0 ATS at home (2-2 SU), all as an underdog. Finally, the host has cashed in six of the last seven head-to-head encounters.

The Suns, who haven’t played on the road since late January, are 4-1 SU and ATS in their last five on the highway. Also, the straight-up winner is 15-0-1 ATS in the team’s last 16 roadies.

For the season, Golden State is 16-9 SU at Oracle Arena, but 9-16 ATS.

Phoenix is mired in ATS slumps of 1-7 when playing on two days’ rest, 0-4-1 on Wednesdays and 0-4 against the Western Conference. Meanwhile, Golden State is 1-4 ATS in its last five on Wednesdays, 1-4 ATS in its last five on one day of rest and 1-4 ATS in its last five against the West.

This game features the NBA’s two highest-scoring teams, with the Warriors putting up 109.7 points per game (45.6 percent shooting), just a hair better than Phoenix’s 109.2 ppg (49.2 percent shooting). Golden State has reached triple digits in points in 43 of 51 games, including scoring at least 105 points in 15 straight games. Meanwhile, the Suns have hit the century mark in 41 of their 51 games, including 17 of the last 21 overall.

On the flip side, neither plays much defense, as the Warriors give up 107.3 ppg and the Suns yield 103.8 ppg.

The over is 7-3 in Phoenix’s last 10, including 3-1 on the road. Also, the over is 10-2 in the Warriors’ last 12, including 5-2 at home. Finally, each of the last three meetings have soared over the posted price, and the over is 5-1 in the last five meetings at Golden State (3-0 in the last three).

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 13

Cavs, Spurs serve up Finals rematch

Wednesday is a huge night for hoops fans, as there are 14 games tipping off in the NBA. Cleveland welcomes the defending champion Spurs to town, in a replay of last season’s Finals which San Antonio won in a sweep. In other action, Phoenix heads to Golden State in a battle of the league’s highest-scoring offenses.

San Antonio at Cleveland

This is the final stop on the Spurs’ nine-game road trip, the annual journey known as the “Rodeo”. San Antonio has had injuries to all of its key players, and Tony Parker is still on the sidelines with bone spurs in his heel. But once again Tim Duncan has come forward to lift his team, putting up better than 21 points and 13 boards in a five-game stretch that includes Monday night’s 93-88 win at Toronto.

The Cavaliers have been inconsistent over the past two weeks, and there is a growing fear they are depending on star LeBron James too heavily. James, who has been putting up MVP-caliber numbers and is considered the current frontrunner for the award, has been the Cavaliers’ leading scorer or co-leader in 25 of the past 27 games. Zydrunas Ilgauskas has been solid, but outside of those two the Cavaliers are struggling on the offensive end of the floor. The Cavaliers got some more revenge in a 90-88 win at San Antonio on January 17th, with James dropping 27 points in the win.

Phoenix at Golden State

The league is still buzzing after the blockbuster trade that saw Shaquille O’Neal shipped to Phoenix, with Shawn Marion going the other way to Miami. It will be interesting to see how the aging O’Neal fits into the Suns’ run-and-gun system, but he does bring a winning mentality to a team that just cannot seem to get over the hump in the playoffs. But there is no problem on offense, as the Suns rack up almost 110 points per game.

The Warriors are right on Phoenix’s heels in that category, and when Golden State is hitting their shots they are one of most entertaining teams to watch in the NBA. Their system has led to eight wins in ten games including Monday night’s 120-117 win over Washington, and the Warriors are looking to ride this hot streak right into the All-Star break. Phoenix has won three of their last five meetings with Golden State, and the two have averaged just over 227 combined points in those encounters.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 13

Wednesday's Tip Sheet
By Chris David

Wednesday’s NBA card is one of the biggest you’ll see all year, as the All Star break approaches. Fourteen games are on tap, and we’ll offer up a quick skinny on the entire card. As always keep an eye on our Player Updates and Injury Reports, since the NBA does the best job of hiding player statuses. Let’s break ‘em down!

Bay Area Shootout

Phoenix (36-15 straight up, 22-28 against the spread) and Golden State (31-20 SU, 22-28 ATS) square off from Oakland in a nationally televised primetime battle on ESPN. The Suns are in a bit of funk for our purposes, going 0-5 ATS in their last five. The Warriors haven’t been much better, posting a 0-3 ATS mark in their last three. The ‘over’ has cashed in four of the previous five meetings between the two teams, including the Warriors 129-114 victory over the Suns on Nov. 26 when the combined 243 points easily eclipsed the closing total of 229 ½. The total for tonight is hovering between 232 and 233. The Warriors and Suns are both averaging 109.7 points per game, which is tied for the best mark in the league.

