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Betting News and Notes - Feb 21

Betting News and Notes - Feb 21

Thursday's Tip Sheet
By Josh Jacobs

Three games will take center stage in the NBA on Thursday, beginning first with a tip-off involving Miami and Houston.

Entering the evening on a nine-game victory march, the Rockets have also rewarded backers with a 15-7 ATS sprint to the bank. With the Western Conference wheeling and dealing its way into another competitive run into the postseason, things are heating up by the day.

**Miami at Houston**

Coming off six days of rest, the Heat haven’t proved that extended time away from the court has been advantageous to investors (or themselves for that matter). Dropping nine in a row and manufacturing a 2-6-1 ATS effort, Miami defense has allowed a gapping 105.6 PPG (in the same nine-game stretch). Since acquiring Shawn Marion from Phoenix, the Heat have gone 0-3 SU and 1-2 ATS. Off three or more days of rest, Miami is a poor 0-4 SU and ATS.

Playing with the opposite intensity of its opponent (the Heat), Houston has been running teams off the court, averaging a margin of 8.5 PPG in wins. Nailing the ‘under’ six times in the last nine appearances on the hardwood has sent total players rushing to the window, while a 7-2 ATS run in its last nine has been just as impressive.

In their last meeting in November, Miami grabbed a ‘W’ by out pointing the Rockets 98-91. The Heat easily covered the plus-3 ½-point spread, with the ‘over’ adding to the exchange of money. The underdog has gone 10-4 ATS in its last 14 head-to-head games. Houston has trampled by NBA Southeast opponents, going 13-5 ATS in its last 18.

**San Antonio at Minnesota**

Entering its first game on Tuesday since taking off time for the All-Star break, San Antonio trounced Charlotte, 85-65. The 20-point victory marked the Spurs seventh win in the last eight games, while a 6-2 ATS bankroll continues to compliment backers’ wallets.

Shooting for 95.8 PPG and holding down teams to a rock bottom 89.8 PPG in the last five, San Antonio has gone 10-5 SU in their last 15 when Tim Duncan tallies up 10 or more rebounds in a game.

Another year typified by underachieving and a lack of cohesion has once again emerged out of Minnesota. On a 1-5 SU slump and tallying just 11 total wins on the season, the Timberwolves have been able to rack up a 10-4 ATS record in its last 14 overall games.

Continuing to talk about money making ventures, it should be taken into consideration that San Antonio has gone an impressive 17-11-1 ATS this season when coming off just one day of rest. In their last 10 head-to-head showdowns with Minnesota, the Spurs have amassed an 8-2 SU and a 6-4 ATS ledger. In those 10 meetings, the ‘over’ has cashed seven times.

Still recovering from a bone spur in his left heal, Tony Parker remains ‘day-to-day’. With Parker out of the lineup, San Antonio has gone 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS in eight total games.

**Seattle at Portland**

Posting a 14-38 SU record, Seattle might be young and raw in its roster but recent wins against San Antonio (88-85) and Sacramento (105-92) have been positive marks in a season designated as a rebuilding year (for the Seattle).

Led by rookie sensation Kevin Durant (19.4 PPG, 2.2 APG), the Sonics have been able to light up the score board, scoring 102.6 PPG in their last five. But counterintuitive to the offensive game plan, Seattle has had problems fending off teams inside the paint and from the perimeter. The Sonics have surrendered 105.2 PPG in their last five, 105.7 PPG on the road and 104 PPG overall this season.

For betting purposes, Seattle is 4-1 ATS in its last five when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game (108-101 win over Memphis) and are 5-2 ATS in its last seven playing on one day of rest.

While Portland has wrangled up 28 wins this season and is playing over .500 ball, dropping five in a row and losing 12 of its last 18 has been evidence of a considerable drop success.

Even worse is the Trail Blazers 11-1 ATS record in their last 12. In support of these money draining numbers, Portland has gone 12-15 ATS this season off one day of rest and are an average 10-10 ATS when paired up against a team playing with a losing record.

In a December throw down involving both squads, the Trail Blazers ran away with an 89-79 victory, while covering the 7 ½-point spread. With the total set at 200, the ‘under’ was the winner in this contest.

Missing Tuesday night’s contest with the flu, Seattle’s Kevin Durant remains ‘day-to-day’.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 21

Televised Tip Sheet
By Brian Edwards

Gamblers have 18 college basketball games to sort through tonight. Let’s see if I can assist your handicapping with some factoids on a trio of televised games. And – of course – we have some Bonus Nuggets to delve into, including a few darts aimed at one of our favorite targets -- Georgia President Michael Adams.

**Pittsburgh at Notre Dame**

--Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened Notre Dame (19-5 straight up, 9-12 against the spread) as a four-point favorite with a total of 140. The Irish, who were listed at 4 ½ early this morning, are unbeaten in 15 home games this season. However, they have managed just a 6-6 spread record in South Bend.

--Pittsburgh (19-6 SU, 12-8 ATS) is in bounce-back mode after taking pimpslap treatment at Marquette last Friday. The Panthers were on the short end of a 72-54 decision, falling to 3-5 SU and 4-4 ATS on the road.

-- For the first time since breaking his foot back on Dec. 29, Pitt junior point guard Levance Fields (11.3 points, 5.2 assists per game) returned to the court in the loss at Marquette. Fields was a little rusty, connecting on just 1-of-7 shots from the floor. He logged 20 minutes of play, scoring four points, dishing out four assists and grabbing two rebounds.

--Notre Dame had its five-game winning streak snapped last week in an 84-78 loss at UConn as a 4½-point underdog. Next, the Irish went on the road and barely escaped the RAC with a 72-69 win. Rutgers easily took the cash as a 9 ½-point home underdog. Tory Jackson paced the winners with 17 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

--Notre Dame remains right in the thick of the Big East regular-season race. The Irish are 9-3 in league play, one game back of the co-leaders, Georgetown and Louisville, both of whom are 11-3 in Big East play. As for the Panthers, they are 7-5 in the conference.

--Sophomore center Luke Harangody has been the catalyst for the Irish, scoring 20.4 points and grabbing 10.3 rebounds per game. Meanwhile, Pitt’s leading scorer is Sam Young, who averages 17.6 PPG.

--Jamie Dixon’s team owns a 3-2 spread record in five previous games as an underdog.

--The ‘under’ is 4-1 in Pitt’s last five games, 12-8 overall, but just 5-5 in its home assignments.

--Mike Brey’s squad has watched the ‘over’ go 13-8 overall. Even better, the ‘over’ has cashed at a 9-1 clip in the Irish’s last 10 games.

