NBA News and Notes Monday 1/12

NBA News and Notes Monday 1/12

Monday's NBA Tip Sheet
By Brad Young

**Bucks at Wizards**

-Las Vegas Sports Consultants installed Milwaukee as a two-point road ‘chalk’ over Washington, with the total set at 192. This game is scheduled to tipoff at 7:05 p.m. ET.

-Milwaukee (18-21 straight up, 25-13 against the spread) has alternated SU wins and losses its last 10 games after falling to Minnesota Saturday as a 2½-point road underdog, 106-104. The Bucks had failed to cover their previous two outings. The combined 210 points eclipsed the 199 ½-point closing total, helping the ‘over’ cash the fifth consecutive contest.

-Milwaukee fell despite shooting a robust 53 percent (40-of-76) from the field. Michael Redd led all scorers with 32 points, while Richard Jefferson contributed 29 on 10-of-15 shooting.

-The Bucks are 7-15 SU on the road, but a solid 14-7 ATS. The ‘over’ has gone 13-9 during those outings, with Milwaukee dropping those games by an average score of 99-96.

-Washington (7-29 SU, 15-21 ATS) has dropped four games in a row SU and three consecutive contests ATS after Saturday’s setback to Charlotte as a 3½-point home favorite, 92-89. The combined 181 points slithered ‘over’ the 180 ½-point closing total, helping the ‘over’ improve to 2-1 the past three games.

-The Wizards won the rebounding battle, 32-28, and shot 52 percent (34-of-65) from the field. However, Washington lost the game when Charlotte shot 45 percent (9-of-20) from three-point land. Caron Butler led the Wizards with 19 points that included 11-of-12 shooting from the free-throw line.

-Washington has struggled to a 5-14 SU and 7-12 ATS home ledger, with the ‘over’ going 10-8. The Wizards have been dropping those affairs by an average score of 100-96.

-Milwaukee is 3-1 SU and ATS the previous four meetings with Washington after winning November 5 in overtime as a one-point home underdog, 112-104. The combined 216 points soared past the 189-point closing total, enabling the ‘over’ to cash the last four games in this series.

-Milwaukee forward Malik Allen (ribs) is ‘questionable’ against the Wizards. Washington forward Antawn Jamison (knee) is ‘questionable’ versus the Bucks.

**Knicks at Hornets**

-LVSC opened New Orleans as a decided 11½-point home favorite over New York, with the total set at 203½. This contest is slated to start at 8:05 p.m. ET.

-New York (13-22 SU, 18-17 ATS) is currently mired in a three-game losing skid after getting roughed up Saturday by Houston as a 6 ½-point road underdog, 96-76. The combined 172 points never seriously threatened the 204½-point closing total, helping the ‘under’ cash the sixth consecutive contest.

-The Knicks were dominated on the boards, 60-38, while shooting a dismal 35 percent (29-of-82). Tim Thomas scored 18 points off the bench, while David Lee added 14 and 11 rebounds in the loss.

-New York maintains a 5-14 SU and 10-9 ATS road record, with the ‘under’ going 13-6. The Knicks have been losing those matchups by an average score of 106-100.

-New Orleans (22-11 SU, 15-17 ATS) has alternated SU wins and losses its last five games after throttling the Los Angeles Clippers Friday as a decided 15½-point home ‘chalk,’ 107-80. The combined 187 points eclipsed the 184½-point closing total, helping the ‘over’ cash the fourth game in a row.

-The Hornets won the contest by shooting a solid 51 percent (40-of-78) from the field. Rasual Butler led all scorers with 27 points, while Tyson Chandler contributed 13 and 11 rebounds.

-New Orleans sports a 12-4 SU and 7-8 ATS home record, with the ‘under’ going 9-6. The Hornets have been winning their home endeavors by an average score of 97-89.

-New Orleans is 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS the last four meetings with New York, but this is the first matchup this season.

-New York center Eddy Curry (knee) is ‘questionable’ versus the Hornets.

**Blazers at Bulls**

-LVSC lists Portland as a 3½-point road ‘chalk’ over Chicago, with the total set at 195½. This game is scheduled to start at 8:35 p.m. ET.

-Portland (22-14 SU, 17-19 ATS) is riding a modest two-game SU winning streak after upending Golden State Saturday as a 12-point home favorite, 113-100. The combined 213 points went ‘over’ the 210-point closing total, snapping a string of five consecutive ‘under’ outings.

