NBA News and Notes Sunday 2/8

NBA News and Notes Sunday 2/8

Blockbuster Sunday
By Josh Jacobs

Through all the hype, promotions and predictions, Sunday will boil down to two, 48 minute meetings on the court. And unless you’ve been locked away in the basement, you know that the top four teams in the Association will break out the ball and sweatbands.

But besides what the powerhouse teams in both the East and West will do in terms of wins and losses, the focus in this preview is to see where our money can best be put to use. Is it a smart move to think that the Celtics will rebound from a tough loss against the Lakers on Thursday? Can the Spurs cover their seventh game in the last 11? And are we looking at a Sunday that could compliment the ‘over’ run that’s been throwing money in the air?

Starting right from the top, San Antonio (33-15 straight up, 23-23-2 against the spread) and Boston (42-10 SU, 29-23 ATS) will flex their divisional muscles at 1:00 p.m. EST. ABC will get the day started by televising this first contest of the special double-header.

San Antonio: It’s been a schedule marred by eight road games in the last 11. The Spurs have handled traveling with mixed reviews. Throughout the time spent away from home, San Antonio has tallied a 5-3 SU and 4-3-1 ATS record, holding teams to low scoring outputs in one contest only to falter on defense in the very next game. Case in point: the Spurs have been able to outscore their opponents 101.6 to 96 PPG in those five wins only to fall victim by being outscored 104 to 89.3 PPG in the three defeats.

But even as San Antonio has dragged its feet in some of these road games, an 8-2 SU and 6-3-1 ATS showing the last 10 overall can’t be overlooked. Maybe the biggest topic of interest involves the Spurs covering Tuesday’s contest against Denver. Although losing outright, 104-96, most books had closed the window by installing San Antonio as a heavy, 11 ½-point underdog (the highest handicap this season). The push over the top came when the Spurs outscored the Nuggets, 52-48 in the second-half.

Total players may be dizzy after the weekend concludes. After a five-game ‘under’ run from Jan. 17 to Jan. 25, San Antonio decided to flip the script by scoring 106.4 PPG in the last five. Translation: the ‘over’ has cashed the last five games for the Spurs.

Boston: The Celtics’ 12-game winning streak was halted on Thursday as the Lakers found a way to pull out the contest in overtime (110-109). This marked the third straight ATS loss for Boston. A ‘W’ in Madison Square Garden on Friday (110-100) not only helped the club to get back on track, but also pushed the total 'over' for the fourth straight game and sixth time in the last seven.

The look-ahead schedule for the Celtics is a difficult one to swallow. As good as Boston has been, San Antonio, New Orleans, Dallas, Utah, Phoenix and Denver are all up next. Overall, the Celtics are just above the .500 mark at 13-10 ATS versus teams possessing a winning record. This number breaks down to 8-6 ATS at home, and 5-4 on the road versus teams over .500.

It should also be mentioned that Boston is 6-4 ATS when books have decided to list the champions as seven to 8 ½-point favorites (5-3 ATS as eight to 8 1/2-point favorites). And on the talk of totals, the Celts have ripped three straight games on the ‘over’ (game totals have averaged 209.3 PPG versus books setting the total to 197 ½ PPG).

Boston enters this contest with a 3-1 SU and ATS record versus the Southwest division this season, giving credit to a point margin of plus-nine.

The Game: There’s no questioning the fact that San Antonio has had ample time to prepare for Sunday’s blockbuster afternoon. Coming off that Tuesday loss in Denver, the Spurs have now had four full days of R&R for which they’re just 1-2 ATS (off three-plus days of rest). The Celtics counter with some strong trends.  They are 4-2 ATS during day games this season, 24-17 ATS after a straight-up win and maintain a 4-2 ATS record when installed as a one to 5 ½-point favorite. San Antonio does have a 7-4 ATS trend on the road versus teams with a winning record working in its advantage.

Given the bounce-back win against New York (not the most difficult of contests) and the hard feelings harbored after the OT loss to L.A., the Celtics take the home win but fail to cover the spread. This is a Boston team that is 24-3 at home this season, but just 2-2 ATS against above .500 teams at home in the last four.

