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Betting News and Notes - Feb 24

Betting News and Notes - Feb 24

Sunday's NBA Tip Sheet
By Brad Young

**Pistons at Suns**

-Caesars Palace installed Phoenix as a two-point home ‘chalk’ over Detroit, with the total set at 200. ABC Sports will provide coverage of this contest at 2:30 p.m. ET.

-Detroit (40-15 straight up, 31-23 against the spread) ended a two-game SU and ATS losing skid by upending Milwaukee Friday as a 12 ½-point home favorite, 127-100. The combined 227 points soared past the 189 ½-point closing total, helping the ‘over’ cash the second consecutive contest.

-The Pistons are 18-10 SU and 14-13 ATS on the road, with the ‘over’ going 16-12. Detroit has been winning those games by an average score of 97-93.

-Phoenix (38-17 SU, 24-29 ATS) has alternated SU wins and losses its last five games after beating Boston Friday as a one-point home ‘chalk,’ 85-77. The combined 162 points never seriously threatened the 216 ½-point closing total, ending a string of four straight ‘over’ outings.

-The Suns are 21-7 SU and 11-17 ATS at home, with the ‘over’ going 17-10. Phoenix has been winning those games by an average score of 111-104.

-Detroit is 3-1 SU and ATS the past four meetings with Phoenix, but this is the first meeting this season. The ‘over’ is 3-1 during those games.

-Phoenix guard Leandro Barbosa (concussion) is ‘questionable’ against the Pistons.

**Knicks at Raptors**

-Caesars Palace opened Toronto as an 11 ½-point home favorite over New York, with the total set at 200½. This game is scheduled to start at 6:05 p.m. ET.

-New York (17-38 SU, 27-27 ATS) has alternated SU wins and losses its last six games after beating Toronto Friday as a 5 ½-point home underdog, 103-99. The combined 202 points toppled the 197-point closing total, helping the ‘over’ cash the sixth consecutive contest.

-The Knicks are just 6-21 SU away from home, but 15-11 ATS with the ‘over’ going 18-9. New York has been losing those games by an average score of 104-95.

-Toronto (29-24 SU, 29-23 ATS) had won back-to-back games before Friday’s setback to New York. The ‘over’ has cashed the past three games for the Raptors.

-Toronto is 16-11 SU and ATS when playing at home, beating opponents by an average score of 101-95.

-The Raptors are 5-2 SU and 4-3 ATS the past seven games with New York, while the ‘under’ is 4-3.

**Grizzlies at Cavaliers**

-Caesars Palace lists Cleveland as an 11½-point home ‘chalk’ over Memphis, with the total set at 196. This contest is scheduled to begin at 6:05 p.m. ET.

-Memphis (14-41 SU, 22-32 ATS) is currently mired in a four-game SU and ATS losing skid after Friday’s setback to Dallas as a nine-point home underdog, 98-83. The combined 181 points failed to eclipse the 197-point closing total, helping the ‘under’ improve to 4-1 the past five games.

-The Grizzlies are just 4-22 SU and 12-14 ATS when playing on the road, with the ‘under’ going 16-9. Memphis has been dropping those affairs by an average score of 104-96.

-Cleveland (31-24 SU, 25-30 ATS) has recorded back-to-back SU and ATS victories after slipping past Washington Friday as a 3 ½-point home favorite, 90-89. The combined 179 points went ‘under’ the 187 ½-point closing total.

-The Cavaliers are 16-10 SU and 8-18 ATS when playing at home, winning those games by an average score of 100-99.

-Cleveland is 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS the last four matchups with Memphis after prevailing in overtime Jan. 15 as a two-point road ‘chalk,’ 132-124. The combined 256 points soared past the 197 ½-point closing total, helping the ‘over’ improve to 4-1 the past five games in this series.

-Memphis guard/forward Mike Miller (back) is ‘questionable’ against the Cavs. Cleveland guard Wally Szczerbiak, forward Joe Smith, center Ben Wallace and guard Delonte West are ‘probable’ against the Grizzlies after being acquired in a trade. Forward Anderson Varejao (ankle) is ‘questionable.’

**Celtics at Blazers**

-The Stratosphere lists Boston as a 5½-point road ‘chalk’ over Portland, with the total set at 186. This matchup is scheduled to begin at 6:05 p.m. ET.

-Boston (41-12 SU, 30-20 ATS) is suffering through its first three-game SU and ATS losing streak of the season. The Celtics are now 18-8 SU and 14-10 ATS on the road, winning those games by an average score of 100-94.

-Portland (29-26 SU, 27-28 ATS) dropped to 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS its last five games after falling to Seattle Friday as a two-point road favorite, 99-87. The combined 186 points went ‘under’ the 189-point closing total, helping the ‘under’ improve to 4-1 the past five games.

-The Trail Blazers are 21-7 SU and 15-13 ATS at home, with the ‘under’ going 17-10. Portland has been winning its home endeavors by an average score of 97-92.

-Boston is 5-0 SU and ATS the last five meetings with Portland after winning Jan. 16 as an eight-point home ‘chalk,’ 100-90. The combined 190 points toppled the 179½-point closing total, enabling the ‘over’ to improve to 4-1 the past five games.

