Betting News and Notes - Mar. 7

Betting News and Notes - Mar. 7

MVC tourney: Creighton vs. Bradley preview and pick
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Creighton Bluejays vs. Bradley Braves

These two teams will be sick of each other by the time Friday’s game is over. They just met Saturday night in the regular season finale in what was the highest scoring game in the Missouri Valley Conference since 1984.

Creighton pulled out a 111-110 home victory, but failed to cover as 7 1/2-point favorites. For the second meeting in about two weeks, these two teams topped the total, though Bradley won the first meeting 87-59 as two-point faves.

The high scoring games shouldn’t come as a major surprise, seeing as how these are two teams that love a good track meet and both are accustomed to seeing over/unders in the high 130s or low 140s.

Creighton was the second-best over bet in the MVC this season with an over/under ratio of 16-8 and Bradley ranked No. 3 in the over department at 18-10. Only Indiana State was more profitable to over bettors with a mark of 19-8.

Bradley leads the conference in scoring with 73.4 points per game and Creighton ranks third with 72.1. The Braves are also the worst scoring defense in the conference with 71.2 points against per game, so you can see why their totals tend to get lofty.

Bradley’s top five scorers are all guards and four of them average double figures in points per game. Jeremy Crouch (15.5 ppg) and Daniel Ruffin (15.2 ppg) are among the top five scorers in the league and Ruffin also happens to be the country’s active career assists leader with 605.

Ruffin has suffered some injuries this season but he is coming off a career high 30 points in Saturday’s loss to Creighton and the Braves are 13-6 with him in the lineup this year. He loves to spread the ball around among this deep offense on which nine players average at least three points per game.

Unfortunately for Bradley, they’re without team third-leading scorer, Andrew Warren, who broke his hand in the first meeting against the Bluejays.

If you want to talk about depth though, Creighton is the model for the conference. The Jays also have nine players with at least three points per game and they boast two members of the MVC All-bench team, guards Booker Woodfox and Cavel Witter. They rank second nationally as a team with 37.5 bench points per game.

Woodfox was named the captain of the All-bench squad and the sophomore Witter is coming off his break-out game after racking up a Valley season-high 42 points in the OT win over Bradley.

How Witter and the rest of Creighton’s grasshoppers will stack up in the tourney remains to be seen, however.The defending MVC tourney champ Bluejays have eight players on the roster who are either freshman or sophomores and the pressure is on. With 20 wins, they need a strong run in St. Louis this weekend to convince the NCAA suits they’re worthy of a tournament berth.

Beating Bradley won’t be easy. This team came on late in the season after overcoming injury problems early on and the Braves covered the spread in eight of their last 10 games. They are one of only three teams in the Valley to beat Drake this season and their three-guard attack can rain treys on you all day.

Bradley ranks sixth nationally with 290 three-pointers this season. Creighton, meanwhile, isn’t the greatest at defending from long range with a defensive three-point percentage of 36.5     

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 7

MVC tourney: Northern Iowa vs. Southern Illinois preview
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Northern Iowa Panthers vs. Southern Illinois Salukis

If Southern Illinois wants to find itself scrawled in the bracket of the NCAA Tournament for the seventh straight year, the team will probably need to win Arch Madness.

To do that, the Salukis will have to beat a pesky Northern Iowa team that already beat them once this year, 68-63, back in early February when the Panthers were favored by two points.

The Salukis easily won and covered in the second meeting and to do it again, they’ll need tough defense and big play from the frontcourt.

The Panthers are just 1-12 this season when held to fewer than 60 points and 16-1 when they score more than 60. And usually, when they score more than 60 it comes from the paint, namely center Eric Coleman.

Coleman, an MVC second-team selection, is the only Division I player in the nation to lead his team in scoring (11.9 ppg), rebounding (8.5 rpg), assists (2.0 apg), blocked shots (1.4 bpg), steals (0.7 spg) and field goal percentage (.551).

Unfortunately for Northern Illinois, he is the only player on the team to average double digits in scoring. If you can shut him down, you can shut the Panthers down. The Salukis held him to just two points and three rebounds when they beat the Panthers 67-47 on Feb. 20.

Fortunately for Southern Illinois, they have a strong frontcourt and team-leading scorer and MVC first-teamer Randal Falker will likely be charged with the task of guarding Coleman. Falker was the Valley’s defensive player of the year last season, so the job is in good hands.

However, that will limit his production, which means the points will have to come from somewhere else for the Salukis. Forward Matt Shaw (12 ppg) will need a huge effort just like when he poured in 23 and had nine rebounds in the most recent meeting with Northern Iowa.

He’ll be helped on the outside by point guard Bryan Mullins, who averages 11 points and five assists per game and was named this year’s MVC defensive player of the year. 

If the Panthers hope to pull off the upset, they’ll likely have to rely on defense. They are the best team in the conference at defending field goals and rank third in the conference with just 60.9 points against.

In the first meeting against the Salukis this year, they held them to just 36 percent on field goals and 25 percent on three-pointers.

But that was at home. Northern Iowa can expect more of a road atmosphere this time in St. Louis where Southern Illinois is traditionally known to bring the biggest, and loudest, throng of fans of any school to Arch Madness.

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Arch Madness

The Missouri Valley Conference has been regarded as the nation’s premier mid-major league in recent years, typically sending at least two – usually three or even four -- teams to the NCAA Tournament. However, Drake (25-4 straight up, 17-7 against the spread) is the only school that knows it will hear its name called on Selection Sunday this year.

With that in mind, Arch Madness began Thursday at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The Bulldogs, who haven’t advanced past the MVC Tournament quarterfinals since 1993, are the No. 1 seed thanks to an improbable 15-3 record in league play.

But if Keno Davis and Co. cut the nets down Sunday, they will be bucking a decade-long trend. Since Illinois St. pulled the trick in 1998, no top seed has won the loop’s automatic bid to the Big Dance.

Drake will take on Indiana State in today’s lid-lifter at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. There was no overnight line released.

The Sycamores advanced by taking out Wichita State 71-67 in a pick ‘em affair. The 138 combined points sailed ‘over’ the 125½-point total. Jay Tunnell and Gabe Moore scored 18 points apiece for the winners.