Games to Watch

**San Antonio (33-17 SU, 24-26 ATS) at Cleveland (29-22 SU, 24-27 ATS)**


Cleveland quickly forgot about last year’s 4-0 sweep to San Antonio in the NBA Finals on Jan. 17, when the Cavaliers edge the Spurs 90-88 as 7 ½-point road underdogs. LeBron James dropped in 27 points, nine boards and seven assists en route to the big road win. The combined 178 points dipped ‘under’ the closing total of 181. The ‘under’ has gone 6-1 in the previous seven meetings between the two. This will be the final game of an eight-game road trip for the Spurs, which has watched the team go 5-3 SU and 4-4 ATS. Cleveland is 15-8 SU at home, but just 8-15 ATS. Mike Brown’s team hopes to rebound off an embarrassing 113-83 loss to Denver on Sunday at home.

**Denver (32-19 SU, 27-24 ATS) at Orlando (32-21 SU, 31-20 ATS**

The Nuggets are one win away from sweeping their three-game road trip against the Eastern Conference, but standing in their way is a strong Magic squad. Denver is playing its second game in two nights after beating Miami 114-113 on Tuesday. Surprisingly, Orlando has struggled this year at home, posting a 13-11 SU and 11-11 ATS ledger. Stan Van Gundy’s squad is 1-3 both SU and ATS in its last four at home, but keep in the mind the losses were against quality teams in Dallas, L.A. Lakers and Cleveland. Denver got the better of Orlando on Jan. 11 by capturing a 113-103 victory as a 5 ½-point home favorite. George Karl’s team is 15-5 versus the Eastern Conference this year.

**Portland (28-23 SU, 27-24 ATS) at Dallas (34-17 SU, 20-28 ATS)**

This matchup could be viewed as overachiever versus underachiever, considering the Trail Blazers have been a major surprise and the Mavericks aren’t close to where they were last year. Portland has produced a nice record, but is still just 8-17 SU and 12-13 ATS on the road. Meanwhile, Dallas remains in the hunt for the top seed in the West due to its strong mark (22-3 SU, 10-13 ATS) at home. The two teams split their first two meetings this year, with the home team winning each contest. Portland did manage to cover both games for gamblers, and the ‘under’ cashed in the two as well.

Road Favorites

L.A. Lakers (-9.5) at Minnesota


The Lakers have been a complete machine of late, wining and covering on the road. Los Angeles will be completing the final leg of a nine-game road trek on Wednesday, which has watched the Purple and Gold go 6-2 SU and 7-1 ATS. The two losses were by a combined four points to Detroit (90-89) and Atlanta (98-95). Minnesota has been more competitive lately, but the club is still 8-17 SU and 10-14 ATS at Target Center. If this game is similar to the first two meetings, then expect another Lakers’ blowout. Los Angeles won and covered both contests, including a 116-95 road blowout on Dec. 4 as an eight-point favorite. Total players make a not that the ‘under’ has been golden for the Lakers (5-1 run) and Timberwolves (6-0 L6) lately.

New Orleans (-5.5) at Milwaukee

Another club that has been solid on the road is New Orleans (18-7 SU, 18-7 ATS). Byron Scott’s team captured another victory away from home on Tuesday by rallying past Chicago 100-86 as a 6 ½-point favorite. Tonight’s battle could be a bit tougher, considering the Bucks have played better at home (13-10 SU, 9-13 ATS) than on the road (6-23 SU, 13-16 ATS) this year. However, the Hornets have had the Bucks number of late, winning the previous four meetings. The ‘over’ has cashed in all four games.

Utah (-7) at Seattle

Utah has won both meetings against Seattle this year, including a 103-101 victory on Nov. 9 at Key Arena. The Sonics covered as 6 ½-point home underdogs and are 4-1 ATS in the last five battles against the Jazz. Seattle is just 8-17 SU at home, but a solid 14-11 ATS. Utah has been inconsistent on the road, going 11-16 both SU and ATS.