-Boston forward Brian Scalabrine (groin) is ‘questionable’ versus the Blazers.

**Kings at Magic**

-Caesars Palace opened Orlando as a 6 ½-point home favorite over Sacramento, with the total listed at 217. This contest is slated to start at 6:05 p.m. ET.

-Sacramento (26-28 SU, 30-23 ATS) has won its last three games SU (2-0-1 ATS) after slipping past Charlotte in overtime Friday as a one-point road ‘chalk,’ 116-115. The combined 231 points soared past the 204-point closing total, helping the ‘over’ cash the third consecutive contest.

-The Kings are 9-18 SU and 14-12 ATS away from home, losing those affairs by an average score of 103-98.

-Orlando (35-22 SU, 34-21 ATS) improved to 3-1 SU and ATS its last four games after beating Philadelphia Friday as a seven-point home favorite, 115-99. The combined 214 points eclipsed the 203 ½-point closing total, helping the ‘over’ cash the second game in a row.

-The Magic are 15-11 SU and 13-11 ATS at home, winning those games by an average score of 103-100.

-Sacramento has won the last two meetings with Orlando SU and ATS after prevailing Jan. 8 as a six-point home underdog, 104-100. The combined 204 points went ‘over’ the 198-point closing total, ending three straight ‘under’ outings in this series.

-Sacramento guard Tyronn Lue (calf) and guard/forward John Salmons (thigh) are ‘questionable’ against the Magic.

**Mavericks at Timberwolves**

-Caesars Palace installed Dallas as a 6 ½-point road favorite over Minnesota, with the total set at 189½. This game is scheduled to tipoff at 6:35 p.m. ET.

-Dallas (36-19 SU, 22-30 ATS) had dropped two games in a row SU and ATS before upending Memphis Friday as a nine-point road ‘chalk,’ 98-83. The combined 181 points went ‘under’ the 197-point closing total, ending back-to-back ‘over’ outings.

-The Mavericks are 13-16 SU and 11-18 ATS on the road, with the ‘under’ going 16-13. The average score of those 29 games has been 95-95.

-Minnesota (11-42 SU, 25-27 ATS) dropped to 1-4 SU its last five games after falling to San Antonio Thursday as an 8 ½-point road underdog, 100-99. The combined 199 points toppled the 179-point closing total, helping the ‘over’ cash the third game in a row.

-The Timberwolves are 9-19 SU and 12-15 ATS on their home court, dropping those affairs by an average score of 100-95.

-Dallas is 7-0 SU and 3-4 ATS the past seven meetings with Minnesota after prevailing Jan. 6 as an 8 ½-point road favorite, 101-78. The ‘under’ is 6-2 the last eight outings in this series.

**Bulls at Rockets**

-There is no overnight line on the Chicago-Houston contest due to the playing status of Rockets center Yao Ming. ESPN will provide coverage of this contest beginning at 8:05 p.m. ET. Ming is ‘questionable’ for this game due to a hip injury.

-Chicago (22-32 SU, 23-31 ATS) has alternated SU and ATS wins and losses the past four games after outlasting Denver Friday as a five-point home underdog, 135-121. The combined 256 points soared ‘over’ the 208-point closing total.

-The Bulls are 10-18 SU and 13-15 ATS on the road, dropping those matchups by an average score of 98-94.

-Houston (35-20 SU, 30-24 ATS) improved to 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS the past five games after routing New Orleans Friday as a four-point road underdog, 100-80. The combined 180 points failed to topple the 190-point closing total, enabling the ‘under’ to improve to 4-1 the last five games.

-The Rockets are 17-9 SU and 13-12 ATS at home, with the ‘under’ going 16-10. Houston has been winning its home endeavors by an average score of 96-91.

-The Rockets are 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS the past four meetings with Chicago after winning Dec. 22 as a 1 ½-point road favorite, 116-98. The ‘over’ is 4-1 the last five games in this series.

-Chicago forward Cedric Simmons, guard Larry Hughes and guard Shannon Brown are ‘probable’ against the Rockets after being acquired in a trade.

**Lakers at Sonics**

-Caesars Palace lists Los Angeles as a nine-point road favorite over Seattle, with the total set at 216. This contest is scheduled to begin at 9:05 p.m. ET.

-Los Angeles is playing back-to-back nights after Saturday’s matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers. The Lakers entered that affair with a 37-17 SU and 34-19 ATS record, including a 19-10 SU and 19-9 ATS road ledger.

-Seattle (15-39 SU, 27-26 ATS) improved to 2-1 SU and 3-0 ATS its last three games after beating Portland Friday as a two-point home underdog, 99-87. The combined 186 points failed to eclipse the 189-point closing total, helping the ‘under’ improve to 4-1 the last five games.

-The Sonics are 10-18 SU and 16-12 ATS on their home court, with the ‘under’ going 17-11. Seattle has been dropping its home endeavors by an average score of 102-99.

-Los Angeles is 4-0 SU and 0-3-1 ATS the last four games against Seattle after winning in overtime Jan. 14 as a five-point road ‘chalk,’ 123-121. The combined 244 points soared ‘over’ the 208 ½-point closing total.

