Betting News and Notes - Mar.17

Betting News and Notes - Mar.17

Atlanta Hawks vs. Washington Wizards

- The division rival Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards are set to renew hostilities on Monday when they meet at Verizon Center.

Oddsmakers currently have the Wizards listed as 7-point favorites versus the Hawks, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

The Hawks defeated New York 109-98 as a 1-point favorite last time out. The combined score went OVER the posted over/under total (201).

Joe Johnson scored 28 points to go along with 11 assists for Atlanta, while Marvin Williams added 25 points and eight rebounds in the win.

Antawn Jamison had 36 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Wizards to a 119-109 overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night.

Washington failed to cover as 13.5-point home favorites as the game played over the 195-point total set by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Atlanta has won 2 straight games.
Washington has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
Atlanta: 28-38 SU, 31-35 ATS
Washington: 33-32 SU, 37-27-1 ATS

Atlanta most recently:
When playing on Monday are 4-6
Before playing New Jersey are 1-9
After playing New York are 4-6
After a win are 4-6

Washington most recently:
When playing on Monday are 5-5
Before playing Orlando are 7-3
After playing LA Clippers are 4-6
After a win are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Atlanta's last 5 games when playing on the road against Washington
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Atlanta's last 7 games when playing Washington
Atlanta is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Washington
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Atlanta's last 12 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Washington's last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Washington's last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Washington's last 5 games when playing at home against Atlanta
Washington is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing at home against Atlanta

Next up:
Atlanta at New Jersey, Wednesday, March 19
Washington at Orlando, Wednesday, March 19

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.17

New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers

- The New York Knicks and the Indiana Pacers will both be gunning for a victory on Monday when they meet at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Oddsmakers currently have the Pacers listed as 7-point favorites versus the Knicks, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

The Knicks lost to Atlanta 109-98 as a 1-point underdog last time out. The combined score went OVER the posted over/under total (201).

Nate Robinson led the Knicks with 23 points and Fred Jones deposited 14 points.

Danny Granger went for 27 points and six rebounds for Indiana in its 122-111 loss to the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.

Orlando covered as 10-point home favorites as the teams played over the 221.5-point total set by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Indiana has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
New York: 19-47 SU, 30-35-1 ATS
Indiana: 25-41 SU, 29-35-2 ATS

New York most recently:
When playing on Monday are 3-7
Before playing Memphis are 3-7
After playing Atlanta are 1-9
After a loss are 4-6

Indiana most recently:
When playing on Monday are 6-4
Before playing Charlotte are 3-7
After playing Orlando are 6-4
After a loss are 3-7

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 6 of New York's last 7 games when playing on the road against Indiana
The total has gone OVER in 4 of New York's last 5 games when playing Indiana
The total has gone OVER in 13 of New York's last 17 games
The total has gone OVER in 17 of New York's last 25 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Indiana's last 7 games when playing at home against New York
Indiana is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing New York
Indiana is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing New York
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Indiana's last 5 games at home

Next up:
New York home to Memphis, Friday, March 21
Indiana home to Charlotte, Wednesday, March 19

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.17

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic

- The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Orlando Magic will both be gunning for a victory on Monday when they meet at Amway Arena.

Oddsmakers currently have the Magic listed as 7-point favorites versus the Cavaliers, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

The Cavaliers defeated Charlotte 98-91 as an 8-point favorite last time out. The combined score fell UNDER the posted over/under total (195).

LeBron James scored 33 points and had 10 assists for Cleveland, while Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 16 points and nine rebounds in the win.

Hedo Turkoglu scored 27 points to go along with six assists as the Magic defeated the Indiana Pacers 122-111 on Saturday night.

Orlando covered as 10-point home favorites as the teams played over the 221.5-point total set by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Orlando has won 4 straight games.

