NBA News and Notes Friday 2/20

NBA News and Notes Friday 2/20

Friday Double-Header
By Josh Jacobs

As this preview takes shape for Friday’s locked and loaded card, the NBA trade deadline has come and gone. Several transactions continue to roll off the wire so stay tuned for a complete wrap up on these developing transactions as the news beomces official.

The business at hand will have ESPN covering two Western Conference clashes beginning with an 8:00 p.m. tussle between Dallas (32-21 straight up, 25-28 against the spread) and Houston (32-21 SU, 24-29-1 ATS). The satellite transmission will then shift to the state of California where New Orleans (32-30 SU, 22-28-2 ATS) and the L.A. Lakers (44-10 SU, 29-25 against the spread) will meet inside Staples Center at 10:30 p.m. EST.

Dallas at Houston – 8:00 p.m. EST

The Texas Rivalry is one of three matchups in the state that garner heavy attention. Having met once already this season, the Rockets will look to even up the series at one apiece when the Mavericks come to town. Dallas owns the edge in head-to-head meetings, going 7-2 SU and ATS in the last nine.

Turning the calendar back to November 19, 2008, the Mavs were able to roll over their Lone Star State competition in a 96-86 win as three-point visiting underdogs. The box score reads straight forward as Dallas was able to execute on defense by holding Houston to shooting 37.2 percent from the field (29-of-78).

Despite putting together a 10-4 SU and 9-5 ATS record in the last 14 games, Dallas has tarnished its last 11 road games by tallying up a 4-7 SU and 5-6 ATS performance. Evidence of road woes includes scoring 98.9 PPG (versus 103.3 PPG at home) while dishing out close to four assists per game less away from home.

A pair of solid numbers to begin you’re homework includes a 21-12 SU but a disappointing 15-18 ATS report when coming off just one-day of rest. The Mavs last played on Wednesday, winning outright and covering the spread by the final of, 113-98.

Coming out of the All-Star break with an 8-5 SU and 5-7-1 ATS record in the last 13 games, the Rockets are looking at a tough push through the rest of the season. Houston is currently reaching out for a second opinion on super star guard/forward, Tracy McGrady’s (15.6 PPG, 5 APG) knee injury. Remember, McGrady has traversed through his career battling ankle, back, knee and leg problems. You have to ask yourself when will the next injury be the last for McGrady (or will this possible season ending injury help answer that question)?

The Rockets are a strong, 20-6 SU (76.9%) at home during the '08-9 campaign, but backers could care less as an 11-14-1 ATS slide can been telling. As an underdog, Houston is just 5-7 SU and 6-6 ATS combined with a 6-7-1 ATS deficit when coming off two days of rest. In-fact, losing 54.7 percent of its games against the spread speaks volumes.

And the Rockets won’t be able to rest after its dogfight against Dallas as games against Portland, Cleveland and a trip to Chicago won’t be the easiest of challenges.

Most books have opened the Rockets as four-point home favorites while a total of 200 ½-points has been listed. The ‘under’ is 15-10 when Houston has been listed as the home favorite this season.

New Orleans at L.A. Lakers – 10:30 p.m. EST

Final coverage on the West Coast for Friday begins by placing the Hornets under a microscope. The most recent trade news involving center Tyson Chandler in exchange for Oklahoma City’s Joe Smith, Chris Wilcox and the rights to DeVon Hardin were rejected after a failed physical. It seems that the Thunder ruled Chandler’s big toe problems detrimental to the trade.

So with the same roster intact (of course without Chandler and the ankle injury), the Hornets will look for their fifth SU and fourth ATS win in the last seven games. This is a group coming off a 117-85 smothering against Orlando on Wednesday. The real news for gamblers, more specifically total players, is the ‘over’ currently at 7-2 in the last nine and a 7-2-1 on the ‘over’ in the last 10 road contests.

A 2-10 SU and ATS record as a road underdog should register as a huge red flag before approaching the window. New Orleans has struggled to click on offense in this situation, scoring 90.9 PPG on offense for a point margin of minus-8.6 PPG (allowing 99.5 PPG). And coming off one-day of rest has the Hornets pulling in a skimp 10-13-1 ATS record.

New Orleans has covered six of the last 10 games against the Lakers and is 3-1 ATS in the last four games in Los Angeles.

The Lakers are the Lakers, taking 13 of the last 15, but more importantly going 10-3 ATS in the last 13. In the last two games back from the break, L.A. has scored an average of 112.5 PPG, is hitting close to 47 percent of its shots and was able to hold Atlanta to 83 points on Tuesday (winning 96-83) before giving up 121 points in a win against Golden State (129-121) on Wednesday.

Scoring 108.3 PPG and returning money on the ‘over’ at 17-11-1 runs counterintuitive to a 5-2 ‘under’ run in the last seven at home for the Lake Show. Again, we have another trend that pulls total players the other way as L.A. is 17-9 on the ‘over’ coming off one day of rest. Off the short day without a game, the Lakers are scoring 108.2 PPG while allowing 103 PPG.

Most books have set L.A. as a nine-point home favorite with a total set at 205 ½. The underdog is a near perfect, 10-1 ATS in the last 11 head-to-head meetings while the ‘under’ is 5-1 in the last six.

Free Throws

-- Orlando (39-14 SU, 33-19-1 ATS) enters Charlotte (22-32 SU, 32-22 ATS) as an early 2 ½-point favorite. The Magic have been unpredictable of late, failing to cover three straight games and five of the last seven games. Shooting 41 percent from the field and allowing 109.5 PPG translated to a 2-0 ‘over’ performance since returning from the All-Star break.

-- The Bobcats have been a money machine, covering five straight games while hitting the ‘over’ six times in the last eight. Charlotte is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 home games and is 10-5-1 on the ‘under’ as a home underdog this season.

-- Orlando counters with a 13-5 ATS record in its last 18 road games and a 7-3 SU record in the last 10 head-to-head meetings against the Bobcats. One problem; Charlotte has covered the last three games against the Magic.