Prediction: San Antonio +7 ½

L.A. Lakers: L.A. remains camped out on the East Coast after working for the exhilarating win in Boston on Thursday night. The good news for those taking advantage of the 7-1 ATS record in the last eight is that L.A. hasn’t been challenged all that much during this road trip. The Lakers have been able to muster up 119.6 PPG while versus giving up 110 PPG. Other than the overtime win against the Celtics, L.A. has maintained a point margin of 11.8 PPG.

A little digging in-between the stats reveals that with all the offense generated by the Lake Show comes an 8-1 ‘over’ record the last nine games. And before Sunday’s game commences, it should be crystal clear that L.A.’s total run currently stands at six ‘over’ plays in a row (included in the 8-1 ‘over’ record). Books have been burned by sharp players, setting an average total at 208.8 PPG versus these contests actually recording a combined score of 229.2 PPG. Adding to this is an 8-0 ‘over’ record in L.A.’s last eight road games.

The Lakers front court has answered the calling since Andrew Bynum left the floor (torn MCL) last Saturday. Both Pau Gasol (18.3 PPG, 9.3 RPG) and Lamar Odom (9.7 PPG, 6.3 RPG) have combined for 38.6 PPG, with 19 RPG in the last five. There is an anomaly here however, as L.A. is a slumbering 9-10 ATS when Gasol has boxed out for double-digit rebounds this season (although this has improved in the last four games at 4-0 ATS).

Cleveland: The biggest obstacle standing in L.A.’s way remains home-court advantage for Cleveland. Still yet to succumb to a home loss, the Cavaliers have been a different team inside their own building.

Cleveland has logged in 105.1 PPG (allowing just 90.7 PPG), and is tearing down 42.1 RPG.  Cleveland has found the range from the perimeter at 49 percent, and has drained 79.1 percent of its free throws at home. Now take a look at the road numbers: 97.3 PPG, 46 percent from the field while missing the mark at the charity stripe, hitting just 72 percent of its shots. This means that the Cavaliers are 18-5 ATS at home versus 14-11 ATS when traveling.

Maintaining 47 percent from the hard wood in the last nine outings, Cleveland is 8-1 SU but has returned money to backers just five times. Its last ATS defeat was in a 107-102 victory over the Knicks on Wednesday. Most books had closed the line at 5 ½-points in favor of the visiting Cavs. If there is a positive to pull financially, then it’s Cleveland’s perfect 4-0 ATS record after coming off three or more days of rest.

The Cavaliers are also a perfect 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS since center Zydrunas Ilgauskas returned to the lineup on Jan. 30 from a small fracture in his ankle after missing close to two months of action. The seven-foot-three role player has averaged 13.5 PPG, with 8.8 RPG in the four games back.

The Game: You would think, no matter the strength of the team, that L.A. would be rolling into Cleveland sapped of energy. The Lakers were involved in two overtime games in the last six matchups, while scoring 115.5 PPG in the last eight outings.  Los Angeles covered eight of the last 10 games while getting two days of rest after playing back-to-back games in Toronto and Boston. Remember that the Lakers are just 4-3 ATS off two days of inactivity.

The Cavaliers have home-court advantage, for which they’re perfect in the record books, coming into this contest with plenty of rest and they are four-point favorites. For this reason, it feels like LeBron James (33.2 PPG, 7.4 APG, 7 RPG in the last five games) and company may have the upper hand heading into Sunday (a 13-5 ATS record against the Western Conference isn't all that bad either). But it’s the total that should be getting attention, with LVSC setting it at 210. The ‘under’ is 4-0 the last four meetings in Cleveland, and is 5-1 the last six overall meetings between these two teams.

The Lakers last took the ‘W’ against the Cavs on Jan. 19, 105-88. L.A. easily covered the five-point spread, but it was the ‘under’ that received love again after closing the books at 202.

Prediction: ‘Under’ 206

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San Antonio (33-15, 23-23-2 ATS) at Boston (42-10, 29-23 ATS)

The defending NBA champion Celtics, winners of 13 of their last 14 games, welcome the Spurs to TD Banknorth Garden for a nationally televised non-conference clash.

Boston went to Madison Square Garden on Friday and dropped New York 110-100 as a 6½-point chalk, bouncing back from Thursday’ 110-109 overtime home loss to the Lakers, which ended the squads’ 12-game SU run. The Celtics, who are 10-4 ATS during their 13-1 SU spree, have scored in triple digits in four straight games and six of the last seven. Also, they’ve rung up 105.8 points per game on the home parquet this season, more than four points above their overall season average, and they’ve outscored opponents by nearly 13 ppg at home (93.0).