-The Blazers outrebounded the Warriors, 39-32, while shooting 48 percent (41-of-85) from the field. LaMarcus Aldridge led the charge with 26 points and seven rebounds, while Brandon Roy added 19, six and five assists.

-Chicago (16-21 SU and ATS) had won back-to-back games SU before falling to Oklahoma City in overtime Saturday as an 8½-point home ‘chalk,’ 109-98. The combined 207 points went ‘over’ the 205½-point closing total, ending a string of three straight ‘under’ outings.

-The Bulls were on the short end on the glass, 59-37, while shooting 44 percent (40-92) from the field. Ben Gordon netted 22 points in the setback, while Drew Gooden added 20 and 12 rebounds.

-Chicago is 12-6 SU and 9-9 ATS at home, with the ‘over’ going 10-8. The Bulls have been winning their home endeavors by an average score of 102-100.

-Portland is 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS the previous three meetings with Chicago after prevailing November 19 as a 6 ½-point home favorite, 116-74. The combined 190 points went ‘under’ the 194 ½-point closing total, ending a string of three straight ‘over’ outings in this series.

-Chicago forward Thabo Sefolosha (flu) and forward Luol Deng (ankle) are ‘questionable’ against the Blazers.

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NBA Today

SCOREBOARD

Monday, Jan. 12

Toronto at Boston (7:30 p.m. EST). The NBA champion Celtics complete a home-and-home series with the Raptors after a 94-88 victory in Toronto on Sunday.

STARS

Sunday

— Jamal Crawford, Warriors, scored 32 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 11.3 seconds left in Golden State’s 120-117 win over Indiana.

— Ray Allen, Celtics, scored a season-high 36 points, including eight 3-pointers, to help Boston beat Toronto 94-88.

— Andrew Bynum, Lakers, scored a season-high 24 points, including the go-ahead putback with 18.5 seconds remaining to help Los Angeles beat Miami 108-105.

FANTASTIC FINISH

Jamal Crawford scored 32 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 11.3 seconds left in a pell-mell fourth quarter, and Golden State snapped its five-game losing streak with a 120-117 victory over Indiana on Sunday night. The final minutes were a sublime exchange between Crawford and Danny Granger. Crawford hit four 3-pointers and didn’t miss any of his eight free throws. Granger, who scored 15 of his career high-tying 42 points in the fourth quarter, went 14-for-14 from the free throw line and added seven rebounds for the Pacers.

BIG THREE-OH

The Lakers beat Miami 108-105 Sunday to become the first Western Conference team to 30 wins. Los Angeles (30-6) reached the mark the same day as Boston (30-9) and Orlando (30-8).

SNAPPED

Golden State snapped its five-game losing streak with a thrilling 120-117 victory over Indiana. … Sacramento ended its five-game losing streak by beating Dallas 102-95 Sunday. … Boston withstood a late Toronto rally to beat the Raptors 94-88 and end a four-game losing streak.

SPEAKING

“Feed the pig, that’s what we always say. He was the hot guy, so we want to keep feeding him.”—Boston coach Doc Rivers after Ray Allen had a season-high 36 points in the Celtics’ 94-88 win over Toronto on Sunday.

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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Washington Wizards

The Bucks were defeated by the Timberwolves 106-104 last time out, as 2.5-point road underdogs. The 210 points made it OVER the posted total of 199.5.

Michael Redd went for a game-high 32 points for the Bucks, while Richard Jefferson had 29 in a losing effort.

The Wizards blew an early lead and fell 92-89 to the Bobcats as a 3.5-point favorite last time out. That game's 181 points made it OVER the posted total of 180.5.

Andray Blatche tossed in 14 points with 10 rebounds for a double-double in the loss.

Current streak:
Washington has lost 4 straight games.

Team records:
Milwaukee: 18-21 SU, 24-13-2 ATS
Washington: 7-29 SU, 15-21 ATS

Milwaukee most recently:
When playing on Monday are 4-6
Before playing Miami are 6-4
After playing Minnesota are 6-4
After a loss are 7-3

Washington most recently:
When playing on Monday are 5-5
Before playing New York are 4-6
After playing Charlotte are 3-7
After a loss are 2-8

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Milwaukee's last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Milwaukee's last 8 games when playing on the road against Washington
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Milwaukee's last 6 games when playing Washington
Milwaukee is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games when playing on the road against Washington
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Washington's last 8 games when playing at home against Milwaukee
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Washington's last 6 games when playing Milwaukee
Washington is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Milwaukee
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Washington's last 12 games

Next up:
Milwaukee home to Miami, Wednesday, January 14
Washington at New York, Wednesday, January 14


Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics

The Raptors lost to Boston 94-88 as a 5.5-point underdog on Sunday. The combined score fell UNDER the posted over/under total (188.5).

