Betting News and Notes - Feb 20

Betting News and Notes - Feb 20

Wednesday's Tip Sheet
By Josh Jacobs

The second-half of the season is officially underway and with it brings plenty of money making opportunities.

While some squads are looking to keep their lead, either in the division or playoff picture, others are scrambling to squeeze into postseason play.

On Wednesday, a loaded 10 games are on tap. Highlighted by matchups like Dallas in New Orleans or Phoenix playing host to the Lakers, there’s plenty of action to keep you on edge.

**Orlando at Toronto**

Having lost their last seven meetings against Toronto, Orlando is poised to repeat its November 105-96 victor over Toronto. The Magic have gone ‘over’ the total nine times in their last 12 road games and are 6-2 on the ‘over’ in their last eight versus a team with a winning straight up record. The Raptors have also been an ‘over’ machine. Hitting above the set total, Toronto is 6-0 on the ‘over’ in their last six Wednesday contests and are 6-1 on the ‘over’ in their last seven versus a team with a winning percentage above .600. In those last seven head-to-head meetings, Orlando is a lonely 1-6 ATS when playing in Toronto.

**New York at Philadelphia**

Philadelphia has dominated New York in their last 10 head-to-head clashes going 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS. A heavy trend to take into consideration is that the home team has gone a solid 21-7 ATS in the last 28 head-to-head meetings. With the Knicks posting a 1-9 SU record in their last 10 and losing by an average margin of 7.1 PPG, the 76ers to cover could be something of interest. Philly has gone 7-3 SU and 8-1-1 ATS in their last 10.

**Cleveland at Indiana**

The Pacers have gone through some total extremes, first nailing the ‘over’ in four straight, and then finishing off the first half of the season on a four-game ‘under’ trip. Looking to grab its third win in 11 appearances on the hardwood, Indiana will tip-off against a Cleveland team allowing 104.6 PPG in its last five. The Cavaliers are 14-4 ATS in their last 18 versus NBA Central teams. Cleveland’s Daniel Gibson remains ‘probable’ with a hamstring injury, while Indiana’s Travis Diener is ‘day-to-day’ with a twisted ankle.

**Chicago at New Jersey**

A Chicago club in trouble with or without Scott Skiles coaching on the sidelines have gathered dust for a 12-17 SU and 14-15 ATS performance in its last 19. With a 3-7 SU and 4-6 ATS billing in their last 10 battles versus New Jersey, the Bulls are desperate for Ben Gordon and Luol Deng (‘out indefinitely’) to return to health. Officially dealing Jason Kidd to Dallas on Tuesday, the Nets will now look to build on a 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS record in their last four meetings. New Jersey enters Wednesday’s contest going 5-13 ATS in their last 18.

**Detroit at Milwaukee**

Currently on a 24-6 SU tear (10 wins in a row), the Pistons will look to down a 19-34 SU Milwaukee team. In their last five head-to-head meetings, Detroit is a holy 5-0 SU and 3-2 ATS, taking three of those contests by a margin of 20 points or higher. The Bucks entered the All-Star break dropping eight of the last 10 and have constructed a putrid 0-4 ATS record in their last four when playing on three or more days of rest. In their last 14 head-to-head games, the total has gone 'over' 10 times.

**Dallas at New Orleans**

With a new contender coming out of the West, New Orleans will prepare to square off against a Jason Kidd led Dallas club. Playing seesaw ball, the Mavs headed into the break with a 1-3 SU and ATS record. For total players, Dallas has gone 7-3 on the ‘under’ in its last 10 and is 7-2-1 on the ‘under’ in its last 10 versus the Hornets. Coming off three days or more of rest, New Orleans is 3-2 ATS, and are 7-2 ATS in their last nine home games.

**L.A. Lakers at Phoenix**

In a rekindling of bad blood, Phoenix will look to field Shaquille O’Neal in the starting lineup for the first time since acquiring him from the Heat this season. What might prove detrimental in this contest is Kobe Bryant’s condition of a torn ligament in his right pinkie finger. Since L.A. added Pau Gasol to the roster, Lakerland has gone 6-1 SU and ATS in a total of seven games. In their last 10 meetings together, the Suns have gone 7-3 SU and 4-6 ATS, while the ‘over’ has seen a 6-4 success rate. Phoenix is 0-5-1 ATS in its last six when playing on three or more days of rest.

**Atlanta at Sacramento**

Trading Mike Bibby to a Hawks team looking to make a push into the postseason, the Kings acquired four players in what appears to be an attempt to retool the organization. Thirteen games out of first place in the Pacific Division, Sacramento has faired pretty well in the ‘over’ at home with a 15-10 ledger. A now Bibby driven backcourt will have Atlanta looking for its first SU win since Feb. 6. The Hawks are 0-4 ATS in their last four road games and are 1-5 ATS in their last six road games versus a team with a winning home record.

**Memphis at L.A. Clippers**


Packing one of the worst road records in the Association (4-20 SU, 12-11-1 ATS), Memphis will look to turn around a 2-8 SU record in its last 10 when it travels to Los Angeles on Wednesday. Scoring 94.4 PPG and allowing 100.4 PPG in their last five, the Grizzlies are suffering on defense. For the Clippers, a 4-10 ATS slump in their last 14 versus Southwest teams and a 4-6 ATS record in their last 10 proves that this group has attracted more faders then backers. Total players look at Memphis’ 10-3 performance on the ‘under’ in its last 13.

**Boston at Golden State**

Expecting Kevin Garnett to return to action this week, Boston has faired quite well without the star (a 7-2 SU and 6-2-1 ATS run without the big man). The few days of rest leading up to the All-Star game should benefit the Celtics, as Perkins, Davis, Allen and Scalabrine are all recovering from a list of injuries. The Warriors have played solid ball of late, posting a 7-3 SU record. However, bettors have been burnt with Golden State tearing tickets up by the dozen. A 2-8 ATS performance in the last 10 and going 11-20 ATS in its last 31 is good reason to sit out and wait until the Warriors change the direction of profit earnings.

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Wednesday's TV Tip Sheet
By Judd Hall

There are just a few weeks remaining in college basketball’s regular season. That means we’re going to see a few nationally ranked programs fine tune their games as the conference tournaments are just around the corner.

We’ve got three games being televised nationally this Wednesday, so let’s take a look.

North Carolina at North Carolina State

North Carolina (24-2 straight up, 16-6 against the spread) improved its record to 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS in its last seven contests after ripping apart the Hokies as a 13-point home favorite, 92-53, on Feb. 16. The Tar Heels victory, coupled with Duke’s loss, now puts them just 1 ½-games out of first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

This was the Heels’ third straight win without speedy guard Ty Lawson, who is still out with a sprained left ankle. Tyler Hansbrough led North Carolina’s charge with 23 points and nine rebounds. He also connected on 11 of 12 of his free throw attempts.