San Antonio, which is in the midst of an eight-game road trip, has been idle since Tuesday, when coach Gregg Popovich rested his three biggest stars – Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan – following a 110-105 overtime win at Golden State the previous night. The Spurs played well even without the Big Three, but still fell 104-96 to end a four-game winning streak, though they still covered as an 11½-point underdog to move to 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games (3-0-1 ATS on the road). For the season, San Antonio has averaged 97.6 ppg and allowed about a three-pointer less at 94.5, but in the past five games, the Spurs have leaped to 106.4 ppg while allowing 101.2.

Boston is on a 4-0 ATS run (3-1 SU) in this rivalry – all from the underdog role – following a 6-0 SU and ATS run by San Antonio. The Celtics took both meetings last season, including a 98-90 win in February as a 2½-point home pup.

The Celtics are on a plethora of positive pointspread streaks, including 9-3 overall, 13-5 at ome, 7-1 after an ATS win, 5-1 against winning teams, 10-2 against the Southwest Division, 11-4 on Sunday and 24-11 against the Western Conference. Meanwhile, the Spurs are on ATS runs of 7-3-1 on the highway, 3-1 as a ‘dog of more than four points. 4-0 against winning teams and 4-1 on the road against teams with a winning home record, but they are also on ATS skids of 1-5-1 against the Atlantic Division, 3-9-1 against the East and 3-8-1 after a spread-cover.

The over for Boston is on rolls of 4-0 overall, 4-0 at home, 4-0 against the Western Conference, 11-5 against the Southwest Division and 5-1 following a SU win, and the over for San Antonio is on runs of 5-0 overall and 4-0 on the road. But the under for the Spurs is on stretches of 4-0 against the Eastern Conference, 9-2-1 with San Antonio going on three or more days’ rest and 5-2 on Sunday, and in this rivalry, the under is 5-2-1 in the last eight meetings between these teams in Boston.


L.A. Lakers (40-9, 26-23 ATS) at Cleveland (39-9, 32-16 ATS)

The Lakers bring the league’s best record into Quicken Loans Arena as they look to cap a perfect six-game Eastern Conference road trip when they take on the Cavaliers, who remain unbeaten at home this season, in the day’s marquee matchup.

Los Angeles squeaked past Boston 110-109 in overtime Thursday night as a seven-point road underdog, moving to 5-0 SU and ATS on their current six-game road swing. The Lakers have been filling it up throughout the road trip, averaging an eye-popping 119.6 ppg, but they’re also allowing 110.0 ppg during this five-game span.

Cleveland, sporting a perfect 23-0 SU home record and the league’s best spread-covering mark at 32-16 overall, held off New York 107-102 Wednesday night for its fourth straight win, but they failed to cover as a 5½-point road chalk, ending a three-game ATS uptick. The Cavs are averaging 102.5 ppg during their four-game run, outscoring opponents by more than 12 ppg (90.0), and at home this season, they are winning by an average of 16 ppg (105-89), helping them to an 18-5 ATS mark in their building.

Los Angeles ripped Cleveland 105-88 last month as a five-point home favorite, ending a 5-0 SU and 4-0 ATS roll by the Cavs in this rivalry. Cleveland is 5-2 ATS in the last seven clashes at Quicken Loans Arena, including last year’s 94-90 victory as a two-point home ‘dog.

The Lakers are 1-5 ATS in their last six games against the Central Division, but they are otherwise on a bevy of ATS hot streaks, including 7-0 after putting up more than 100 points, 4-0 on two days’ rest, 5-0 on the road against teams with a winning home mark, 5-1 against winning teams and 5-1 against the Eastern Conference. Also, L.A. is 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS as an underdog this season.

The Cavaliers are also on several pointspread sprees, including 37-16 overall, 21-5 at home going back to last year’s playoffs, 6-0 when playing on three or more days’ rest, 13-4 against the West, 12-4 against teams with a win percentage above .600 and 35-17 after an ATS setback.