Andrea Bargnani led the Raptors with 17 points and nine rebounds, while Chris Bosh had 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Ray Allen scored a season-high 36 points for Boston, while Rajon Rondo added 14 points and 11 assists in the win.

Team records:
Toronto: 16-22 SU, 15-22-1 ATS
Boston: 30-9 SU, 20-19 ATS

Toronto most recently:
When playing on Monday are 6-4
Before playing Chicago are 4-6
After playing Boston are 6-4
After a loss are 4-6

Boston most recently:
When playing on Monday are 7-3
Before playing New Jersey are 5-5
After playing Toronto are 6-4
After a win are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Toronto's last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Toronto's last 7 games when playing on the road against Boston
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Toronto's last 10 games
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Toronto's last 10 games when playing Boston
Boston is 13-1 SU in its last 14 games at home
Boston is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing Toronto
Boston is 10-2 SU in its last 12 games when playing at home against Toronto
Boston is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games at home

Next up:
Toronto home to Chicago, Wednesday, January 14
Boston home to New Jersey, Wednesday, January 14


Oklahoma City Thunder vs. New Jersey Nets

The Thunder outscored the Bulls 15-4 in OT to earn a 109-98 upset win on Saturday, as 8.5-point underdogs. The 207 points made it OVER the posted total of 205.5.

Kevin Durant went for a double-double, scoring 28 points and hauling down 12 boards for the Thunder.

The Nets were clipped 104-102 by the Bucks on Friday night, as 7-point road underdogs. The 206 points sailed OVER the posted total of 191.

Vince Carter just missed a triple-double in the loss, tossing in 23 points with nine rebounds and 14 assists.

Team records:
Oklahoma City: 6-32 SU, 24-14 ATS
New Jersey: 18-19 SU, 21-16 ATS

Oklahoma City most recently:
When playing on Monday are 4-6
Before playing Utah are 2-8
After playing Chicago are 4-6
After a win are 1-9

New Jersey most recently:
When playing on Monday are 6-4
Before playing Boston are 6-4
After playing Milwaukee are 5-5
After a loss are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
Oklahoma City is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games
Oklahoma City is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Oklahoma City's last 8 games when playing on the road against New Jersey
The total has gone OVER in 12 of Oklahoma City's last 17 games on the road
New Jersey is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New Jersey's last 5 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 6 of New Jersey's last 8 games when playing at home against Oklahoma City
New Jersey is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games when playing at home against Oklahoma City

Next up:
Oklahoma City home to Utah, Wednesday, January 14
New Jersey at Boston, Wednesday, January 14


New York Knicks vs. New Orleans Hornets

The Knicks were trounced 96-76 by the Rockets last time out, as 6.5-point road underdogs. The combined 172 points fell well UNDER the posted total of 205.

Tim Thomas netted 18 points, and Nate Robinson had 17 in the loss.

The Hornets were all over the Clippers in a convincing 107-80 victory on Friday. The Hornets covered the 15.5-point spread, and the combined score made it OVER the posted total of 185.

Rasual Butler tossed in a game-high 27 points, and James Posey chipped in with 16 in the win.

Current streak:
New York has lost 3 straight games.

Team records:
New York: 13-22 SU, 18-17 ATS
New Orleans: 22-11 SU, 14-17-2 ATS

New York most recently:
When playing on Monday are 5-5
Before playing Washington are 5-5
After playing Houston are 3-7
After a loss are 3-7

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

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of New York's last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 9 of New York's last 10 games when playing on the road against New Orleans
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New York's last 5 games on the road
New York is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games on the road
New Orleans is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing New York
New Orleans is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 9 of New Orleans's last 10 games when playing at home against New York
New Orleans is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing New York

Next up:
New York home to Washington, Wednesday, January 14
New Orleans at Dallas, Wednesday, January 14


Portland Trail Blazers vs. Chicago Bulls

The Trail Blazers took it to the Warriors in Saturday's 113-100 victory. The Trail Blazers could only manage a PUSH against the 13-point spread, while the 213 points made it OVER the posted total of 209.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points and collected seven rebounds. Brandon Roy chipped in with 19 points in the win.