Team records:
Cleveland: 38-29 SU, 32-35 ATS
Orlando: 44-24 SU, 42-24-2 ATS

Cleveland most recently:
When playing on Monday are 9-1
Before playing Detroit are 8-2
After playing Charlotte are 6-4
After a win are 5-5

Orlando most recently:
When playing on Monday are 4-6
Before playing Washington are 3-7
After playing Indiana are 3-7
After a win are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Cleveland's last 6 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 13 of Cleveland's last 17 games when playing on the road against Orlando
Cleveland is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Orlando
Cleveland is 11-5 ATS in its last 16 games on the road
Orlando is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games at home
Orlando is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games
Orlando is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Cleveland
Orlando is 7-1-1 ATS in its last 9 games at home

Next up:
Cleveland home to Detroit, Wednesday, March 19
Orlando home to Washington, Wednesday, March 19

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.17

Charlotte Bobcats vs. Memphis Grizzlies

- The Charlotte Bobcats and the Memphis Grizzlies will both be trying to pick up a win on Monday when they battle at FedExForum.

Oddsmakers currently have the Bobcats listed as 2-point favorites versus the Grizzlies, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

The Bobcats lost to Cleveland 98-91 as an 8-point underdog last time out. The combined score fell UNDER the posted over/under total (195).

Jason Richardson led the Bobcats with 33 points, while Raymond Felton had 14 points and nine assists in the loss.

Hakim Warrick led Memphis with 23 points and seven boards in its 110-107 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night.

Golden State failed to cover as 15.5-point home favorites as teams played under the 229-point total listed by sportsbooks.

Current streak:
Charlotte has lost 3 straight games.
Memphis has lost 4 straight games.

Team records:
Charlotte: 24-42 SU, 29-35-2 ATS
Memphis: 15-50 SU, 26-39 ATS

Charlotte most recently:
When playing on Monday are 2-5
Before playing Indiana are 4-6
After playing Cleveland are 4-6
After a loss are 2-8

Memphis most recently:
When playing on Monday are 7-3
Before playing Minnesota are 4-6
After playing Golden State are 6-4
After a loss are 1-9

A few trends to consider:
Charlotte is 8-1 ATS in its last 9 games
Charlotte is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 9 of Charlotte's last 13 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Charlotte's last 12 games
Memphis is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing Charlotte
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Memphis's last 10 games at home
Memphis is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games at home
Memphis is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games at home

Next up:
Charlotte at Indiana, Wednesday, March 19
Memphis at Minnesota, Wednesday, March 19

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.17

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

- The Los Angeles Clippers and the Minnesota Timberwolves will both be trying to pick up a win on Monday when they battle at Target Center.

Oddsmakers currently have the Timberwolves listed as 6-point favorites versus the Clippers, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

Corey Maggette led Los Angeles with 34 points in its 119-109 overtime loss to the Washington Wizards on Saturday night.

Washington failed to cover as 13.5-point home favorites as the game played over the 195-point total set by oddsmakers.

Marko Jaric paced Minnesota with 19 points in its 107-96 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night.

Portland covered as 9.5-point home favorites as the teams played over the 190.5-point total set by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Los Angeles has lost 3 straight games.

Team records:
Los Angeles: 21-44 SU, 28-37 ATS
Minnesota: 15-50 SU, 31-33-1 ATS

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Monday are 4-6
Before playing Golden State are 3-7
After playing Washington are 3-7
After a loss are 2-8

Minnesota most recently:
When playing on Monday are 3-7
Before playing Memphis are 2-8
After playing Portland are 2-8
After a loss are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of the LA Clippers last 6 games when playing on the road against Minnesota
The total has gone OVER in 4 of the LA Clippers last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the LA Clippers last 5 games when playing Minnesota
The total has gone OVER in 4 of the LA Clippers last 6 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Minnesota's last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Minnesota's last 6 games when playing at home against LA Clippers
Minnesota is 9-2 SU in their last 11 games when playing at home against LA Clippers
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Minnesota's last 5 games when playing LA Clippers

Next up:
LA Clippers home to Golden State, Wednesday, March 19
Minnesota home to Memphis, Wednesday, March 19

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.17

Chicago Bulls vs. New Orleans Hornets

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

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

Luol Deng had a team-high 21 points in Chicago's 110-106 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

The Bulls had been favored by 4 points at home in that contest, while the combined score went OVER the night's posted total (199.5).