-Seattle guard Adrian Griffin, forward Ira Newble, center Francisco Elson and forward Donyell Marshall are all ‘probable’ against the Lakers after being acquired in a trade.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 24

What bettors need to know: Wisconsin at Ohio State

Back on top

With just four regular season games left to play, Wisconsin is in control of its own destiny in the Big Ten. The Badgers reclaimed top spot with a win over Illinois on Wednesday, and will likely take their first conference title since 2003 if they win their remaining games.

"Yeah, we would like to get a piece of the conference championship," Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan told reporters after the win over Illinois. "We’ve said that since the first day we were on the job. Compete for it, and let’s see what happens."

Still, it’s all very tight in the Big Ten and both Purdue and Indiana are in contention. All three teams have just two conference losses, and a three-way tie at the end of the season is still a possibility.

If that were to happen, all teams tied for first place would earn a share of the conference title, including a conference championship trophy and rings.

But the Badgers have a long way to go before then, with upcoming games against Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn. State and Northwestern. In fact, it was Ohio State that ended the Badgers hopes of a conference title last season. The Buckeyes came out 66-49 winners last March in a battle between the top two teams in the nation at the time.

Sophomore strength

With the conference title on the line and March looming, now is the time for players to stand up and be counted. That’s exactly what a pair of Wisconsin sophomores are doing, as is evidenced by their performance in the team’s last game.

Jason Bohannon and Trevon Hughes combined for 23 of Wisconsin's 34 first-half points in a must-win game against the Illini, helping their team to a comfortable 71-57 victory on Wednesday night.

"Trevon made some unbelievable plays, making some tough shots, and Jason Bohannon is just lights out shooting," freshman Tim Jarmusz told the Post-Crescent. "He does such a good job stretching out the defenses and making tough shots in tough environments."

Hughes leads the Big Ten in steals and scored 10 of his game-high 18 points in the first half. He also put in a big performance in the game before that, scoring 20 points in last Sunday’s win over Minnesota.

Bohannon, meanwhile, continued his run of effective games off the bench. He finished with 15 points in 26 minutes on the court against Illinois, and is averaging 12 points over his last four games.

Butler gets tough

Ohio State has alternated between wins and losses in its last six games, and star player Jamar Butler has had enough. After a recent loss to Iowa, a team they by 31 points in January, he decided to change his approach to his inconsistent teammates.

"We keep trying to be positive," Butler, who leads the team in points per game (14.2), told the Columbus Dispatch. "I'm done with that. I'm just going to start going at guys and tell them like it is."

Buckeyes coach Thad Matta noticed the change in Butler immediately after those comments, telling the press that Butler was "phenomenal" in the next practice.

"He was probably more vocal than I've ever seen him, which I thought was awesome," Matta said. "We need that from Jamar."

Unfortunately for Butler and the Buckeyes, they haven’t found any consistency since the Iowa loss. They beat Michigan in the next game, but then lost to Indiana, beat Northwestern and lost to Michigan in their most recent outing. They covered the spread just once over that five-game stretch.

Last season’s conference champions and NCAA tournament finalists are now 3 ½ games back in the Big Ten, and can’t afford to lose too many more if they want to keep playing into March.

Inconsistent Hunter

One of the most promising Ohio State players is also one of the most frustrating, due to his wildly inconsistent performances. Much like the team as a whole, forward Othello Hunter alternates between excellent and disappointing performances.

"Which 'O' am I going to get today?" is a question coach Thad Matta asks the senior all the time, according to guard Jamar Butler.

Matta, normally an encouraging and patient coach, was reportedly extremely unhappy with Hunter after last week’s loss to Indiana. The forward scored just six points in 24 minutes on the court.

But he bounced back in the next game against Northwestern, putting 14 points and five rebounds.

"Coach said, ‘You didn't come to play,’" Hunter said after that win, referring to the Indiana game. "I was more focused in for Northwestern."

Ohio State has won nine of the 11 games in which Hunter has scored in the double digits this season. Four of their last six losses came in games in which he scored eight points or less.

Head to head

The Buckeyes broke a long spell of Wisconsin dominance by beating the Badgers in two of three meetings last season. That includes the Big Ten championship game, when the No.1 ranked Buckeyes beat No.2 Wisconsin 66-49, easily covering a 2-point spread.

Before last season’s success, Ohio State had lost seven of the previous eight meetings with Wisconsin, covering the spread just twice over that time.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 24

Xavier has defensive answer for Dayton's Brian Roberts

Stanley Burrell doesn't have a catchy nickname like ''The Sheriff'' or ''Mr. Defense'' but the senior guard from Xavier is quietly building quite a resume as college basketball's best perimeter defender.

The latest opponent to get up close and personal with the 6-foot-3 senior was Jimmy Baron of Rhode Island. Baron entered Monday night's game against the 10th-Musketeers averaging 15.3 points and was shooting better than 44 percent from 3-point range.

With Burrell seemingly attached to him by a Velcro strip, Baron went 0-for-7 from the field and finished with two points in Xavier's 81-77 victory.