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

**Massachusetts at Rhode Island**

--LVSC opened Rhode Island (20-6 SU, 12-10 ATS) as a 5½-point ‘chalk’ with a total of 162. As of early this morning, most spots had URI marked as a six-point favorite.

--Rhode Island has won 12 of its 13 home games, posting a 7-3-1 ATS record. However, the Rams are coming off their first home loss of the season Monday, an 81-77 setback as two-point favorites.

--URI looked like an NCAA Tournament team until three losses in its last four games, but a 6-5 record in the Atlantic 10 isn’t cutting it on Selection Sunday. To their credit, the Rams have solid wins over Syracuse, Providence and UAB. However, the only scenario in which I see an at-large bid in their future is to win five straight to close the regular season. Still, a quality showing at the A-10 Tourney would be mandatory.

--Massachusetts (16-9 SU, 10-11 ATS) won the first meeting between these teams by a 78-76 count on Feb. 7, but the Minutemen failed to cover the spread as 2 ½-point favorites. Gary Forbes led UMass with 26 points and 13 rebounds.

--Travis Ford’s squad has lost five of its last eight games to fall off the bubble and to 5-6 in the A-10. On the bright side, UMass is off an 88-77 win over Saint Louis as an eight-point home ‘chalk.’ Dante Milligan scored a team-high 21 points for the Minutemen.

--URI has taken the cash in five of the last six head-to-head meetings between these A-10 adversaries.

--The ‘over’ is 15-8 overall for URI, 7-4 in its home games. The ‘over’ is 13-9 overall for UMass.

--ESPN2 will provide television coverage at 7:00 p.m. ET.

**Michigan at Minnesota**

--LVSC opened Minnesota (15-9 SU, 11-8 ATS) as an eight-point favorite with a total of 130. Most spots had the Gophers installed at 8½ early this morning. They are 9-4 SU and 5-5 ATS at home.

--Michigan (8-17 SU, 9-14 ATS) has caught fire in recent weeks, especially for our purposes. The Wolverines have won three straight (outright) and are on a 6-1 ATS tear in their last seven games. They are off an 80-70 win over Ohio St. as five-point home underdogs. Manny Harris scored a game-high 27 points for the maize and blue.

--Tubby Smith’s first team at Minnesota got off to a strong start, but back-to-back losses have dropped the Gophers to 5-7 in Big Ten play and out of the bubble conversation.

--These teams met in Ann Arbor on Jan. 31 with Minnesota collecting a 77-65 win as a three-point road favorite. Lawrence McKenzie produced 18 points, five rebounds and five assists for Tubby’s troops. Harris had 19 for Michigan in the losing effort.

--The ‘over’ is 10-9 overall for the Gophers, but the ‘under’ is 6-4 in their home outings. The ‘over’ has hit at a 14-9 clip for the Wolverines.

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

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--I’m all about some Pitt-Notre Dame, but how did we get stuck with scrub games like UMass-URI and Minny-Michigan tonight?

--I finally chimed in with a blog entry today.

--Coach K is like Bobby Bowden. Translation: They're both closet jerks and it's comical how 95 percent of America has no clue that's the case. And trust me, I'm not coming to the defense of Roy "AwShucks" Williams, who drops more "dadgummits" than Bowden every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

--I was at Lawrence-Joel Coliseum in 2000 when Coach K and Roy had to be separated by officials while barking at each other near midcourt during the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Great game, 48 hours after Florida's Mike Miller hit that runner at the buzzer to beat Butler. It was such a sweet day. For starters, my Gators beat Illinois -- coached by Lon Kruger, who left UF to join the Illini -- to advance to the Sweet 16 for just the fourth time in school history. Then we had primo seats for Kansas and Duke, which was a No. 1 seed and heavily favored. The Jayhawks were in a down year, beating Depaul in the 8-9 game. But from the get-go, it was all Kansas thanks to the play of freshman point guard Kirk Hinrich, who completely outplayed fellow freshman Jason Williams on this day. Nevertheless, the Blue Devils rallied to capture a narrow victory. That's ok, though, the Gators took care of them at the Carrier Dome less than a week later.

--Speaking of the two-time defending champs, they stopped the bleeding with last night's win over South Carolina, 85-82. The Gamecocks took the cash as 8 1/2-point underdogs, but UF improved to 7-5 in the SEC and won its 20th game for the 10th consecutive season.

--Tulane and Auburn don't exactly represent a murderer's row, but we've got to give kudos to Bruce Pearl and John Calipari for not allowing their teams to fall prey to their respective look-ahead situations. Memphis and Tennessee both cashed tickets as double-digit favorites. They meet on Saturday and I'm guessing the Tigers will open as 4 1/2-point home favorites.

--Wednesday's Biggest Winners:
1-Miami (vs. Duke)
2-Virginia Tech (at Maryland)
3-Villanova (vs. West Virginia)
4-North Carolina (at N.C. St.)
5-Ole Miss (vs. Mississipii St.)

--That's just a monster win for Miami and head coach Frank Hait, who would be best served by parlaying the win over Duke into an NCAA Tournament bid. The 'Canes, who are 18-7 overall with non-conference wins over VCU, Providence and Mississippi St., have an excellent chance now. They get Maryland at home this weekend, followed by a road game at Clemson. Next, two home games against Virginia and Boston College before closing the regular season in a revenge game at FSU.

--I should justify the 'best served' remark regarding Hait, so here goes: I don't know if Hait is on the hot seat in Coral Gables. I do know that he's in his fourth season and if UM's name isn't called on Selection Sunday, Hait will be 0-for-4 in terms of Tournament bids. I also know this: VCU head coach Anthony Grant is from Miami and recruits Dade County as well as any coach in America. He covets the Miami job because South Florida is home to him, but Grant could be on the verge of getting his first big-time gig (maybe at South Carolina or LSU?). Therefore, if the 'Canes are going to get Grant, this might be their best (and only) opportunity. That's why Hait would be best served by taking this team dancing. 

--I doubt there are many -- if any -- of you out there, but congratulations to bettors who went with Virginia Tech on the money line against the Terps. The Hokies hooked up money-line backers with a plus 300 payout ($100 risk getting paid ($300).