The Bulls were upset 109-98 by the Thunder last time out, as 8.5-point favorites at home. The game's 207 points made it OVER the posted total of 205.5.

Drew Gooden had 20 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double, while Ben Gordon added 22 points in the loss.

Current streak:
Portland has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Portland: 22-14 SU, 17-19 ATS
Chicago: 16-21 SU, 16-21 ATS

Portland most recently:
When playing on Monday are 5-5
Before playing Philadelphia are 8-2
After playing Golden State are 4-6
After a win are 5-5

Chicago most recently:
When playing on Monday are 5-5
Before playing Toronto are 9-1
After playing Oklahoma City are 5-5
After a loss are 6-4

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 UNDER in 4 of Portland's last 5 games
Portland is 14-6 SU in its last 20 games when playing Chicago
Portland is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games
Chicago is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 10 of Chicago's last 15 games
Chicago is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against Portland
Chicago is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Portland

Next up:
Portland at Philadelphia, Wednesday, January 14
Chicago at Toronto, Wednesday, January 14


Indiana Pacers vs. Utah Jazz

The Pacers lost to Golden State 120-117 as a 1.5-point favorite on Sunday. The combined score went OVER the posted over/under total (234.5).

Danny Granger scored a game-high 42 points for Indiana and T.J. Ford had 15 points and six assists.

The Jazz dominated early as they ran over the Pistons 99-82 on Saturday. The Jazz covered the 9-point spread, but the 181 points fell UNDER the posted total of 186.5.

Mehmet Okur shot 8-for-9 from the field with 22 points and six rebounds, while Ronnie Brewer added 16 points in that win.

Current streak:
Indiana has lost 2 straight games.
Utah has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
Indiana: 13-24 SU, 18-18-1 ATS
Utah: 22-15 SU, 21-16 ATS

Indiana most recently:
When playing on Monday are 4-6
Before playing Detroit are 3-7
After playing Golden State are 3-7
After a loss are 4-6

Utah most recently:
When playing on Monday are 7-3
Before playing Oklahoma City are 5-5
After playing Detroit are 4-6
After a win are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 13 of Indiana's last 16 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Indiana's last 5 games when playing on the road against Utah
Indiana is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games when playing Utah
Indiana is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games when playing Utah
Utah is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Utah's last 6 games
Utah is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home
Utah is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games

Next up:
Indiana home to Detroit, Wednesday, January 14
Utah at Oklahoma City, Wednesday, January 14

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MILWAUKEE (18 - 21) at WASHINGTON (7 - 29)
Top Trends for this game.
MILWAUKEE is 40-58 ATS (-23.8 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record over the last 3 seasons.
MILWAUKEE is 24-13 ATS (+9.7 Units) in all games this season.
WASHINGTON is 25-48 ATS (-27.8 Units) as a home underdog of 3 points or less since 1996.
WASHINGTON is 222-269 ATS (-73.9 Units) in home games since 1996.

Head-to-Head Series History
MILWAUKEE is 6-3 against the spread versus WASHINGTON over the last 3 seasons
WASHINGTON is 5-4 straight up against MILWAUKEE over the last 3 seasons
6 of 9 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


TORONTO (16 - 21) at BOSTON (29 - 9)
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
BOSTON is 6-4 against the spread versus TORONTO over the last 3 seasons
BOSTON is 6-4 straight up against TORONTO over the last 3 seasons
6 of 10 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


OKLAHOMA CITY (6 - 32) at NEW JERSEY (18 - 19)
Top Trends for this game.
OKLAHOMA CITY is 23-14 ATS (+7.6 Units) in all games this season.
OKLAHOMA CITY is 22-12 ATS (+8.8 Units) as an underdog this season.
OKLAHOMA CITY is 13-5 ATS (+7.5 Units) in road games this season.