Lawson’s backup, Quentin Thomas, has been fighting it out with the flu recently. Odds are good that he won’t be at full speed for this contest.

The Wolfpack can’t seem to find their footing in league play this season, failing to win or cover their last three ACC contests. North Carolina State’s (15-10 SU, 6-16 ATS) most recent setback came at the hands of the Tigers as a 5 ½-point home ‘dog, 71-64, last Saturday.

N.C. State had its chances to win over Clemson, however, shooting 22 percent (four for 18) from beyond the arc will not get it done. Especially when you consider the Tigers connected on nine of their 20 three-point attempts.

History does not look favorably upon the Wolfpack when playing their in-state rivals. North Carolina State is 1-9 SU and 4-6 ATS when matching up with the Tar Heels. However, the Packs’ only win came at home against UNC back in February of 2007. The ‘over’ has gone 7-1 in the last eight head-to-head meetings.

The Tar Heels took North Carolina State to the wood shed in their first showdown this season as 18-point home favorites, 93-62, on Jan. 12.

ESPN will be broadcasting this contest starting at 7:00 pm EDT.

Marquette at St. John’s

The Golden Eagles had a captive audience last Friday night when they hosted Pitt in a prime Big East showdown. And Marquette (18-6 SU, 10-9 ATS) didn’t disappoint with a 72-54 victory over the Panthers as a five-point home “chalk” on Feb. 15.

Jerel McNeal paced Marquette with his 17 points. However, senior forward Ousmane Barro provided the muscle by posting 14 points and 12 rebounds in 30 minutes of work. This was the third straight game that the Golden Eagles covered the closing spread.

St. John’s (10-14 SU, 9-11 ATS) seems to enjoy putting together losing skids rather than any sort of winning streak. The Red Storm has lost two straight matches and eight of their last 11 to fall into 13th place of the Big East. The Storm have seen the ‘under’ hit in seven consecutive matches.

The Red Storm dropped their most recent tilt to Villanova as three-point home ‘dogs, 60-42, on Feb. 16. Anthony Mason Jr. was the lone bright spot for the Johnnies, scoring 12 points with nine boards.

Marquette has won and covered the spread in all three head-to-head meetings with the Red Storm, with the ‘over’ going 2-1.

St. John’s has gone 2-6 SU and ATS at home this season, with the ‘under’ posting a 5-3 mark.

Tip-off is set for 7:00 pm EDT, with ESPN2 broadcasting the game.

Kansas State at Nebraska

The Wildcats bounced back nicely after their deflating loss at Texas Tech with a 100-63 triumph over Mizzou as 10-point home favorites on Feb. 16. Kansas State’s (18-6 SU, 11-7 ATS) win was spearheaded by Michael Beasley and his 40 points and 17 rebounds. This was just the second time he has dropped 40 on a team this year…the other time was on Dec. 22 against Winston-Salem State in a 90-48 victory.

Nebraska (14-9 SU, 4-11 ATS) has hurt its slim NCAA tourney chances by going 1-3 SU and ATS in its last four Big XII contests. The Cornhuskers’ most recent disappointment was a 60-52 setback versus Iowa State as 1 ½-point road underdogs last Saturday. Aleks Maric was the top producer for the ‘Huskers on that day, scoring 11 points and grabbing 13 boards. This was the third straight time the ‘under’ has come through for Nebraska away from Lincoln this season.

Kansas State has gone 4-1 SU and ATS versus the ‘Huskers in Manhattan dating back to February 2004. The ‘under’ is 4-1 during that stretch as well.

The Cornhuskers have gone 12-3 SU and 2-5 ATS in 15 tilts at the Bob Devaney Sports Center this season. The ‘over’ has gone 5-3 during that stretch.

ESPN2 is televising this Big XII battle at 9:00 pm EDT.

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ASA: Overrated/Underrated
February 19, 2008

The much-used phrase, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” rings true in many walks of life and college basketball isn’t exempt. A fast start to the season will put a team in the good graces of bettors through much of the season while a slow start will send a team to the doghouse for the remainder of the year.

That doesn’t have to be the case in either instance, though, as quick-starting teams can falter while slow-starting teams can rebound. Here are three examples each of teams that are underrated and overrated based solely on the first few months of the season:

Underrated

Temple
– Xavier pretty much has the regular-season Atlantic 10 crown wrapped up but Temple is making a run at claiming second place. While teams like Dayton, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have had their moments, it’s the Owls that look like the best competition to St. Joe’s for the league’s second-best record. Temple is 7-3 SU and ATS in its last 10 outings and has already posted wins over Xavier, Rhode Island and UMass. The Owls are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games and a favorable schedule over the next week bodes well for their chances at second place in the A-10.

Wake Forest – Wake may have lost some of its under-the-radar appeal following its 13-point upset of Duke but it’s still an underrated squad. The ACC has been waiting for teams to step up to claim the spots directly behind Duke and North Carolina and the Demon Deacons have been up to the task. They have won three straight games outright and are 9-2 ATS over their last 11 contests. Wake has excelled in the underdog role, going 7-1 ATS and winning three of those games outright. The young Deacons could be even more dangerous next year.

Hofstra – A tough non-conference schedule and a slow start to the Colonial Athletic Association season quickly put the Pride in the hole. It has been an extremely tough hole to dig out of but Hofstra is gradually getting back to ground level. It is 6-4 SU over its last 10 outings, including impressive road wins over Drexel, Northeastern and James Madison as 4.5 to 7.5-point dogs. Senior guard Antoine Agudio has been the barometer of Hofstra’s success. He has averaged 28.2 points per game in Hofstra’s last five wins so if he has a favorable matchup, strongly consider the Pride.

Overrated

Dayton
– Dayton, unlike fellow A-10 member Temple, looked like a legitimate conference contender during non-conference action. The Flyers started the season 14-1 with numerous impressive non-conference wins but injuries have slowed them down considerably. They are just 3-6 SU and 2-7 ATS in their last nine games, scoring just 63.4 points per game over that stretch. Dayton has been especially shaky on the road lately, dropping four straight outright and ATS and losing by 11.5 points per game. The Flyers need a big push down the stretch if they want to contend for the Big Dance but three road contests over their next five could derail those aspirations.

Arkansas-Little Rock – The Trojans appeared to be among the Sun Belt’s elite through the end of January. They were 8-3 in non-conference action and 6-3 in Sun Belt play heading into their final game of January. Recent struggles have eliminated any chances of Little Rock claiming the conference crown. It is 1-4 SU in its last five and has failed to cover any of its last six contests. The losses have not been pretty either as the Trojans have lost their last four games by 13.8 points per game. An inconsistent offense has been the culprit as Little Rock has scored 47 or fewer points in three of its last five games.