-- A deal between Houston and Orlando will send point guard, Rafer Alston to the Magic in exchange for forward Brian Cook and the Grizzlies’ guard, Kyle Lowry (in order to satisfy economic guidelines). Adding Alston will give Orlando more options at the point after losing Jameer Nelson for the season.

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Hot and Cold Bets - Week 16
By Matt Fargo

The All-Star break is history and the NBA is back in action this week as we head into the final two months of the regular season. Matt Fargo will be looking into Hot and Cold NBA bets throughout the season and he takes a look at four games that you will want to pay attention to coming up over the next few days.

Friday – New Orleans Hornets at Los Angeles Lakers 10:35 PM ET

The Lakers will come into this game following two games against Atlanta and Golden St. so they should be riding a two-game winning streak. Los Angeles lost to the Jazz in its final game before the break, this after going on an 11-1 run in its previous 12 games (9-2 ATS). The Lakers won the first two meetings in this series and both came in New Orleans but the Hornets returned the favor by winning outright in Los Angeles back on January 6th. It will be revenge time for the Lakers. New Orleans limped into the break with a 2-6 record in its last eight games (2-6 ATS) and those two wins actually came without Chris Paul in the lineup. The Hornets were an underdog in that road win against the Lakers but that is a role they have not prospered in, going 2-10 both straight up and ATS as road underdogs. Los Angeles is 15-7 ATS against teams with a winning record and a very impressive 10-3 ATS this season as a favorite of fewer than eight points. The Lakers will be in good shape for a revenge win.

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NBA Today

SCOREBOARD

Saturday, Feb. 21

Oklahoma City at Golden State (10:30 p.m. EST). The Thunder made deadline deals to add Thabo Sefolosha from Chicago and Malik Rose from New York.

STARS

Thursday

— Deron Williams, Jazz, had 18 points and 10 assists in Utah’s 90-85 win over Boston.

— Tim Duncan, Spurs, had 18 points and 18 rebounds in San Antonio’s 83-79 victory over Detroit.

TRY, TRY AGAIN

Undeterred by a trade that was rescinded because of a failed physical, the Oklahoma City Thunder moved ahead Thursday with deals that brought in guard Thabo Sefolosha from Chicago and forward Malik Rose from the New York Knicks. The Thunder sent a first-round pick in this June’s draft to the Bulls for Sefolosha, who could fill a hole in Oklahoma City’s backcourt. Chris Wilcox, who was supposed to be included in a trade to the New Orleans Hornets for center Tyson Chandler, instead ended up going to New York in the Rose trade.

GOT THEIR MAN

The Houston Rockets have wanted Kyle Lowry since he came out of Villanova in 2006. They finally acquired him on Thursday, trading Rafer Alston to Orlando and acquiring Lowry from Memphis and forward Brian Cook from the Magic on Thursday, reshaping their roster for the stretch run after Tracy McGrady announced he was out for the season.

MINOR SCARE

Boston forward Kevin Garnett strained his right knee late in the second quarter of the Celtics’ 90-85 loss at Utah on Thursday night and went hopping on one foot toward the locker room. Garnett injured his right leg while going up for an alley-oop late in the first half. He landed gingerly and motioned immediately to the bench for a substitute, then hopped on his good foot toward the locker room.

SPEAKING

“It says a lot about Tim Duncan that we can say he didn’t have a great game when he had 18 and 18. People aren’t going to fully appreciate what a great player they’re watching until he retires. He just goes out there and does that game after game.”—Detroit coach Michael Curry after Duncans’ Spurs beat the Pistons 83-79 Thursday night.

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Orlando Magic vs. Charlotte Bobcats

The Magic were defeated 117-85 by the Hornets last time out, as 1.5-point underdogs. The combined score made it OVER the posted total of 189.

Rashard Lewis had 17 points, five rebounds and eight assists in the loss.

Gerald Wallace notched a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds as the Bobcats defeated the Pacers 103-94 last time out. The Bobcats covered the 5-point spread, but the 197 points fell UNDER the night's posted total of 202.

Raymond Felton tossed in 16 points, and Vladimir Radmanovic collected 15 in that win.

Team records:
Orlando: 39-14 SU, 33-19-1 ATS
Charlotte: 22-32 SU, 33-21 ATS

Orlando most recently:
When playing on Friday are 4-6
Before playing Miami are 7-3
After playing New Orleans are 5-5
After a loss are 9-1

Charlotte most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Houston are 2-6
After playing Indiana are 4-6
After a win are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
Orlando is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Charlotte
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Orlando's last 6 games when playing Charlotte
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Orlando's last 11 games on the road
Orlando is 13-5 ATS in its last 18 games on the road
Charlotte is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
Charlotte is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games at home
Charlotte is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Charlotte's last 6 games when playing Orlando

Next up:
Orlando home to Miami, Sunday, February 22
Charlotte at Houston, Sunday, February 22


Toronto Raptors vs. New York Knicks

The Raptors had their two-game winning streak snapped in a 93-76 defeat at the hands of the Cavaliers on Wednesday, as 7.5-point underdogs. The combined 169 points went UNDER the posted total of 191.

Shawn Marion had 10 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in a losing effort.

Nate Robinson had 32 points and 10 rebounds off the bench to lift the Knicks over the Spurs 112-107 in overtime on Tuesday night.

New York won as 5.5-point home underdogs as the game played over the 210-point total set by sportsbooks.

Team records:
Toronto: 21-35 SU, 21-32-3 ATS
New York: 22-31 SU, 31-22 ATS

Toronto most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing New York are 8-2
After playing Cleveland are 4-6
After a loss are 2-8

New York most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Toronto are 3-7
After playing San Antonio are 7-3
After a win are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
Toronto is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing New York
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Toronto's last 5 games when playing New York
The total has gone OVER in 11 of Toronto's last 15 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Toronto's last 7 games when playing on the road against New York
The total has gone OVER in 5 of New York's last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of New York's last 5 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 4 of New York's last 5 games when playing Toronto
New York is 11-3 ATS in its last 14 games

Next up:
Toronto home to New York, Sunday, February 22
New York at Toronto, Sunday, February 22


Sacramento Kings vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Sacramento was defeated 105-100 by Atlanta last time out, as 6-point underdogs. The game's combined score fell UNDER the posted total of 207.