--Coach of the Year candidates:
1-Bruce Pearl (Tennessee)
2-Matt Painter (Purdue)
3-Sean Miller (Xavier)
4-Keno Davis (Drake)
5-Bo Ryan (Wisconsin)

--Player of the Year candidates:
1-Michael Beasley (Kansas State)
2-Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina)
3-Chris Douglas-Roberts (Memphis)
4-Luke Harangody (Notre Dame)
5-Stephen Curry (Davidson)

--Goat of the Year Lock: Kelvin Sampson

--Where’s the love for that 2003 Georgia team that got ROBBED of an NCAA Tournament bid by Vince Dooley and Michael Adams? I haven’t heard or read anyone comparing this year’s Indiana team to that UGA squad. To the contrary, I’ve heard anyone and everyone go to great lengths to talk about how IU can’t even think about keeping this team out of the NCAA Tournament. Don’t get me wrong, I agree. My points are as follows:

1-The 2003 Dawgs -- composed of Jarvis and Jonas Hayes, Ezra Williams, Damien Wilkins, Rashad Wright and Chris Daniels – had a better shot at a Final Four berth than Indiana does this season.

2-The only time we’ve seen a big-time team deal with this sort of controversy as it preps for a March Madness run was in 2003 with UGA, so why haven’t we heard the comparison made?

3-I will never quit slamming Adams for this inexplicable move. Remember, before coming to Georgia, Adams was at Pepperdine, where his head basketball coach was…(you guessed it)…Jim Harrick.

4- Seriously, folks, not only did Adams eventually run Dooley out of Athens (it’s still almost inconceivable to type those words as fact), but he wears a bow tie to SEC football games. A bow tie!!!

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 21

Pac-10 Tip Sheet
By Brad Young

Parity is the name of the game in the Pac-10 Conference, with UCLA and Stanford continuing to battle atop the standings. The Bruins maintain a 10-2 conference ledger, while the Cardinal resides in second at 10-3. Stanford doesn't play until this weekend when it takes on Bay Area rival California.

From there, things get interesting. Washington State and Arizona appear to be in the NCAA Tournament, while Southern Cal and Oregon should also make the Big Dance barring a late-season collapse. Arizona State has some impressive victories this season, but a subpar RPI ranking of 75 means the Sun Devils still have some work to do.

Let’s take a closer look at Thursday’s Pac-10 games.

**Arizona State at Washington State**

-Las Vegas Sports Consultants installed Washington State as an 11-point home ‘chalk’ over Arizona State, with the total set at 118. FOX Sports Net will provide coverage of this contest beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET.

-Arizona State (16-8 straight up, 11-9 against the spread) had its brief two-game SU and ATS winning streak snapped with its loss to California Saturday as a four-point home favorite, 76-73.

-The Sun Devils were outrebounded, 37-33, while shooting 40 percent (25-of-62) from the field. Guard Ty Abbott led all scorers with 30 points on 10-of-16 shooting, while James Harden added 11, eight rebounds and eight assists.

-Arizona State is 4-5 SU and ATS on the road, dropping those affairs by an average score of 70-63.

-Washington State (20-5 SU, 11-11 ATS) is riding a three-game SU and ATS winning streak after upending Oregon Saturday as a one-point road underdog, 62-53.

-The Cougars won the rebounding battle, 27-19, while shooting 40 percent (20-of-50) from the field. Three starters reached double digits in scoring, led by Taylor Rochestie’s 21 points on 5-of-11 shooting.

-Wazzu is 8-3 SU and 4-6 ATS on its home court, winning those affairs by an average score of 68-53.

-The Cougars are 3-0 SU and 1-2 ATS the previous three meetings with Arizona State after prevailing January 26 as a three-point road favorite, 56-55.

**Oregon State at UCLA**

-LVSC opened UCLA as a decided 27-point home favorite over Oregon State, with no total listed. This game is scheduled to begin at 10:30 p.m. ET.

-Oregon State (6-19 SU, 9-13 ATS) hasn’t won a game SU since beating Northern Colorado December 19, and has dropped its last three outings ATS. The Beavers continued their downward spiral with Saturday’s setback to Washington as a 6 ½-point home underdog, 97-59.

-Oregon State was dominated in every aspect by getting outrebounded, 43-26, while shooting just 32 percent (19-of-59) from the field. Guard Lathen Wallace paced the offense with 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting.

-The Beavers are just 3-10 SU on the road, but 7-3 ATS after losing those contests by an average score of 68-63. Oregon State actually plays teams tougher on the road than on its home court.

-UCLA (22-3 SU, 15-7 ATS) got back on the winning track after upending Southern Cal Sunday as a 6½-point road favorite, 56-46. The Bruins are still gunning for a top seed in the NCAA Tournament, but will need to finish the regular season strong.

-UCLA cruised after entering halftime with an eight-point advantage, 31-23. The Bruins controlled the boards, 37-29, but shot a dismal 34 percent (21-of-62) from the field. Freshman center Kevin Love enjoyed a solid effort with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

-Coach Ben Howland’s team is 12-2 SU and 7-5 ATS on its home court, winning those affairs by an average score of 77-55.

-UCLA is 6-0 SU and ATS the previous six meetings with Oregon State after winning Jan. 26 as a 16-point road underdog, 85-62.

**Arizona at Washington**

-LVSC lists Washington as a one-point home ‘chalk’ over Arizona, with the total set at 144. This contest is slated to tipoff at 11:00 p.m. ET.

-Arizona (16-9 SU, 12-10 ATS) dropped to 1-3 SU and ATS its past four games after Saturday’s setback to Stanford as a two-point home favorite, 67-66.

-The Wildcats were dominated on the boards, 35-25, while shooting 37 percent (19-of-51) from the field. Freshman guard Jerryd Bayless accounted for 31 points and six assists, while forward Chase Budinger added 23 and six rebounds.

-Arizona is 5-5 SU and 6-3 ATS away from home, dropping those affairs by an average score of 69-68.

-Washington (14-12 SU, 10-15 ATS) has alternated SU and ATS wins and losses its last four games after routing Oregon State Saturday, 97-59.

-The Huskies shot a blistering 54 percent (38-of-70) from the field, while limiting the Beavers to 32 percent (19-of-59). Senior guard Ryan Appleby led all scorers with 32 points on 10-of-16 shooting.

-Arizona is 4-1 SU and ATS the past five meetings with Washington after winning Jan. 26 as an 8½-point home ‘chalk,’ 84-69.

-Arizona guard Nic Wise (knee) and forward Bret Brielmaier (shoulder) are ‘out.’ Washington guard Justin Holiday (knee) is ‘out.’

**Oregon at Southern Cal**

-LVSC installed Southern Cal as a 4½-point home favorite over Oregon, with the total set at 144. FOX Sports Net will start its coverage of this contest at 11:00 p.m. ET.

-Oregon (15-10 SU, 10-12 ATS) had won back-to-back outings SU and ATS before falling to Washington State Saturday as a one-point home ‘chalk,’ 62-53.

-The Ducks shot 49 percent (19-of-39) from the field, led by forward Maarty Leunen’s 20 points and six rebounds. Leunen was the only Oregon player to reach double digits in scoring.

