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This week in the NBA: Hot and cold bets

This week in the NBA: Hot and cold bets

This week in the NBA: Hot and cold bets
By MATT FARGO

The NBA tips off this week as we begin our eight-month marathon of the pro basketball season. Matt Fargo will be looking into Hot and Cold NBA bets throughout the season and he starts the first week by looking at four big matchups in the first four nights that you will not want to miss.

Tuesday – Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics

The reigning champs tip off their season on opening night as the Celtics host Cleveland in the marquee game of the night. This is a rematch of last season’s conference semifinals that went the distance with the Celtics escaping with a less than impressive series win. Boston went 1-6 against the spread (ATS) in that series and for the season it was just 2-9 ATS in the 11 meetings against the Cavaliers. An interesting situation takes place here to play against the previous champions. The last six NBA Champions (San Antonio, Miami, San Antonio, Detroit, San Antonio and LA Lakers) have combined for a 19-40 ATS mark (32.2 percent) through their first two weeks of the following year.

Wednesday – Miami Heat at New York Knicks

The biggest disappointment of the season last year heads to New York to take on the new-look Knicks. Miami finished last season an NBA worst 15-67 which is remarkable considering that the Heat were the NBA champs the season before. Miami was the lowest scoring team in the NBA at 91.4 points per game (ppg) but it is now healthy and ready to regain its dominance. The Knicks are with a new coach in Mike D’Antoni and with that comes a new system. His former Suns were the third highest scoring team from last season and they were the only team that shot 50 percent from the floor so expect New York to improve its 96.9 ppg average from last year. The Knicks went 50-32 to the 'over’ last season and with more running and a bad defense, we should see more games flying over.

Thursday – Houston Rockets at Dallas Mavericks

Can the Rockets finally win a playoff series under Tracy McGrady? We won’t find out for another six months but what we do know is that Houston should be one of the top teams in the Western Conference with the return of Yao Ming and the acquisition of Ron Artest. The Rockets finished 4th in the NBA in ATS record last season, going 47-33-2 against the number and that could be a sign to play against. The Mavericks meanwhile were a disappointing 35-43-1 ATS and despite being 20 games over .500, they finished seventh in the conference and had an early playoff exit for the second straight season. Dallas did nothing to improve itself but it will still be a top contender once again. The Mavericks are 10-2 straight up and 9-3 ATS against Houston over the last three seasons.

Friday – San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trailblazers

The Spurs won the NBA Championship in 2003, 2005 and 2007 so if the trend holds true, they will be hoisting the Finals Trophy again this season. If it were only that easy. San Antonio is always considered one of the most boring teams in the league and I completely agree with that but it still knows how to win. This team is not getting any younger and what it faces on Friday is one of the young and upcoming teams in the league. Portland looks to heading in the right direction and with Greg Odom healthy, the Blazers look to be a team that could make some noise. Portland has lost 12 straight games in this series but this could be a really good home dog spot. The Blazers went 2-1 ATS last season against the Spurs including a cover in the lone meeting at the Rose Garden.

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