Kevin Martin dropped a game-high 32 points along with 11 rebounds for a double-double in the loss.

Memphis fell 92-90 to Portland as 11.5-point underdogs last time out. That game's 182 points went UNDER the night's posted total of 195.

Mike Conley had 15 points, four rebounds and 10 assists.

Current streak:
Sacramento has lost 6 straight games.
Memphis has lost 3 straight games.

Team records:
Sacramento: 11-44 SU, 25-30 ATS
Memphis: 15-39 SU, 21-32-1 ATS

Sacramento most recently:
When playing on Friday are 4-6
Before playing Dallas are 1-9
After playing Atlanta are 3-7
After a loss are 1-9

Memphis most recently:
When playing on Friday are 1-9
Before playing Cleveland are 4-6
After playing Portland are 4-6
After a loss are 2-8

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Sacramento's last 10 games when playing Memphis
Sacramento is 17-8 SU in its last 25 games when playing Memphis
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Sacramento's last 6 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Sacramento's last 9 games when playing on the road against Memphis
Memphis is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Sacramento
Memphis is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Sacramento
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Memphis's last 5 games
Memphis is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games

Next up:
Sacramento at Dallas, Saturday, February 21
Memphis at Cleveland, Tuesday, February 24


Indiana Pacers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

The Pacers fell 103-94 to the Bobcats last time out, as 5-point road underdogs. That game's 197 points fell UNDER the night's posted total of 202.

Troy Murphy had 18 points and 16 rebounds to finish with a double-double.

The Timberwolves were outplayed in the fourth quarter, but managed to preserve a 111-104 victory over the Heat on Wednesday. The Timberwolves won that game as 9.5-point underdogs, while the 215 points sailed OVER the posted total of 195.

Sebastian Telfair netted a team-high 30 points, and dished out eight assists.

Team records:
Indiana: 22-34 SU, 28-26-2 ATS
Minnesota: 18-35 SU, 25-27-1 ATS

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

Minnesota most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing LA Lakers are 0-10
After playing Miami are 5-5
After a win are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
Indiana is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games when playing on the road against Minnesota
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Indiana's last 7 games
Indiana is 12-6 ATS in its last 18 games when playing Minnesota
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Indiana's last 12 games when playing Minnesota
The total has gone OVER in 11 of Minnesota's last 13 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Minnesota's last 5 games
Minnesota is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Indiana
Minnesota is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Indiana

Next up:
Indiana home to Chicago, Sunday, February 22
Minnesota home to LA Lakers, Sunday, February 22


Washington Wizards vs. New Jersey Nets

Antawn Jamison went for 29 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Wizards over the Timberwolves 111-103 on Tuesday night.

Washington won as 3-point home favorites as the game played over the 203-point total set by sportsbooks.

The Nets allowed 40 points in the third quarter and fell 113-98 to the Mavericks last time out, as 8-point road underdogs. That game's combined score sailed OVER the posted total of 199.5.

Brook Lopez his team with 16 points and seven rebounds.

Current streak:
New Jersey has lost 4 straight games.

Team records:
Washington: 12-42 SU, 20-33-1 ATS
New Jersey: 24-31 SU, 28-27 ATS

Washington most recently:
When playing on Friday are 7-3
Before playing San Antonio are 5-5
After playing Minnesota are 7-3
After a win are 1-9

New Jersey most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Philadelphia are 2-8
After playing Dallas are 5-5
After a loss are 2-8

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Washington's last 5 games
Washington is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against New Jersey
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Washington's last 7 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Washington's last 7 games when playing New Jersey
New Jersey is 14-2 SU in its last 16 games when playing at home against Washington
New Jersey is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games when playing Washington
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of New Jersey's last 7 games when playing Washington
The total has gone OVER in 7 of New Jersey's last 10 games when playing at home against Washington

Next up:
Washington home to San Antonio, Saturday, February 21
New Jersey home to Philadelphia, Monday, February 23


Denver Nuggets vs. Chicago Bulls

The Nuggets scored just 13 points in the first quarter, but rallied back to defeat the 76ers 101-89 on Wednesday. The Nuggets covered the slight 1.5-point spread, while the game's 190 points went UNDER the posted total of 200.5.

Carmelo Anthony led the way with a double-double, tossing in a game-high 26 points to go with 14 rebounds.

Kirk Hinrich dropped a team-high 31 points to help lead the Bulls to a 113-104 victory over the Bucks on Wednesday. Chicago covered the 2-point spread, and the 217 points made it OVER the posted total of 207.

Luol Deng netted 21 points and hauled down eight rebounds for the Bulls, and Derrick Rose had 19 points to go with five rebounds and nine assists.

Current streak:
Denver has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
Denver: 37-17 SU, 32-21-1 ATS
Chicago: 24-30 SU, 26-27-1 ATS

Denver most recently:
When playing on Friday are 7-3
Before playing Milwaukee are 5-5
After playing Philadelphia are 5-5
After a win are 7-3

Chicago most recently:
When playing on Friday are 2-8
Before playing Indiana are 4-6
After playing Milwaukee are 4-6
After a win are 4-6

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

Next up:
Denver at Milwaukee, Sunday, February 22
Chicago at Indiana, Sunday, February 22


Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets

The Mavericks poured in 40 points in the third quarter and earned a 113-98 win over the Nets on Wednesday. The Mavericks covered the 8-point spread, and the combined score sailed OVER the posted total of 199.5.

Jason Kidd shot 7-for-10 from the field with 23 points and 10 assists. Josh Howard netted a game-high 24 points to with 10 rebounds in a double-double.

Yao Ming scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, as the Rockets pounded the Nets 114-88 on Tuesday night.

