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Long hard road: Warning for NBA under bettors

Long hard road: Warning for NBA under bettors

Long hard road: Warning for NBA under bettors
By Stephen Nover

LAS VEGAS – It’s a week before the NBA All-Star Game. This means one thing for totals players: be careful going under the total.

January was loaded with lots of games and travel. Teams are dragging now. When teams are tired it’s their defense that usually suffers more than their offense.

The pattern already has started. During the past four days, from Wednesday through Saturday, the over has cashed in 17 of 27 (63 percent) games.

The Los Angeles Clippers have scored 126 and 121 points in their past two games. The New Jersey Nets have scored 115 and 114 in their last two.

Milwaukee played a franchise-high 18 games during January. The Bucks surrendered 126 points in an overtime loss to Detroit Saturday night.

Speaking of the Pistons, they are not a team you want to back as a favorite. They have failed to cover 15 of the past 22 times as chalk. This 31 percent would be even lower if the Pistons didn’t get a lucky cover Saturday, winning by five in overtime as four-point road favorites against the Bucks.

Be honest. You had to be at least tempted to fade defending champion Boston laying 6.5 points on the road to New York Friday night following the Celtics’ overtime home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night.

The Celtics won and covered 110-100, which shouldn’t have been a surprise considering Boston is 8-1 against the spread in the second of back-to-back contests not counting its game against Toronto. Celtic pride isn’t just a saying. It’s something that should be taken into handicapping consideration.

Derrick Rose and O.J. Mayo are the top Rookie of the Year contenders. But Kevin Love is coming on. Love didn’t have a memorable performance Saturday versus Houston but prior to that the first-year Minnesota forward was averaging 13.6 points, 10 rebounds and is shooting 59.7 percent from the field during his last nine games. He’s had seven double-doubles since the start of January.

Love’s statistics could increase, too, because his minutes should go up with starting power forward Craig Smith out at least two weeks because of a broken rib.

The Toronto Raptors are proving to be equal opportunity money-burners. The Raptors are 6-18-2 against the spread in their last 26 games versus Western Conference foes. They are 7-15 against the number in their last 22 games against Eastern Conference opponents.

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