-The Ducks are 4-7 SU and 5-5 ATS on the road, dropping those affairs by an average score of 74-72.

-Southern Cal (15-9 SU, 13-8 ATS) has lost consecutive contests after Sunday’s setback to UCLA as a 6½-point home underdog, 56-46.

-The Trojans shot 47 percent (20-of-43) from the field, but couldn’t overcome its rebounding deficit. Forward Taj Gibson accounted for 16 points and 12 rebounds in the setback.

-USC is 7-5 SU and 4-5 ATS on its home court, winning those matchups by an average score of 66-62.

-The Trojans are 3-1 SU and ATS the last four meetings with Oregon after winning in overtime Jan. 26 as a 3 ½-point road underdog, 95-86.

-Oregon forward Frantz Dorsainvil (back) is ‘questionable’ against the Trojans. USC guard Marcus Simmons (ankle) is ‘doubtful’ versus the Ducks.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 21

Miami Heat vs. Houston Rockets

- The fans at Toyota Center will be treated to a game between the Miami Heat and the Houston Rockets when they take their seats on Thursday.

Shawn Marion was the high scorer for Miami with 21 points in its 99-92 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.

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

Houston found it hard to contain LeBron James, but they managed to pull out a 93-85 win over the Cavaliers last time out. Houston covered the slight 1-point spread, while the 178 points were UNDER the posted total of 185.

Rafer Alston shot 8-for-15 from the field with 22 points, five rebounds and six assists in the win.

Current streak:
Miami has lost 9 straight games.
Houston has won 9 straight games.

Team records:
Miami: 9-43 SU, 18-33-1 ATS
Houston: 33-20 SU, 27-24-2 ATS

Miami most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 2-8
Before playing Philadelphia are 6-4
After playing Chicago are 4-6
After a loss are 1-9

Houston most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 5-5
Before playing New Orleans are 7-3
After playing Cleveland are 8-2
After a win are 9-1

A few trends to consider:
Miami is 17-7 SU in its last 24 games when playing Houston
The total has gone OVER in 9 of Miami's last 13 games when playing on the road against Houston
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Miami's last 12 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Miami's last 12 games when playing Houston
Houston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Houston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Houston's last 7 games
Houston is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home

Next up:
Miami home to Philadelphia, Saturday, February 23
Houston at New Orleans, Friday, February 22

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 21

San Antonio Spurs vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

- The San Antonio Spurs and the Minnesota Timberwolves will both be trying to pick up a win on Thursday when they battle at Target Center.

The Spurs dominated the fourth quarter to close out the Bobcats 85-65 last time out. The Spurs covered the 11-point spread at home, but the 150 points were well UNDER the posted total of 186.

Manu Ginobili tossed in 18 points for the Spurs, and Tim Duncan hauled down15 rebounds in the win.

The Timberwolves showed a rare dominance as they upset the 76ers 104-88 last time out, as 3.5-point underdogs. The 192 points made it OVER the posted total of 187.

Al Jefferson had a double-double in the win, tossing in 19 points with 14 rebounds.

Current streak:
San Antonio has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
San Antonio: 35-17 SU, 26-26 ATS
Minnesota: 11-41 SU, 25-26-1 ATS

San Antonio most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 9-1
Before playing New Orleans are 8-2
After playing Charlotte are 5-2
After a win are 7-3

Minnesota most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 6-4
Before playing Dallas are 3-7
After playing Philadelphia are 6-4
After a win are 2-8

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of San Antonio's last 5 games when playing on the road against Minnesota
San Antonio is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games when playing Minnesota
San Antonio is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games
San Antonio is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Minnesota's last 5 games when playing at home against San Antonio
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Minnesota's last 7 games when playing San Antonio
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Minnesota's last 9 games
Minnesota is 8-2-1 ATS in its last 11 games at home

Next up:
San Antonio home to New Orleans, Saturday, February 23
Minnesota home to Dallas, Sunday, February 24

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 21

Seattle SuperSonics vs. Portland Trail Blazers

- The division rival Seattle SuperSonics and Portland Trail Blazers are set to renew hostilities on Thursday when they meet at Rose Garden.

Earl Watson scored 26 points with nine assists in the SuperSonics' 108-101 win over the Grizzlies on Tuesday. The SuperSonics covered the 6-point spread, while the combined 209 points made it OVER the posted total of 206.

Wally Szczerbiak chipped in with 24 points and four rebounds in the win.

The Trail Blazers were upset 105-94 by the Kings last time out, as 4.5-point favorites. The combined 199 points made it OVER the posted total of 194.

Travis Outlaw tossed in 23 points with five rebounds in a losing effort for the Trail Blazers.

Current streak:
Portland has lost 5 straight games.

Team records:
Seattle: 14-38 SU, 25-26-1 ATS
Portland: 28-25 SU, 27-26 ATS

Seattle most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 2-8
Before playing Portland are 4-6
After playing Memphis are 1-9
After a win are 4-6

Portland most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 5-5
Before playing Seattle are 2-8
After playing Sacramento are 3-7
After a loss are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Seattle's last 13 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Seattle's last 10 games
Seattle is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games
Seattle is 8-4 SU in its last 12 games when playing Portland
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Portland's last 5 games
Portland is 15-4 SU in its last 19 games at home
Portland is 13-6 SU in its last 19 games when playing at home against Seattle
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Portland's last 6 games at home

Next up:
Seattle home to Portland, Friday, February 22
Portland at Seattle, Friday, February 22

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 21

Thursday’s Pregame Buzz


Miami Heat at Houston Rockets

* The last time Houston won 10 straight games, the team went on to win the NBA championship. That's exactly what the Rockets will be looking to do here against the Heat after winning 9 in a row and going 7-2 ATS during that stretch. However, only 3 of those wins have been decided by double digits. EDGE: ROCKETS
* Miami is riding a 9-game losing streak and has gone 2-6-1 ATS during that skid. The Heat surprisingly closed as a 2-point road favorite at Chicago last Thursday only to lose, 99-92. EDGE: ROCKETS
* Miami star Dwyane Wade has certainly picked up his play since Shawn Marion joined the lineup, averaging nearly 10 points more per game than in the previous 5 without him. Wade is averaging 26 points and 8.7 assists in those 3 games while Marion is averaging 20.3 points and 13 rebounds during that stretch. SLIGHT EDGE: HEAT
* The Heat should also get a boost inside with the return of power forward Udonis Haslem, who has missed the last 8 games with a high ankle sprain. (Check status on the Pregame Wire!) EDGE: HEAT
* Heat are 18-43-2 ATS in their last 63 games overall.
* Rockets are 13-5 ATS in their last 18 vs. Southeast Division.
* Underdog is 19-4 ATS in the last 23 NBA on TNT games.
* Underdog is 10-4 ATS in the last 14 meetings.
* The UNDER is 6-2 in Houston's last 8 home games.
* The UNDER is 6-2 in Houston's last 8 Thursday games.
San Antonio Spurs at Minnesota Timberwolves