Houston cashed as 6.5-point home favorites as the teams played over the 194-point total listed by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Houston has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Dallas: 32-21 SU, 25-28 ATS
Houston: 33-21 SU, 24-29-1 ATS

Dallas most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Sacramento are 4-6
After playing New Jersey are 7-3
After a win are 5-5

Houston most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Charlotte are 5-3
After playing New Jersey are 4-6
After a win are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
Dallas is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Houston
Dallas is 12-3 SU in its last 15 games when playing Houston
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Dallas's last 5 games when playing on the road against Houston
Dallas is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games
Houston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Houston's last 5 games when playing at home against Dallas
Houston is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Houston's last 6 games at home

Next up:
Dallas home to Sacramento, Saturday, February 21
Houston home to Charlotte, Sunday, February 22


Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Milwaukee Bucks

LeBron James had 20 points, nine rebounds and nine assists to lead the Cavaliers to a 93-76 trouncing of the Raptors on Wednesday. The Cavaliers easily covered the 7.5-point spread, but the combined 169 points went UNDER that game's posted total of 191.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored a game-high 22 points, Mo Willams added 17 points, and Anderson Varejao grabbed 14 rebounds.

The Bucks were defeated 113-104 by the Bulls last time out, as 2-point underdogs at home. The 217 points made it OVER the posted total of 207.

Richard Jefferson scored a game-high 32 points to go along with six rebounds.

Current streak:
Cleveland has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Cleveland: 41-11 SU, 34-18 ATS
Milwaukee: 27-30 SU, 32-23-2 ATS

Cleveland most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Detroit are 7-3
After playing Toronto are 6-4
After a win are 7-3

Milwaukee most recently:
When playing on Friday are 7-3
Before playing Denver are 5-5
After playing Chicago are 5-5
After a loss are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Cleveland's last 7 games when playing Milwaukee
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Cleveland's last 5 games on the road
Cleveland is 10-3 SU in its last 13 games
Cleveland is 10-3 SU in its last 13 games when playing Milwaukee
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Milwaukee's last 5 games at home
Milwaukee is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Cleveland
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Milwaukee's last 7 games when playing Cleveland
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Milwaukee's last 5 games

Next up:
Cleveland home to Detroit, Sunday, February 22
Milwaukee home to Denver, Sunday, February 22


Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Phoenix Suns

Kevin Durant poured in 47 points for Oklahoma City in its 100-98 loss to New Orleans on Tuesday night.

New Orleans couldn't cover as 5-point road favorites as the game played over the 195.5-point total posted by sportsbooks.

The Suns dominated from start-to-finish as they ripped apart the Clippers 142-119 on Wednesday. The Suns covered the 8-point spread, and the combined score sailed OVER the posted total of 228.

Amar'e Stoudemire led the way with a game-high 42 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double in the win.

Current streak:
Oklahoma City has lost 3 straight games.
Phoenix has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Oklahoma City: 13-41 SU, 33-21 ATS
Phoenix: 30-23 SU, 20-32-1 ATS

Oklahoma City most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Golden State are 3-7
After playing New Orleans are 2-8
After a loss are 5-5

Phoenix most recently:
When playing on Friday are 8-2
Before playing Boston are 7-3
After playing LA Clippers are 7-3
After a win are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Oklahoma City's last 10 games when playing Phoenix
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Oklahoma City's last 7 games when playing on the road against Phoenix
Oklahoma City is 5-0-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Phoenix
Oklahoma City is 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games when playing on the road against Phoenix
Phoenix is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Oklahoma City
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Phoenix's last 10 games when playing Oklahoma City
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Phoenix's last 7 games when playing at home against Oklahoma City
Phoenix is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Oklahoma City

Next up:
Oklahoma City at Golden State, Saturday, February 21
Phoenix home to Boston, Sunday, February 22


Atlanta Hawks vs. Portland Trail Blazers

A dominating third quarter allowed Atlanta to hang on for a 105-100 victory over 11-43 Sacramento Wednesday. The game's combined score fell UNDER the posted total of 207.

Mike Bibby tossed in 29 points to go with five rebounds and four assists for the Hawks. Al Horford had a double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds.

Portland kept pace in the Northwest division race with a 92-90 victory over Memphis on Wednesday. Portland failed to cover the 11.5-point spread, and the 182 points went UNDER the night's posted total of 195.

Brandon Roy tossed in 24 points, hauled down five rebounds and dished out nine assists in leading the way.

Team records:
Atlanta: 32-22 SU, 28-26 ATS
Portland: 33-20 SU, 26-27 ATS

Atlanta most recently:
When playing on Friday are 1-9
Before playing Utah are 3-7
After playing Sacramento are 4-6
After a win are 4-6

Portland most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing LA Clippers are 4-6
After playing Memphis are 4-6
After a win are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Atlanta's last 8 games when playing Portland
Atlanta is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Portland
Atlanta is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Atlanta's last 5 games when playing on the road against Portland
Portland is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
Portland is 12-1 SU in its last 13 games when playing Atlanta
Portland is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games when playing at home against Atlanta
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Portland's last 8 games when playing Atlanta

Next up:
Atlanta at Utah, Monday, February 23
Portland home to LA Clippers, Sunday, February 22


New Orleans Hornets vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Chris Paul netted 36 points and dished out 10 assists, as the Hornets ran past the Magic 117-85 on Wednesday. The Hornets covered the 1.5-point spread, while the combined score made it OVER the posted total of 189.

Rasual Butler collected 15 points with eight assists, and David West added 14 points in that win.

The Lakers were embroiled in a tight game on Wednesday, but managed to pull out a 129-121 win over the Warriors. The Lakers covered the 5-point spread, while the combined score made it OVER the posted total of 228.5.

Pau Gasol netted 24 points and hauled down seven rebounds for the Lakers, and Kobe Bryant added 28 points in that win.