The Hornets lost to Detroit 105-84 as a 6-point underdog on Sunday. The combined score went OVER the posted over/under total (186).

Peja Stojakovic led the Hornets with 21 points and nine rebounds, while Chris Paul had 14 points and 13 assists in the loss.

Team records:
Chicago: 26-39 SU, 29-36 ATS
New Orleans: 44-21 SU, 39-25-1 ATS

Chicago most recently:
When playing on Monday are 6-4
Before playing New Jersey are 4-6
After playing Philadelphia are 6-4
After a loss are 6-4

New Orleans most recently:
When playing on Monday are 4-6
Before playing Houston are 7-3
After playing Detroit are 6-4
After a loss are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Chicago's last 5 games when playing on the road against New Orleans
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Chicago's last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 9 of Chicago's last 12 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Chicago's last 8 games when playing New Orleans
New Orleans is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
New Orleans is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 5 of New Orleans's last 5 games when playing at home against Chicago
New Orleans is 12-3 SU in its last 15 games when playing at home against Chicago

Next up:
Chicago home to New Jersey, Tuesday, March 18
New Orleans home to Houston, Wednesday, March 19

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.17

Boston Celtics vs. San Antonio Spurs

- The Boston Celtics and the San Antonio Spurs will both be gunning for a victory on Monday when they meet at AT&T Center.

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

Kevin Garnett dropped 19 points as the Celtics rolled past the Milwaukee Bucks 99-77 on Saturday night.

Boston covered as 8.5-point road favorites as the teams played under the 204-point total listed by oddsmakers.

Tony Parker led San Antonio with 27 points in its 103-96 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.

Philadelphia cashed in as 2.5-point home underdogs as the teams played over the 180-point total set by sportsbooks.

Current streak:
San Antonio has lost 3 straight games.

Team records:
Boston: 52-13 SU, 39-24-2 ATS
San Antonio: 44-22 SU, 29-37 ATS

Boston most recently:
When playing on Monday are 5-5
Before playing Houston are 6-4
After playing Milwaukee are 3-7
After a win are 9-1

San Antonio most recently:
When playing on Monday are 6-4
Before playing Chicago are 8-2
After playing Philadelphia are 8-2
After a loss are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
Boston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Boston is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
Boston is 11-1 SU in its last 12 games
Boston is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games
San Antonio is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
San Antonio is 12-1 SU in its last 13 games when playing at home against Boston
San Antonio is 18-2 SU in its last 20 games when playing Boston
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of San Antonio's last 5 games when playing Boston

Next up:
Boston at Houston, Tuesday, March 18
San Antonio at Chicago, Thursday, March 20

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.17

Toronto Raptors vs. Utah Jazz

- The Toronto Raptors and the Utah Jazz will both be trying to pick up a win on Monday when they battle at EnergySolutions Arena.

Oddsmakers currently have the Jazz listed as 13½-point favorites versus the Raptors, while the game's total has not yet been posted.

The Raptors lost to Sacramento 106-100 as a 5.5-point underdog last time out. The combined score fell UNDER the posted over/under total (212).

Jason Kapono led the Raptors with 26 points and Rasho Nesterovic had 20 points and eight rebounds.

Carlos Boozer led Utah with 41 points and nine rebounds in its 117-115 loss to the New Jersey Nets on Saturday night.

New Jersey won as 3.5-point home underdogs as the teams played over the 204.5-point total set by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Toronto has lost 4 straight games.