* San Antonio point guard Tony Parker is expected to return to action after missing the last 9 games with an ankle injury. “I think he’ll get some minutes in Minnesota,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. “Not many, but he’ll play.” Parker has averaged 19 points and 8.5 assists in 2 games vs. Minnesota this season.  EDGE: SPURS
* Parker's status could be a key factor against the Timberwolves after Randy Foye made his first start of the season in Tuesday's 104-88 win over Philadelphia. Foye missed the first 3 months of the season with a knee injury but had 13 points and 5 assists against the 76ers after being paired with Sebastian Telfair in the starting backcourt. “They’ll determine that for me,” Minnesota head coach Randy Wittman said. “When you put new combos together, they’ll tell me how it’s working by how they play.” EDGE: TIMBERWOLVES
* Spurs are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
* Timberwolves are 5-16 ATS in their last 21 games vs. Southwest Division.
* Timberwolves are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games overall.
* Home team is 10-4 ATS in the last 14 meetings.
* The UNDER is 13-5 in San Antonio's last 18 road games.
* The UNDER is 23-9 in San Antonio's last 32 games overall.
* The UNDER is 7-2 in Minnesota's last 9 games overall.
Seattle SuperSonics at Portland Trail Blazers

* Seattle rookie phenom Kevin Durant is suffering from a bout with the flu and is listed as questionable for this game at Portland. Durant is averaging a team-high 19.4 points per game and missed Tuesday's 108-101 home win.  EDGE: BLAZERS
* Portland is suffering through its second 5-game losing streak of the season but has not dropped 6 straight since the end of the 2005-06 season. The Blazers are just 3-9 since winning 20 of 24, including a 13-game winning streak in December. They have won the last 2 meetings with Seattle both SU & ATS after dropping the previous 2 in the series. EDGE: BLAZERS
* Trail Blazers are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 games overall.
* Trail Blazers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games vs. Northwest Division.
* The UNDER is 10-3 in Seattle's last 13 road games.
* The UNDER is 6-2 in Seattle's last 8 Thursday games.
* The UNDER is 7-3 in Seattle's last 10 games overall.


Pittsburgh at #21 Notre Dame

* Pittsburgh has won each of the last 5 meetings against Notre Dame, including the last 2 meetings at the Joyce Center. The Panthers have also won 12 of their last 20 road games under head coach Jamie Dixon. EDGE: PITTSBURGH
* Last Friday, Marquette handed Pitt its largest Big East regular season loss (18 points) since Dixon became head coach. Prior to the Marquette game, the Panthers had not lost a Big East regular season road game by more than 8 points under Dixon. EDGE: PITTSBURGH
* Notre Dame has won 17 of its last 20 games, and the team's 9-3 start in the Big East matches the best start ever by an Irish team in league play. EDGE: NOTRE DAME
* Notre Dame’s 15-game Big East home-court winning streak is its longest since the Irish joined the conference in 1995-96 and matches the third-longest in conference history. The Irish have won 34 straight home games overall. BIG EDGE: NOTRE DAME
* Panthers are 5-12-1 ATS in their last 18 Thursday games.
* The OVER is 9-1 in Notre Dame's last 10 games overall.
* The UNDER is 16-5 in Pittsburgh's last 21 road games.
* The UNDER is 13-3 in Notre Dame's last 16 games vs. Big East.
* The UNDER is 9-4-1 in Notre Dame's last 14 Thursday games.
Massachusetts at Rhode Island

* Of the last 5 meetings, 4 have been won by the home team and have been decided by three points or less, including the first game between them back on February 7th. If you remove last season’s 22-point UMass win, the average margin of victory in the last 4 games is 2.5 points. EDGE: UMASS
* UMass head coach Travis Ford has installed an up-tempo offense in the 2007-08 season, as the Minutemen are averaging 82.2 points per game, up from 77.1 points through 25 games last season. EDGE: OVER
* Underdog is 11-3 ATS in the last 14 meetings.
* Road team is 12-4 ATS in the last 16 meetings.
* The OVER is 22-7 in Rhode Island's last 29 home games.
* The OVER is 15-5 in Rhode Island's last 20 games vs. Atlantic 10.
* The UNDER is 7-2 in Rhode Island's last 9 Thursday games.

Michigan at Minnesota

* With a 80-70 win against Ohio State, Michigan posted it first 3-game winning streak of the season. The Wolverines have rattled off wins against Penn State, at Iowa and against the Buckeyes. EDGE: MICHIGAN
* Michigan has a 5-0 record when scoring 70 points or better this season, but the Wolverines may have their problems against the Gophers on Wednesday night. Minnesota is allowing a paltry 63.8 points per game on the season and just 61.8 at home. EDGE: MINNESOTA
* Minnesota’s bench has provided a big punch this season, outscoring its opponents in 19 of the team’s 24 games. The Gophers hold a cumulative 616-381 bench scoring edge overall. EDGE: MINNESOTA
* Michigan is riding a 3-game winning streak and has covered 4 straight overall. The Wolverines have also won 5 of the last 7 meetings SU. EDGE: MICHIGAN
* The OVER is 6-2 in Michigan's last 8 Thursday games.
* The UNDER is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings.

Arizona State at #19 Washington State

* Washington State has won 3 straight games both SU & ATS since failing to cover the previous 6 games. EDGE: WASHINGTON STATE
* Washington State has won the last 3 meetings with Arizona State but has failed to cover 3 of the last 4. SLIGHT EDGE: ARIZONA STATE
* The UNDER is 13-4 in Arizona State's last 17 road games.
* The UNDER is 20-8 in Arizona State's last 28 games vs. Pacific-10.

Oregon at USC

* Oregon is 5-11 ATS in its last 16 Thursday games.
* Underdog is 8-1 ATS in the last 9 meetings.
* Road team is 16-4 ATS in the last 20 meetings.
* The OVER is 17-6 in USC's last 23 vs. Pacific-10.
* The UNDER is 40-18 in Oregon's last 58 Thursday games.
* The UNDER is 9-3 in USC's last 12 home games.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 21

NBA At The Break: Best and Worst Team Trends

With players headed back to work following the break, let's look at the very best and worst team trends that have developed to date in the NBA this season. All results are ATS (against the spread) in games played prior to this year's All-Star break, unless indicated otherwise.