Head-to-Head Series History
NEW JERSEY is 2-2 against the spread versus OKLAHOMA CITY over the last 3 seasons
NEW JERSEY is 2-2 straight up against OKLAHOMA CITY over the last 3 seasons
3 of 4 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


NEW YORK (13 - 22) at NEW ORLEANS (22 - 11)
Top Trends for this game.
NEW ORLEANS is 71-54 ATS (+11.6 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
NEW ORLEANS is 53-35 ATS (+14.5 Units) as a favorite over the last 2 seasons.
NEW ORLEANS is 39-25 ATS (+11.5 Units) in home games over the last 2 seasons.
NEW ORLEANS is 15-4 ATS (+10.6 Units) in January games over the last 2 seasons.
NEW ORLEANS is 59-37 ATS (+18.3 Units) when playing with 2 days rest since 1996.
NEW ORLEANS is 43-26 ATS (+14.4 Units) in non-conference games over the last 3 seasons.
NEW ORLEANS is 31-19 ATS (+10.1 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record over the last 2 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
NEW ORLEANS is 3-1 against the spread versus NEW YORK over the last 3 seasons
NEW ORLEANS is 4-0 straight up against NEW YORK over the last 3 seasons
2 of 4 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


PORTLAND (22 - 14) at CHICAGO (16 - 21)
Top Trends for this game.
PORTLAND is 19-8 ATS (+10.2 Units) after scoring 105 points or more over the last 2 seasons.
CHICAGO is 52-67 ATS (-21.7 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
CHICAGO is 72-101 ATS (-39.1 Units) in home games in non-conference games since 1996.
CHICAGO is 7-15 ATS (-9.5 Units) revenging a loss vs opponent this season.
CHICAGO is 23-35 ATS (-15.5 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
PORTLAND is 3-2 against the spread versus CHICAGO over the last 3 seasons
PORTLAND is 3-2 straight up against CHICAGO over the last 3 seasons
3 of 5 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


INDIANA (13 - 23) at UTAH (22 - 15)
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
UTAH is 3-1 against the spread versus INDIANA over the last 3 seasons
UTAH is 3-1 straight up against INDIANA over the last 3 seasons
2 of 4 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons 

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MILWAUKEE vs. WASHINGTON
Milwaukee is 1-3-1 ATS in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Milwaukee's last 5 games
Washington is 3-8 ATS in its last 11 games when playing at home against Milwaukee
Washington is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Milwaukee

OKLAHOMA CITY vs. NEW JERSEY
Oklahoma City is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games on the road
Oklahoma City is 1-9 SU in its last 10 games on the road
New Jersey is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New Jersey's last 5 games at home

TORONTO vs. BOSTON
Toronto is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
Toronto is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games
Boston is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games at home
Boston is 13-1 SU in its last 14 games at home

NEW YORK vs. NEW ORLEANS
New York is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games when playing New Orleans
New York is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing New Orleans
New Orleans is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games at home
New Orleans is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games at home

PORTLAND vs. CHICAGO
Portland is 14-6 SU in its last 20 games when playing Chicago
Portland is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
Chicago is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
Chicago is 3-7 SU in its last 10 games

INDIANA vs. UTAH
Indiana is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games when playing on the road against Utah
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Indiana's last 5 games when playing on the road against Utah
Utah is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games
Utah is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games

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Hot Teams
-- Bucks are 6-0 SU in game following their last six losses.
-- New Jersey covered its last five games. Thunder is 12-3 spread in last fifteen games.
-- Hornets won six of their last eight games.
-- Jazz won four of their last five games.

Cold Teams
-- Wizards lost last four games, failed to cover their last three.
-- Celtics lost seven of their last ten games. Raptors won three of their last four home games.
-- Knicks lost ten of last twelve games (2-3 vs spread last five on road).
-- Bulls lost seven of their last ten games. Portland is 0-7 vs spread in its last seven road games.
-- Pacers lost seven of their last ten games.

Totals
-- Last five Milwaukee games all went over the total.
-- Eight of last ten Boston games stayed under the total.
-- Three of Nets' last four games went over the total.
-- Hornets' last four games all went over the total; Knicks' last six games all stayed under.
-- Five of last six Portland games stayed under the total.
-- Over is 13-3 in Indiana's last sixteen games.

Back-to Back
-- Celtics are 3-6 vs spread if they played the day/night before.
-- Pacers are 3-6 vs spread when they played the night before.

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Monday's best NBA bets
Covers.com

Portland Trail Blazers at Chicago Bulls (+2, 193)

The Portland Trail Blazers received a big lift their last time out, as Brandon Roy returned to the lineup to spark them offensively.

Roy and the Trail Blazers look for another strong offensive performance Monday, as they try to win three straight for the first time in more than five weeks in a matchup with the scuffling Chicago Bulls.