Team records:
Toronto: 34-32 SU, 35-31 ATS
Utah: 44-24 SU, 36-32 ATS

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

Utah most recently:
When playing on Monday are 5-5
Before playing LA Lakers are 8-2
After playing New Jersey are 6-4
After a loss are 9-1

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

Next up:
Toronto home to Miami, Wednesday, March 19
Utah home to LA Lakers, Thursday, March 20

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.17

North Carolina, Kansas, Memphis, UCLA get No. 1 seeds
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

North Carolina, Memphis, Kansas and UCLA earned the top seeds in the NCAA tournament Sunday, and the top-ranked Tar Heels got the best deal of all: Their road to the Final Four won't veer more than two hours outside their Chapel Hill campus.

The Tar Heels (32-2) are the top seed in the East, with their first- and second-round games scheduled for Raleigh and the next two rounds in Charlotte.

''It's an advantage if you play well,'' said Carolina coach Roy Williams, trying to lead the Tar Heels to their second title in four years. ''Just because the crowd's cheering for you, I've never had a crowd win a game. I know it sounds wacko.''

Like North Carolina, Kansas, UCLA and Memphis won their conference tournaments to seal their top spots - Memphis in the South, Kansas in the Midwest and UCLA in the West.

The Final Four is set for April 5-7 in San Antonio.

March Madness officially begins Tuesday with an opening-round game between Coppin State and Mount St. Mary's, then with first-round games Thursday and Friday. The real festivities, however, have already started, with the brackets out, the pencils sharpened and office pools getting in full swing.

In the East region, North Carolina will open against the winner of the Coppin State-Mount St. Mary's game, while No. 2 seed Tennessee will open against No. 15 American.

Other games in the region are: No. 7 Butler vs. No. 10 South Alabama; No. 3 Louisville vs. No. 14 Boise State; No. 6 Oklahoma vs. No. 11 St. Josephs; No. 8 Indiana vs. No. 9 Arkansas; No. 4 Washington State vs. No. 13 Winthrop; and No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 12 George Mason, which will try to repeat its surprising trip to the Final Four two years ago.

By defeating Texas in the Big 12 title game, Kansas earned its top seed, a short trip to Omaha, Neb., and a first-round game against Big Sky champion Portland State.

The marquee matchup in that region, however, will be between No. 6 Southern California and No. 11 Kansas State - a meeting of top freshmen O.J. Mayo and Michael Beasley.

Other Midwest games pit No. 8 UNLV against No. 9 Kent State; No. 5 Clemson vs. No. 12 Villanova, a bubble team; No. 4 Vanderbilt against No. 13 Siena; No. 2 Georgetown vs. 15 Maryland-Baltimore County; No. 7 Gonzaga vs. No. 10 Davidson; and No. 3 Wisconsin vs. No. 14 Cal State-Fullerton.

In the South region, Memphis opens against No. 16 Texas-Arlington, No. 8 Mississippi State plays No. 9 Oregon, No. 5 Michigan State plays No. 12 Temple and No. 4 Pittsburgh plays No. 13 Oral Roberts. The other side of the bracket includes No. 2 Texas vs. No. 15 Austin Peay, No. 7 Miami vs. No. 10 St. Mary's, No. 3 Stanford vs. No. 14 Cornell and No. 6 Marquette against No. 11 Kentucky, with coach Billy Gillespie in his first year at the school.

In the West, UCLA plays No. 16 Mississippi Valley State, No. 8 BYU plays No. 9 Texas A&M, No. 5 Drake plays No. 12 Western Kentucky and No. 4 Connecticut plays No. 13 San Diego. Other games are No. 2 Duke vs. No. 15 Belmont, No. 7 West Virginia vs. No. 10 Arizona, No. 6 Purdue vs. No. 11 Baylor and No. 3 Xavier vs. No. 14 Georgia, which won the Southeastern Conference on Sunday afternoon to make a surprise trip to the NCAAs with a 17-16 record.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.17

NBA Today

Cleveland at Orlando (7 p.m. EST). The Southeast Division leading Magic look to win their fifth straight.