Atlanta Hawks: Best: 10-2 vs. unrested opponent. Worst: 1-6 away vs. opponent off win of five or more points.

Boston Celtics: Best: 16-0 SU vs. Western Conference opponent. Worst: 0-4 as favorites of 13 or more points.

Charlotte Bobcats: Best: 5-1 vs. .750 or better opponent. Worst: 1-8-1 away off double-digit losses.

Chicago Bulls: Best: 6-1 with three or more days of rest. Worst: 1-6 off division game.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Best: 8-2 as an underdog off a loss. Worst: 0-6 as an underdog off back-to-back straight-up and ATS wins.

Dallas Mavericks: Best: 8-0-2 vs. opponent off loss of more than seven points. Worst: 1-8-1 off division game.

Denver Nuggets: Best: 11-1 home vs. non-division opponent. Worst: 1-7 vs opp off SU favorite loss.

Detroit Pistons: Best: 5-0 vs. opponent with three-plus days of rest. Worst: 1-5 off back-to-back wins vs. opponent off back-to-back SU and ATS losses.

Golden State Warriors: Best: 5-0 off loss vs opponent off back-to-back SU & ATS wins. Worst: 0-5 vs opponent off SU favorite loss.

Houston Rockets: Best: 6-0 pick or dog vs opponent off SU & ATS loss. Worst: 1-5 as a favorite off double-digit loss.

Indiana Pacers: Best: 7-1 off double-digit ATS loss. Worst: 0-5 away off double-digit ATS win.

Los Angeles Clippers: Best: 8-2 off loss vs opponent off win. Worst: 2-11 off SU underdog win.

Los Angeles Lakers: Best: 5-0-1 off division. Worst: 1-5 vs non-division opponent off back-to-back wins.

Memphis Grizzlies: Best: 6-1 off DD loss vs opp off winWorst: 0-6 home off win.

Miami Heat: Best: 8-1-1 off back-to-back losses vs. opponent off double-digit win. Worst: 1-8 off win.

Milwaukee Bucks: Best: 9-1 vs opp off back-to-back SU & ATS losses. Worst: 1-6 favorite vs opponent off win.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Best: 5-1 as favorites. Worst: 1-6 as dog of 5 or less points.

New Jersey Nets: Best: 5-1 as dogs off SU & ATS win vs better than .700 opponent. Worst: 1-9 vs division.

New York Knicks: Best: 7-1 away off double-digit loss. Worst: 1-7 as favorites.

Orlando Magic: Best: 10-1-1 vs .333 or less opponent. Worst: 1-7-2 HF off win.

Philadelphia 76ers: Best: 14-3 with no rest. Worst: 1-5 away vs opponent off back-to-back wins.

Phoenix Suns: Best: 4-0 away vs opponent more than .666. Worst: 1-7 vs .333 or less conference opponent.

Portland Trailblazers: Best: 12-1 home off back-to-back wins. Worst: 0-5 away vs opponent off back-to-back SU & ATS wins.

Sacramento Kings: Best: 19-4 dogs of less than 8 points. Worst: 1-7 dogs of 8 or more points with revenge.

San Antonio Spurs: Best: 5-1-1 off loss vs opponent off win. Worst: 1-6-1 as road underdog.

Seattle Sonics: Best: 4-0-1 as double-digit underdog off double-digit loss. Worst: 0-4 with 3+ days of rest.

Toronto Raptors: Best: 10-0 as con favorites of 5 or more pointsWorst: 0-4 off win with 3+ days of rest.

Utah Jazz: Best: 7-1 vs opp off win of more than 10 pointsWorst: 1-5 RF without rest.

Washington Wizards: Best: 5-0 as division underdog. Worst: 0-6 with revenge vs opponent off double-digit win.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 21

College hoops top 5: ATS teams in the Top 25

1. Drake (16-4-1 ATS)

The Bulldogs have the best ATS record of any Top 25 team and the second best overall, thanks to their ability to win big. Drake outscores its opponents by an average of 12.7 points per game and has even covered the spread as a 29 ½-point favorite this season.

It has won straight up in all but two of its games, covering in four of its last six. Sophomore guard Josh Young is the driving force behind a lot of the Bulldogs’ ATS success, averaging a team-high 15.9 points per game.

Drake closes out the regular season with games against Bradley, Missouri State and Wichita State. It won against all three teams last season, covering the spread in two of those contests.

2. North Carolina (17-6-0)

It’s impossible to talk about Tar Heels without talking about Tyler Hansbrough. That’s especially true when it comes to their impressive ATS record, which can be largely attributed to the dominant junior forward.

North Carolina has covered in six of its last eight games overall with Hansbrough leading the way. He has averaged 25.6 points per game over that eight-game stretch, including a season-high 39-point performance in the win over Clemson. The Tar Heels covered an 8 ½-point spread in that contest.

Hansbrough ranks 11th overall in the nation with 22.8 points per game. North Carolina has five games left in the regular season – four of them versus teams it covered against last year.

3. UCLA (15-7-2)

The better the competition, the better UCLA does against the spread. The Bruins were 4-3-2 ATS in their first nine games this season, the majority of which were against weaker opponents. But they are 6-1 in their last seven games – all against Pac 10 rivals.

The simple explanation for that dichotomy is that the Bruins have improved every game. Earlier this season they failed to cover a 12 ½-point spread against Davidson, but just over two weeks ago they covered a 13 ½-point spread against Arizona State.

UCLA has five games left in the regular season, including tricky contests against Stanford and Arizona. But they won and covered against all five last season, and based on current form, should do the same this time around.

4. Duke (13-8-2)

Duke’s record is particularly impressive when you put it perspective. The Blue Devils have been heavy favorites in all but one of their 23 games with odds this season, but still managed to cover the spread in 13 of them.

That includes ATS wins over N.C. State, Albany and Michigan with spreads ranging from 18 to 28 points and has also covered against some of the better teams on its schedule, including Clemson, Virginia Tech and Maryland.

The Blue Devils' success is almost totally down to its powerful offense. Duke scores 85.1 points per game, the third best in the nation, and is outscoring opponents by an average of 17.3 points per contest.

5. Purdue (14-9-0)

Purdue made an awful ATS start to the season, but has bounced back in a big way. The Boilermakers could be considered the hottest against the spread team in the nation right now.

They have covered in 12 of their last 13 games, including the last five games. They've also won 12 of the last 13 contests straight up, including wins at both Illinois and Wisconsin as heavy underdogs.