The over for Los Angeles is on surges of 6-0 overall, 8-0 on the highway, 5-0 against the Eastern Conference, 5-0 after scoring 100 points or more and 22-8 following a SU win. On the flip side, the under for Cleveland is on stretches of 5-1 against winning teams, 5-1 with the Cavs going on three or more days’ rest, 36-16 on Sunday and 19-9 after a SU win.

Finally, the total has stayed low in five of the last six contests in this rivalry and each of the last four meetings in Cleveland.


Phoenix (27-21, 16-29-2 ATS) at Detroit (27-21, 20-28 ATS)

Two teams struggling to find some consistency square off when the Suns travel to the Motor City for a meeting with the Pistons at the Palace.

Phoenix dropped Golden State 115-105 Friday night, getting a push as a 10-point home chalk, but the Suns have cashed just once in their last five games and are on a 4-6 SU and 3-6-1 ATS skid in their last 10. Phoenix’s high-octane offense has put up 114.2 ppg in its last five – more than nine points over its season average of 104.9 – but the Suns are also giving it up on the defensive end, allowing 109.2 ppg in the last five.

Detroit went to Milwaukee on Saturday and pulled out a 126-121 overtime victory over the Bucks, barely cashing as a 4½-point favorite. Despite last night’s win, the Pistons are mired in a 5-9 SU and 4-10 ATS freefall. Detroit is also just 1-4 SU (0-5 ATS) in its last five at the Palace, getting outscored by eight points per contest (97-89). For the season, the Pistons are just 7-18 ATS on their court.

Phoenix ripped Detroit 104-86 in November as a two-point home favorite, halting a 3-0 SU and ATS run by the Pistons in this series. Detroit is still 9-2 ATS in the last 11 clashes, including 4-1 ATS in the last five at home. The favorite is on a 5-2 ATS run when these teams hook up, and the road team has covered in 12 of the last 17 meetings.

The Suns are on ATS slides of 8-21-2 overall, 2-6-1 on the highway, 2-8-1 against the Eastern Conference, 1-4 against winning teams, 2-7-2 when going on one day’s rest and 1-6 as a single-digit underdog. Likewise, the Pistons are on pointspread purges of 0-7 against winning teams, 1-10 on Sunday and 2-5 against the Western Conference.

The over is on a 5-2 run in this rivalry, and the over for Phoenix is on rolls of 12-4 against the Central Division and 5-2 on the road. But the under is 7-3 in the Suns’ last 10 games against the East. Furthermore, the under for Detroit is on streaks of 10-5-1 overall, 12-2 on Sunday, 6-2-1 against the West and 20-8-1 playing on back-to-back days.


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Re: NBA News and Notes Sunday 2/8

San Antonio is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Boston
San Antonio is 18-3 SU in its last 21 games when playing Boston
Boston is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games
Boston is 13-1 SU in its last 14 games

LA Lakers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games when playing Cleveland
LA Lakers are 1-5 SU in their last 6 games when playing Cleveland
Cleveland is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games
Cleveland is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games at home

Charlotte is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Charlotte is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games when playing Miami
Miami is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games when playing at home against Charlotte
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Miami's last 5 games when playing at home against Charlotte

Indiana is 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Washington
Indiana is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Washington
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Washington's last 9 games when playing Indiana
Washington is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games at home

New Jersey is 17-7-1 ATS in its last 25 games when playing on the road against Orlando
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of New Jersey's last 6 games when playing on the road against Orlando
Orlando is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing New Jersey
Orlando is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing New Jersey

New York is 1-7 SU in its last 8 games when playing on the road against Portland
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of New York's last 7 games when playing on the road against Portland
Portland is 6-13 ATS in its last 19 games when playing New York
Portland is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing New York

Minnesota is 4-13 ATS in its last 17 games when playing New Orleans
Minnesota is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games when playing New Orleans
New Orleans is 14-5 SU in its last 19 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of New Orleans's last 15 games at home

Sacramento is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Oklahoma City
Sacramento is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City is 2-9 SU in its last 11 games when playing Sacramento
The total has gone OVER in 10 of Oklahoma City's last 15 games when playing Sacramento

Phoenix is 2-9 ATS in its last 11 games when playing Detroit
Phoenix is 3-8 SU in its last 11 games when playing Detroit
Detroit is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games at home
Detroit is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games at home

Utah is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Golden State
Utah is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Golden State
Golden State is 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games
Golden State is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games

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Re: NBA News and Notes Sunday 2/8

Tips and Trends

San Antonio Spurs at Boston Celtics

Spurs: San Antonio should be well-rested against Boston, as four of the team's five top scorers didn't even play on Tuesday in a 104-96 loss at Denver. The Spurs have not played a game since then and have gone 5-8 ATS on two days of rest or more this season. They are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games overall and needed the rest with six more road games on tap, starting with this meeting with the Celtics. “I think it was a good decision for us,” San Antonio's Tim Duncan said. “Hopefully it pays off for us.”