STARS

-Rafer Alston, Rockets, scored 31 points and hit eight 3-pointers, both career highs, and Houston beat the Los Angeles Lakers 104-92.

-Jarvis Hayes, Pistons, scored 29 points, including a career-high seven 3-pointers, to lead Detroit to a 105-84 rout of New Orleans.

-LeBron James, Cavaliers, scored 33 points in Cleveland's 98-91 win over Charlotte.

-Kevin Martin, Kings, scored 32 points and had eight rebounds to lead Sacramento to a 106-100 victory over Toronto.

ROCKET POWERED

Houston beat the Los Angeles Lakers 104-92 to extend their winning streak to 22 and claim sole possession of first place in the Western Conference. The Rockets have won 26 of their last 27 games and 31 of their last 34. They've won 15 straight at the Toyota Center, 10 straight since Yao Ming went out with a broken foot and 11 of their last 13 games by double digits.

OFFENSIVE BURST

Denver set NBA season highs for points in a half with 84 and points in a game with a 168-116 rout of the Seattle SuperSonics on Sunday night. The Nuggets set a franchise record for most points in a regulation game and fell just 16 points shy of the franchise record for points in a game.

STRONG DEFEAT

Jason Richardson scored 33 points in Charlotte's 98-91 loss to Cleveland on Sunday.

SPEAKING

``A lot of people are going to think it's a misprint. A lot of people will think there's no way they scored that many points. It's unbelievable. There are no words for it.'' - Kenyon Martin after the Nuggets set NBA season highs for points in a half with 84 and points in a game with a 168-116 rout of the Seattle

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.17

NBA Tips and Trends

Cleveland Cavaliers at Orlando Magic


Cavs: Cleveland center Zydrunas Ilgauskas returned to action on Sunday in a win over the Bobcats after missing 7 games with an inflamed disk in his lower back. Ilgauskas totaled 16 points and 9 rebounds in 31 minutes while Ben Wallace had his most productive game as a Cav playing alongside Ilgauskas at power forward with 15 rebounds.

Cavs are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 road games.
Cavs are 23-9 ATS in their last 32 Monday games.

Key Injuries- NONE

Magic (-7, O/U 204): Orlando clinched a playoff berth on Saturday with a win over the Pacers, but the team has bigger goals even though it's unlikely Detroit or Boston can be caught atop the Eastern Conference standings. “I think most of our guys did not think other teams would go undefeated and we would lose 15 in a row,” Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy said. “It’s still step by step, and you want to take care of that. Now, the next step would be to wrap up the division, then wrap up the home-court (advantage). We still have a lot to play for and have a very busy week. It’s going to be grueling.”

Magic are 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 home games.
The OVER is 10-3-1 in the last 14 meetings at Orlando.

Key Injuries- NONE


Chicago Bulls at New Orleans Hornets

Bulls: Chicago has dropped 3 in a row on the road and will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing home loss to Philadelphia on Friday. The Bulls blew an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter, which was very similar to a home loss to Washington a little more than 2 weeks ago in which they did the exact same thing. They proceeded to lose their next game at Cleveland, the first of 3 straight losses away from home.

Bulls are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games vs. Southwest Division.
The OVER is 5-1 in Chicago's last 6 games overall.
The OVER is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings.

Key Injuries- NONE

Hornets (NA): New Orleans will be trying to match a season high with its seventh straight home win while also looking to avoid losing back-to-back games overall for the first time since the end of February. The Hornets are dealing with ankle injuries to their top 2 scorers in Chris Paul and David West, though the former is expected to play after totaling 14 points and 14 assists in a loss at Detroit on Sunday.

Hornets are 7-3 SU & ATS in their last 10 games overall.