The Boilermakers have five regular season contests left to play, including trips to Ohio State and Michigan. Last season they won straight up against all five of those opponents, covering the spread against every team except for the Wolverines.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 21

Harris out up to 2 weeks before he can replace Kidd in Nets' lineup

The New Jersey Nets will likely have to wait at least two weeks before they can begin to gauge how well they made out in Tuesday's eight-player deal with Dallas.

Point guard Devin Harris, who will take Jason Kidd's place in the Nets' lineup, said Wednesday the ankle injury that has kept him out for the last three weeks will sideline him for up to two weeks more.

''It looks like it's going to be another week or two before I can get on the court,'' Harris said at the Nets' practice facility as he, DeSagana Diop, Maurice Ager and Trenton Hassell went through their first workout with their new team.

The four players, plus Keith Van Horn, were acquired Tuesday in a deal that sent Kidd, Antoine Wright and Malik Allen to Dallas. The Nets also received a first-round draft pick this year and in 2010 plus $3 million.

Harris didn't specify whether his time frame meant he would be able to play in a game or just participate in a full practice. Comments by the Mavericks and Nets over the last few days seemed to indicate he would be able to play sooner.

''It wasn't so much a setback, it just doesn't feel as great as it once did,'' Harris said. ''I haven't really done anything since the All-Star break, it's just not really responding.''

Harris' absence will give second-year pro Marcus Williams, who had been Kidd's backup, a chance to start beginning with Wednesday night's game against Chicago, Nets coach Lawrence Frank said.

It will also force Frank to make other moves, including putting Vince Carter at point guard.

''Vince will have to play some 1, and that's going to entail Trenton or Mo Ager giving us some minutes at the 2,'' Frank said. ''That's the challenge any time you make a midseason trade. In the short term we'll need to be a little more creative, and then when Devin gets back we look forward to giving him the keys.''

Harris, in his fourth year, is averaging career highs of 14.4 points and 5.3 assists this season. Two seasons ago he started 15 of Dallas' 23 games in the playoffs when the team reached the NBA Finals.

Still, it was no secret that the Mavericks saw Kidd as the player who could take the franchise one step further - and help them keep pace with Phoenix and the Los Angeles Lakers, who made blockbuster deals for Shaquille O'Neal and Pau Gasol, respectively.

Harris seemed to take it in stride Wednesday.

''I know what kind of player I am,'' he said. ''We've been to the Finals with me starting before. They were in a situation where they had to respond with what's going on with the West right now. So you just have to look at it and take it for what it is.''

Van Horn, who has not played in 1 1/2 seasons though the Mavericks still owned his rights, was scheduled to work out for the Nets on Wednesday. Van Horn played for the Nets for five seasons, including 2001-02 when the team reached the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 21

Pitt (19-6, 12-8 ATS) at (21) Notre Dame (19-5, 9-12 ATS)

The Panthers, coming off a blowout road loss, remain on the highway with a trip to South Bend to take on Notre Dame in a Big East battle.

Pittsburgh fell at Marquette 72-54 Friday night as a five-point underdog, dropping to 1-3 ATS in its last four starts (2-2 SU) and dropping out of the Top 25. The Panthers (7-5 SU and ATS in the Big East) have shot 45.9 percent from the field on the season, but against Marquette, they hit just 37.2 percent, including a 1-for-11 effort from 3-point range. Over the past five games, Pitt has shot just 26.5 percent from long distance, eight percentage points below its season average.

Notre Dame bounced back from an 84-78 loss at UConn and fended off Rutgers 71-68 Sunday, but failed to cash for the third straight game (2-1 SU). Unlike Pitt, the Fighting Irish (9-3, 5-7 ATS in the Big East) have been draining their long-range shots, hitting a solid 40 percent from 3-point land over their past five games (4-1 SU). That’s just a tick below their 40.5 percent season average, which ranks 10th in the nation.

These two teams haven’t met in more than two years, with Pitt topping Notre Dame in a 100-97 overtime shootout as a nine-point home favorite in January 2006. Pittsburgh is on a 5-0 run in this series, but the Irish are 3-2 ATS in that span, and the road team has cashed in all five of those contests.

The Panthers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven when coming off a SU loss and 4-1 ATS in their last five following a pointspread setback. But they are just 5-12-1 ATS in their last 18 Thursday starts and 0-2 SU and ATS in their last two Big East roadies.

The Fighting Irish are 5-2 ATS in their last seven on Thursday but are on negative ATS slides of 1-5 overall (all in Big East play), 2-5 against teams with a winning percentage above .600 and 1-6 coming off a SU win.

The under is on a 16-5 spree on the highway for Pittsburgh, which carries additional under streaks of 4-1 in Big East play and 5-0 against teams with a winning percentage above .600. For Notre Dame, the under is 9-4-1 in its last 14 Thursday contests, but the over is on streaks of 9-1 overall, 4-0 at home, 7-0 coming off a SU win and 13-3 in Big East play.  Finally, the over is 4-1 the last five clashes in this series.


Arizona State (16-8, 11-9 ATS) at (17) Washington State (20-5, 13-11 ATS)

The Sun Devils, who had their two-game SU and ATS winning surge halted in their most recent game, travel to the Pacific Northwest for a Pac-10 matchup against Washington State, which has won three in a row.

Arizona State lost to California 76-73 Saturday laying five points at home. The Sun Devils (6-6, 7-5 ATS in the Pac-10) had more field goals (25-22) than the Golden Bears, including 16 3-pointers, compared with just four for Cal, but they were outscored by 21 points at the foul line, as the Golden Bears went 28 of 33 from the charity stripe, while ASU was 7-for-14.

Washington State dropped Oregon 62-53 Saturday as a one-point road pup, covering for the third straight game following a six-game ATS slide. The Cougars (8-5, 6-7 ATS in the Pac-10) have shot 49 percent during their three-game run, while their third-ranked scoring defense has held all three opponents in the 50s while allowing a combined 41.1 percent shooting percentage.

Washington State has won the last three in this series, but Arizona State has cashed in two of those three contests, including last month’s 56-55 loss in Tempe as a 2½-point home ‘dog. Last year in Pullman, though, the Cougars rolled 75-55 giving 12½ points. The home team is on a 5-0 ATS tear in this rivalry.

The Sun Devils are 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight Thursday starts. However, they are 1-3 SU and ATS in their last four Pac-10 road starts.

The Cougars are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 at home against teams with a road winning percentage below .400, but they are 2-6 ATS in their last eight against teams with a winning overall record and 1-4 ATS in their last five at home.

For ASU, the under is on tears of 13-4 on the highway, 17-5 after a SU loss, 20-8 in Pac-10 action and 19-9 against teams with a winning percentage above .600. Also, the last two series meetings have stayed low. However, for Washington State, the over is on streaks of 4-0 at home, 4-0 on Thursday and 5-1 in conference play.