Spurs are 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 road games.
The UNDER is 13-4 in San Antonio's last 17 games as an underdog.

Key Injuries - G Manu Ginobili (hip) is probable.

PROJECTED SCORE: 93 (OVER - Total Play of the Day)

Celtics (-7.5, O/U 189): Boston bounced back from a 110-109 overtime loss to the Lakers on Thursday by beating New York on the road on Friday, 110-100. The Celtics trailed by four points through three quarters but rallied back for the victory. “It was a big win,” Celtics star Paul Pierce said. “I thought we were mentally and physically drained coming into this game, especially after the tough loss. It took us a while. We got off to a slow start, but this team continues to find ways to win.”

Celtics are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
The OVER is 6-1 in Boston's last 7 games overall.

Key Injuries - F Brian Scalabrine (head) is OUT.


Los Angeles Lakers at Cleveland Cavaliers

Lakers: LA has won nine of its last 10 games and will now try to hand Cleveland its first home loss of the season. The Lakers beat the Cavs 105-88 back on January 19th and hopes to complete season series sweep against both Boston and the Cavs after beating the Celtics on Thursday. Pau Gasol helped out star Kobe Bryant in the team's latest victory, totaling 24 points and 14 rebounds. “(Gasol) was huge,” Bryant said. “He played strong. He played physical. That’s what happens. A team against you is playing physical with you, so you have to play physical right back.”

Lakers are 2-6 ATS in the last 8 meetings.
The OVER is 8-0 in LA's last 8 road games.

Key Injuries - C Andrew Bynum (knee) is OUT.


Cavs (-4.5, O/U 206): Cleveland star LeBron James is upset that teammate Mo Williams won't be going to the NBA All-Star Game as a replacement for Orlando's Jameer Nelson. James also wants people to know he plays the game simply to win and doesn't care about individual accolades. “I don’t go out there for the numbers, I just play my game,” James said. “You guys seen every phase of my game, the scoring, the rebounding, the assists and defensively just trying to attack the opposing team.”

Cavs are 21-5 ATS in their last 26 home games.
The UNDER is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings.

Key Injuries - G Sasha Pavlovic (flu) is probable.
G Delonte West (wrist) is OUT.


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Re: NBA News and Notes Sunday 2/8

What bettors need to know: Sunday NBA on ABC

San Antonio Spurs at Boston Celtics (-8, 189)

Head to head

Boston won and covered in both meetings with the Spurs last season including a 98-90 home win without Kevin Garnett. The Big Ticket got the best of Tim Duncan in the March matchup in San Antonio. Garnett had 22 points and nine rebounds while holding Duncan to 10 points in 35 minutes.

Learning from mistakes

The Celtics’ loss to the Lakers on Thursday didn’t faze the club like it did after the Christmas Day game. After dropping the holiday contest 83-92, the Green Guys went on to lose six of their next seven games. The feat was remarkable considering Boston had won 19 in a row before the setback in Los Angeles.

This time Doc Rivers’ boys beat the Knicks and covered the number in their follow-up performance. Rivers says his team is playing better now than it did during the 19-game streak.

Take a load off fanny

Spurs coach Greg Popovich raised a few eyebrows across the league when he rested his four best players Tuesday against Denver. Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Michael Finley and Duncan all watched from the bench as the Spurs fell 104-96 to the Nuggets even though Ginobili (hip contusion) was the only player with an injury listed.

“Pop is always big about resting,” Parker told the San Antonio Express-News. “It wasn’t that big of a surprise. We trust his judgement.”

Even though San Antonio is in the midst of its annual rodeo road trip, the club should be in great shape. The no-show at Denver and the four-day break between that game and Sunday’s in Boston gives the senior-laden squad ample time to charge its battery. 