Baron joined a list of players who have struggled against Burrell that includes Brian Roberts of Dayton, who had a season-low five points against the Musketeers, Eric Gordon of Indiana, who was 4-for-12 from the field, Chris Lofton of Tennessee, who was 3-of-12, and Sean Singletary of Virginia, who was 5-of-12.

''I'm coming out to try my best and throw a shutout every night,'' Burrell said of the Rhode Island game, sounding like a very confident defender. ''I might not do it, but I'm trying.

''I'll cover whoever's their main guy. Baron is shooting great. Not tonight. Not tonight.''

Next up, Burrell will get a shot at Dayton's main man Brian Roberts who's shooting nearly 50 percent from the field and 45 percent from three-point range. In Dayton's last game, Roberts made six three-balls and scored 30 points in a loss to La Salle. Odds are not yet available for the Sunday afternoon game.

Xavier coach Sean Miller, who was a fair guard himself during his playing days at Pittsburgh, calls Burrell ''a great defender who has bought into that role.''

''If he is not one of the premier defensive players in the backcourt in college basketball, I've never seen one,'' Miller said. ''He has earned the right to be called that.''

Burrell came up big for the Musketeers another way in their 75-48 victory over Duquesne on Thursday night that stretched their winning streak to nine games.

With point guard Drew Lavender limited for a third straight game by a sprained ankle, Burrell moved over to run the offense and came up with a career-high 12 assists.

''When you've got guys like this that can finish and guys that can shoot on the wings like B.J. (Raymond), it should be no problem,'' Burrell said. ''With Drew going down, I had to step up and help at that point guard spot and give him a chance to get healthy.

''We're a total team. When one guy goes down, somebody else has to step up.''

TRASH TALKING: Even players having a bad season can get carried away with trash talking.

Oregon State has yet to win a Pac-10 game and are 6-20 overall in a season that has seen coach Jay John fired. Beavers senior Marcel Jones and freshman Sean Carter were kept out of the 84-49 loss to No. 6 UCLA on Thursday after they were involved in verbal taunting toward Washington players after a practice last weekend. The Huskies won the game the next day 97-59.

''I heard a comment that winners talk after games, and losers talk before they lose. That sums it up in a nutshell,'' interim coach Kevin Mouton said.

Oregon State has lost a school-record 16 straight games.

TAKING CHARGE: In the Pac-10 this season, charge calls have seemed to be hit and miss. One defensive player will step in at the last minute, not quite be set, and still draw the whistle for an offensive foul. Or, vice versa, and a player who does have his feet square and body sturdy in one spot won't get the right call.

California coach Ben Braun is still asking his players to go for it at every opportunity, and the Golden Bears took three charges in their 76-73 victory at Arizona State on Feb. 16.

''A lot of them are no calls,'' said Cal sophomore forward Ryan Anderson, who leads the team in scoring and rebounding and is drawing regular attention from NBA scouts. ''The Pac-10 is iffy with charges. You've just got to try to get position and hope they call it.''

One of the Bears' top defenders, Theo Robertson, recently opted to redshirt his junior season after his surgically repaired hip didn't recover as quickly as he'd hoped. Braun challenges his players to consider the fact Robertson would be taking charges if he was on the court - so they have to make up the difference without him.

''By trying to take the charge, it's a win-win,'' Braun said. ''You're stopping the ball and it tells the other team, 'We're not letting you get to the basket easily.'''

WHAT STREAK?: Bentley headed into the weekend one victory from breaking a 63-year-old Division II record but that won't change a thing for Falcons.

''That doesn't mean anything, honestly,'' Bentley coach Jay Lawson said of the 52-game regular-season winning streak that tied the Division II record set by Langston University in 1945. ''In the end, athletes and coaches want to win championships and this doesn't have anything to do with trying to do that. In fact, it will get in the way if we think it's something important.''

If Bentley, the top-ranked team in Division II, beats St. Michael's on Saturday, it would be a second straight undefeated regular season for the Falcons, whose last loss was to Winona State the in quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament.

Senior Nate Fritsch is one of four players averaging double figures for the Falcons (25-0), who don't have a player over 6-foot-7.

Fritsch said the team hasn't gotten caught up in its success. It's hard to when crowds average 723 fans a game.

''It's Division II basketball,'' Fritsch said. ''It's not like we're dealing with national notoriety. It's not like we're watching ourselves on TV.''

Lawson concedes the streak is going to be a nice thing to talk about, eventually.

''I do think it will be a wonderful memory for these guys to say, 'Wow, I was part of something that broke a 50-year record,''' Lawson said. ''Or whatever it is.''

EXTRA EFFORT: Lafayette and Wagner are going that extra five minutes - and sometimes more - this season.

Lafayette lost 77-75 in overtime to Bucknell on Wednesday to fall to 6-1 this season in overtime games. The six wins tied the Division I record for overtime victories in a season set by Chattanooga (6-0) in 1988-89 and Wake Forest (6-1) in 1983-84.

Wagner needed two overtimes to beat St. Francis, Pa. 80-72 on Thursday to improve to 5-0 in overtime games this season. The Seahawks became the 16th team to record five or more overtime wins in a season. The last to do it were Western Kentucky (5-0) and Massachusetts (5-1) in 2004-05.