The loss ended an extremely disappointing campaign for the Shockers, who went to the Sweet 16 just two seasons ago. What a difference a year has made for Gregg Marshall, right?

At this time last season, Wichita State’s first-year coach was preparing Winthrop for a trip to the NCAA Tournament in which the Eagles beat Notre Dame in a first-round upset. On Thursday night, Marshall’s first season with the Shockers ended when he was ejected with more than 12 minutes remaining.

Missouri State won last night’s other play-in game, thumping Evansville 69-46 as a 10-point ‘chalk.’ The Bears move on to face Illinois State (22-8 SU, 13-15 ATS) tonight at 7:00 p.m. ET. No overnight line was released.

Creighton (20-9 SU, 14-11 ATS) and Bradley (17-14 SU, 16-12 ATS) will collide this afternoon 30 minutes after Drake-ISU (around 3:30 ET.). Most sports books are listing the Bluejays as 1½-point favorites. Las Vegas Sports Consultants sent the total out at 143.

These teams just squared off Saturday with Creighton winning a 111-110 decision in overtime. However, Bradley took the cash as a 7½-point road underdog.

In the first meeting earlier this season, the Braves mashed the 'Jays by an 87-59 count.

Both teams have seen the ‘over’ produce big-time profits this year. To be exact, the ‘over’ is 18-10 overall for the Braves, 16-8 for the Bluejays. Most impressively, the ‘over’ has hit in eight consecutive games for Bradley.

Furthermore, the ‘over’ is 7-2-2 in the last 11 head-to-head meetings between Bradley and Creighton.

The nightcap game on Friday will feature Southern Illinois and Northern Iowa. LVSC opened SIU as a 6½-point favorite with a total of 114.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 7

Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors

- The Washington Wizards and the Toronto Raptors will both be gunning for a victory on Friday when they meet at Air Canada Centre.

Oddsmakers currently have the Raptors listed as 5-point favorites versus the Wizards, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

Antawn Jamison paced Washington with 19 points and six rebounds in its 122-92 loss to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.

Orlando covered as 2-point road favorites as the teams played over the 202-point total listed by oddsmakers.

Rasho Nesterovic scored 16 points and hauled down 10 rebounds as the Raptors defeated the Miami Heat 108-83 on Wednesday night.

Toronto cashed as 2-point road favorites as the teams played under the 198-point total listed by oddsmakers.

Team records:
Washington: 29-31 SU, 35-24-1 ATS
Toronto: 33-27 SU, 34-26 ATS

Washington most recently:
When playing on Friday are 2-8
Before playing Charlotte are 6-4
After playing Orlando are 6-4
After a loss are 3-7

Toronto most recently:
When playing on Friday are 3-7
Before playing Seattle are 5-5
After playing Miami are 3-7
After a win are 4-6

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

Next up:
Washington home to Charlotte, Saturday, March 8
Toronto home to Seattle, Sunday, March 9

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Seattle SuperSonics vs. Philadelphia 76ers

- The fans at Wachovia Center will be treated to a game between the Seattle SuperSonics and the Philadelphia 76ers when they take their seats on Friday.

Oddsmakers currently have the 76ers listed as 11-point favorites versus the SuperSonics, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

Kevin Durant was the high scorer for Seattle with 23 points in its 118-106 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.

Milwaukee covered as 9-point home favorites as the game played over the 207.5-point total listed by oddsmakers.

Six players reached double digit scoring as the 76ers defeated the Clippers 106-80 on Monday. The 76ers easily covered the 4-point spread, while the 186 points were UNDER the posted total of 188.

Andre Iguodala had a team-high 18 points, while Louis Williams had 16 points and eight assists in the win.

Current streak:
Seattle has lost 2 straight games.
Philadelphia has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Seattle: 16-45 SU, 30-30-1 ATS
Philadelphia: 28-33 SU, 32-28-1 ATS

Seattle most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Toronto are 2-8
After playing Milwaukee are 2-8
After a loss are 5-5

Philadelphia most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Milwaukee are 3-7
After playing LA Clippers are 4-6
After a win are 6-4

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

Next up:
Seattle at Toronto, Sunday, March 9
Philadelphia at Milwaukee, Sunday, March 9

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 7

Atlanta Hawks vs. Charlotte Bobcats

- The fans at Charlotte Bobcats Arena will be treated to a game between the Atlanta Hawks and the Charlotte Bobcats when they take their seats on Friday.

Oddsmakers currently have the Bobcats listed as 1½-point favorites versus the Hawks, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

Joe Johnson paced Atlanta with 24 points in its 116-101 loss to the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night.

New Orleans covered as 9.5-point home favorites as the teams played over the 196-point total listed by oddsmakers.

Jason Richardson dropped 42 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lift the Bobcats to a 118-109 win over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.

Charlotte cashed in as 3-point home underdogs as the game played over the 221-point total set by sportsbooks.

Current streak:
Atlanta has lost 3 straight games.
Charlotte has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
Atlanta: 25-35 SU, 29-31 ATS
Charlotte: 22-39 SU, 25-34-2 ATS

Atlanta most recently:
When playing on Friday are 8-2
Before playing Miami are 4-6
After playing New Orleans are 4-6
After a loss are 2-8

Charlotte most recently:
When playing on Friday are 0-8
Before playing Washington are 2-8
After playing Golden State are 3-4
After a win are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 10 of Atlanta's last 14 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Atlanta's last 9 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Atlanta's last 9 games when playing Charlotte
Atlanta is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Charlotte's last 7 games
Charlotte is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing at home against Atlanta
Charlotte is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Atlanta
Charlotte is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home

Next up:
Atlanta home to Miami, Saturday, March 8
Charlotte at Washington, Saturday, March 8

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Golden State Warriors vs. Miami Heat

- The Golden State Warriors and the Miami Heat will both be trying to pick up a win on Friday when they battle at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Oddsmakers currently have the Warriors listed as 5½-point favorites versus the Heat, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

Monta Ellis led the way for Golden State with 32 points and eight rebounds in its 118-109 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.

Charlotte cashed in as 3-point home underdogs as the game played over the 221-point total set by sportsbooks.