San Diego State – The young Aztecs, who have no seniors among their top eight players, surprised everyone, including themselves, when they went 14-4 to start the year, including a 4-0 mark in Mountain West play. San Diego State has since hit the wall and it hit hard. The Aztecs are just 2-5 SU and 3-4 ATS in their last seven games with their only wins during that stretch coming against Air Force and Colorado State, which are a combined 5-16 in MWC action. Games against conference-leading BYU and UNLV over the next week could spell the end to San Diego State.

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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers

- The division rival Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers are set to renew hostilities on Wednesday when they meet at Conseco Fieldhouse.

The Cavaliers lost 93-85 to the Rockets last time out, as slight 1-point underdogs at home. The 178 points were UNDER the posted total of 185.

LeBron James finished with 26 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists for a triple-double in the loss.

The Pacers lost 96-80 to the Pistons last time out, as 10-point road underdogs. The 176 points were UNDER the posted total of 187.5.

Ike Diogu shot 4-for-8 from the field with 14 points and three rebounds in the loss.

Current streak:
Cleveland has lost 2 straight games.
Indiana has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Cleveland: 29-24 SU, 24-29 ATS
Indiana: 21-32 SU, 25-27-1 ATS

Cleveland most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 4-6
Before playing Washington are 7-3
After playing Houston are 8-2
After a loss are 9-1

Indiana most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 4-6
Before playing New Jersey are 3-7
After playing Detroit are 5-5
After a loss are 3-7

A few trends to consider:
Cleveland is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Indiana
Cleveland is 4-0-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Indiana
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Cleveland's last 5 games when playing Indiana
Cleveland is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Indiana's last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Indiana's last 5 games when playing Cleveland
Indiana is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games when playing at home against Cleveland
The total has gone OVER in 14 of Indiana's last 20 games when playing at home against Cleveland

Next up:
Cleveland home to Washington, Friday, February 22
Indiana home to New Jersey, Friday, February 22

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New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers

- The division rival New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers are set to renew hostilities on Wednesday when they meet at Wachovia Center.

The Knicks dominated the overtime session Tuesday and came away with a 113-100 win over the Wizards. The Knicks won the game as a 5.5-point underdog, while the 213 points sailed OVER the posted total of 195.

Zach Randolph led the way with a double-double, tossing in 24 points with 10 rebounds in the win.

The 76ers were upset 104-88 by the Timberwolves last time out, as 3.5-point favorites. The 192 points made it OVER the posted total of 187.

Andre Miller scored 15 points with four rebounds and six assists in a losing effort.

Team records:
New York: 16-37 SU, 26-26-1 ATS
Philadelphia: 23-31 SU, 27-26-1 ATS

New York most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 5-5
Before playing Toronto are 3-7
After playing Washington are 6-4
After a win are 2-8

Philadelphia most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 3-7
Before playing Orlando are 8-2
After playing Minnesota are 3-7
After a loss are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
New York is 5-0-1 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 5 of New York's last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New York's last 5 games when playing Philadelphia
The total has gone OVER in 14 of New York's last 19 games on the road
Philadelphia is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
Philadelphia is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games at home
Philadelphia is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing at home against New York
Philadelphia is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against New York

Next up:
New York home to Toronto, Friday, February 22
Philadelphia at Orlando, Friday, February 22

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Orlando Magic vs. Toronto Raptors

- The Orlando Magic and the Toronto Raptors will both be gunning for a victory on Wednesday when they meet at Air Canada Centre.

The Magic dominated the second and third quarter on Tuesday, as they upset the Pistons 103-85. The Magic won the game as 6.5-point underdogs, while the combined 188 points fell UNDER the posted total of 194.5.

Rashard Lewis shot 8-for-10 from the field with 20 points, four rebounds and four assists to lead the Magic.

Chris Bosh dropped a game-high 27 points to lead the Raptors to a 109-91 win over the Nets last time out. The Raptors covered the 10-point spread, and the 200 points made it OVER the posted total of 189.5.

Bosh also grabbed nine rebounds for the Raptors, and Jose Calderon chipped in with 22 points in the victory.

Current streak:
Orlando has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Orlando: 34-21 SU, 34-20-1 ATS
Toronto: 28-23 SU, 29-22 ATS

Orlando most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 4-6
Before playing Philadelphia are 6-4
After playing Detroit are 5-5
After a win are 6-4

Toronto most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 4-6
Before playing New York are 8-2
After playing New Jersey are 5-5
After a win are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
Orlando is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Orlando is 10-4 SU in its last 14 games
The total has gone OVER in 9 of Orlando's last 13 games on the road
Orlando is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Toronto
Toronto is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games when playing Orlando
Toronto is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing at home against Orlando
Toronto is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Orlando
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Toronto's last 5 games at home

Next up:
Orlando home to Philadelphia, Friday, February 22
Toronto at New York, Friday, February 22

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Chicago Bulls vs. New Jersey Nets

- The Chicago Bulls and the New Jersey Nets will both be trying to pick up a win on Wednesday when they battle at Izod Center.

Andres Nocioni scored 16 points to lead the Bulls to a 99-92 win over the Miami Heat on Thursday night.

The Bulls cashed as 4-point home favorites as the teams played under the 191.5-point total listed by sportsbooks.

The Nets lost 109-91 to the Raptors last time out, as 10-point road underdogs. The 200 points made it OVER the posted total of 189.5.

Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson scored 15 points apiece in the loss.

Team records:
Chicago: 21-31 SU, 22-30 ATS
New Jersey: 23-30 SU, 20-32-1 ATS

Chicago most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 4-6
Before playing Denver are 2-8
After playing Miami are 5-5
After a win are 0-10

New Jersey most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 6-4
Before playing Indiana are 6-4
After playing Toronto are 5-5
After a loss are 2-8

A few trends to consider:
Chicago is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
Chicago is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Chicago's last 6 games when playing on the road against New Jersey
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Chicago's last 5 games on the road
New Jersey is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Chicago
New Jersey is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games when playing at home against Chicago
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of New Jersey's last 8 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 5 of New Jersey's last 6 games when playing at home against Chicago

Next up:
Chicago home to Denver, Friday, February 22
New Jersey at Indiana, Friday, February 22

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Dallas Mavericks vs. New Orleans Hornets

- Divisional bragging rights will be on the line on Wednesday when the Dallas Mavericks and the New Orleans Hornets meet at New Orleans Arena.

Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 36 points and 12 boards in its 109-97 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.