IMPRESSIVE COMPANY: North Carolina-Greensboro senior forward Kyle Hines joined an exclusive list last week when he became the sixth player in NCAA history to record 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 300 blocked shots.

Hines, the 96th player to ever reach 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, joined David Robinson of Navy, Pervis Ellison of Louisville, Alonzo Mourning of Georgetown, Tim Duncan of Wake Forest and Derrick Coleman of Syracuse on the points-rebounds-blocks list.

''It is a great accomplishment, but it comes under difficult circumstances,'' Hines said after reaching the marks in a 75-66 loss to Davidson. ''It means a lot. I guess I am glad it is over just because we don't have to keep talking about it. I just want us to get back to our team goals - try to win these last four games and get hot in time for the (Southern Conference) tournament and the NCAA tournament. We've won four in a row; we've won six in a row; we can put together a run again, I think.''

The Spartans started the streak Hines was hoping for with a 72-62 victory over Western Carolina on Thursday. He had 13 points and has scored in double figures in 76 consecutive games, the longest current streak in the nation.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 24

Sunday NBA Gameday

East meets West in three top-notch NBA matchups on Sunday when Detroit visits Phoenix, Boston travels to Portland, and Chicago challenges Houston.

Detroit at Phoenix

The Pistons snapped a short two-game losing streak on Friday night after they routed Milwaukee 127-100 as a 13-point favorite. Chauncey Billups led the Pistons with 21 points and 12 assists, while Rasheed Wallace and Richard Hamilton each had 16 points in the easy victory. The dominating victory made up for a surprising upset loss at the hands of the Bucks only two nights earlier.

The Suns burned Boston 85-77 as a 1-point favorite on Friday night. Amare Stoudemire led the Suns with 28 points, while Steve Nash added 18 points and five assists. In his second game with Phoenix Shaquille O’Neal was held to only four points, but he was a monster on the glass with 14 rebounds.

The Pistons and Suns haven’t met up since last season when Detroit routed Phoenix 105-83 as a 5.5-point road underdog.

Boston at Portland

The Celtics lost their third straight on Friday night after falling to Phoenix as a road underdog. Kevin Garnett scored a team-high 19 points, but Boston’s other big two both struggled in the loss. Paul Pierce shot a miserable 2-for-13 from the floor for eight points, while Ray Allen hit only 3-of-12 for 11 points. Boston also lost the battle on the glass, as the Suns out-rebounded the Celtics 50-32.

The Trail Blazers played Seattle in a home-and-home series on back-to-back nights Thursday and Friday. On Thursday Portland defeated Seattle 92-88 as a 9-point favorite. Back in Seattle on Friday night it was a different story. In the rematch Portland was a 2-point favorite, but was hammered 99-87. La Marcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 23 points and eight rebounds, while Brandon Roy shot a disappointing 6-for-19 for 19 points with six rebounds and five assists. The loss was Portland’s sixth in their last seven games.

Boston and Portland collided back in January when the Celtics dumped the Blazers 100-90 as an 8-point home favorite. Ray Allen poured in 35 points in the win, while Kevin Garnett had 26 points. Roy led Portland with 22 points and six assists.

Chicago at Houston

The Bulls played shorthanded against Denver on Friday night, but still came away with a 135-121 win as a 4.5-point underdog. Ben Gordon scored a game-high 37 points off the bench for Chicago, while Andres Nocioni delivered 21 points. Kirk Hinrich chipped in with 16 points and 14 assists. A day after Chicago shipped Ben Wallace and Joe Smith out of town Joakim Noah and Tyrus Thomas cracked the starting lineup. Noah responded with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Thomas had 18 points and 11 rebounds. The two youngsters may not stay in the starting five once the Bulls' new acquisitions arrive; Chicago acquired Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, Cedric Simmons, and Shannon Brown at the deadline, but none of them suited up on Friday night.

The Rockets extended their winning streak to 11 games on Friday night after upsetting New Orleans 100-80 as a 4-point road underdog. Tracy McGrady threw down 34 points on the Hornets, while Yao Ming also had a big night with 28 points and 14 rebounds. Point guard Rafer Alston just missed a double-double with nine points and 11 assists. Houston did not have Bobby Jackson in the lineup Friday night after he was acquired from New Orleans in a trade a day earlier. He is expected to make his debut in a Houston uniform on Sunday.

The Rockets defeated the Bulls in Chicago back in December 116-98 as a 1.5-point favorite. Tracy McGrady netted 20 points for Houston and Luis Scola chipped in with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Kirk Hinrich had 22 points for Chicago and Luol Deng delivered 21 points.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 24

Sunday’s Pregame Buzz

Detroit Pistons at Phoenix Suns

* Phoenix power forward Amare Stoudemire has averaged 30.7 points in the last 6 games, totaling 65 in 2 games since Shaquille O'Neal joined the team. O'Neal has called Stoudemire "the best big man in the game right now - period." Stoudemire believes O'Neal's presence has helped him tremendously. “(The acquisition of O’Neal has) helped me a lot,” Stoudemire said. “It’s just allowed me to play basketball. I don’t have to battle so much with the big guys and get in foul trouble, things like that." BIG EDGE: SUNS
* Detroit starts a 4-game West Coast road trip in Phoenix, all against Western Conference teams. The Pistons are just 5-5 away from home against the West. However, they have won 3 of the last 4 meetings, including 2 straight at Phoenix. SLIGHT EDGE: PISTONS
* Detroit is 1-7 ATS in its last 8 road games.
* Detroit is 7-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings.
* The OVER is 17-4 in Phoenix's last 21 games vs. Eastern Conference.
* The OVER is 20-8 in Phoenix's last 28 games vs. Central Division.
* The OVER is 26-12 in Phoenix's last 38 Sunday games.
Boston Celtics at Portland Trail Blazers