Mismatches

The Pistons are starting to heat up again, winning nine of their last 10 games. Meanwhile, the Pacers are losers in eight of their previous 10. Detroit has notched five straight victories against Indiana, including all three of their meetings this year. The Pistons have gone 4-1 ATS during this run. Detroit nipped Atlanta 94-90 last night, while Indiana fell to Boston 104-97. Both the Pacers (8-7 SU, 10-5 ATS) and Pistons (7-4 SU, 7-3-1 ATS) have been decent plays on back-to-back nights. Detroit has outscored teams by 10 PPG (96-86) at home en route to a 20-4 SU and 15-9 ATS mark.

With or without KG (6-2 SU, 4-4- ATS), the Celtics seem to be just fine. Boston has walloped New York twice this year by 16 and 45 points, easily covering the number in both contests. Including these blowouts, the Celtics are 8-2 both SU and ATS in the last 10 meetings against the Knicks. New York is 5-19 SU and 14-10 ATS on the road, while Boston is 22-4 SU and 16-10 ATS at home. The Celtics are 9-1 SU and 7-3 ATS on zero days rest.

Rockets Red Glare

Houston (31-20 SU, 27-23 ATS) is quietly making its move in the league’s toughest division, the Southwest. The Rockets have put together seven consecutive wins, six of them covering the number as well. On Wednesday, they catch Sacramento in a back-to-back spot where they have gone 4-7 SU and 6-6 ATS on zero days rest. Houston has won three of the last four against the Kings. The ‘over’ is 4-0 during this stretch.

In a Rut

Memphis had dropped six straight games before it upended Sacramento 107-94 on Tuesday as a six-point home underdog. Consecutive wins might be tough for the Grizzlies since they’re on the road (4-19 SU, 12-11 ATS) and playing their second game in two nights. Plus, Wednesday’s opponent, Philadelphia, has won and covered four straight and the Sixers have taken four of the last five against the Grizzlies. Memphis has gone 3-9 SU and 6-6 ATS on zero days rest.

Washington’s struggles continued on Tuesday after the club dropped its eighth straight game in a tough 120-117 loss to Golden State. The Wizards have covered the last two games, but injuries have taken a toll on Eddie Jordan’s team. Caron Butler is expected to miss again Wednesday against Los Angeles, while Antonio Daniels and DeShawn Stevenson are both ‘questionable’. Last year, the Wizards and Clippers split the season series 1-1, with the home team winning both games. The ‘over’ has gone 4-0 in the last four.

If there is one game to pass on tonight, it could be the Atlanta and Charlotte showdown. The Hawks have dropped three (1-2 ATS) in a row, while the Bobcats have suffered seven straight losses (1-6 ATS). Atlanta has won and covered two straight against Charlotte, yet both victories were at home. We mention that because the Bobcats are 3-0 both SU and ATS against the Hawks in the last three played at Charlotte.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 13

Sources: Mavs, Nets close in on Kidd deal
ESPN.com

Jason Kidd has quietly -- and not so quietly -- hoped for a trade to the Dallas Mavericks all season.

Those hopes are about to realized, according to NBA front-office sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Mavericks and Nets on Wednesday reached an agreement in principle on a Kidd deal after talks had seemingly stalled last week, moving the teams to brink of completing the NBA's third blockbuster deal of the month.

Although sources say that the teams are still sorting out final details, this deal was described as "imminent" by multiple sources close to the process after negotiations moved to an advanced stage Tuesday night. The deal -- salvaged from talks on a three-way trade with Portland that developed and fizzled quickly two weeks ago -- has Dallas sending 24-year-old point guard Devin Harris, veteran swingman Jerry Stackhouse, the expiring contracts of center DeSagana Diop and swingman Devean George and guard Maurice Ager to New Jersey for Kidd and forward Malik Allen.

Sources say Dallas will also add the league-maximum $3 million in cash and send its first-round draft pick this June as well as a first-rounder in 2010.

The Nets are expected to buy out Stackhouse's contract immediately, which could enable him to re-sign with Dallas if he waits 30 days, and ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard reports that the Nets and the Mavs are likewise poised to complete a separate trade that will send swingman Antoine Wright to Dallas for a future second-round pick.

Dallas has been widely considered the most likely winner of the Kidd trade sweepstakes, despite the repeated attempts of Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to publicly dismiss the idea of parting with multiple regulars for Kidd. Cuban told several New York-based reporters Sunday before New Jersey beat Dallas that a deal for All-Star floor leader would severely weaken his roster.