The Suns covered as 6-point home favorites as the game played under the 206.5-point total set by oddsmakers.

The Hornets turned it up a notch in the fourth quarter Wednesday night, as they defeated the Bucks 111-107. The Hornets failed to cover the 7-point spread, but the combined score sailed OVER the posted total of 191.

Chris Paul shot 8-for-17 from the field with 21 points and 10 assists in the win for the Hornets.

Current streak:
New Orleans has won 4 straight games.

Team records:
Dallas: 35-18 SU, 21-29-3 ATS
New Orleans: 36-15 SU, 31-19-1 ATS

Dallas most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 7-3
Before playing Memphis are 10-0
After playing Phoenix are 9-1
After a loss are 7-3

New Orleans most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 4-6
Before playing Houston are 5-5
After playing Milwaukee are 6-4
After a win are 9-1

A few trends to consider:
Dallas is 22-1 SU in its last 23 games when playing New Orleans
Dallas is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games when playing on the road against New Orleans
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Dallas's last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Dallas's last 9 games when playing New Orleans
New Orleans is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 8 of New Orleans's last 9 games at home
New Orleans is 13-3 SU in its last 16 games
New Orleans is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games at home

Next up:
Dallas at Memphis, Friday, February 22
New Orleans home to Houston, Friday, February 22

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Detroit Pistons vs. Milwaukee Bucks

- If familiarity breeds contempt, there should be animosity aplenty on Wednesday when the Detroit Pistons and the Milwaukee Bucks meet at Bradley Center.

The Pistons were upset 103-85 by the Magic last time out, as 6.5-point favorites at home. The combined 188 points fell UNDER the posted total of 194.5.

Rodney Stuckey tossed in 16 points, and shot 4-for-8 from the field in the loss.

The Bucks were defeated 111-107 by the Hornets last time out, as 7-point underdogs. The combined score sailed OVER the posted total of 191.

Michael Redd through in a game-high 30 points in the loss.

Current streak:
Milwaukee has lost 4 straight games.

Team records:
Detroit: 39-14 SU, 30-22-1 ATS
Milwaukee: 19-34 SU, 23-29-1 ATS

Detroit most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 7-3
Before playing Milwaukee are 6-4
After playing Orlando are 9-1
After a loss are 7-3

Milwaukee most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 6-4
Before playing Detroit are 1-9
After playing New Orleans are 2-8
After a loss are 3-7

A few trends to consider:
Detroit is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Milwaukee
Detroit is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Detroit's last 6 games when playing on the road against Milwaukee
Detroit is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Milwaukee
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Milwaukee's last 6 games when playing at home against Detroit
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Milwaukee's last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 10 of Milwaukee's last 14 games when playing Detroit
Milwaukee is 5-10 ATS in its last 15 games at home

Next up:
Detroit home to Milwaukee, Friday, February 22
Milwaukee at Detroit, Friday, February 22

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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns

- The Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns will both be trying to pick up a win on Wednesday when they battle at US Airways Center.

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 23 points and five rebounds, as they routed the Hawks 122-93 last time out. The Lakers easily covered the 11-point spread, and the combined score made it OVER the posted total of 207.5.

Pau Gasol also chipped in with 23 points with six boards, and Lamar Odom grabbed 15 rebounds in the win.

Amare Stoudemire and Leandro dropped 26 points apiece as the Suns defeated the Dallas Mavericks 109-97 on Thursday night.

The Suns covered as 6-point home favorites as the game played under the 206.5-point total set by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Los Angeles has won 5 straight games.

Team records:
Los Angeles: 36-17 SU, 33-19-1 ATS
Phoenix: 37-16 SU, 24-27-2 ATS

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 4-6
Before playing LA Clippers are 6-4
After playing Atlanta are 8-2
After a win are 6-4

Phoenix most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 9-1
Before playing Boston are 6-4
After playing Dallas are 5-5
After a win are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
LA Lakers are 5-0 SU in their last 5 games
LA Lakers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games
LA Lakers are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games on the road
LA Lakers are 7-1 SU in their last 8 games on the road
Phoenix is 7-1 SU in their last 8 games when playing at home against LA Lakers
Phoenix is 10-2 SU in its last 12 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Phoenix's last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Phoenix's last 5 games at home

Next up:
LA Lakers at LA Clippers, Saturday, February 23
Phoenix home to Boston, Friday, February 22

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Atlanta Hawks vs. Sacramento Kings

- The fans at ARCO Arena will be treated to a game between the Atlanta Hawks and the Sacramento Kings when they take their seats on Wednesday.

The Hawks lost 122-93 to the Lakers last time out, as 11-point road underdogs. The combined score made it OVER the posted total of 207.5.

Joe Johnson poured in 18 points and Acie Law added 16 in the loss.

The Kings snapped a three-game losing skid with a 105-94 victory over the Trail Blazers on Tuesday, as 4.5-point underdogs on the road. The combined 199 points made it OVER the posted total of 194.

Ron Artest shot 10-for-19 from the field with 24 points and Francisco Garcia added 23 in the win.

Current streak:
Atlanta has lost 5 straight games.

Team records:
Atlanta: 22-29 SU, 25-26 ATS
Sacramento: 24-28 SU, 29-23 ATS

Atlanta most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 0-10
Before playing Golden State are 5-5
After playing LA Lakers are 0-10
After a loss are 2-8

Sacramento most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 5-5
Before playing Charlotte are 4-3
After playing Portland are 8-2
After a win are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Atlanta's last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Atlanta's last 6 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Atlanta's last 13 games when playing Sacramento
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Atlanta's last 8 games when playing on the road against Sacramento
Sacramento is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Atlanta
Sacramento is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing Atlanta
Sacramento is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 9 of Sacramento's last 11 games at home

Next up:
Atlanta at Golden State, Friday, February 22
Sacramento at Charlotte, Friday, February 22

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Boston Celtics vs. Golden State Warriors

- The Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors will both be gunning for a victory on Wednesday when they meet at Oracle Arena.

The Celtics fell 124-118 to the Nuggets last time out, as 1-point favorites on the road. The combined score sailed OVER the posted total of 207.5.

Paul Pierce dropped 24 points with six rebounds and seven assists in the loss.

The Warriors were crushed 119-109 by the Jazz last time out, as 7-point underdogs. The 228 points made it OVER the posted total of 224.

Al Harrington shot 8-for-17 from the field with 21 points and hauled down five rebounds in the loss.