Current streak:
New Orleans has won 2 straight games.
Los Angeles has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
New Orleans: 32-20 SU, 22-28-2 ATS
Los Angeles: 44-10 SU, 28-25-1 ATS

New Orleans most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Utah are 5-5
After playing Orlando are 4-6
After a win are 5-5

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Friday are 7-3
Before playing Minnesota are 3-7
After playing Golden State are 7-3
After a win are 8-2

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 6 of New Orleans's last 7 games when playing on the road against LA Lakers
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of New Orleans's last 6 games when playing LA Lakers
New Orleans is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games when playing on the road against LA Lakers
The total has gone OVER in 7 of New Orleans's last 9 games
LA Lakers are 9-1 SU in their last 10 games
LA Lakers are 22-3 SU in their last 25 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 6 of the LA Lakers last 7 games when playing at home against New Orleans
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of the LA Lakers last 6 games when playing New Orleans

Next up:
New Orleans at Utah, Saturday, February 21
LA Lakers at Minnesota, Sunday, February 22

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Re: NBA News and Notes Friday 2/20

ORLANDO vs. CHARLOTTE
Orlando is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
Orlando is 13-6 SU in its last 19 games
Charlotte is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing Orlando
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Charlotte's last 6 games when playing Orlando

TORONTO vs. NEW YORK
Toronto is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing New York
Toronto is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing New York
New York is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games at home
New York is 6-3 SU in its last 9 games at home

INDIANA vs. MINNESOTA
Indiana is 0-4-1 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
Indiana is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Minnesota is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games when playing at home against Indiana
Minnesota is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Indiana

SACRAMENTO vs. MEMPHIS
Sacramento is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Sacramento's last 6 games on the road
Memphis is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Sacramento
Memphis is 8-17 SU in its last 25 games when playing Sacramento

WASHINGTON vs. NEW JERSEY
Washington is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing New Jersey
Washington is 2-9 SU in its last 11 games when playing New Jersey
New Jersey is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of New Jersey's last 12 games at home

CLEVELAND vs. MILWAUKEE
Cleveland is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Milwaukee
Cleveland is 10-3 SU in its last 13 games when playing Milwaukee
Milwaukee is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against Cleveland
Milwaukee is 16-6 SU in its last 22 games when playing at home against Cleveland

DALLAS vs. HOUSTON
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Dallas's last 6 games on the road
Dallas is 9-3-1 ATS in its last 13 games when playing Houston
Houston is 1-5-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing at home against Dallas
Houston is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Dallas

DENVER vs. CHICAGO

Denver is 4-9 SU in its last 13 games when playing on the road against Chicago
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Denver's last 5 games when playing on the road against Chicago
Chicago is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Denver
Chicago is 5-12 SU in its last 17 games when playing Denver

OKLAHOMA CITY vs. PHOENIX
Oklahoma City is 5-0-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Phoenix
Oklahoma City is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing Phoenix
Phoenix is 0-4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Oklahoma City
Phoenix is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Oklahoma City

ATLANTA vs. PORTLAND
Atlanta is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Atlanta is 1-12 SU in its last 13 games when playing Portland
Portland is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against Atlanta
Portland is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games when playing at home against Atlanta

NEW ORLEANS vs. LA LAKERS
New Orleans is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
New Orleans is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games on the road
LA Lakers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games when playing at home against New Orleans
LA Lakers are 10-4 SU in their last 14 games when playing at home against New Orleans

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Tips and Trends

Dallas Mavericks at Houston Rockets


Mavs: Dallas is 7-2 since letting veteran point guard Jason Kidd run the offense, a move head coach Rick Carlisle thought was necessary to help jump-start the team's offense. The Mavs have also won in their last four trips to Houston and realize a strong finish in the second half could vault them past the Rockets in the standings. Right now, Houston is just a half-game ahead of Dallas and tied with New Orleans for the fifth seed. “We’ve put ourselves in position that if we make a run, we can get a high seed,” said Kidd.

Mavs are 7-2 ATS in the last 9 meetings.
The UNDER is 8-3 in Dallas' last 11 games vs. Southwest Division.

Key Injuries - G Jason Terry (hand) is OUT.

PROJECTED SCORE: 100 (Side Play of the Day)

Rockets (-3.5, O/U 199): Houston will likely be without Tracy McGrady for the rest of the season after he announced he will likely undergo microfracture knee surgery. “It’s been tough on me both physically and mentally and while we’ve come to this conclusion after much deliberation, we truly feel this is best for both me and the Rockets in the long term,” said McGrady. Still, they have managed to win three straight without him and will be plugging another player into the starting lineup after dealing Rafer Alston to Orlando on Thursday. Aaron Brooks is expected to take Alston's spot in the lineup.

Rockets are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
The UNDER is 3-1 in Houston's last 4 games vs. Western Conference.

Key Injuries - F Tracy McGrady (knee) is OUT.

PROJECTED SCORE: 99


New Orleans Hornets at Los Angeles Lakers

Hornets: New Orleans may have received a blessing in disguise when attempting to trade Tyson Chandler to Oklahoma City earlier this week. Chandler failed his physical due to a toe injury and ended up back with the Hornets, who could definitely benefit from a healthy Chandler down the stretch. “I’m excited to have T.C. back,” New Orleans point guard Chris Paul said. “I think it will give us a huge lift. Hopefully it will bring us closer together. You know, T.C. is family to us, so there won’t be any animosity when he comes in here and he understands what’s has been the goal all along.”

Underdog is 10-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
The OVER is 7-2-1 in New Orleans' last 10 road games.

Key Injuries - G Morris Peterson (foot) is day-to-day.
F Tyson Chandler (toe) is day-to-day.

PROJECTED SCORE: 102 (OVER - Total Play of the Day)

Lakers (-9, O/U 207): LA has won nine of its last 10 games, improving to 2-0 both SU & ATS since the All-Star break with a 129-121 win at Golden State on Wednesday. The Lakers have been especially unselfish lately, totaling 33 assists against the Warriors, which was just two off their season high. “We just shared the ball, and every time you play that way, it’s rewarding,” said Lakers center Josh Powell. The road team has won the last three meetings along with six of the last eight.

Lakers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
The OVER is 6-2 in LA's last 8 games as a favorite.