* Boston is 36-16-1 ATS in its last 53 road games.
* Portland is 0-8 ATS in its last 8 home games.
* Portland is 5-16 ATS in its last 21 games overall.
* Portland is 4-9 ATS in its last 13 games vs. Atlantic Division.
* Road team is 11-4 ATS in the last 15 meetings.
* The OVER is 24-5 in Boston's last 29 games vs. Northwest Division.
* The OVER is 10-4 in Boston's last 14 games vs. Western Conference.

Chicago Bulls at Houston Rockets

* Chicago is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games overall.
* Houston is 8-1 ATS in its last 9 games overall.
* Houston is 7-2-1 ATS in its last 10 games vs. Central Division.
* The OVER is 22-10-1 in Chicago's last 33 games vs. Southwest Division.
* The UNDER is 12-3 in Houston's last 15 games vs. Central Division.

Los Angeles Lakers at Seattle SuperSonics

* Lakers are 16-5-1 ATS in their last 22 road games.
* Lakers are 25-10-1 ATS in their last 36 games overall.
* Lakers are 3-7 ATS in the last 10 meetings in Seattle.
* The OVER is 8-3 in the last 11 meetings.
* The OVER is 6-2 in LA's last 8 games vs. Northwest Division.
* The UNDER is 7-1 in Seattle's last 8 games vs. Western Conference.
* The UNDER is 21-6 in Seattle's last 27 games vs. Pacific Division.

Syracuse at #21 Notre Dame

* Notre Dame carries a 35-game Joyce Center winning streak into today's matchup, including 16 consecutive in Big East play. BIG EDGE: NOTRE DAME
* Syracuse leads the all-time series 21-17 and is 10-3 overall intheir 13 all-time appearances at the Joyce Center. Irish head coach Mike Brey is 4-9 all-time against Syracuse and has only been victorious once against the Orange at the Joyce Center. EDGE: SYRACUSE
* The Irish own a decisive advantage from the charity stripe over their opponents. Notre Dame has outscored its opponents 417-216 from the line in 25 games in 2007-08 and 236-120 against Big East foes. EDGE: NOTRE DAME
* Road team is 10-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
* Underdog is 9-2 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
* The OVER is 14-3 in Notre Dame's last 17 games vs. Big East.
* The OVER is 13-3 in Notre Dame's last 16 games overall.
* The UNDER is 9-3 in Syracuse's last 12 games overall.
* The UNDER is 9-3 in Syracuse's last 12 games vs. Big East.
* The UNDER is 6-2 in Syracuse's last 8 road games.

Alabama at Auburn

* Alabama is 4-9 ATS in its last 13 games vs. SEC.
* Alabama is 2-6 ATS in the last 8 meetings in Auburn.
* The OVER is 12-3 in Auburn's last 15 games vs. SEC.
* The OVER is 8-2 in Auburn's last 10 home games.
* The OVER is 7-2 in Auburn's last 9 games overall.

#11 Wisconsin at Ohio State

* Wisconsin is the only team in the Big Ten with four players averaging at least 10 points per game. A fifth player, sophomore guard Jason Bohanon, is averaging 14.5 points over the last 4 games and averages 8.6 point in conference action. EDGE: WISCONSIN
* The Badgers are 9-4 against the Buckeyes under head coach Bo Ryan, including 3-2 at Columbus. Since the start of the 2001 Big Ten season, the Badgers have won 80 conference games under Ryan - the most of any conference team. EDGE: WISCONSIN
* Ohio State leads the all-time series 79-61, including a 50-20 advantage in games played at Columbus. The Buckeyes have won the last 2 meetings, including a 49-48 victory over the No. 1-ranked Badgers to end the regular season last year in Columbus. EDGE: OHIO STATE
* Wisconsin is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 road games.
* Wisconsin is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 Sunday games.
* The UNDER is 13-3 in OHIOS last 16 Sunday games.
* The UNDER is 7-2 in OHIOS last 9 home games.

North Carolina State at Virgina

* North Carolina State is 13-3 ATS in the last 16 meetings.
* The OVER is 13-3 in North Carolina State's last 16 road games.
* The OVER is 13-3 in North Carolina State's last 16 games vs. ACC.
* The OVER is 12-3 in North Carolina State's last 15 games overall.
* The UNDER is 11-5 in Virginia's last 16 Sunday games.

Wake Forest at #3 North Carolina

* Wake Forest is 8-1 ATS in its last 9 games overall.
* North Carolina is 39-17 ATS in its last 56 games overall.
* Favorite is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings.
* Road team is 9-4 ATS in the last 13 meetings.
* The OVER is 8-2 in North Carolina's last 10 Sunday games.
* The OVER is 9-4 in North Carolina's last 13 games vs. ACC.