Team records:
Boston: 41-10 SU, 31-18-2 ATS
Golden State: 32-21 SU, 22-31 ATS

Boston most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 2-8
Before playing Phoenix are 5-5
After playing Denver are 6-4
After a loss are 9-1

Golden State most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 5-5
Before playing Atlanta are 4-6
After playing Utah are 5-5
After a loss are 9-1

A few trends to consider:
Boston is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
Boston is 14-4 SU in its last 18 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Boston's last 7 games
Boston is 11-5 ATS in its last 16 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Golden State's last 8 games
Golden State is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games at home
Golden State is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games when playing at home against Boston
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Golden State's last 5 games at home

Next up:
Boston at Phoenix, Friday, February 22
Golden State home to Atlanta, Friday, February 22

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Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Clippers

- The Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Clippers will both be trying to pick up a win on Wednesday when they battle at STAPLES Center.

The Grizzlies lost 108-101 to the SuperSonics on Tuesday, as 6-point road underdogs. The 209 points made it OVER the posted total of 206.

Rudy Gay tossed in 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds in a losing effort.

The Clippers fell 91-89 to the Wizards last time out, as 3.5-point underdogs. The combined score fell UNDER the posted total of 192.5.

Al Thornton shot 9-for-14 from the field with 24 points and nine rebounds in a losing effort.

Current streak:
Memphis has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Memphis: 14-39 SU, 24-29 ATS
Los Angeles: 17-33 SU, 22-28 ATS

Memphis most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 2-8
Before playing Dallas are 2-8
After playing Seattle are 1-9
After a loss are 3-7

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 5-5
Before playing Utah are 7-3
After playing Washington are 2-8
After a loss are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Memphis's last 8 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Memphis's last 14 games
Memphis is 12-6 SU in their last 18 games when playing LA Clippers
Memphis is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
LA Clippers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games when playing Memphis
LA Clippers are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games when playing Memphis
The total has gone UNDER in 15 of the LA Clippers last 22 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of the LA Clippers last 9 games

Next up:
Memphis home to Dallas, Friday, February 22
LA Clippers home to Utah, Friday, February 22

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 20

Wednesday’s Pregame Buzz

NBA

Orlando Magic at Toronto Raptors


* Magic are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against the Atlantic Division.
* Magic are 1-7 ATS in the last 8 meetings.
* Raptors are 24-8 ATS in their last 32 Wednesday games.
* The OVER is 6-2 in Toronto’s last 8 games overall.
       
New York Knicks at Philadelphia 76ers

* Knicks are 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
* 76ers are 8-1-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
* Home team is 21-7 ATS in the last 28 meetings.
* Favorite is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Indiana Pacers

* Cavs are 14-4 ATS in their last 18 games against the Central Division.
* Pacers are 4-6 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
* Favorite is 10-1-2 ATS in the last 13 meetings.
* Home team is 9-2-2 ATS in the last 13 meetings.
       
Dallas Mavericks at New Orleans Hornets

* Mavs are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
* Hornets are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 Wednesday games.
* The UNDER is 13-5 in the Mavs last 18 road games.
* The UNDER is 7-1-1 in the last 9 meetings.

Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns

* Shaquille O'Neal is expected to make his first start in a Phoenix uniform against former teammate Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. O'Neal has not played in nearly a month due to a hip injury, as his last game came against Cleveland back on January 21st when he was with Miami.  EDGE: LAKERS
* LA is coming off an easy 29-point home win against Atlanta on Tuesday, as Lamar Odom was the only Laker to play more than 31 minutes. They are 7-4 ATS when playing without rest this season and should be very fresh after most of the team's starters rested the entire fourth quarter. EDGE: LAKERS
* The Suns have won 4 of their last 6 home games yet are 1-4-1 ATS during that stretch. They are coming off a 109-97 win over a depleted Dallas team prior to the All-Star break, which was their only cover over that period. EDGE: LAKERS
* Lakers are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
* The OVER is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.

Atlanta Hawks at Sacramento Kings

* Hawks are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 road games.
* Kings are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games.
* Home team is 10-4 ATS in the last 14 meetings.
* The OVER is 8-3 in Atlanta's last 11 games.

Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors

* Celtics are 48-20-1 ATS in their last 69 road games.
* Warriors are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
* Underdog is 12-3 ATS in the last 15 meetings.
* The OVER is 9-3 in Boston's last 12 games against the Western Conference.

CBB

#3 North Carolina at North Carolina State


* The Tar Heels won the first meeting with the Wolfpack this season back on January 12th in Chapel Hill and are hoping to sweep the season series for the fourth time in the last 5 years. EDGE: UNC
* North Carolina has 6 games of at least 90 points against ACC opponents. That’s the highest figure in the Roy Williams era, and no Tar Heel team has had more since the 1987 team. EDGE: OVER
* NC State is getting to the foul line an average of 21.3 times a game against ACC opponents and shooting 70.1 percent. The Pack has made 164 free throws in ACC games while opponents have attempted only 186. EDGE: NC STATE
* The Wolf Pack is 3-1 against ACC opponents when holding them to 70 points or less, but only 1-6 when yielding 71 points or more. This is problematic since the Tar Heels are scoring over 90 points per game this season. EDGE: UNC
* North Carolina is 38-17 ATS in its last 55 games overall.
* North Carolina State is 8-24-2 ATS in its last 34 home games.
* The OVER is 12-3 in North Carolina State's last 15 games vs. Atlantic Coast.
* The OVER is 11-3 in North Carolina State's last 14 games overall.
* The OVER is 6-2 in North Carolina's last 8 road games.
* The OVER is 7-1 in the last 8 meetings.

#24 Marquette at St. John's

* Marquette is 3-0 SU & ATS in the last 3 meetings with St. John's.
* St. John's is 2-6 ATS at home this season.
* The OVER is 20-9 in Marquette's last 29 games vs. Big East.

#25 Kansas State at Nebraska

* Though the Wildcats have lost their last 2 Big 12 road contests, they’ll try for another solid effort against the Cornhuskers after beating them 74-59 at home on February 6th. Kansas State has won 3 of its last 4 meetings with Nebraska. EDGE: KANSAS STATE
* Kansas State will try to avoid looking ahead to its upcoming schedule that includes road games at Baylor and Kansas, sandwiched by a home date with Texas. SLIGHT EDGE: NEBRASKA
* Nebraska is 2-3 at home in league play and 1-3 versus ranked teams this season. SLIGHT EDGE: KANSAS STATE
* Kansas State is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games overall.
* Kansas State is 35-17 ATS in its last 52 games vs. Big 12.
* Nebraska is 2-9 ATS in its last 11 games vs. Big 12.
* Nebraska is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games overall.
* Home team is 10-3 ATS in the last 13 meetings.
* The UNDER is 6-2 in Nebraska's last 8 Wednesday games.