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

PROJECTED SCORE: 109

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Hot Teams
-- Bobcats won three of last four games, covered last five.
-- Bulls won six of last nine games (8-1-1 vs spread in last ten). Denver won ten of its last twelve games.
-- Mavericks won seven of their last nine games. Rockets won five in a row at home.
-- Cavaliers won six of their last eight games. Milwaukee won three of last four games, covered six of last eight.
-- Suns scored 142-140 points in first two games under Allen Gentry.
-- Hawks won five of their last seven games. Trailblazers won three of their last four games, but covered only one of last six.
-- Lakers won nine of their last ten games.

Cold Teams
-- Orlando is 0-4 vs spread in game after its last four wins.
-- Raptors lost seven of their last nine games.
-- Pacers lost six of last nine games, are without Granger now.
-- Washington is 0-5 vs spread in game after their last five wins.
-- Minnesota lost eight of its last ten games.
-- Kings lost six in row, 14 of last 15 games.
-- Nets lost last four games, by 17-15-26-15 points.
-- Memphis lost last three games, but covered six of last eight.
-- Thunder lost three in row, six of last eight games.
-- Hornets lost three of their last four road games.

Totals
-- Five of last seven Charlotte games went over the total.
-- Last nine New York games all went over the total.
-- Five of last seven Indiana games stayed under the total; Minnesota's last four games all went over.
-- Nets' last three games all went over the total.
-- Four of last five Memphis games stayed under the total.
-- Six of last seven Chicago games went over the total; Denver's last four games all stayed under.
-- Over is 8-4 in Mavericks' last twelve games.
-- Five of last seven Cleveland games stayed under the total; four of last five Milwaukee games went over.
-- Three of last four Thunder road games stayed under the total.
-- Four of last five Portland games stayed under the total.
-- Over is 8-3 in Lakers' last eleven games.

Back-to Back
-- Kings are 5-1 vs spread if playing first of two consecutive nights on the road.
-- Dallas is 4-3 vs spread if it plays again the next night.
-- Thunder is 6-2-1 vs spread if it plays again the next night.
-- Hornets are 3-0-1 vs spread if playing first of two consecutive nights on the road.

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Dallas (32-21, 25-28 ATS) at Houston (33-21, 24-29-1 ATS)

Two Texas rivals in the thick of the playoff chase in the Southwest Division battle it out at the Toyota Center, where the Rockets host the Mavericks.

Dallas opened the second half of the season Wednesday with an easy 113-98 victory over the Nets, cashing as an eight-point favorite. The Mavs have won seven of their last nine games (6-3 ATS) and they’ve scored at least 104 points in all seven of those wins and 92 or less in the two losses.

Houston also is coming off an easy win over the Nets, routing New Jersey on Tuesday 114-88 and easily covering as a 6½-point chalk. The Rockets have won five of their last seven (3-3-1 ATS) overall and five straight at the Toyota Center (3-1-1 ATS), where they put the clamps on opponent, allowing 92.3 points per game this season.

The road team has won the last five meetings (SU and ATS) between these rivals, including the firs two clashes this season. Houston went to Dallas on Oct. 30 and got a 112-102 victory as a four-point ‘dog, but the Mavs got revenge on Nov. 19 the Mavs in a 96-86 victory in Houston as three-point pups. Dallas is 7-2 SU and ATS in the last nine meetings with the Rockets, and the straight-up winner is 10-0 ATS in this rivalry dating back to 2006 (playoffs included).

The Mavericks are on ATS runs of 10-4 as a road ‘dog, 4-1 against the Western Conference and 6-2 as a road ‘dog of up to 4½-points. Meanwhile the Rockets are on a plethora of ATS slides that include 7-20-1 after a spread-cover, 3-7 against the Western Conference, 0-5 on Fridays and 1-4 against Southwest Division foes.

Dallas has stayed under the total in eight of 11 against the Southwest Division and four of five as a road dog of up to 4½-points. Houston has stayed below the total in 21 of 31 as a home favorite, but the Rockets are on “over” streaks of 7-3 after a spread-cover, 4-0 after a straight-up win and 4-0 at home against teams with a winning road mark. In this series, the under has been the play in four of the last five in Houston.

ATS ADVANTAGE: DALLAS


Atlanta (32-22, 28-26 ATS) at Portland (33-20, 26-27 ATS)

The Hawks continue their jaunt through the Western Conference with a stop in the Rose Garden in Portland for a matchup with the Trail Blazers.

Atlanta came out of the All-Star break and lost to the Lakers 96-83 on Tuesday as an 8½-point ‘dogs, then turned around and beat the Kings on Wednesday 105-100, but again failed to cash, this time as a 6½-point road chalk. Hawks point guard – and former King – Mike Bibby delivered a monster effort in Sacramento, scoring 29 points, while center Al Horford added 18 points and 18 rebounds in the victory.

Portland emerged from the All-Star break Wednesday and got a 94-90 victory over Memphis, but came nowhere near covering as 11½-poing favorites. The Blazers have won seven of 10 overall but they are just 1-5 ATS in the last six. However, at home they are 16-10 ATS this season and allow just 93.3 points per game while pouring in 101.8.

The road team has dominated this series, with the visitor winning four of the last five and cashing in each of the last nine meetings dating back to 2004. Portland is 9-1 SU in the last 10 battles against the Hawks dating back to 2003 and the Blazers have held the Hawks to 100 points or less in seven of the 10. However, Atlanta has gotten the cash in its last four visits to the Rose Garden, and the ‘dog is 7-0 ATS in the last seven meetings.

The Hawks are just 1-5 ATS in their last six against the Western Conference and 2-6 ATS in their last eight against teams with a winning record, but they are on positive ATS trends of 11-5 as a road ‘dog, 13-5 as a ‘dog anywhere and 5-2 against Northwest Division teams. Portland is on ATS slides of 1-5 overall, 0-4 on Fridays and 6-13 after getting one day off, but the Blazers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven after a straight-up win and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 against teams with a losing road record.