Key Injuries- F David West (sprained ankle) could miss at least 3 more games.


Boston Celtics at San Antonio Spurs

Celtics: Boston will be going for its sixth straight road win in a place where the team had lost 17 times in a row before pulling off a 91-85 victory a year ago on St. Patrick's Day. The Celtics play 4 games in 6 days against Western Conference opponents, with another tough matchup against Houston on deck Tuesday.

Celtics are 6-1 SU & ATS in their last 7 games.
Celtics are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 Monday games.
The UNDER is 13-3 in Boston's last 16 Monday games.

Key Injuries- G Ray Allen (ankle; 18.3 ppg) is listed as questionable.

Spurs (NA): San Antonio has dropped 3 games in a row and 5 of 6, surrendering an average of 98.8 points to opponents during that stretch. The Spurs might have the luxury of again playing against Boston minus 1 of the Big 3, as shooting guard Ray Allen is bothered by an ankle injury. They lost to the Celtics back on February 10th even though Kevin Garnett missed the game with an abdominal injury. However, San Antonio was also without Tony Parker.

Spurs are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
Favorite is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings.
The UNDER is 6-2 in San Antonio's last 8 games vs. Eastern Conference.

Key Injuries- NONE


Toronto Raptors at Utah Jazz

Raptors: Toronto is struggling mightily without Chris Bosh, dropping 8 of its last 10 games both SU & ATS without the team's leading scorer and rebounder. Bosh hopes to return from a knee injury sometime this week, and the Raptors hope to avoid sliding any further as the Wizards are just 1 game behind in the race for the fifth playoff spot in the East.

Raptors are 2-8 SU & ATS in their last 10 games overall.

Key Injuries- C/F Chris Bosh (knee) is out indefinitely; Raptors are 2-8 SU & ATS since he was injured.

Jazz (-13.5, O/U 216): A victory against Toronto would tie the franchise record for most consecutive home wins at 19, which seems likely considering Utah has won the last 5 meetings, going 4-1 ATS. The Jazz have the luxury of facing a struggling Raptors team without Bosh and return home from a fairly successful road trip that included a win at Boston.

Jazz are 13-5 ATS during their 18-game home winning streak.

Key Injuries- NONE

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Cleveland (38-29, 32-35 ATS) at Orlando (44-24, 42-24-2 ATS)

The Magic try for their fifth straight win and eighth in their last nine when they host LeBron James and the Cavaliers inside Amway Arena.

Orlando won its fourth in a row (2-1-1 ATS) Saturday, topping the Pacers 122-111 and pushing as 11-point home favorites. The Magic are on an 8-3-1 ATS run overall and 7-1-1 ATS streak in front of the home fans.

After suffering back-to-back road losses at New Jersey on Wednesday and Washington on Thursday, Cleveland came home on Sunday and beat the Bobcats 98-91, coming up just short as an eight-point home favorite. The Cavs are 6-3 SU in their last nine and 5-3 ATS in their last eight.

These teams have split the first two meetings this season with the road team coming out on top each time. The Magic scored a 117-116 overtime win in Cleveland on Nov. 14 as a three-point ‘dog, but the Cavs returned the favor on Feb. 11 with a 118-111 road win as 9½-point pups. Orlando is 5-1 ATS in the last six head-to-head with Cleveland (2-1 ATS at home). Finally, the straight-up winner is on a 9-1 ATS run in this series, the road team is 4-0 ATS in the last four and the underdog is 6-0 ATS in the last six.

The Cavs have lost three straight and five of their last six on the highway, but they’re 11-5 ATS in their last 16 as a visitor. They’re also on ATS streaks of 23-9 on Monday, 5-1 against the Southeast Division and 5-1 when playing on back-to-back nights. Meanwhile, Orlando is on ATS upticks of 6-1 when playing on one day of rest and 9-3-1 as a favorite.