Reserve Marcus Banks paced Miami with 21 points in its 108-83 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

Toronto cashed as 2-point road favorites as the teams played under the 198-point total listed by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Miami has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Golden State: 37-23 SU, 25-35 ATS
Miami: 11-48 SU, 20-38-1 ATS

Golden State most recently:
When playing on Friday are 3-7
Before playing Orlando are 6-4
After playing Charlotte are 3-4
After a loss are 9-1

Miami most recently:
When playing on Friday are 6-4
Before playing Atlanta are 5-5
After playing Toronto are 6-4
After a loss are 2-8

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Golden State's last 5 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 17 of Golden State's last 21 games
Golden State is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Golden State's last 5 games when playing on the road against Miami
Miami is 11-1 SU in its last 12 games when playing at home against Golden State
Miami is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Golden State
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Miami's last 5 games when playing at home against Golden State
Miami is 16-5 SU in its last 21 games when playing Golden State

Next up:
Golden State at Orlando, Saturday, March 8
Miami at Atlanta, Saturday, March 8

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Detroit Pistons vs. New York Knicks

- The Detroit Pistons and the New York Knicks will both be gunning for a victory on Friday when they meet at Madison Square Garden.

Odds aren't yet posted for this game, so check back later for the opening line and total.

Chauncey Billups had 23 points and seven assists for Detroit in its 90-78 loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.

Boston covered as 4-point home favorites as the teams played under the 184-point total posted by sportsbooks.

Jamal Crawford paced New York with 25 points in its 119-105 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

Cleveland cashed as 4.5-point road favorites as the game played over the 191-point total set by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
New York has lost 4 straight games.

Team records:
Detroit: 44-17 SU, 34-26-1 ATS
New York: 18-43 SU, 29-31-1 ATS

Detroit most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Chicago are 7-3
After playing Boston are 7-3
After a loss are 6-4

New York most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Portland are 1-9
After playing Cleveland are 5-5
After a loss are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
Detroit is 15-4 SU in its last 19 games
Detroit is 10-3 SU in its last 13 games when playing New York
The total has gone OVER in 13 of Detroit's last 19 games when playing New York
Detroit is 17-8 SU in its last 25 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 10 of New York's last 12 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of New York's last 5 games at home
New York is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games when playing at home against Detroit
New York is 18-7 SU in its last 25 games when playing at home against Detroit

Next up:
Detroit home to Chicago, Sunday, March 9
New York home to Portland, Saturday, March 8

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 7

Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics

- The Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics will both be gunning for a victory on Friday when they meet at TD Banknorth Garden.

Odds aren't yet posted for this game, so check back later for the opening line and total.

Luol Deng and Ben Gordon poured in 23 points apiece to help the Bulls get past the Cavaliers 107-96 last time out. The Bulls covered the 4-point spread, while the combined score made it OVER the posted total of 197.

Joakim Noah had 13 points and 20 rebounds for a double-double in the win.

Kevin Garnett had 31 points and six rebounds to lead the Celtics over the Detroit Pistons 90-78 on Wednesday night.

Boston covered as 4-point home favorites as the teams played under the 184-point total posted by sportsbooks.

Current streak:
Chicago has won 2 straight games.
Boston has won 6 straight games.

Team records:
Chicago: 25-36 SU, 27-34 ATS
Boston: 47-12 SU, 34-23-2 ATS

Chicago most recently:
When playing on Friday are 7-3
Before playing Detroit are 5-5
After playing Cleveland are 7-3
After a win are 1-9

Boston most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Memphis are 3-7
After playing Detroit are 3-7
After a win are 9-1

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Chicago's last 6 games when playing Boston
Chicago is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games when playing Boston
Chicago is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Boston
Chicago is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Boston
Boston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
Boston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Boston's last 6 games when playing Chicago
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Boston's last 5 games

Next up:
Chicago at Detroit, Sunday, March 9
Boston at Memphis, Saturday, March 8

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 7

New Jersey Nets vs. New Orleans Hornets

- The fans at New Orleans Arena will be treated to a game between the New Jersey Nets and the New Orleans Hornets when they take their seats on Friday.

Odds aren't yet posted for this game, so check back later for the opening line and total.

Richard Jefferson led the way for New Jersey with 22 points in its 100-93 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

Memphis upset New Jersey as 3.5-point home underdogs as the teams played under thr 201-point total set by sportsbooks.

Peja Stojakovic dropped 29 points and pulled down nine rebounds as the Hornets got past the Atlanta Hawks 116-101 on Wednesday night.

New Orleans covered as 9.5-point home favorites as the teams played over the 196-point total listed by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
New Jersey has lost 3 straight games.
New Orleans has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
New Jersey: 26-35 SU, 24-36-1 ATS
New Orleans: 41-19 SU, 36-23-1 ATS

New Jersey most recently:
When playing on Friday are 6-4
Before playing Dallas are 3-7
After playing Memphis are 6-4
After a loss are 5-5

New Orleans most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Houston are 6-4
After playing Atlanta are 4-6
After a win are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
New Jersey is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against New Orleans
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of New Jersey's last 6 games
New Jersey is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games when playing New Orleans
New Jersey is 5-1-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing on the road against New Orleans
New Orleans is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
New Orleans is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
New Orleans is 12-3 SU in its last 15 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 11 of New Orleans's last 15 games at home

Next up:
New Jersey at Dallas, Saturday, March 8
New Orleans at Houston, Saturday, March 8

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 7

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Milwaukee Bucks

- The Portland Trail Blazers and the Milwaukee Bucks will both be trying to pick up a win on Friday when they battle at Bradley Center.

Odds aren't yet posted for this game, so check back later for the opening line and total.

The Trail Blazers were defeated 97-92 by the Suns last time out, as 3-point underdogs. The 189 points were UNDER the posted total of 208.

Brandon Roy tossed in 25 points with five rebounds and four assists for the Trail Blazers.

Charlie Villaneuva scored 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lift the Bucks past the Seattle SuperSonics 118-106 on Wednesday night.