Flu bug

Kevin Garnett looked sluggish in his second game back from the flu and his All-Star teammates have had to deal with similar symptoms. Ray Allen was a game-time decision for Thursday and Rivers said Pierce was feeling a bit fatigued during the Friday match at New York.

Los Angeles Lakers at Cleveland Cavaliers (-4, 205.5)

Head to head

Cleveland has won and covered in six of the last eight meetings against the Lakers, but in the most recent meeting Los Angeles beat the Cavs by 17 at the Staples Center. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James both shot poorly and the contest finished well below the 193-point over/under line.

The under is another dominant trend when these two clubs meet. Six of the last eight games have finished below the listed total.

Marked man

David Stern is not a popular person in the Cavs’ locker room. Stern’s office ruled that one of LeBron James’ 10 rebounds at MSG should have been credited to Ben Wallace. They changed the record book and negated James’ triple double in the process.

But the real reason Stern’s face is on the team’s dartboard is because he added Ray Allen to the All-Star team to replace the injured Jameer Nelson rather than Cleveland’s own Mo Williams.

"That's how they always treat us," James said to reporters. "They wouldn't take me [as an All-Star] if they didn't have to."

The Cavs are 4-0 straight up and 3-1 against the spread since the All-Star reserves were announced.

Hometown discount

The Lakers are rewarded with a trip to Cleveland after knocking off the Celtics on their floor. The Cavs are 23-0 at the Quicken Loans Arena and Lakers coach Phil Jackson has a theory on why Cleveland is so tough to beat there.

“All their people wear a crown and they all wear No. 23 and help him throw that [chalk dust] up in the air when he’s at the scorer’s desk,” Jackson said. “He gets away with murder, on top of it, on his home court.”

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Re: NBA News and Notes Sunday 2/8

Hot and Cold Bets - Week 14
By Matt Fargo

Sunday – Los Angeles Lakers at Cleveland Cavaliers 3:30 PM ET

The good news for the Lakers is that they will have had a couple days off in-between playing the Celtics on Thursday and the Cavaliers on Sunday. All the time off in the world may not do much difference here however. The Lakers have been great on the road but they will be facing the only NBA team that has yet to lose at home as the Cavaliers are a perfect 23-0 on their home floor. While the Lakers will have had two full days off to prepare and rest, Cleveland will have had three days since its last game was Wednesday against the Knicks. The Cavaliers will be looking to avenge the 17-point loss in Los Angeles from last month which is the biggest loss of the season. The Cavaliers are 18-5 ATS at home which is even more impressive considering the large spreads associated with being undefeated. The Lakers top scoring offense will have much tougher time against the Cavaliers top scoring defense on their home floor this time around.

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Re: NBA News and Notes Sunday 2/8

Sunday Research
By Indiancowboy

San Antonio vs. Boston

The public is riding SA to a tune of 60% here as the road chalk. Do note that these two teams have not met since last year when Boston swept the Spurs by winning 93-91 on the road Outright as 4.5 dogs and winning 98-90 at home as well. SA's top 3 are rested as they did not play in the Denver game that this team basically just decided not to start any of their starters which drove George Karl through the roof. After all, what does Pop have to prove after his team routed the Nuggets by 17 on the road last time out? Nothing - so, he just put his backups in all game long which drove the Nuggets nuts b/c they didn't get a chance to play this team in full capacity and use that as a stepping stone of confidence. Pop will continue to let the Nuggs doubt if they are good enough to compete with the elite in the West. Boston does come off a nice win and cover after beating the Knicks on the road as they return home. Tough to ignore the points here especially considering the Spurs remember last year's sweep and are looking forward to this game. But, I just never go against Boston when they play the better teams in the league b/c they look forward to the blowout (i.e. Mavs, Phoenix at home). Although, the points, do look nice here and I have the Spurs at a 38% chance at winning outright, so the points are slightly significant.

Lakers vs. Cleveland

I've read a stat the Lakers are 6-0 or 7-0 SU when they are Underdogs. Well, such is the case today as they face the Cavs on the road. Do note, that the Cavs are undefeated at home, so the Lakers will look at that as motivation. But, who is to say that L.A. can't get it done here? You might say but the Cavs have revenge - yes, they do. But, so did the Celtics against the Lakers and it didn't matter. This Lakers team is playing with a chip on its shoulder since Bynum went down as they do not want to let this season go down teh tubes do that injury. The Lakers have covered 5 straight and 7 of 8 while the Cavs come off a win but a failed cover at NY. A slight lean on the Lakers here to get inside the number as they look to hand the Cavs their first SU loss of the season at home to blemish their perfect 23-0 home record.