The over is 11-5 in the last 16 series clashes and 10-3-1 ATS in the last 14 battles in Orlando. The over is also 4-0 in the Cavs’ last four road games, 6-1 in their last seven against the Southeast Division and 5-1 in the Magic’s last six against the Central Division.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER


Boston (52-13, 39-24-2 ATS) at San Antonio (44-22, 28-36-2 ATS)

The red-hot Celtics begin a difficult four-game road trip in Texas at the AT&T Center against the suddenly struggling Spurs.

Boston has won 11 of its last 12 games (8-4 ATS) and five straight on the road (5-0 ATS). The Celtics went to Milwaukee on Saturday and crushed the Bucks 99-77, cashing as a nine-point road chalk. On the highway, Boston is on a 41-16-1 ATS roll (20-10-1 ATS this year).

The Spurs have lost five of their last six overall and they are just 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10. All five of San Antonio’s losses have come on the highway, including Saturday’s 103-96 loss at the Sixers, where the Spurs failed to cash as 3½-point favorites. On the bright side, Gregg Popovich’s squad has won seven straight in front of the home fans, but going just 3-3-1 against the number.

Without All-Star Kevin Garnett in the lineup, Boston beat the Spurs 98-90 back on Feb. 10, covering as a 2½-point home ‘dog. It was the second straight win for the Celtics in this series after an eight-game losing skid to the Spurs. Boston is 3-0 ATS in the last three meetings after San Antonio went 7-0 ATS in the previous seven, with the Spurs playing the role of favorite in all 10 contests. Finally, the SU winner is 9-1 ATS in the last 10 series clashes.

The Celtics are in the midst of pointspread streaks of 6-1 overall, 10-2 on Mondays and 4-1 against the Western Conference. On the flip side, San Antonio sports a bevy a negative ATS trends, including 2-7-1 against the Atlantic Division, 0-5-1 when playing on one day of rest and 1-4-1 against the Eastern Conference.

The under is 3-1 in the last four head-to-head meetings, 4-0 in the Celtics last four overall, 13-3 in their last 16 on Mondays and 6-2 in the Spurs last eight against Eastern Conference foes.

ATS ADVANTAGE: BOSTON and UNDER

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Mar.17

NCAA Tourney Field Yields Few Complaints
The Associated Press

The inexact science of putting together the NCAA tournament bracket turned out to be pretty exact this time around. No big beefs with the top seeds - North Carolina, Memphis, Kansas and UCLA.

No snubbed bubble teams with shout-it-to-the-mountaintop complaints - even if Arizona State and Virginia Tech do have somewhat compelling arguments.

And no defending champion, either. But not even that was a surprise.

Florida, completely rebuilt after winning two titles in a row, was written off well before Selection Sunday after losing its last four games, including the first round of the Southeastern Conference tournament.

So, let March Madness begin, and call the Tar Heels (32-2) favorites if you must. Led by Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina earned the overall top seed in the tournament and won't have to leave its home state on the road to the Final Four in San Antonio. Carolina's first two games are scheduled for Raleigh, its next two would be in Charlotte.

"It's an advantage if you play well," said Carolina coach Roy Williams, trying to lead the Tar Heels to their second title in four years. "Just because the crowd's cheering for you, I've never had a crowd win a game. I know it sounds wacko."

Only four teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference made it, something of a surprise considering it was the top-ranked conference in the all-important RPI.

But what does the RPI really mean these days?

Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg is certainly no fan. His ACC team got snubbed despite being ranked No. 53 on the list.

"We need to get rid of the RPI totally from people's train of thought," he said. "Because one second, the head of the committee says the RPI is inconsequential, and the next second, he says they can use the RPI to eliminate a team."

That might have been the case with Arizona State, which was 83 on that list despite quality victories over third-seeded Stanford and Xavier and two over rival Arizona, which made it off the bubble for its 24th straight NCAA appearance.

But Sun Devils coach Herb Sendek refused to let the snub get the best of him.