Milwaukee covered as 9-point home favorites as the game played over the 207.5-point total listed by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Portland has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Portland: 31-30 SU, 31-30 ATS
Milwaukee: 23-38 SU, 28-32-1 ATS

Portland most recently:
When playing on Friday are 2-8
Before playing New York are 5-5
After playing Phoenix are 4-6
After a loss are 3-7

Milwaukee most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Philadelphia are 3-7
After playing Seattle are 3-7
After a win are 3-7

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Portland's last 9 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Portland's last 9 games when playing Milwaukee
Portland is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Portland is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games when playing on the road against Milwaukee
Milwaukee is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Milwaukee's last 9 games
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Milwaukee's last 9 games when playing Portland
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Milwaukee's last 6 games at home

Next up:
Portland at New York, Saturday, March 8
Milwaukee home to Philadelphia, Sunday, March 9

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 7

Utah Jazz vs. Phoenix Suns

- The Utah Jazz and the Phoenix Suns will both be trying to pick up a win on Friday when they battle at US Airways Center.

Oddsmakers currently have the Suns listed as 4-point favorites versus the Jazz, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

Deron Williams dropped 21 points and dished out 11 assists as the Jazz cruised past the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-76 on Wednesday night.

Utah won as 14.5-point home favorites as the game played under the 203.5-point total listed by sportsbooks.

Amare Stoudemire had 22 points and six boards for Phoenix in its 126-113 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night.

Denver covered as 5.5-point home favorites as the teams played over the 229.5-point total listed by sportsbooks.

Current streak:
Utah has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
Utah: 40-22 SU, 33-29 ATS
Phoenix: 40-21 SU, 27-32-2 ATS

Utah most recently:
When playing on Friday are 7-3
Before playing Denver are 5-5
After playing Minnesota are 5-5
After a win are 6-4

Phoenix most recently:
When playing on Friday are 9-1
Before playing San Antonio are 5-5
After playing Denver are 8-2
After a loss are 9-1

A few trends to consider:
Utah is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Phoenix
Utah is 18-4 SU in its last 22 games
Utah is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Utah is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games when playing Phoenix
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Phoenix's last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Phoenix's last 6 games at home
Phoenix is 15-6 SU in its last 21 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Phoenix's last 7 games when playing Utah

Next up:
Utah home to Denver, Saturday, March 8
Phoenix home to San Antonio, Sunday, March 9

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Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Sacramento Kings

- The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Sacramento Kings will both be trying to pick up a win on Friday when they battle at ARCO Arena.

Odds aren't yet posted for this game, so check back later for the opening line and total.

Randy Foye led Minnesota with 18 points in its 105-76 loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.

Utah won as 14.5-point home favorites as the game played under the 203.5-point total listed by sportsbooks.

Beno Udrih led Sacramento with 25 points in its 116-109 double overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.

Los Angeles upset Sacramento as 2.5-point home underdogs as the game played over the 202.5-point total listed by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Minnesota has lost 5 straight games.
Sacramento has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Minnesota: 12-48 SU, 28-31-1 ATS
Sacramento: 27-34 SU, 31-29-1 ATS

Minnesota most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing LA Clippers are 5-5
After playing Utah are 3-7
After a loss are 2-8

Sacramento most recently:
When playing on Friday are 6-4
Before playing LA Lakers are 8-2
After playing LA Clippers are 3-7
After a loss are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Minnesota's last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Minnesota's last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Minnesota's last 5 games when playing on the road against Sacramento
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Minnesota's last 9 games when playing Sacramento
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Sacramento's last 5 games
Sacramento is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Sacramento's last 5 games when playing at home against Minnesota
The total has gone OVER in 11 of Sacramento's last 14 games at home

Next up:
Minnesota at LA Clippers, Saturday, March 8
Sacramento at LA Lakers, Sunday, March 9

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San Antonio Spurs vs. Denver Nuggets

- The San Antonio Spurs and the Denver Nuggets will both be trying to pick up a win on Friday when they battle at Pepsi Center.

Odds aren't yet posted for this game, so check back later for the opening line and total.

Manu Ginobili netted a game-high 28 points in leading the Spurs to a 108-97 win over the Pacers last time out. The Spurs failed to cover the 13-point spread at home, but the combined score made it OVER the posted total of 197.

Tony Parker chipped in with 19 points for the Spurs, and Matt Bonner had 15 off the bench.

Allen Iverson had 31 points and 12 assists as the Nuggets outgunned the Phoenix Suns 126-113 on Wednesday night.

Denver covered as 5.5-point home favorites as the teams played over the 229.5-point total listed by sportsbooks.

Current streak:
San Antonio has won 11 straight games.

Team records:
San Antonio: 43-17 SU, 29-31 ATS
Denver: 36-24 SU, 30-30 ATS

San Antonio most recently:
When playing on Friday are 7-3
Before playing Phoenix are 6-4
After playing Indiana are 8-2
After a win are 10-0

Denver most recently:
When playing on Friday are 4-6
Before playing Utah are 5-5
After playing Phoenix are 7-3
After a win are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
San Antonio is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
San Antonio is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of San Antonio's last 5 games when playing Denver
The total has gone UNDER in 11 of San Antonio's last 13 games when playing on the road against Denver
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Denver's last 5 games when playing San Antonio
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Denver's last 7 games at home
Denver is 12-2 SU in its last 14 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Denver's last 13 games when playing at home against San Antonio

Next up:
San Antonio at Phoenix, Sunday, March 9
Denver at Utah, Saturday, March 8

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 7

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers

- The fans at STAPLES Center will be treated to a game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers when they take their seats on Friday.

Oddsmakers currently have the Lakers listed as 15-point favorites versus the Clippers, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

Al Thornton went for 27 points to lead the Clippers over the Sacramento Kings 116-109 in double overtime on Wednesday night.

Los Angeles upset Sacramento as 2.5-point home underdogs as the game played over the 202.5-point total listed by oddsmakers.

The Lakers dominated the fourth quarter to come away with a 117-105 victory over the Kings last time out. The Lakers covered the 5.5-point spread, while the 222 points made it OVER the posted total of 221.

Pau Gasol had 31 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double in the win, and Kobe Bryant netted a game-high 34 points for the Lakers.