Atlanta has topped the total in eight of 10 games after a straight-up win and four of five on Fridays, but the Hawks have stayed under the total in four of five against the Western Conference. Portland is on “under” runs of 4-1 overall, 5-1 after a non-cover and 13-6 as a favorite of five to 10 ½-points. In this series, the over is 4-0 in the last four meetings in the Rose Garden.

ATS ADVANTAGE: ATLANTA


New Orleans (32-20, 22-28-2 ATS) at L.A. Lakers (44-10, 29-25 ATS)

Two teams that have come out of the All-Star break strong meet in the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where the Hornets visit the Lakers.

New Orleans buried Orlando on Wednesday 117-85, cashing as a 1½-point home favorite. The Hornets snapped a three-game ATS slide and cashed for just the third time in their last 10 games. New Orleans has been tightening up the defense lately, allowing just 90.8 points per game and 41.1 percent shooting over the last five contests.

The Lakers have come out of the break with consecutive wins and covers, including Wednesday’s 129-121 road win at Golden State as a 4½-point chalk. L.A. is on a 9-1 SU (8-2 ATS) streak since Jan. 30, scoring in triple digits in nine of those 10.

The road team has won six of the last eight meetings (7-1 ATS) in this budding rivalry, including all three matchups this season. New Orleans went to the Staples Center on Jan. 6 and got a 116-105 victory as a seven-point underdog, improving to 4-0 ATS in the Hornets last four trips to the Staples Center. The ‘dog is 10-1 ATS in the last 11 in this rivalry.

New Orleans is 23-10 ATS in its last 33 games against Pacific Division squads, but otherwise the Hornets are on negative ATS trends of 3-7 overall, 7-20 as a ‘dog, 6-20 as a road ‘dog, 0-4 on the road and 9-23-2 after a spread-cover. Los Angeles is 5-15 ATS in its last 20 after getting one day off and 2-6 ATS in its last eight Friday games, but the Lakers are on ATS runs of 6-1 as a favorite, 8-2 overall, 5-1 against teams with a winning record and 6-1 after a spread-cover.

The Hornets are on “over” streaks of 7-2 overall, 7-2-1 on the road, 5-2 as a road ‘dog, 4-1 against Western Conference teams and 5-1-1 on the road against teams with a winning home record. The Lakers have stayed under the total in five of their last seven home games, but the over is on runs of 8-3 overall, 16-5 after a straight-up win, 6-2 as a favorite and 4-1 against Southwest Division teams. In this rivalry, the under is 5-1 in the last six overall, but the over is 6-1 in the last seven inside the Staples Center.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER

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Re: NBA News and Notes Friday 2/20

Friday Research
By Indiancowboy

Toronto vs. New York


No line here yet but note that Bosh is listed as probable in this game. NY has done a great job covering the spread of late as they are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 including beating the Spurs Outright in their last game in OT - not bad considering they were coming off an OT loss to the Clippers just the game before. I don't see a line yet early this morning - Hughes has joined this team and I although I like the Knicks here, I'm sure the pub will to, but with Bosh coming back and an ugly loss to Cleveland at home, this team will likely play well too. no thanks.

Dallas vs. Houston

McGrady is Out for the season - what else is new. Alston has left this team and it seems that they are going to look to the future with Aaron Brook and will have Lowry coming off the bench for some added scoring. Not suprisingly 60% of the public likes the points here with Dallas catching 3.5 given the changes the Rockets have just gone through. Dallas beat this team by 10 earlier this year and there is an old saying that you take a team that just lost its star player and you end up winning and covering and that just might apply here. A lean on the rockets.

Sacramento vs. Memphis

Memphis beat this team by 15 earleir this year in November. They face a Kings team who although have lost several games SU, did cover against Atl by losing by 5 at home and covered against Houston on the road. This team will not have the services of Salmons or Miller as they have been traded to Chicago, but do pick up a first round draft pick from the Orlando Magic which they can certainly use in the lottery. Thus, I think the Kings are going to be in sound shape next year with two first round picks similar to what the Thunder have done by building a young nucleus with Durant, Westbrook and Green. Man, Tyson Chandler could have fit really nicely into that team if the Thunder did not rescind that trade. Sac did pick up Nocioni and Gooden who will see plenty of minutes. Tough to make a call here with no line, but a lean on the Kings to play well with some revenge, although it might take a little bit of time to gel. The future does look good for the Kings though as they still have Martin, Beno, Nocioni, Gooden, 2 first rounders next year.

Indiana vs. Minnesota

Minnesota actually beat this team by 6 earlier this year as a 3.5 dog. So, Indiana does have revenge, but Minny is playing well. They beat the Heat outright on the road recently and McHale has been getting better giving some of his younger guys more playing time like Cardinal and McCants and giving his starters a bit more rest. Indiana comes off a loss to Charlotte, they will not have Granger and Dunleavy is listed day to day - I hate to go against the Pacers with revenge though as remember, they didn't have Granger or Dunleavy but beat the Sixers outright on the road earlier this year.

Washington vs. New Jersey


NJ drilled this team by 27 points earlier this year in Washington. Wash comes into this game beating Minny at home after a nice surge in the last few minutes of the game. NJ comes off a tough loss to Dallas who had revenge and the Rockets who beat them by double-digits easily as well. No spread here, but I bet Wash does well with some revenge, but tough to ride that team on the road as they have lost the last 4 road contests by more than an average of 15 points.

Denver vs. Chicago

Chicago has revenge in this game and they have been a covering machine of late going 8-1-1 ATS and they face a very competent Denver squad on the road who comes off an impressive come back and win at Philly. Chicago has done well at home and will have some new building blocks of Salmon and Miller after saying goodbye to Nocioni and Gooden - in essence, they have become a bit more athletic imo. I think this game will be a tough call either way, but a small lean on the Bulls, but no thanks.

