Betting News and Notes - Feb 29

Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 29

Friday's Tip Sheet
By Chris David

Friday’s slate is stacked in the NBA, with 12 games on the docket.

As always, stay abreast with our Injuries and Player Updates before placing your wagers. Also, don’t forget to chime in on today’s Live Chat and have your hoops questions answered by Brian Edwards.
Let’s break ‘em down!

Game of the Night: Utah at New Orleans

“When somebody asks me who I expect to win the Western Conference, I honestly don’t even think about the Jazz or Hornets,” said handicapper Matt Moore.

“It’s no disrespect to either club, but I still think the Lakers, Spurs, Suns and Mavericks have more talent, depth, coaching and more importantly, playoff experience.”

While Moore’s comments can hold some argument, it’s tough to deny that both New Orleans (38-18 SU, 34-22 ATS) and Utah (37-21 SU, 30-26 ATS) are teams to be reckoned with. Both clubs feature raw talent and have proven that they don’t back down from anybody. However, flaws are there and noticeable too.

Moore explained, “I felt Utah’s home win against Detroit was very impressive on Wednesday, considering the Pistons are arguably the best team in the East. However, you can’t ignore a 10-point loss to Minnesota the previous night. And how do you give up 111 points to the Wolves?”

Utah has been overwhelming at home, going 25-3 SU and 18-8 ATS. Yet, Jerry Sloan’s team is just 12-18 both SU and ATS on the road.

New Orleans has been steady both on the road (19-8 SU, 18-9 ATS) and at home (19-10 SU, 16-13 ATS). The issue with the Hornets is depth and it makes you wonder how long All-Star Chris Paul can lead this team before running out of gas.

“I don’t understand why the Hornets traded Bobby Jackson to Houston for Bonzi Wells and Mike James. Wells is often injured and can blow up at anytime, plus James wanted no part of leaving Houston. Both have the ability to put up points, but that might not be enough for this club,” said Moore.

Utah has won and covered four straight against New Orleans, including both meetings this season. Keep in mind that this will be the first trip for the Jazz to the Big Easy and the road hasn’t been a good thing for them (see above).

ESPN will provide national coverage of this game at 8:05 p.m. EST.

Heavy Home Favorites

As we mentioned in Tuesday’s Tip Sheet, favorites dominated the slate both Sunday and Monday. Things haven’t changed the last three days either, as the ‘chalk’ has improved to a 28-8 SU and 22-13 ATS run in the last five days.

Bettors need to ask themselves if they should continue to press tonight. If they do, they’re going to need to lay some lumber. Six of the 12 games features heavy home favorites, and all six are laying anywhere from nine to 16 1/2-points.

Toronto (32-24 SU, 32-23 ATS) vs. Indiana (22-36 SU, 26-32 ATS): The Raptors are 4-1 both SU and ATS since the All-Star break and all four wins have come by double digits. Meanwhile, the Pacers are 1-6 both SU and ATS in their last seven tilts. Toronto has won and covered all three meetings against Indiana this year, including a nine-point (110-101) victory on Nov. 16 as an eight-point home favorite.

Cleveland (32-26 SU, 27-31 ATS) vs. Minnesota (12-44 SU, 26-29 ATS): The Cavaliers enter this game a little banged up, as LeBron James sprained his ankle in a 92-87 loss to Boston on Wednesday. The All-Star finished with 26 points in the loss but is listed as ‘probable’ for tonight. The Cavs have won and covered four straight against the T-Wolves, including an 11-point (97-86) road triumph on Nov. 21. Minnesota has trouble scoring away from home (92 PPG), which has watched the ‘under’ go 16-8 (67%).

Boston (44-12 SU, 32-21 ATS) vs. Charlotte (19-38 SU, 22-23 ATS): The Bobcats are 1-11 SU and 1-10 ATS in their last 12 games, plus the team’s best player, Gerald Wallace (head), is expected to miss two weeks. Charlotte has allowed 104 PPG on the road en route to a pathetic 4-21 SU and 7-17 ATS ledger. Conversely Boston has held teams to 87 PPG at home, which has translated into an impressive 24-4 SU and 16-11 ATS record. Surprisingly, the ‘Cats have covered three straight against the Celtics and even captured outright victories in their last two trips to Massachusetts, most recently a 95-83 win on Jan. 9. Can you say revenge?