Current streak:
Los Angeles has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Los Angeles: 20-39 SU, 26-33 ATS
Los Angeles: 43-18 SU, 38-22-1 ATS

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Minnesota are 7-3
After playing Sacramento are 5-5
After a win are 1-9

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Sacramento are 7-3
After playing Sacramento are 3-7
After a win are 9-1

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of the LA Clippers last 12 games
LA Clippers are 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of the LA Clippers last 6 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of the LA Clippers last 6 games when playing on the road against LA Lakers
LA Lakers are 5-0 SU in their last 5 games at home
LA Lakers are 12-1 SU in their last 13 games
LA Lakers are 17-4 SU in their last 21 games when playing at home against LA Clippers
LA Lakers are 15-4 ATS in their last 19 games

Next up:
LA Clippers home to Minnesota, Saturday, March 8
LA Lakers home to Sacramento, Sunday, March 9

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 7

Surgery puts out Pollard

Scot Pollard’s season is over. The Celtics [team stats] backup center learned yesterday that his left ankle injury has worsened to the point where he now needs surgery.

“When I hurt the ankle in September, it never fully recovered,” he said before the Celtics took the floor against the Pistons last night. “I played with that all year. It was painful at times, but no big deal.

“Well, it’s ruptured now. That (tendon) was pretty much the last thing that was holding my ankle together.”

Pollard said the injury is similar to the one suffered by Curt Schilling [stats] late in the 2004 Red Sox [team stats] season, but whereas more movement is required of a basketball center than is a baseball pitcher, he will not be able to go the bloody sock route.

“The only decision is whether to get it (the surgery) in Indiana or get it here,” Pollard said. “I’m going to go out to Indiana and talk to my doctor and get his advice and see where I feel more comfortable.”

There isn’t much comfort in any of this for the affable pivotman, except for the fact that he should finally be free of this issue after his rehab.

“It’ll be better because they can fix a lot of other stuff that’s wrong with my ankle,” he said. “There’s bone spurs and I have arthritis and my ligaments are all gone. They can reattach those. So they’re going to do a whole reconstruction of my ankle and it’s going to be better than it is now.”cw0

Pollard’s season thus ends with just 22 appearances. He played in just two of the Celtics’ last 26 games (three minutes vs. Phoenix and seven vs. Portland).

After his latest action, Feb. 24 against the Blazers, Pollard said he felt a step behind. He had been able to get back on the active roster by wearing large ankle braces generally reserved for football’s offensive lineman. The braces restricted his movement, but he was happy to be able to play.

Considering Pollard signed just a one-year free agent contract last summer ($1,219,590), the 33-year-old’s Celtics career could possibly be over.

Pollard acknowledged that last night, but he added, “I haven’t even gotten that far yet. I’m still shocked. I feel like I got punched and I’m a little dizzy. I feel like I’m punch drunk.”

The Celtics now have a full 15-man roster, with just 12 eligible to dress for each game. Rookie Gabe Pruitt has been sent to the NBA Development League, while the latest addition, Sam Cassell, was still in Baltimore for a family funeral last night.

bostonherald.com

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 7

NCAAB

-- Brown won eight of last nine games, beating Harvard 71-51 in first meeting (-9), holding Crimson to 32% from floor. Bruins are 3-2 on Ivy road, losing at Yale, Cornell. Harvard is 3-2 in its Ivy home games; home side is 10-2 vs spread in its Ivy games.

-- Yale is 1-4 on Ivy road, winning only at Princeton; they're 1-4 in last five overall (0-5 vs spread) , failing to cover last three as favorite. Dartmouth (+9) lost 97-58 at Yale Feb 9, as Yale made 64% from floor, 11-17 from arc- they're 2-2 as home dog.

-- Princeton lost last nine games, is 2-17 in its last 19 games vs D-I foes; they lost 68-53 at Columbia Feb 9 (+6). Lions are 6-2 in last eight games; they're 5-0 vs spread in Ivy road (3-2 SU), but 3-4 vs spread as favorite in conference games this year.

-- Conell has already clinched Ivy title; they beat Penn 87-74 in first meeting (-14), making 10-17 from arc, 27-29 on the foul line. Big Red covered four of last five games; they're 4-5 vs spread as Ivy League favorite, 1-1 on the road.

Colonial Tournament
Towson State lost six of last eight games; they were 0-9 in its CAA road games, losing 81-67 at Hofstra Feb 20 (+5.5). Home side won both series meetings, with teams combined 22 for 73 (40.1%) from arc. Hofstra won three of their last four games.

William & Mary (+1.5) won 60-58 at Georgia State, after trailing 35-26 in only meeting this season, but they lot five of last six games, after being 9-3 in CAA at one point. Panthers lost six of last eight games; they're 9-4 vs spread as a CAA underdog.

Visiting team won both Drexel-Delaware games, as Hens made just 9-36 from arc. Delaware was 5-0 in CAA at one point, but wound up 9-9, losing three of last four on road. Dragons split last six games- they lost eight of nine conference road games.

James Madison (+5.5) won 68-65 at Northeastern way back on Dec 1, in CAA opener; Dukes lost 11 of last 13 games- they're 1-8 vs spread in last nine tries as underdog. Huskies lost three of last four games, are 3-6 vs spread as favorite in CAA play.

Missouri Valley Tournament
Drake beat Indiana State twice this season, 75-50 at home (-9.5) Jan 9, then 83-77 at ISU Feb 2nd (-3.5)- they took 63 FTs in two games, Sycamores 30. Indiana State had tough win vs Wichita last night; they're 4-2 in last six games, after a 1-7 slump. Drake covered just one of last five as a favorite.

Creighton beat Bradley 111-110 in double OT Saturday; this is third meeting in last 15 days. with Braves winning first meeting 87-59 in Peoria (-3). Bradley was 27-56 (48.2%) from arc in the two games. Bluejays won first MVC tourney game in seven of last nine years, but one of losses was to Bradley two yrs ago.

Illinois State won three in row, five of last six games, after 13-5 season in MVC, they have high hopes; ISU beat Missouri St twice this year, 64-63 at SMS Feb 2 (+2.5), then 69-57 at home 11 days later (-7). Bears beat Evansville last night, their fourth win in row- rumor has it they're playing for coach Hinson's job

Home side won both Northern Iowa-Southern Illinois tilts, as UNI took 40 FTs in its home win, three in road loss. Salukis are 4-1 in last five games, 7-4-1 vs spread as MVC favorite- they've won first game in this event last six years, all by 12+ pts. UNI is 0-4 vs spread in last four games as an underdog.