Cleveland vs. Milwaukee

Another game, another 70%+ on the Cavs here. Cleveland beat this team by 12 on the road and 6 at home earlier this year. But, Milwaukee to their credit have been playing well with no Redd for the most part. Heck, this team is 5-3 ATS of late but I have a rule of not wagering against the Cavs even with the 70% rule - after all, that didn't stop the Cavs from crushing the Raptors despite 70% of the public being on them and they are still an impressive 34-18 ATS this year overall.

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Re: NBA News and Notes Friday 2/20

Friday NBA Report
by Andre Gomes

Orlando @ Charlotte


Rafer Alston is the new Point Guard of the Magic but likely he won?t play tonight. Saying that, the Magic are struggling right now, they were spanked in New Orleans by the Hornets 85-117 ? a 32 points loss and in fact they are 1-4 ATS L5 games. I expect a bounce back from them tonight but their confidence isn?t the same right now?remember the Celtics after the Christmas?! These teams faced each other last Wednesday and the Magic won after overtime in a game where the Bobcats deserved to win and I expect this team to be fired up today looking to get some revenge. The Bobcats are 5-0 ATS L5 games but more important than that is the fact that they are completely healthy and they are a dangerous team at home. Dwight Howard made the best game of his career vs Bobcats and after terrible game vs Hornets it will be interesting to observe him tonight, will Larry Brown allow him to do the same thing?


Toronto @ New York

The Knicks finally snapped their losing streak by beating the Spurs at home after overtime. Nate Robinson went nuts and scored 32 points and grabbed 10 rebounds! The new Knicks' players Larry Hughes and Chris Wilcox likely won?t play tonight and this is a game that the Knicks must win if they want to make a run through the playoffs. The same can be said about the Raptors. Chris Bosh is back and the Raptors were spanked at home against the Cavs last game 76-93. They shot only 36.5 % from the field and clearly they missed a big man who can score from inside?Chris Bosh. Now that he is back, the Raptors have a shot to win this game. I think this will be a ballgame as both teams can?t win big their games, the hottest team down the stretch will grab the win.


Cleveland @ Milwaukee

The Cavs didn?t make any big trade despite several rumors involving Shaq, Richard Jefferson, Stoudemire, Bosh and so on?. They looked impressive on the first game after the all star break shutting down the Raptors in a game where the Raptors scored only 76 points and shot 36.5 % from the field. Now they will face the Bucks on the road. Note that the Cavs aren?t the same horsepower on the road as they are at home, remember that they are 15-12 ATS on the road vs 19-6 ATS at home! Delonte West and Ben Wallace can return tonight. The Bucks meanwhile after a nice run of 3 consecutive wins returned to the earth by losing at home against the Bulls. Despite that, they are playing well considering how shorthanded they are and I wouldn?t be surprised if they are competitive tonight. The Cavs lead the series 2-0 in this season winning by 6 pts at home and by 12 points in Milwaukee, note also that the Bucks are 6-1 ATS L7 games vs Cavs!


Dallas @ Houston

The Rockets traded their PG Rafer Alston for Orlando and the little Scott Brooks will be the starter tonight. They beat easily the Kings and the Nets last 2 games at home using some stellar defense, it was a great answer for them after allowing 124 points in Milwaukee. With Tmac out for the season it seems the Rockets are trying to play in the same way that gave them a 22 winning streak games last season: great defense and a good team chemistry. Today they will face Dallas. Note that both teams have similar records 33-21 vs 32-21 so this is a pivotal game as the series are tied to 1-1. Dallas is playing better since Jason Kidd took full control of the offense and they are 7-3 L10 losing only against Boston twice and at Utah. I remember also that Dallas is 8-4 ATS as away underdogs and for me this will be a 51/49 game with the only advantage is the Rockets playing at home.


Oklahoma City @ Phoenix

After firing Terry Porter the Suns scored back to back 140?s points, right now Mike D?Antony is laughing in New York because the run and gun is back to Phoenix. The problem is that we don?t know how well the Suns will be because they played twice against the Clippers and despite all the big numbers?.it was against the Clippers! Today they will face the Thunder, a team that is much more competitive than the Clippers. The Thunder nearly beat the Hornets at home with a big game from Kevin Durant (47 points) and they are 16-8 ATS as away underdogs. The Series is 2-0 to the Suns but the Thunder covered both games. The Thunder can be competitive but I wouldn?t be surprised if this turns to a blowout for the Suns, remember that this will be a high scoring game and 9 points is not a big deal, just look to the game Lakers @ Warriors: The Lakers won by 10 points in a ballgame!


Atlanta @ Portland

Portland won the first game after the all star break against Memphis but it wasn?t an easy game despite the Blazers were 11.5 points favourites. Greg Oden didn?t play and he will miss this game as well, the good news is that Joel Przybilla showed once again he is a solid backup player by grabbing 15 boards in just 32 minutes. Also Steve Blake returned to action and the Blazers have won the last 6 home games. Meanwhile the Hawks bounced back after a horrible game in LA by beating the awfully lowly Kings. This team is yet to show some consistency on the road and beat the big guys, however they are 14-7 ATS as away underdogs in this season and likely this is going to be a wire-to-wire ballgame.


New Orleans @ LA Lakers

The Lakers showed in consecutive days how well they can play in different styles. They easily beat the Hawks at home 96-83 with the Hawks shooting only 36.9 % from the field and in the next day they went into a shootout against the Warriors 129-121 in a game that the Lakers stormed back to win and cover the game. Tonight they will face the Hornets to close out the series. The Lakers lead the series by 2-1 but the Hornets won last game in the Staples Center, they made probably their best game of the season against the Magic scoring 117 points, shooting 58 % from the field and making only 7 turnovers. The key is to find out if they can be competitive on the road, remember that they are 2-9 ATS being away underdogs and somehow it looks like they quit after trailing big early in the games. I expect this game to be a high scoring game, however we are talking about 206 points (the first three games had 195, 195.5 and 196 points) and the oddmakers adjusted correctly the totals lines in this contest.

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Re: NBA News and Notes Friday 2/20

Amare Stoudemire is expected to be out for the season due to surgery to repair his detached retina in his right eye.

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