Dallas (38-20 SU, 24-31 ATS) vs. Sacramento (26-31 SU, 30-26 ATS): The Mavericks will look to bounce back tonight after losing a tough division battle on Thursday at San Antonio, 97-94. Avery Johnson’s team is 7-6 SU and 5-8 ATS on zero days rest. Dallas has played much better at home this season, producing a 24-3 SU and 11-13 ATS mark. The Mavs are 3-2 since point guard Jason Kidd joined the club. The three victories were against weak opponents (Bulls, Wolves, Grizzlies) and the two losses against playoff-bound teams (Spurs, Hornets). It’s safe to say Sacramento is viewed as weak, especially of late. Reggie Theus’ team has dropped three in a row, plus the defense has been missing in action. The Kings have given up 107, 115, 102, 107 and 123 in the last five games. Sac-Town stole a 122-120 decision against Dallas on Jan. 14 as a six-point home ‘dog. The ‘over’ easily hit and is 6-1 in the last seven head-to-head battles.

Houston (37-20 SU, 32-24 ATS) vs. Memphis (14-43 SU, 22-34 ATS): The Rockets own a 13-game winning streak and it appears No. 14 seems doable tonight, even without the services of big man Yao Ming (foot). The Rockets have taken six of the previous seven matches against the Grizzlies. Memphis has suffered six straight losses both SU and ATS, five coming by double digits.

Denver (34-23 SU, 29-28 ATS) vs. L.A. Clippers (19-36 SU, 24-31 ATS): The Nuggets are a dangerous team when they hit their shots, evidenced by a 138-spot they dropped on the Sonics in a win on Wednesday. At home, Denver has gone 22-7 SU and 17-12 ATS while averaging 109 PPG. Another victory seems doable, with the road weary L.A. Clippers (8-17 SU, 11-14 ATS) visiting Pepsi Center. The Clippers have dropped three straight games, averaging 83.3 PPG through the skid. Center Chris Kaman is ‘questionable’, plus the team waived veteran point guard Sam Cassell yesterday. The Nuggets whipped the Clippers 123-107 on Nov. 30 as 8 ½-point home favorites. The combined 230 points easily jumped ‘over’ the closing total, which was the first ‘over’ ticket in the previous 10 meetings.

Eastern Wars

New York (18-39 SU, 28-28 ATS) at Atlanta (24-32 SU, 27-27 ATS): Even though the Knicks are 6-22 SU on the road, they do own a decent 15-12 ATS mark. The Hawks counter with a 17-11 SU and 16-11 ATS record at home. This is the first meeting between the two teams this year. Last season, N.Y. was 2-1 both SU and ATS versus Atlanta. Total players should note that Atlanta scores 100 PPG at home, compared to 91 PPG on the road. Plus, the Knicks’ defense has allowed 104 PPG away from home, helping the ‘over’ go 19-9 (68%).

Washington (27-30 SU, 33-23 ATS) at Chicago (23-34 SU, 25-32 ATS): The Wizards have been competitive against the spread (17-11) on the road, but that hasn’t translated into their overall record (11-18) away from home. The Bulls have won two straight at home, yet are still 12-14 SU and 10-16 ATS. Chicago has started to pick up its tempo and total players have watched the ‘over’ go 5-0 in the last five. The Bulls have won and covered three in a row against the Wizards by 15, 33 and 11 points. The ‘under’ cashed in all three during this dominating stretch. The Wizards’ Caron Butler is not expected to play.

Quick Rematch

Los Angeles (41-17 SU, 37-20 ATS) at Portland (30-28 SU, 29-29 ATS): The Lakers dropped the Trail Blazers 96-83 on Tuesday, but failed to cover as 15 ½-point home favorites. Los Angeles trailed 51-44 at the break but outscored Portland by 20 points (52-32) in the final 24 minutes for the victory. The cover for the Blazers was the sixth straight for the club against the Lakers. Phil Jackson’s team will be playing its second game in two nights after beating Miami 106-88 on Thursday as a 14-point home favorite. The Purple and Gold own a solid 9-4 record both SU and ATS on zero days rest.

Heading to the West Coast

Miami (10-46 SU, 19-35 ATS) at Seattle (15-42 SU, 28-28 ATS): The Heat started their three-game West Coast trip with an 18-point (106-88) loss to the Lakers on Thursday. Pat Riley’s team hasn’t been good all year and certainly not in back-to-back spots, going 2-12 SU and 5-8-1 ATS. Eight of Seattle’s 15 victories have come against the Eastern Conference, which includes a 104-95 win against Miami in South Beach on Nov. 14 as a 6 ½-point road underdog. The combined 199 points jumped ‘over’ the closing total of 191. Miami has gone 6-17 against the West. Four of the last five meetings between these two squads has gone ‘over’.

Philadelphia (26-32 SU, 30-25 ATS) at Golden State (34-22 SU, 23-31 ATS): The Warriors finally played some defense on Tuesday, stopping Seattle 105-99. It was the first time in eight games that an opponent didn’t eclipse the century mark against Don Nelson’s team. Still, the Warriors are currently mired in a skid against the spread, going 1-7 during this stretch. Philadelphia has posted a 10-4 SU and 11-3 ATS record since Jan. 25 and begin its four-game trek out West with two straight victories. Golden State has won four straight meetings against Philadelphia, including a 100-98 victory on Nov. 24. The Warriors are 3-1 ATS during this stretch, plus the ‘under’ has gone 3-1 as well. The Sixers are 10-13 against the West, while the Warriors are 15-9 versus the East.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 29

Lakers rallied Heat at the Staples Center

I would guess Dwayne Wade was not really happy when he was told that he was going to be traded to the worst team in the NBA league, Miami.