"For us to make the numbers work in a deal like that, we'd have to trade away half the team," Cuban said. "We're not doing that, so it just doesn't work. And we like our team. We've got a lot of room for improvement and we hope to get better. But right now, I just don't see anything happening.

Yet sources close to the process insist that the talks have heated up in the past 24 hours, with the Mavs still tantalized by the prospect of bringing Kidd back more than a decade after the pre-Cuban regime drafted him out of Cal, watched him share rookie of the year honors with Grant Hill in 1994-95 and then traded him to Phoenix on the day after Christmas in 1996.

The Mavs' biggest reservation, though, isn't sacrificing Harris. Sources maintain that Dallas, while reluctant to part with one of Cuban's favorite players and its point guard of the future after signing Harris to a contract extension over the summer, has been resigned for some time to losing Harris if it meant getting Kidd back.

The greater hesitation, sources said, is that they would also have to part with Stackhouse and Diop, weakening Dallas' depth. Even if the Nets do waive Stackhouse as expected and Dallas is able to re-sign him after a 30-day wait, losing Diop is a significant blow, as that leaves the inconsistent Erick Dampier as the Mavericks' only veteran center at a time when potential playoff foes like the Los Angeles Lakers (Pau Gasol) and Phoenix Suns (Shaquille O'Neal) are getting bigger.

But Dallas appears more motivated than ever in spite of those concerns and the current lack of a third team to join in and broaden the trade, believing that Kidd -- although he turns 35 in March and is threatening to establish a new career low with his 36.7 percent shooting from the field -- is still a prime source of leadership and mental toughness.

Kidd displayed those qualities in abundance during a strong summer with Team USA and those areas are well-chronicled weak spots for the Mavs, who followed up a historic collapse to Miami in the 2006 NBA Finals with a first-round flameout against Golden State after winning 67 games last season. A point guard of Kidd's caliber, influence and experience would undoubtedly please the demanding Avery Johnson, reinvigorate a team that has been lacking energy and confidence and supply Dallas' coach with a dangerous four-man core of Kidd, Josh Howard, Jason Terry and reigning MVP Dirk Nowitzki.

Nowitzki is the player Kidd has had in mind when privately telling associates in recent months that he hoped to go back to Dallas. Although his desire to leave New Jersey had been suspected all season, Kidd didn't go public with that wish until late January, when he told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher that it's time for him and New Jersey "all to move on" in separate directions.

Kidd was acquired by the Nets in the 2001 offseason in a trade with Phoenix featuring Stephon Marbury and sparked New Jersey to the most successful period in the team's NBA history, starting with back-to-back trips to the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003. After giving strong consideration to signing with San Antonio in the summer of 2003, Kidd elected to stay with the Nets. During the past four-plus seasons, however, New Jersey has not advanced past the second round of the playoffs, despite the 2004 arrival of Vince Carter and Kidd's successful recovery from microfracture knee surgery.

The Nets were prepared to deal Kidd to the Lakers at the trade deadline last season but pulled out of the deal when the Lakers refused to part with center Andrew Bynum, who has since blossomed. This deal would give them a highly rated point guard who's 10 years younger than Kidd and three cap-friendly contracts if the Mavericks indeed include Ager.

The Nets could come away with even more salary-cap relief if the Mavericks built their trade package around Harris and a signed-and-traded Keith Van Horn. Although he has been out of the game since the end of the 2005-06 season, Van Horn hasn't filed official retirement papers with the league, allowing Dallas to retain his rights. And because Van Horn's final NBA salary was nearly $16 million, Dallas can re-sign him for a substantial amount and thus create a lucrative expiring contract for the Nets, because only the first year of a contract must be guaranteed in a sign-and-trade arrangement.

Cuban, though, told ESPN.com last week that "we won't use [Van Horn] in any deal for anyone." That's because Kidd would cost the Mavericks nearly $40 million next season, thanks to the luxury tax, if they sent only Harris, Van Horn and salary-cap filler to the Nets.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 13

Hawks' Childress to miss at least 1 game
February 13, 2008

ATLANTA (AP) -The Atlanta Hawks are without guard Josh Childress for at least one game because of a knee injury.

Childress will miss Wednesday night's game at Charlotte after suffering an injury to his right knee in Tuesdays game. The Hawks say the injury is a mild hyperextension.

Childress is the team's top backup. He completed Tuesday's game, a 94-90 loss to Detroit, and accompanied the team to Charlotte.

Childress is fourth on the team with an average of 12.2 points per game.

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