After missing four games with a hamstring injury, Roy returned Saturday and finished with 19 points, six rebounds and five assists in Portland's 113-100 win over Golden State. Blazers coach Nate McMillan had planned to ease Roy back in, but with the game on the line, couldn't keep his star on the bench.

Roy played about 6 minutes in each of the first three quarters before playing every minute of the fourth. Roy, averaging a team-high 22.8 points, scored nine in the final period.

"I was really pleased with Brandon's performance after the layoff," McMillan said. "I said earlier that we would only play him 20 to 25 minutes, but as the game wore on he said he felt better and wanted to play more. We gave him the ball down the stretch and he helped us close the game out."

Roy's return clearly inspired Portland (22-14), which went 2-2 in his absence against reigning division winners Boston, New Orleans, Detroit and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Blazers averaged 84.5 points in those games, compared to 99.7 points with Roy in the lineup this season.

Roy now tries to lead Portland, two games back of Northwest Division-leading Denver, to its first three-game winning streak since it reeled off a season-high six in a row Nov. 24-Dec. 3.

The Blazers had no trouble beating the Bulls in their first meeting of the season, scoring a season-high 62 first-half points en route to a 116-74 win - their most lopsided of the season.

Roy led Portland with 20 points in that game, and is averaging 24.3 points during his team's three-game winning streak against Chicago.

Pick: Portland -2


New York Knicks at New Orleans Hornets (-12, 201)

The New Orleans Hornets likely wouldn't mind a few more home games, while the New York Knicks are probably looking forward to the end of their miserable road trip.

Heading to New Orleans Arena on Monday, however, would only seem to deepen the Knicks' road woes.

The Hornets (22-11) have won three straight at home and are 9-1 in their last 10 at New Orleans Arena. New York, meanwhile, has dropped three straight on its four-game road trip and is 3-12 in its last 15 away from home.

The Knicks (13-22) are also 1-12 when scoring fewer than 100 points this season, and will face one of the league's top defensive teams in New Orleans, which has held opponents to 92.2 points per game and 89.3 at home.

Only the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento have reached the century mark at New Orleans this season, resulting in two of the Hornets' four losses in a 12-4 home record.

New Orleans is also one of the league's best teams at closing out opponents with a 19-1 record when leading after three quarters, while New York is 0-18 when trailing entering the final period.

If that wasn't enough, the Hornets have won seven straight over the Knicks dating back to Jan. 11, 2005.

Pick: Under 201

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Portland (22-14, 17-19 ATS) at Chicago (16-21 SU and ATS)

The struggling Bulls, losers of seven of their last 10 games overall, try to snap out of their funk as they welcome the Trail Blazers to the United Center in Chicago.

Portland has won its last two, downing the Pistons 84-83 on Wednesday but coming up short as 2½-point home favorites, and beating the Warriors 113-100 on Saturday, narrowly cashing as a 12-point home chalk. The Blazers, who are kicking off a four-game road trip tonight, are just 8-10 SU (6-12 ATS) away from home this season.

Chicago is coming off Saturday’s embarrassing 109-98 home loss to Oklahoma City as an 8 ½-point home chalk, falling to 1-5 ATS in their last six overall. The Bulls, who have surrendered 102 points or more in five of their last eight outings, have dropped three of their last five at home (1-4 ATS).

The SU winner is 14-2 ATS in Chicago’s last 16 games and 13-1 in Portland’s last 14.

Portland has won the last three head-to-head meetings with Chicago, including a 116-74 blowout victory in Oregon on Nov. 19, easily cashing as a 6½-point favorite. Last season, the Blazers went to the Windy City and got a 100-97 win but couldn’t cover as 5½-point road favorites. These teams have alternated spread-covers over the last four years, with the home team carrying a 5-2 ATS mark in the last seven meetings.

The Blazers haven’t done much at the betting window lately, currently on negative ATS trends of 5-12 overall, 0-7 on the road, 2-6 against the Eastern Conference, 6-21 on Mondays and 1-7 when getting a day off. The Bulls are 4-0 ATS in their last four Monday affairs, but otherwise they’re also on a host of ATS slides, including 1-5 overall, 1-4 at home, 2-5 against the Western Conference, 1-4 as a ‘dog, 1-6 when getting a day off and 2-6 at home against teams with a losing road mark.