Pregame.com

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 20

Situational capping: The best spots in the NBA this week
Covers.com

We’ve played over half the season of the long grind of an 82-game NBA season and it will begin to take a toll. Here are some key situational spots to look for this week in the NBA.

Seattle SuperSonics
It has been 16 years since the Sonics were without an All-Star. So this team is not only short on talent, the schedule breaks against them. Seattle plays back-to-back games with Portland this week Thursday and Friday, a talented young team on the postseason bubble. Then they host the Lakers and then head to Golden State, two more potential playoff teams.

In addition, it appears likely the Sonics won't be in Seattle past 2010. The players, coaches and front office must be thinking that they may end up Oklahoma City within a few years. That might even take away any home court incentive teams usually have.

Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis is another team to watch this week. The miserable Grizzlies are devoid of talent and they just traded away - OK, gave away - their best player, Pau Gasol. With that in mind, they head out west this week playing at Seattle and at L.A. Tuesday and Wednesday. That’s a difficult back-to-back road spot at the best of times.

Sacramento Kings

The Kings also just traded away a star player (Mike Bibby) and Ron Artest wants out. There are no takers for him just yet.

The Kings play six of the next seven games on the road. If that isn’t bad enough, they played their final three games before the break on the road. So that’s nine in 10 games on the road this week and next.

Boston Celtics
The good news in Boston is that Kevin Garnett hopes to be back this week. The bad news is that the Celtics begin a long West Coast swing this week. Tuesday and Wednesday are difficult back-to-back spots at Denver and Golden State and this weekend they play at Portland and the L.A. Clippers Sunday and Monday.

Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks begin a five-game trip this week, playing at the Lakers Tuesday and at Sacramento Wednesday. Then they play at Golden State Friday and at San Antonio Monday. So in less than a week the Hawks face two of the highest scoring teams in the league in on the road and then head to the defending champs. Good luck, Atlanta. 

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 20

(3) North Carolina (24-2, 17-6 ATS) at N.C. State (15-10, 5-16-1 ATS)

The Tar Heels, winners of three in a row, make a short Tobacco Road trip for an Atlantic Coast Conference clash with North Carolina State, which has lost three straight.

After three straight difficult games – a loss to Duke, an overtime win against Clemson and a one-point road win at Virginia – North Carolina blistered Virginia Tech 92-53 on Saturday, easily covering as a 13-point home chalk. The Tar Heels (9-2, 6-5 ATS in the ACC) shot a sturdy 50 percent against Va. Tech and stifled the Hokies, who hit just 25.9 percent. North Carolina also regained its No. 1 national ranking in rebounding, finishing with a 49-21 rebounding edge.

North Carolina State lost to Clemson 71-64 Saturday catching 5½ points at home for its third consecutive SU and ATS loss, all as an underdog. The Wolfpack (4-7, 2-8-1 ATS in the ACC) actually outshot the Tigers 40.4 percent to 37.1 percent, but Clemson went 9 of 20 from 3-point range, while N.C. State hit just 4 of 18 from long distance.

North Carolina is on a 3-0 run in this rivalry, including a 93-62 bashing last month as an 18½-point home favorite, ending an 0-3 ATS slide to the Wolfpack. The Tar Heels are 9-1 SU in the last 10 contests (6-4 ATS), while the underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last five clashes.

The Tar Heels, despite a dinged-up lineup lately, have almost entirely positive ATS trends, including 5-2 in ACC play and lengthy runs of 38-17 overall, 37-15-1 following a spread-cover, and 40-19-1 after a SU victory.

The Wolfpack, conversely, are on negative ATS runs of 3-7 on Wednesday, 2-5-2 versus teams with a winning road record, 8-24-2 at home (2-7-1 this season) and 1-5 in the ACC.

The over is 7-1 the last eight meetings in this series, with last month’s battle barely eclipsing the 153-point price, and the over is 5-1 the last six battles in Raleigh. For Carolina, the over is on streaks of 7-1 against teams with a winning record and 6-2 on the highway. For N.C. State, the over is on runs of 11-3 overall, 12-3 in conference play and 7-1 versus teams with a winning mark.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NORTH CAROLINA and OVER


West Virginia (18-7, 10-8-1 ATS) at Villanova (15-9, 7-14 ATS)

Two teams needing wins to firm up their NCAA Tournament resume get together when the Mountaineers travel to Villanova for a Big East contest.

West Virginia pounded Seton Hall 89-68 Sunday laying 13 points at home for its third win in the last four games (3-0-1 ATS). The Mountaineers (7-5, 6-5-1 ATS Big East) are shooting just 41.5 percent in their last five starts, while allowing 44.2 percent. But against the Pirates, they made 53.7 percent of their field goals, including 45.8 percent from 3-point range (11 of 24), and held a 47-22 rebounding edge, including 15-4 on the offensive end.

Villanova rolled past St. John’s 60-42 Saturday as a three-point road favorite for its second straight pointspread cover following an 0-6 ATS freefall (1-5 SU). The Wildcats, who bounced back from a disappointing 55-53 loss at Georgetown as a 13-point pup, finished with a 43.6 percent to 25.5 percent shooting edge.

West Virginia is on a 3-0 SU and ATS run in this series, including a 67-56 victory last month as a 1½-point home chalk. The Mountaineers are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings, and the favorite is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 in this rivalry.

The Mountaineers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 roadies, 4-1 ATS in their last five against teams with a winning record and 7-2 ATS in their last nine on the highway against teams with a home winning percentage above .600.

The Wildcats are on negative pointspread runs of 3-12 overall, 3-10 in the Big East, 0-8 at home, 2-5 after a SU win and 2-5 after a spread-cover.

For West Virginia, the under is on streaks of 9-4 overall, 5-1 on the highway and 4-1 following a SU win. For Villanova, the under is on runs of 4-0 overall, 4-1 in Big East play, 7-2 at home and 5-2 after a SU win. On the flip side, the over is 6-2 in the last eight series meetings overall and 4-0 in the last four clashes at Villanova.

ATS ADVANTAGE: WEST VIRGINIA


(5) Duke (22-2, 13-8-2 ATS) at Miami, Fla. (17-7, 11-4-2 ATS)

The Blue Devils, who just had their 12-game winning streak snapped in upset fashion, travel to South Florida for an ACC meeting with Miami, which has won two in a row.

Duke stumbled at Wake Forest 86-73 Sunday as an 8½-point road favorite, its first loss since a 65-64 overtime setback to Pittsburgh at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 20. The Blue Devils (10-1, 7-2-2 ATS in the ACC) are 1-2-2 ATS in their last five starts after covering in their first six conference outings. Duke shot 40.6 percent at Wake, seven percentage points below its season average. But the Devils lost this game at the free-throw line: all five starters fouled out, and the Demon Deacons hit 27 of 38 free throws, while Duke went just 13 of 25.