Horizon Tournament
Valparaiso beat Wright State twice this season, 71-66 back on Dec 6 (+1.5), 75-73 in OT at home six days ago, after Wright St rallied from 13-pt halftime deficit to force OT. Crusaders are on 5-game win streak, with pair of OT wins. Wright ended 3-game skid when it beat Detroit in its first round game Tuesday.

Illinois-Chicago beat Loyola twice this season,. 78-68 in double OT in January (-8), 60-55 last month at Loyola; Ramblers made 9-34 (26.5%) from arc in two games. UIC covered four of its last five as Horizon favorite; Ramblers covered seven of last nine as a Horizon underdog. Loyola lost five of its last seven games

WCC Tournament
Home side won both LMU-San Francisco games, with Dons a 88-79 winner at home (-12) six days ago- they shot 55% in that game, were 28-35 on foul line. LMU lost last seven games and 11 of last 12- they're 1-5 vs spread in last six games. USF won three of last four games- they're 2-3 as a WCC favorite.

Visiting team won both Portland-Pepperdine games, with Pilots leading both at half, by 9-12 points. Waves split last six games after 1-7 start in conference, Portland lost five of last six tilts; LY, they won their first WCC tourney game in 11 years, so this has always been bad spot for them.

Southern Conference Tournament
Home side won both Wofford-Western Carolina games, but in both games, Western led at half, by 7-9 points. Wofford is odd team; they won at Purdue in December, but is 1-6 in last seven games, with only win vs hapless Citadel. Western covered six of last seven tries as underdog in conference games.

Elon beat Furman twice this season, 66-61 at home Dec 1 (-9), after trailing 32-21 at half, then 60-58 at Furman Jan 12 (-2), in a game they led by nine at half. Elon is 4-2 in last ix games, with pair of OT wins. Paladins split last six games after 3-11 start in conference- they're 6-4 vs spread in last 10 tries as underdog.

Charleston beat Citadel twice this season, 69-46 on road Jan 14 (-15), in game that was 32-9 at half, 63-48 at home Feb 4 (-16), a game that was 30-18 at half. Citadel is 1-19 in SoCon, losing its last five games (0-3-1 vs spread in last four). Charleston is 3-1 vs spread in last four games as the favorite.

MAAC Tournament
Home side won both Manhattan-St Peter's games; Jaspers hit only 18-37 foul shots in the two games (St Peter's was 39-53). Peacocks lost last five games, last three by 11+ points; they're just 8-21 from foul line in last two games. Manhattan lost in the first round of this event the last two years.

Iona beat Canisius twice this season, 57-52 (-5.5) on road, and 66-59 at home (-14); neither team shot 40% from floor in either game. Griffins are 2-16 in MAAC, losing last seven conference games, though they did upset Albany in Bracket Busters; they are 5-3 vs spread in last eight games as the underdog.

Ohio Valley Tournament
Austin Peay beat UT-Martin twice this season, 90-85 in OT on road Jan 3 (-4), then 86-71 at home two weeks later (-9). Martin is in this round of OVC tourney for first time after winning 3OT thriller vs Samford Tuesday. Peay won last four games, they're 5-1 vs spread in last six as favorite. Martin is 6-1 in last seven.

Murray State shot 56% from floor in both games vs Tennessee State this season, but home side won both; Racers lost 75-70 at TSU (+1.5). State won four of last five games, covering five of last seven as an underdog. Murray is 2-8 vs spread in last 10 games, 2-5 vs spread in last seven tries as the favorite.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 7

NBA Tips and Trends

Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors

Wizards: Andray Blatche (7.5 ppg) has struggled a bit since getting benched in favor of Darius Songalia as the team attempts to replace Caron Butler in the starting lineup. In Washington's 2 losses since the change was made, Blatche has made 3-of-23 shots from the field (13 percent), scoring 8 points and grabbing 8 rebounds.

Wizards are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games.
Wizards are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall.

Raptors: In the last meeting with Washington, Toronto found out an hour before the game that Butler would not play and seemed to underestimate the Wizards before losing in overtime. Insiders believe head coach Sam Mitchell will have the Raptors ready for what has become a revenge game.

Home team is 7-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings.
The OVER is 9-0 in the last 9 meetings.

F Chris Bosh (23 ppg; knee) is out. Raptors are 3-6 ATS without him this season.


Detroit Pistons at New York Knicks

Pistons: With the Celtics winning the last meeting with Detroit on Wednesday, insiders expect head coach Flip Saunders to increase playing time for the team's reserves. Theo Ratliff and Juan Dixon have recently been added to the team and should see more minutes down the stretch to rest starters.

Pistons are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 Friday games.
Pistons are 13-5 ATS in their last 18 vs. Atlantic Division.

F Rasheed Wallace (13 ppg; ankle) is probable. Pistons are 1-2 ATS without him this season.

Knicks: Injured point guard Stephon Marbury made his first appearance at Madison Square Garden since undergoing ankle surgery back on January 22nd. Marbury was reportedly banned from the premises, and his relationship with head coach Isiah Thomas appears to be over.

Knicks are 0-4 SU in their last 4 games, failing to cover their last 3.

F Zach Randolph (18 ppg; foot) is questionable. Knicks are 2-6 ATS without him this season.


New Jersey Nets at New Orleans Hornets

Nets: This is a revenge game for the Nets after New Orleans used a pair of 4-point plays to beat them back on November 12th. The Hornets trailed 82-78 with 2:10 left before tying the game with the second one and then won it with 2.8 seconds remaining. New Jersey played that game without Vince Carter, who is shooting 49 percent from the field since Jason Kidd was traded (he is a career 45 percent shooter).

Road team is 7-3-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings.

Hornets: New Orleans plays 11 of its last 22 games against Eastern Conference opponents. The Hornets are 13-5 vs. the East this season, with 2 of those losses coming to the Wizards in the last couple weeks.

Hornets are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 home games.
Hornets are 4-1 SU & ATS in their last 5 games overall.

F David West (20 ppg; ankle) is questionable. Hornets are 2-0 ATS without him this season.


Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics

Bulls: Chicago is in the midst of one of the toughest stretches of the season. The Bulls played Cleveland on Thursday night and must play Detroit and Utah after visiting the Celtics. That adds to the challenge of trying to work Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden into the lineup, as they must do so against some of the league's best teams.

Bulls are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 Friday games.
Bulls are 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings but have failed to cover the last 3.

Celtics: Boston became the first team to officially clinch a playoff berth with Wednesday's win over Detroit, which was also big because it guaranteed home court if the teams should finish the regular season tied and meet in the postseason.

Celtics have won 6 in a row SU but have gone 1-3 ATS in their last 4.

G Sam Cassell (13 ppg; trade) is expected to be in Boston by Friday morning, and is probable to make his debut.


Utah Jazz at Phoenix Suns

Jazz: Utah will play its first game against the new-look Suns with Shaquille O'Neal in the lineup, and this could also potentially be a first-round playoff matchup. The Jazz won the previous meeting with Phoenix by 22 points, but the Suns played that game without Steve Nash, Shawn Marion and Grant Hill due to illness and injuries.

Jazz are 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings.
Jazz are 4-1 SU & ATS in their last 5 games overall.

F Andrei Kirilenko (hip) is out. Jazz are 4-2 ATS without him this season.

Suns: Phoenix may have a secret weapon here in Gordan Giricek, the former Utah sharp-shooter who feuded with head coach Jerry Sloan before getting dealt to Philadelphia for Kyle Korver earlier this season. The 76ers released him - allowing the Suns to pick him up - and he scored 11 points in his team debut on Wednesday.

Suns are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 home games.
Suns are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games vs. Northwest Division.


Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers

Clippers: The team should have Chris Kaman available for this game, although his playing time has been limited to 25 minutes per game by head coach Mike Dunleavy. Despite all the injuries, the Clips have been led by Corey Maggette, who has scored 20 points or more in 21 of his last 24 games - the best stretch of his career.

Clippers are 1-6 SU in their last 7 games overall, going 2-5 ATS.

F Tim Thomas (13 ppg; groin) is doubtful. Clippers are 4-7 ATS without him this season.

Lakers: It was only a few years ago that the Clippers were threatening the reign of the Lakers as the best team in LA. That's obviously no longer in question, as the Lakers have won both meetings this season by a combined 39 points. They are 13-2 with Pau Gasol in the lineup, and he is coming off a Laker-high 31 point at Sacramento on Tuesday.

Lakers are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games vs. Pacific Division.
Lakers are 15-4 ATS in their last 19 games overall.
Favorite is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings.


San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets

Spurs: San Antonio's winning streak will be tested over the next 9 days, as the team visits Denver, Phoenix, New Orleans and Dallas with a home game against the Nuggets sandwiched in between. The Spurs had won 10 games against Eastern Conference opponents during a 13-1 run going into Thursday's matchup with Indiana.

Spurs are 6-3-1 ATS during their 10-game winning streak.
Spurs are 5-1 SU & ATS in the last 6 meetings.
Spurs are 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings in Denver.

Nuggets: Wednesday's win over the Suns was a step in the right direction for a team that is currently on the outside looking in on the Western Conference playoff picture. Denver must play San Antonio again Monday on the road and has proven to be a very successful team at home with a 24-7 mark. However, the Nuggets still sit 1 game behind Golden State for the final playoff spot, and they realize they must take advantage of games like this.

Nuggets are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games overall.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 7

Struggling Suns face Jazz on Friday night

The Phoenix Suns’ slide down the Western Conference standings continued this week, as they have fallen all the way down to sixth place in the conference. Believe it or not the Suns are only three games up on eighth-place Golden State.

The Suns head home to host Utah on Friday night in what could be called a must-win game for the sinking Suns. Utah on the other hand has a comfortable lead in the Northwest and has their sights set on New Orleans and third place in the West.

The Jazz won their third in a row Wednesday night after crushing Minnesota 105-76 as a 14.5-point favorite. Utah was all over the T-Wolves in the win, as Deron Williams scored a team-high 21 points to go along with 11 assists, while Carlos Boozer chipped in with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Ronne Brewer also poured in 16 points and grabbed 18 rebounds.

The Suns lost a high-scoring shootout to Denver on Wednesday night, 126-113 as a 7-point underdog. Despite shooting 53 percent from the field and having eight players score in double figures, the Suns still lost. That marked Phoenix’s third loss in their last four games and dropped them to 3-5 since Shaquille O’Neal joined the starting lineup.

Amare Stoudemire led Phoenix with 22 points in the loss, while Shaq registered 12 points and 18 rebounds. Steve Nash had 13 assists for the Suns, but had a poor shooting night with 12 points on 4-of-11 shooting.

The Suns and Jazz have clashed twice so far this season with each team winning once at home. Back December the Suns defeated the Jazz 103-98 as a 7.5-point home favorite. Nash led Phoenix with 29 points and 11 assists in the win, while Boozer had 24 points and 13 rebounds for Utah.

When Phoenix and Utah met up again in January the Jazz destroyed the Suns 108-86 as an 8-point home favorite. Phoenix was severely shorthanded in the loss with Nash, Shawn Marion and Grant Hill all out with injuries. Mehmet Okur stepped up for Utah with 22 points and 17 rebounds, while Leandro Barbosa led the Suns with 25 points.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar. 7

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

MISSOURI VALLEY TOURNAMENT

(at St. Louis, Mo.)

Bradley (17-14, 16-12-1 ATS) vs. Creighton (20-9, 14-11 ATS)

Creighton (10-8, 9-9 ATS in conference) closed the regular-season on a 6-3 run, including Saturday’s thrilling 111-110 double-overtime victory over Bradley. However, the Bluejays failed to cash as a 7½-point home favorite, dropping to 5-7 ATS in their last 12.

Bradley (9-9, 12-6 ATS in conference) followed up a 9-2 run by losing its final two regular-season contests. However, with Saturday’s spread-cover at Creighton, the Braves finished on a 12-3 ATS roll after starting conference play 0-5 ATS.

In addition to Saturday’s meeting, these teams faced each other on Feb. 16 at Bradley, and the Braves rolled to an 87-59 win as a two-point home chalk. The schools have alternated SU wins and losses in the last eight meetings, and the favorite and underdog have alternated spread-covers in the last eight. But Bradley is 5-2 ATS in the last seven, and the chalk is still 13-6-1 ATS in the past 20 clashes.