California at #9 Stanford

* Stanford is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games overall.
* Stanford is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games vs. Pacific-10.
* California is 1-7 ATS in the last 8 meetings.
* The OVER is 9-0 in California last 9 games vs. Pacific-10.
* The OVER is 20-8-1 in California's last 29 games overall.
* The UNDER is 10-2 in Stanford's last 12 home games.
* The UNDER is 10-3 in the last 13 meetings.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 24

(18) Louisville (21-6, 14-10-1 ATS) at Pitt (19-7, 12-9 ATS)

The Cardinals look to remain tied for the lead in the Big East when they take their six-game winning streak into the Petersen Events Center to take on Pittsburgh.

Louisville is 6-0 SU and ATS in conference play since the calendar flipped to February, including a 61-50 home win over Syracuse on Monday as a 9½-point favorite. The Cardinals have won three straight conference road games during their winning streak (3-0 ATS) and they’re 8-4 SU (8-3-1 ATS) away from home this season.

Dating back to last year, the Cardinals are on ATS rolls of 14-3-1 on the highway and 21-5-2 in Big East play.

Pitt has fallen out of contention for the conference regular season title, thanks in most part to a slew of injuries to key players. The Panthers have dropped two straight, losing on Feb. 15 at Marquette 72-54 as five-point pups then falling at Notre Dame on Thursday 82-70 as 4½-point underdogs.

Despite all the injuries, the Panthers have defended their home court, going 14-1 on the season inside Petersen Events Center (7-3 ATS) and have won three straight (2-1 ATS) since a surprising 77-64 loss to Rutgers on Jan. 26 as 18-point favorites.

These teams met twice last year – once at Pitt in the regular season and once in the Big East tournament. Louisville took the first game 66-53 as 8½-point road ‘dogs, but the Panthers returned the favor in the tournament, eliminating the Cardinals 65-59 as a three-point chalk.

The under has been the play in the last four head-to-head meetings the last two seasons, but the over is 6-2 in Pitt’s last eight Sunday tip-offs, 6-2 when the Panthers face a team with a winning road mark and 4-2 in Louisville’s last four on the road.


Syracuse (17-10, 12-13 ATS) at (21) Notre Dame (20-5, 10-12 ATS)

Syracuse, which sits firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble, hopes road domination continues in this series as it heads to South Bend, Ind., to take on the Fighting Irish in a Big East matchup.

The road team has won seven of the last nine regular-season series clashes and is 10-1 ATS in the last 11. The last time these two squared off was in the Big East tournament last March when Notre Dame got an 89-83 win as a one-point favorite. The Irish also got a 103-91 win at Syracuse last season, also getting the cash as four-point ‘dogs. In fact, the underdog is on a 9-2 ATS streak in this rivalry.

Notre Dame has won seven of its last eight (3-5 ATS) overall and comes in off Thursday’s 82-70 home win over Pitt as 4½-point favorites. The Irish (10-3, 6-7 ATS in the Big East) are unbeaten in front of the home fans at 16-0 overall but just 7-6 ATS, including 4-3 ATS when hosting league foes.

Syracuse fell at Louisville on Monday 61-50 as a 9½-point ‘dog, dropping to 7-7 SU and ATS in conference play. The Orange have dropped three of four overall, including two straight on the highway. Also, they’re just 2-5 in Big East road games this season (3-4 ATS).

Notre Dame’s high-flying offense puts up 83.4 points a game at home on 46.2 percent from the floor and allows just 66.6 points while holding the opposition to 39.4 percent shooting from the field. Meanwhile, Syracuse nets 66.8 ppg on 43.1 percent shooting as a visitor, while giving up 70.6 ppg on 42.6 percent shooting.

The Irish have lost consecutive games just once all year, way back on Nov. 18 and 19 in a preseason tournament in the Virgin Islands – two losses that came by a combined five points.

The over is 14-3 in the Irish’s last 17 against Big East foes and 13-3 in their last 16 overall. On the flip side, Syracuse has stayed under the total in nine of its last 12 overall (all in Big East action) and six of its last eight on the highway.


(11) Wisconsin (22-4, 11-12 ATS) at Ohio State (17-9, 11-11 ATS)

The streaking Badgers, who have won three straight and six of seven, arrive at the Value City Arena in Columbus for a Big Ten showdown with suddenly inconsistent Ohio State.

Wisconsin went to Illinois on Wednesday and scored a 71-57 win as a one-point favorite, the fourth straight conference road win for the Badgers (3-1 ATS). Wisconsin is tied with Purdue atop the Big Ten standings at 12-2, but just 6-8 ATS).

The Badgers are 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS on the highway, and the main reason is Bo Ryan’s team does it with defense, limiting the opposition to 58 points and 40.3 percent shooting when it hits the road.

Ohio State has alternated wins and losses in its last six (2-4 ATS) and fell at Michigan on Sunday 80-70 as a five-point chalk. The Buckeyes (8-5, 7-7 ATS in the Big Ten) lost their last home game as well, falling 59-53 to Indiana as 2½-point home favorites.