Oregon (15-10, 11-10-2 ATS) at USC (15-9, 13-9 ATS

Two teams needing wins to get their NCAA Tournament hopes back on track meet up when the Ducks travel to Los Angeles for a Pac-10 clash against Southern California.

Oregon lost to Washington State 62-53 Saturday as a one-point home chalk, halting a two-game SU and ATS uptick. The Ducks (6-7, 6-6-1 ATS in the Pac-10) misfired on 17 of 21 attempts from 3-point range (23.5 percent), while allowing the Cougars to hit 9 of 20 from beyond the arc (45 percent).

Southern Cal lost to archrival UCLA 56-46 Sunday as a 6½-point home underdog, its second consecutive SU and ATS setback. The Trojans (6-6, 7-5 ATS Pac-10) hit 20 of 43 from the floor (46.5 percent), compared with just 21 of 62 for the Bruins (33.9 percent), and both teams made just two 3-pointers. But UCLA was 12 of 21 from the line, while USC was awarded just six free throws, making four. Also, Trojans star O.J. Mayo was limited to a career-low four points.

USC is 3-1 SU and ATS the last four clashes in this series, including a 95-86 overtime win last month as a 3½-point underdog in Eugene. These teams met three times last season, with Oregon losing 71-68 on the road as a 2½-point pup, but the Ducks pounded USC in the Pac-10 tournament 81-57 as a one-point ‘dog. The underdog is on a 9-1 ATS spree in this series, and the road team is 16-4 ATS in the last 20 battles.

The Ducks are mired in ATS slumps of 5-11 on Thursdays, 2-5 against teams with a winning record and 1-4 against teams with a winning percentage above .600. On the positive side, they are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 coming off a non-cover and 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight after a SU defeat.

The Trojans are on positive ATS runs of 5-0 following a double-digit home loss, 8-1 at home against teams with a losing road record, 15-3 after a SU loss, 8-3 after a pointspread setback and 5-2 against teams with a winning overall record.

The over is 4-0 the last four meetings in this series and 5-1 in the last six battles at USC. Also, the over is on runs of 4-0 for Oregon against teams with a winning record, 5-2 for Oregon following a SU loss, 17-6 for USC in Pac-10 play and 6-0 for USC against teams with a winning record. On the flip side, the under is 9-3 in the Trojans’ last 12 home starts (6-3 this year), 8-3 in Oregon’s last 11 overall (all in Pac-10 play) and 40-18 in Oregon’s last 58 games on Thursday.



Miami (9-43, 18-33-1 ATS) at Houston (33-20, 28-24-1 ATS)

After a weeklong layoff, the Heat will try once again to end their nine-game losing skid when they travel to Houston to battle the scorching-hot Rockets.

Miami has been idle since last Thursday’s 99-92 loss at Chicago as a 2½-point road favorite. Not only have the Heat dropped nine in a row (2-6-1 ATS), but they’ve lost 24 of their last 25 overall (5-19-1 ATS) and 13 in a row on the road (2-10-1 ATS).

Houston entered the All-Star break on an eight-game winning streak (6-2 ATS), then picked up where it left off on Tuesday night in Cleveland, topping the Cavaliers 93-85 as a one-point road favorite. The Rockets are 18-3 SU in their last 21 games and 19-9 ATS in their last 28.

Ironically, one of Miami’s nine wins this season came against the Rockets back on Nov. 23 in South Beach, a 98-91 upset victory as a 3½-point home underdog. The host is 7-2 SU in the last nine meetings (6-3 ATS), while the underdog has cashed in 10 of the last 14 battles.

The Heat are on ATS slides of 18-43-2 overall, 2-5-1 against the Western Conference, 5-15-1 as an underdog, 1-5-1 as a road underdog, 1-6 on Thursdays and 0-8 when playing on three or more days’ rest. The one positive: Miami is 6-1-1 ATS this year as a double-digit underdog.

The Rockets – who have held seven straight opponents to less than 90 points, giving up an average of 84.3 points per game during this stretch – have won five straight home games (4-1 ATS).

Despite the loss in Miami in November, Houston is 13-5 ATS in its last 18 games against Southeast Division foes. The Rockets are on further ATS streaks of 6-1 as a favorite, 4-0 against the Eastern Conference, 4-1 when playing on one day of rest and 20-8-3 on Thursday. On the downside, they’re 1-5 ATS in their last six as a favorite of 11 points or more.

The Rockets have stayed under the total in six of their last seven games, including the last three in a row overall and three of four at home. The under is 16-9 at the Toyota Center this season, 6-2 in Houston’s last eight Thursday affairs, 17-7 in Miami’s last 24 on Thursday and 3-1 in Miami’s last four overall. However, the over is 3-1 in the last four series meetings.


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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 21

Hornets acquire Wells, James from Rockets, send Jackson to Houston
February 21, 2008

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -The New Orleans Hornets have acquired swingman Bonzi Wells and guard Mike James from Houston.

The Rockets are getting guards Bobby Jackson and Adam Haluska in return.

Hornets coach Byron Scott said Memphis is also involved in the deal but didn't know to what extent.

The deal gives the Western Conference-leading Hornets depth on their bench.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 21

Report: Cavs, Bulls, Sonics make 11-man deal
Sporting News

The Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls and Seattle SuperSonics worked a deal prior to Thursday's trade deadline that would send Ben Wallace to Cleveland and Larry Hughes to Chicago as the key pieces in a trade involving at least 10 players, according to multiple reports.

In addition to moving the eight-figure deals of Wallace and Hughes, Wally Szczerbiak would move from the Sonics to the Cavaliers. Cleveland would also add Joe Smith from the Bulls and Delonte West from the Sonics.

In return, the Bulls would receive Hughes along with forward Drew Gooden and Cedric Simmons. The Sonics would add Bulls forward Adrian Griffin and forwards Ira Newble and Donyell Marshall from the Cavs.

Szczerbiak is averaging 13.1 points and hitting 42.8 percent from 3-point range off the bench for the Sonics. His contract, worth $12 million this season and $13 million in 2008-09, pushes the Cavaliers even farther over the luxury tax threshold. Wallace, averaging 5.1 points and 8.8 rebounds this season, earns between $14-15.5 million per season between now and the 2009-10 season.

Larry Hughes, who earns between $12-13.6 million per season from now until the 2009-10 season, is averaging 12.3 points and 3.6 rebounds this season.

The Akron Beacon-Journal indicates former first-round pick Shannon Brown could also be headed from the Cavaliers to the Sonics.

The Cavaliers also will receive the Bulls second-round pick in 2009.

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