The Braves are on ATS streaks of 6-0 on Fridays and 6-1 in neutral-site games. Meanwhile, Creighton is 4-1 ATS in its last five on Friday and 5-1 ATS in its last six at neutral sites.

The over is on streaks of 19-8-1 for Creighton overall (10-5-1 last 16), 8-0 for Bradley overall, 10-4-1 for Bradley on the road this season and 7-2-2 in this rivalry (3-0 in the last three).

ATS ADVANTAGE: BRADLEY and OVER


Northern Iowa (17-13, 14-13 ATS) vs. Southern Illinois (17-13, 15-14-1 ATS)

Southern Illinois (11-7, 10-7-1 ATS in conference) had a five-game winning streak snapped in Saturday’s 57-49 home loss to Illinois State as a six-point home chalk, ending a 4-0-1 ATS roll. The Salukis went 4-2 ATS (3-3 SU) in their final six Missouri Valley games on the highway.

Northern Iowa (9-9, 10-8 ATS in conference) finished with consecutive wins over Indiana State on Feb. 27 (73-58 as a 5½-point home chalk) and Evansville on Saturday (71-68 as a 2½-point road favorite). The two-game run follows a 1-5 slump (0-6 ATS).

These teams have split their regular-season series’ the last two years. This season, Northern Iowa won 68-63 as a two-point favorite on Feb. 2, and the Salukis rolled 67-47 as an eight-point chalk 18 days late. The Panthers are 8-3-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings, but the last time they met in the Missouri Valley tournament in 2006, Southern Illinois pulled off a 55-46 upset in overtime as a two-point underdog.

Southern Illinois is on pointspread streaks of 4-0-1 after an ATS setback, 5-1 on Fridays and 5-1 at neutral sites. Meanwhile, the Panthers are 1-4 ATS in their last five neutral contests, but 5-1 ATS in their last six after a spread-cover.

The over was 10-5 in the Salukis’ final 15 conference games and 11-3-1 in Northern Iowa’s last 14 contests. However, the under is 4-2 in the last six series clashes between these schools (1-1 this year). Also, the under is on streaks of 10-1 for Northern Iowa at 11 neutral-site games, 20-8 for Southern Illinois’ at neutral venues, 5-0 for Northern Iowa on Fridays and 4-0 for Southern Illinois on Fridays.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER

NBA

Utah (40-22, 33-29 ATS) at Phoenix (40-21, 27-32-2 ATS)


The Jazz travel to the Arizona desert hoping to take advantage of the Suns’ recent struggles inside the U.S. Airways Center in this key Western Conference matchup.

Phoenix has dropped three of four in front of the home fans and is 2-7-1 ATS in the last 10, including Saturday’s embarrassing 119-114 loss to the Sixers as 9½-point favorites. The Suns followed that defeat with a four-point win at Portland on Tuesday, then came back on Wednesday in Denver and fell to the Nuggets 126-113 as a seven-point underdog.

The Suns are 4-6 SU (5-5 ATS) in their last 10 overall, and their defense has been nonexistent lately, surrendering 114 points a game on 50 percent shooting in their last five.

Utah has rattled off three consecutive SU and ATS wins, routing Minnesota at home Wednesday 105-76, covering the 14½-point spread. The Jazz have won 22 of their last 27 overall (18-9 ATS).

These teams have split a pair this season with the home team getting the win each time. Phoenix prevailed 103-98 on Dec. 12 but came up short as 7½-point favorites, while Utah dominated the Suns in Salt Lake City on Jan. 10, rolling 108-86 and easily cashing as a 7½-point chalk. The Jazz have won five of the last seven in this series, and they’re 7-3 ATS in the last 10.

Jerry Sloan’s squad is just 1-3 SU and ATS in its last four on the highway, but the one victory came in its most recent road game at Memphis, a 113-92 rout as a 9½-point favorite. For the season, the Jazz are just 13-19 SU and ATS as a visitor.

The over is on runs of 18-5 for Utah against the Pacific Division, 8-2 for the Suns overall and 6-2 with the Suns as a favorite. However, the under is 6-2-1 in the last nine series clashes and 8-3 in Phoenix’s last 11 against the Northwest Division.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UTAH


San Antonio (43-17, 28-30-2 ATS) at Denver (36-24, 30-30 ATS)

The Spurs try to extend their 11-game winning streak when they visit the Pepsi Center in Denver to take on the Nuggets.

San Antonio improved to 15-1 in its last 16 overall (9-6-1 ATS) with Thursday’s 108-97 home win over the Pacers, falling just shy as a 13-point favorite. On the road the Spurs have won five straight (3-2 ATS) and nine of their last 10 (6-4 ATS).

Denver has won three of its last four, including Wednesday’s 126-113 rout of the Suns as seven-point home favorites. George Karl’s team is 18-13 ATS in the Mile High City this year, including 10-4 ATS in the last 14.

The Nuggets snapped a five-game SU and ATS losing streak to the Spurs back on Jan. 3, scoring an 80-77 home win as 2½-point favorites. It was just the second time Denver cashed at home in its last eight against San Antonio, which played the January game without All-Star Manu Ginobili.

The favorite has cashed in 22 of the last 30 series battles.

San Antonio sports negative ATS trends of 4-9 when playing on back-to-back nights, 1-4 as an underdog, 2-8 as a road underdog and 0-5 as an underdog of less than five points. On the bright side, the Spurs 35-16-1 ATS in their last 52 against Northwest Division foes.

Denver is 7-2 ATS in its last nine Friday night tip-offs, but 4-11 ATS in its last 15 against the Southwest Division and 1-4 when playing on one day of rest.

The under is 23-5-1 in the last 29 meetings in this rivalry, including 10-0 in the last 10 overall and 4-0 in the last four in Denver. Also, the under is on streaks of 15-6 for the Spurs on the road, 7-1 when the Spurs are an underdog and 5-0 for the Spurs on back-to-back nights. Conversely, the over is 6-2 in Denver’s last eight overall and 7-1 in its last eight as a favorite.

ATS ADVANTAGE: SAN ANTONIO and UNDER

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