Charlotte vs. Miami

For a team that played so well against the Hawks in the early going, Charlotte just collapsed at home against the Hawks. Granted, I'm glad they did in some ways b/c that set up the Clippers for a nice win. Miami beat this team by 4 at home, and Charlotte beat this team by 13 at home. Charlotte has lost 4 straight covers and Miami comes home after back to back losses to the Pistons and Sixers on the road. I hate laying the points, but Miami is ticked as they return home - but having said that, Charlotte does have revenge but they seem to collapse constantly. However, in a game that is expected to score 181, 7.5 points does seem significant. I'm just staying away.

New Jersey vs. Orlando

The line is slowly coming down here. Do note that NJ comes off a nice win at home against Denver so they could be in for a bit of a let down against Orlando but the Magic return home off a loss. Remember, the Magic are without the services of Jameer Nelson so the question is how well do they respond. I don't to lay the points nor do I want to go against the Magic off a loss. I'm likely just sitting this one out.

Indiana vs. Washington

Washington is so bad. They have now lost 3 straight covers and are 1-7-1 ATS in their last 9. Do not forget that ol' Wash got beat by Indiana by 20 points last time around so this is a revenge game for Washington but then again so has every game this season essentially been a revenge game. lol. This team continues to struggle and the Pacers do come off a nice win against Orlando and I don't see why they can't get it done here despite being on the road.

Minnesota vs. New Orleans

Keep in mind that Minny comes off a loss to the Hawks at home and they defeated New Orleans at home last time around and that was with Chris Paul. Yes, NO has revenge and yes NO did come back against Toronto, but despite all that day, I think Minny on the bounce-back is a sound play and with Paul still OUT, I think NO struggles like they did agaisnt the Bulls, Warriors and Blazers at home when they lost all 3 games SU. With over 70% of the public riding New Orleans as well, I think Minny is likely in for an Outright win.

Sacramento vs. OKC

Remember, OKC has revenge in this game from an overtime loss to the Kings on the road this year. I'm not the greatest fan of necessarily laying the points, but who is to say the Kings don't fall once again on the road and OKC who just defeated the Blazers handily at home and gave the Nuggets all they can handle, can't get it done in big fashion against the Kings at home?

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Re: NBA News and Notes Sunday 2/8

Hot teams
-- Celtics won 13 of their last 14 games (1-3 vs spread in last four). San Antonio won eight of its last ten games.
-- Cavaliers won four in row, eight of last nine games. Lakers won five in a row, nine of last ten games (4-0-1 vs spread in last five).
-- Nets won, covered their last four games. Orlando won three of their last four home games.
-- Trailblazers won six of their last seven home games.
-- Pistons won last two games, but are 1-6 vs spread in last seven.
-- Jazz won, covered four of their last five games.

Cold Teams
-- Bobcats lost last four games, by 14-11-19-5 points. Heat lost four of their last five games.
-- Knicks lost last three games, by 9-5-10 points.
-- Pacers lost three of their last four games. Wizards lost seven of nine.
-- Minnesota lost five of its last six games. Hornets lost four of last five.
-- Oklahoma City lost three of their last four games. Kings lost ten of their last eleven contests.
-- Suns are 2-6-1 vs spread in last nine road games.
-- Warriors lost three of their last four games.

-- Six of last seven Celtic games went over the total.
-- Last six Laker games all went over the total.
-- Four of last five Miami games went over the total.
-- Four of Nets' last five games stayed under the total.
-- Knicks' last five games all went over the total.
-- Last five Washington games all went over the total.
-- Last four New Orleans games went over the total.
-- Six of last nine Thunder games went over the total.
-- Three of last four Phoenix road games stayed under the total.
-- Six of last eight Warrior games stayed under the total.

Back-to Back
-- Charlotte is 8-4 vs spread if they play again the next night.
-- Nets are 9-3 vs spread if they played the night before.
-- Minnesota is 5=3 vs spread on road if they played night before.
-- Pistons are 2-5 vs spread if they played the night before.

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