The home team has won the last four regular-season meetings (2-2 ATS) between these schools (2-2 ATS). Also, in the Big Ten tournament title game last March, Ohio State got a 66-49 win as two-point favorites after edging the Badgers 49-48 as a 4½-point home chalk in the regular season. Still, Wisconsin is 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS in the last 10 head-to-head matchups.

Ohio State is 1-4 ATS in its last five Sunday games, while Wisconsin is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 on Sunday.

The over is 4-1 in the Badgers last five overall, including 3-0 on the road, but the under is 8-2 in Ohio State’s last 10. The Buckeyes have also stayed under the total in 13 of their last 16 Sunday games and seven of their last nine inside the Value City Arena.


Detroit (40-15, 31-23-1 ATS) at Phoenix (38-17, 25-28-2 ATS)

The Suns had their best defensive effort of the season Friday against Boston and now will try to repeat the effort as the Pistons visit the Valley of the Sun looking for their third straight victory on Phoenix’s home floor..

One game after allowing 130 points to the Lakers, Phoenix limited Boston, the NBA’s top team, to just 77 in an 85-77 win, getting the cash as a one-point favorite. In his second game with the Suns, Shaquille O’Neal played 26 minutes, made just one field goal in five attempts and finished with four points. But the Big Fella did grab a game-high 14 rebounds and Phoenix finished with an astounding 50-32 edge under the boards.

Detroit struggled with its offense out of the All-Star break, losing 103-85 to Orlando as 6½-point home favorites on Tuesday, then following it up with Wednesday’s 103-98 road loss in Milwaukee as a 6½-point chalk. But on Friday, the Pistons avenged the defeat to the Bucks in a big way, recording their best offensive showing in almost eight years in a 127-100 home rout of the Bucks, easily getting the cash as 12½-point favorites.

Detroit won 10 straight before the break (5-5 ATS), holding the opposition to less than 100 points in nine of the 10.

The Pistons have won seven of the last 10 series clashes (8-2 ATS), including a 105-83 rout in Phoenix last March, cashing as 5½-point favorites. In fact, Detroit has cashed in each of its last seven trips to the desert, going 4-1 SU (5-0 ATS) in its last five trips.

The Pistons are on ATS runs of 18-8-1 as a road underdog, 6-1 on Sunday, 15-5 when playing on one day of rest and 4-1 against a team with a winning record. On the downside, Flip Saunders’ squad sports negative ATS streaks of 1-7 on the road, 1-4 against the Pacific Division and 0-4 after a spread-cover.

The Suns are 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight against the Eastern Conference and 5-1 in their last six on Sunday. However, Phoenix is on negative pointspread slumps of 1-4 when favored by less than five points, 1-4 when playing on one day of rest and 1-4 after a SU win.

The over is 7-3 in Suns last 10 overall (3-1 in the last four), 17-4 in their last 21 against the Eastern Conference and 26-12 in their last 38 Sunday contests. The over is also 3-1 in the last four head-to-head matchups.


Boston (41-12, 31-20-2 ATS) at Portland (29-26, 27-28 ATS)

The Celtics will try to avoid their fourth straight loss tonight when they visit the Rose Garden to take on the struggling Blazers.

Boston opened this season with 16 straight wins over Western Conference teams but has dropped three straight to West foes since the All-Star break. The Celtics, who are in the midst of a five-game road trip, lost in Denver on Tuesday (124-118 as one-point ‘dogs), Golden State on Wednesday (119-117 as three-point favorites) and Phoenix on Friday (85-77 as one-point pups).

Portland fell to1-2 (0-3 ATS) since the All-Star beak after Friday’s 99-87 loss at Seattle as a two-point road chalk. The Blazers have struggled in February, going just 3-7 SU (1-9 ATS). The problem for Nate McMillan’s team has been on offense, as the Blazers haven’t topped the century mark in seven straight games.

The Celtics have dominated this series the last five years, going 7-3 SU and ATS. That includes an ongoing five-game SU and ATS winning streak, as Boston swept the series the last two years and scored a 100-90 home win on Jan. 16, cashing as an eight-point favorite. Going back seven seasons, the road team has gotten the cash in 11 of the last 15 meetings, with Boston going 6-1 ATS in Portland.

Despite their current three-game SU and ATS slide on the highway, the Celtics are still 36-16-1 in their last 53 road games going back to last year. They’re also 25-9 ATS in their last 34 against teams with a winning road record, 9-4 ATS in their last 13 after a SU defeat and 4-1 ATS in their last five on Sundays.

The Blazers are on ATS skids of 0-8 at home, 5-16 overall, 4-9 against Atlantic Division squads, 1-4 as an underdog, 1-5 against the Eastern Conference, 1-11 after a non-cover, 0-9 after SU loss and 1-8 when playing on one day of rest.

The over is 4-1 in the last five head-to-head matchups, 24-5 in Boston’s last 29 against Northwest Division foes, 10-4 in the Celtics last 14 against the Western Conference and 6-3 in the Celtics’ last nine overall. However, Portland has stayed under the total in six of its last seven overall, and the under is 18-10 at the Rose Garden this season.


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