The Heat has lost 27 of 29 games and future doesn’t look bright for the team that Shaq led to a first franchise championship just two years ago, and it also meant their 14 straight loss on the road. This time their defeat came in the hands of the Lakers, with Jordan Farmer shadowing Kobe Bryant as he scored a career-high 24 points over 21 from Kobe.

Final score was 106-88 and with this victory, Los Angeles maintained their dominance of a one-game-lead over the Spurs and two over the Suns and the Hornets, now the Lakers have 11 wins in a row, their longest strike since the 03’-04 season.

It seems like since the arrival of Pau Gasol who finished with 13, the Lakers have changed their course for good, and considering that Andrew Bynum hasn’t returned, I am kind of impressed with their plays, hopefully they will keep up with the rhythm until the end so we can see some incredible play-off matches, which are not too far away.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 29

Patterson out for year with stress fracture
Associated Press

Kentucky freshman Patrick Patterson will miss the rest of the season because of a stress fracture in his left ankle.

Patterson, a blue chip recruit out of West Virginia who leads all Southeastern Conference freshman scorers with 16.4 points a game, had the injury confirmed after an X-ray Friday. He will be out approximately eight weeks and is wearing a cast on his foot, the school said.

The statement didn't indicate how Patterson got hurt, and a call to UK media relations wasn't immediately returned.

The injury is a blow for the Wildcats, who face No. 1 Tennessee on Sunday in a battle for first place in the SEC East.

The 6-foot-8 Patterson, who averages eight rebounds, has taken the vast majority of Kentucky's shots in the paint. Without him, the Wildcats may have to rely more heavily on sophomore forward Perry Stevenson and seldom-used junior Jared Carter and freshman Mo Williams.

Kentucky (16-10, 10-3) has three games remaining before the SEC tournament and may need multiple victories to sneak into the NCAA tournament.

Patterson led Huntington High to three straight West Virginia state championships, the last one alongside fellow phenom O.J. Mayo, who currently plays for Southern Cal.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 29

Isiah tells Marbury to stay away from Knicks
by Marc Berman, New York Post

NEW YORK - Stephon Marbury has been instructed by Isiah Thomas not to attend Knicks home games — another indication of the continuing feud between the former pals, The New York Post has learned.

According to a Marbury confidant, the embattled point guard is under a gag order by Knicks management, forbidding him from speaking to the media. Marbury has not commented since his Jan. 22 ankle surgery. "They've got a muzzle on him," the confidant said.

Marbury began rehab 11 days ago at the club's Westchester practice facility, and he has wanted to join the club on the home bench at the Garden since the All-Star break, according to the friend. Marbury is one of three captains, along with Jamal Crawford and Malik Rose.

Thomas disrespected Marbury on Wednesday night when he talked about next season's backcourt and did not mention Marbury. Thomas said the Knicks need to add a point guard to next season's club, saying Nate Robinson, Jamal Crawford and Fred Jones need help with ballhandling.

Thomas was given two chances to correct himself, but declined to add Marbury to next season's point-guard mix. Marbury still has one year left and $21 million on his pact — a valuable commodity for a team looking to get under the salary cap after the 2008-09 season.

Marbury has not attended a Knicks game since they faced the Nets at the Meadowlands Jan. 16 as he awaited word on his MRI. When surgery became more involved than anticipated — seven bone fragments were removed in a two-hour procedure — Marbury was not fit to attend games in the two weeks following the operation as he was on heavy pain medication.

But now, the friend said, he's ready to cheer on the club from the bench. The Post has reported Marbury is out for the season, though the Knicks won't acknowledge it.

"He's going to practice all the time, rehabbing, interacting, watching games on TV at home," Robinson said. "He supports us 100 percent."

That Marbury has been instructed not to travel with the club makes sense because it could interfere with rehab. But Marbury, the friend said, doesn't understand why he can't go to home games.

Insiders believe Thomas feels Marbury cost the Knicks the season by rebelling so strongly in November when the coach looked to remove Marbury from the starting lineup after five games. Marbury's bolting of Phoenix fractured the locker room. Thomas also resents Marbury for having surgery instead of trying to postpone it. "It was very bad timing for the team," the friend said, "but it had to be done."

Thomas said Wednesday if Marbury had the season he did in 2006-07, the Knicks "would've won five, six more games and we'd be right in the thick of things."

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