Miami squeaked past Georgia Tech 64-63 as a five-point road pup Sunday for its second straight ATS win, both on the road as an underdog. The Hurricanes (4-6, 4-4-2 ATS in the ACC) were outshot and outrebounded, but they hit 17 of 21 free throws, compared with 12 of 21 for the Yellow Jackets.

Duke is on a 6-0 run in this series (4-1-1 ATS), settling for a push earlier this month in an 88-73 home victory as a 15-point chalk. In last year’s lone meeting, the Blue Devils rolled 85-63 laying 6½ points at Miami.

The Blue Devils are 0-4 ATS in their last four coming off a SU loss and 3-9-1 ATS in their last 14 Wednesday starts. However, they are 7-1-2 ATS in their last 10 games against teams with a winning percentage above .600 and 4-1 ATS in their last five on the road, all in ACC play.

The Hurricanes are on positive ATS runs of 13-4-2 overall, 5-2 at home, 9-2 after a SU win, 7-2 after a pointspread victory and 9-3-2 against teams with a winning percentage above .600 and 5-2 at home.

For Duke, the over is on streaks of 8-1 overall, 4-0 on the road, 4-0 against teams with a winning record and 4-1 following a SU loss. For Miami, the under is 8-2 in its last 10 coming off a SU win, but the over is 4-0 in its last four against winning teams. Also, each of the last four series meetings have topped the total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER


(24) Kansas State (18-6, 11-7 ATS) at Nebraska (14-9, 4-11 ATS)

The Wildcats, still in the thick of the Big 12 regular-season title chase, head to Lincoln to take on Nebraska, which has dropped two in a row.

Kansas State bounced back from an upset loss at Texas Tech by ripping Missouri 100-63 Saturday as a 9½-point home favorite, avenging a 77-74 road setback to the Tigers earlier this month as a four-point chalk. The Wildcats (8-2 SU and ATS Big 12, including 3-1 SU and ATS in the last four) shot 50 percent (32 of 64) and hit 30 of 36 free throws while holding Missouri to just 37.3 percent from the floor.

Nebraska lost to Iowa State 60-52 Saturday as a two-point road underdog, falling to 1-4 ATS in its last five starts (2-3 SU). The Huskers (3-7, 2-8 ATS in the Big 12) have followed each of their four spread-covers this season with at least two ATS losses.

Kansas State is 6-4 SU and ATS the last 10 meetings in this rivalry, including a 74-59 home win two weeks ago, cashing as an 11-point chalk. But last year in Lincoln, the Huskers won 74-63 giving one point, and the home team is 10-3 ATS in the last 13 clashes. Finally, the favorite is 5-2 ATS in the last seven matchups, and the straight-up winner has cashed in each of the last 10 series battles.

The Wildcats are on positive ATS runs of 35-17 ATS in Big 12 play, 5-0 against teams with a winning percentage above .600, 6-2 after a SU win and 8-3 against teams with a winning record. On a negative note, K-State is 2-5 ATS on its last seven road trips and 3-8 ATS in its last 11 on the highway against teams with a winning home record.

The Huskers are on nothing but negative ATS runs, including 2-8 overall, 1-4 at home, 2-9 in the Big 12, 2-5 after a SU loss, 2-6 after a non-cover, 3-8 against teams with a winning record and 1-5 on Wednesday.

For K-State, the over is on tears of 6-1 in Big 12 play, 5-0 following a SU win and 4-1 on the highway. For Nebraska, the over is 5-1 in the last six at home and 5-2 in the last seven in Lincoln against teams with a losing road record. However, these teams stayed under the number earlier this month, and the under is 4-2 in the last six series meetings,

ATS ADVANTAGE: KANSAS STATE


Dallas (35-18, 21-29-3 ATS) at New Orleans (36-15, 31-19-1 ATS)

Jason Kidd is set to make his Mavericks debut tonight in New Orleans in an important battle between a pair of Southwest Division rivals clash.

After a week of speculation, Dallas finally completed its trade for Kidd yesterday, and the perennial All-Star point guard is slated to be in uniform for this contest. The Mavericks have been off since Thursday’s 109-97 loss at Phoenix as a 7½-point road underdog. The Mavs have followed up a three-game winning streak by losing three of their last four, and they’re 1-5 ATS in their last six and 2-7 ATS in their last nine.

The Hornets have been idle since last Wednesday, when they went to Milwaukee and topped the Bucks 111-107 for their fourth consecutive victory. However, New Orleans failed to cover as a six-point road favorite, dropping to 2-5 ATS in its last seven. It marked just the second time in the Hornets’ last 29 games that the winner failed to cover the pointspread.

These teams have split their first two meetings this season, with the home team winning and covering in both contests. That includes the Hornets’ 112-108 overtime home victory as a three-point underdog on Dec. 1 – a result that snapped Dallas’ 21-game winning streak in this rivalry, a run that spanned eight years. The Mavericks are 5-2 ATS in the last seven series clashes.

The Mavs have lost five of their last six road games both SU and ATS, falling to 12-15 on the highway for the season (11-16 ATS). The straight-up winner is 24-3 ATS in Dallas’ 27 road contests. Also, Avery Johnson’s squad is 4-1 ATS in its last five on Wednesday and 37-16-1 ATS in its last 54 against divisional rivals.

New Orleans is 19-7 at home (14-11 ATS), including 8-1 in the last nine (7-2 ATS). The Hornets are on additional positive ATS runs of 41-20-1 overall, 15-5 following a SU victory, 20-8 on Wednesdays.

Dallas’ offense has gone stagnant over the last five games, managing just 88.6 points per game, compared with 106.8 ppg for New Orleans in its last five. Defensively, though, the Mavs rate the edge, giving up 90.2 ppg in the last five while the Hornets are surrendering 106.4 ppg in their last five, with five of New Orleans’ last seven foes scoring at least 107 points.

The over is 10-4 in New Orleans’ last 14 games, but just 5-4 on the road. However, the under is 8-3 in Dallas’ last 11 overall, 13-5 in its last 18 on the road, 5-0 in its last five divisional contests and 7-1-1 in the last nine series meetings, though the lone “over” occurred in December’s meeting in New Orleans.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NEW ORLEANS


L.A. Lakers (36-17, 33-18-1 ATS) at Phoenix (37-16, 24-27-2 ATS)

A highly anticipated matchup of Pacific Division rivals is set for the US Airways Center in Phoenix, where the Suns hope to have Shaquille O’Neal on the floor for the first time since trading for the big man in a battle against Kobe Bryant and the red-hot Lakers.