"By playing the role of the victim, you let a great opportunity slide by to learn from the experience," Sendek said.

Arizona State's spot might have been taken by Georgia, which won four games at the SEC tournament - including two in one day after a tornado ripped past the Georgia Dome - to complete an inspiring run into the tournament with a 17-16 record.

"We found out we had more than we thought we did," said coach Dennis Felton, who likely saved his job with this remarkable string. "We kind of persevered."

Georgia, a 14th seed, opens against third-seeded Xavier in the West region.

The final bubble spots went to Villanova, a 12th seed in the Midwest, and St. Joseph's, an 11th seed in the East that beat Xavier twice.

Baylor got in as an 11th seed in the West, an impressive rebound for a program that nearly disintegrated after the murder of Patrick Dennehy by a teammate in 2003.

Kentucky made it as a No. 11 seed in the South despite growing pains under Billy Gillespie, who's in his first year at the school.

Kansas State was an 11th-seeded bubble team, and how could the committee resist bringing freshman-of-the-year candidate Michael Beasley into the tournament - then pairing him against another sensational freshman, O.J. Mayo of Southern California? They'll play Thursday in a first-round Midwest region game.

The top-seeded teams offered no surprises or outrage, the way, say, Washington did three years ago when the Huskies were No. 1 in the West.

UCLA has been a top team all season and won the Pac-10 tournament to get the nod in the West. Kansas beat Texas in the Big 12 final Sunday, in a game almost everyone agreed would be for top seeding in the Midwest. Memphis is from the less-prestigious Conference USA and lost to Tennessee in the regular season, but the Tigers (33-1) won their conference and the Vols (29-4) helped smooth things out by losing in the SEC semifinals.

Maybe Memphis could quibble with a possible game against second-seeded Texas in the South regional final - in Houston. But the Tigers weren't backing down from Final Four expectations after losing in the regional finals the last two years.

"We created those expectations before the year even started, and that's what we're living up to," guard Chris Douglas-Roberts said. "We're not taking that back at all. That's what we want."

The tournament begins Tuesday when Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion Coppin State, the first team to make the tournament with 20 losses, plays Mount St. Mary's in an opening-round game. The winner gets North Carolina.

With eight teams, the Big East placed the most schools in the tournament. The Pac-10, Big 12 and SEC followed with six each, while the ACC and Big Ten had four apiece.

Selection committee chairman Tom O'Connor called the RPI "a control point" when it comes to picking teams.

"It's a data point and it's a starting point, but it's not an end-all," he said. "We don't look at conferences at all."

Yet later, he cited Arizona State's bad numbers in the same RPI as a reason for snubbing the Sun Devils, saying they would have been the worst RPI rating of any team to ever make the field.

"While Arizona State is very good, the committee didn't feel it was one of the best 34 at-large teams in the country," O'Connor said. "Also, they were 2-4 against the top teams in their conference."

For the second straight year, only six of those 34 at-large bids went to teams from smaller conferences. That included St. Joe's, which earned one of the final spots in the bracket, but didn't include Illinois State. But how to argue against snubbing a team that lost by 30 points its last time out, in the finals of the Missouri Valley Conference against Drake?

Meanwhile, mid-major George Mason, the team that showed what March Madness is really all about with its incredible run to the Final Four two years ago, is back as a 12th seed after winning the Colonial Athletic Association crown.

Last year's national runner-up, Ohio State, was also left on the bubble, meaning both of the previous season's finalists will miss the tournament for the first time since the bracket was expanded in 1985.

O'Connor said the selection committee had eight contingency plans based on the possibilities from Sunday's five conference title games, but the committee had done lots of advance work to make the last-second decisions less difficult.

"We said from the beginning, when you look at what happens in the NCAA tournament, all the publicity, all the hype, the economics ... the real thing is playing the games with the kids on the court," he said.

No argument there. And not much with the bracket his committee produced, either.

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