For Portland, the under is on runs of 4-1 overall, 27-11 on the road, 21-8 after a straight-up win, 5-1 on Monday, 4-0 against the Central Division and 6-1 after a spread-cover. Also, Chicago is on “under” streaks of 11-4 as a home ‘dog and 4-1 after an ATS loss, but the over is 6-2 in the Bulls’ last eight as an underdog in any venue and 4-1 when they get a day off. Finally, the over is 5-2-1 in the last eight matchups between these teams in Chicago.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER

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Re: NBA News and Notes Monday 1/12

Monday's Research
By Indiancowboy

Milwaukee vs. Washington

Milwukee comes off a tough loss to the Twlves on the road and have had a day to think about it as they face a Washington team that is not only losing SU as always but not covering the spread as well of recent after going on an ATS run. Milwaukee is one of the best ATS teams this year at 24-13 ATS. These two teams faced each other earlier this yea as the Bucks ended up winning at home in OT by a score of 112-104. Washington has lost 3 straight covers and comes off some very tough losses at home including a 3 point loss to the Bobcats at home as well as a 6 point loss to the Raptors at home. Milwaukee is the better team but it seems that Washington might be just due for a home win here with an earlier OT revenge. Of course, this was the similar line against the Bobcats (-4) and Raptors (-2.5) which the Wiz did not cover and now they sit at a +2.5 dog here.

Toronto vs. Boston

A home and home and typically that bodes well for the team that just lost SU which would be the Raptors in this case. The game is currently off the board, but historically, in a home and home the team that just lost ATS has over a 60% chance of covering. Having said that, the exception might be the Orlando Magic who defeated the Hawks on the road and then came back home to kill the Hawks even more - but the caveat with that gam was the fact that the Hawks beat the Magic at home in the first game of the season so they didn't want to lose to this team twice at home in Orlando. Once again, no line on this game, waiting for one to be released. Toronto has been playing better of late, likely b/c O'Neal is not on the court, as they have covered 4 of their last 6. Of course, the Celtics are still fuming from a series of losses including to the Rockets at home recently so despite their win yesterday Doc Rivers will have this team focused on playing better as they return home.

OKC vs. NJ

Harris is listed as probable at home as OKC continues to play very good basketball. OKC is one of the best ATS teams this year as they sit at 24-14 ATS. The Nets have improved ATS wise as they are 21-16 ATS and looking to reach .500 as they are 17-18 SU. These two teams have not met this year. OKC has covered 8 of their last 10 including a big OT win at Chicago. The Nets have covered 5 straight despite their loss to Milwaukee on the road in their last contest 102-104. A small lean on the over here and OKC catching the points. But, the Nets have a way of starting each game slow and then storming back in the second half. At least this has been the trend over the past 10 games in particular.

New York vs. New Orleans

New York has had a rough go of it of late. They have lost their last 10 of 12 SU and trade rumors are swirling once again in the Big Apple. This team has gone W,L,W,L,W,L over their last 6 contest ATS wise and the last 6 have gone under in that stretch as well. The Hornets just crushed the Clippers at home by 27 and shot over 50% from the field in their last game. A large spread here, and NY comes off an ugly loss to Houston so they likely step up here, but the total has actually gone under the posted total even in the games NY is an active dog. A lean on the under more than the side here.

Portland vs. Chicago

This is a dangerous game for Portland. The Bulls continue to take some heat and the H.C. for Chicago is on the hot seat as despite the Thunder playing better, this team just lost to the 5 win OKC Thunder at that time. Plus, they lost to the Twolves at home as well - but the Twolves are also playing better currently. Portland beat this team 116-74 at home earlier this year and easily covered as -6.5 chalk at home. Portland comes off a 13 point win ove GS covering the -12 point chalk at the Rose Garden recently. The Bulls are 2-9 ATS over their last 10 but will likely get up for this game.

Indiana vs. Utah

Indiana is on a west coast road trip and they fell short against the Warriors last night and face a Utah team with Ford listed as doubtful and Daniels listed as questionable. As I write, there is no line on this game currently. The Jazz are 21-16 ATS ad they are one of the best in the league at covering at home. Utah is 5-2 ATS of late and they have covered their last 4 of 5 of late as Indiana comes off a loss to GS and looks to bounc-back here. No line here yet, but a lean on the over in what is likely to be an up and down game and I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see Indiana fall inside the number as it won't be as high as the Laker but still likely around a +9.5 spread. Indiana is 24-12 ATS this year to the over.

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