Phoenix has been off since Thursday’s 109-97 rout of the Mavericks as a 7½-point home favorite. The Suns went into the All-Star Break on an 11-4 run, and they’ve followed up an 0-4-1 ATS slump with consecutive spread-covers.

The Lakers came out of the break on Monday night and crushed the Hawks 122-93 as an 11-point home favorite. Los Angeles is one of the NBA’s hottest teams, having won five in a row and eight of nine. Also, Phil Jackson’s squad is 10-1 ATS in its last 11 contests.

This is the fourth meeting of the season between these hated rivals. The Lakers pulled off upset wins in the first two, prevailing 119-98 as an eight-point road underdog on Nov. 2 and 122-115 as a 2½-point home pup on Christmas Day. However, in the most recent clash on Jan. 17 in L.A., the Suns earned a 106-98 win as a 1½-point road favorite.

The Lakers are 6-3 ATS in the last nine series meetings – all as an underdog – and 5-1 ATS in their last six trips to Phoenix. In fact, the visitor has cashed in five of the past six battles.

Los Angeles went on a nine-game road trip prior to the All-Star game, going 8-1 ATS (7-2 SU) to improve to 18-10 on the highway on the year (18-9-1 ATS). Additionally, the Lakers are on positive ATS streaks of 6-1 against Pacific Division rivals, 11-5-1 against the Western Conference and 6-2 when playing on back-to-back nights.

Phoenix has won 14 of its last 17 home games, but is just 6-13-1 ATS in its last 20 at US Airways Arena, including 1-4-1 ATS in the last six. The Suns are also mired in pointspread slumps of 1-4-1 on Wednesdays and 0-5-1 when playing on three or more days’ rest.

The Suns have topped the total in nine of their last 12 outing, including the last three in a row overall and three of the last four at home. The over is also on runs of 4-0 for Phoenix on Wednesday, 6-2 for the Lakers against the Pacific Division and 4-1 in this rivalry, with the one “under” coming in the most recent meeting a month ago.

ATS ADVANTAGE: L.A. LAKERS and OVER


Boston (41-20, 31-18-2 ATS) at Golden State (32-21, 22-31 ATS)

The Celtics continue their five-game Western Conference road trip with a battle against the high-scoring Warriors in Golden State.

Boston’s journey began with last night’s 124-108 loss in Denver as a one-point road favorite, snapping a five-game winning streak. It was the Celtics’ first loss of the season to a Western Conference foe after 16 straight victories (10-6 ATS). Despite last night’s setback, Boston is still 7-2 in its last nine (6-2-1 ATS).

Golden State is coming off last night’s 119-109 loss at Utah, falling as a seven-point road underdog. The Warriors won three straight home games going into the All-Star break, beating the Kings, Wizards and Suns by a combined eight points. However, they failed to cash as a favorite in all three contests, and after last night’s setback, they’re now 2-9 ATS in their last 11, including five consecutive non-covers. Over the last month, Golden State is 12-5 SU, but 5-12 ATS.

These teams met back on Nov. 21 in Boston, and the Celtics cruised to a 105-82 victory as a 10½-point home chalk, snapping a three-game losing skid to the Warriors. The home team is 7-1 in the last eight series meetings (4-4 ATS). Also, although the favorite has cashed in the last two series battles, the underdog is 12-3 ATS in the last 15 head-to-head matchups.

Tuesday’s defeat at Denver aside, the Celtics are still an NBA-best 18-6 on the road (15-8-1 ATS), and going back to last year, they’re 48-20-1 ATS outside of Beantown. Boston is also on ATS tears of 5-1 versus the Pacific Division and 22-8-1 when playing on back-to-back nights (7-3-1 this year).

The Warriors are 17-9 at home, including 9-2 in the last 11. However, they’re 9-17 ATS at Oracle Arena this season, including 1-8 ATS in their last nine. Golden State is also 0-5 ATS in its last five against Atlantic Division foes and 1-5 ATS in its last six on Wednesday.

The Warriors, who have scored at least 105 points in 17 consecutive games, have topped the total in 12 of their last 14 overall, including four of their last five at home. The over is also on runs of 7-1 for Golden State against the Eastern Conference, 37-17-1 for Golden State on Wednesday, 9-3 for Boston against the Western Conference and 4-0 for Boston on Wednesday.

ATS ADVANTAGE: BOSTON and OVER

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 20

Shaq’s Suns host Kobe’s Lakers on Wednesday

The Lakers and Suns already have plenty of history that makes Wednesday night’s matchup interesting, even before Phoenix acquired Shaquille O’Neal. The ongoing saga of Shaq vs. Kobe gets a new chapter now that the two former teammates play in the same conference and could collide in the playoffs down the road.

The Lakers will be playing on back-to-back nights coming off the All-Star break, after facing the new-look Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday before clashing with Phoenix on Wednesday. Los Angeles was one the NBA’s biggest surprises during the first half of the season, as they went 35-17 to sit only 1.5-games back of the Suns in the Pacific Division. Kobe Bryant averaged 26.5 points per game, second-best in the league, while the addition of Pau Gasol from Memphis softened the blow dealt when Andrew Bynum went down with a knee injury. In six games in L.A., Gasol is averaging 20.5 points and 8.3 rebounds.

The Suns entered the All-Star break with a 37-16 mark, which tied them for first place in the Western Conference with New Orleans. However, the Suns will look radically different in the second half from how they looked in the first half after trading Shawn Marion for Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq is expected to make his Phoenix debut on Wednesday night, which will give critics their first look at the big man in the Suns fast-paced run-and-gun offense.

The addition of O’Neal allows Amare Stoudemire to move to power forward, which should lighten the load on his problematic knees. Phoenix’s two big men will be flanked by Raja Bell, Grant Hill and Steve Nash, with Boris Diaw and Leandro Barbosa giving the Suns a strong bench. Wednesday’s game should give Suns’ fans their first taste of whether the O’Neal will help or hinder the Suns’ drive for a championship.

This will mark the fourth time this season that Phoenix and the Lakers meet up. However it may be hard to take those previous games into account when handicapping this one, because neither Gasol nor O’Neal was around. When LA and Phoenix first clashed back in November, the Lakers ripped the Suns 119-98 as a 9-point road underdog. Bryant had only 16 points in the win, while Vladimir Radmanovic led the Lakers with 19 points.

In the rematch in December the Lakers upset the Suns again, 122-115 as a 2.5-point home underdog. Bryant unleashed 38 points on Phoenix in that win, while Nash had 24 points and 14 assists for the Suns. In the third game, the Suns got some revenge in a 106-98 win as a 1.5-point road favorite. Barbosa poured in 30 points off the bench for Phoenix, while Nash was busy with 13 points and 20 assists.

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