Mid-Week NBA Preview

Mid-Week NBA Preview

Mid-Week NBA Preview
By Josh Jacobs

Departing from the day-to-day tip sheet this installment of the NBA betting preview will traverse through the next two days. A quick look ahead reveals several matchups that pack plenty of tasty trends and stats for bettors to take advantage of. So here goes another attempt to weed out the contenders from the pretenders.

Wednesday


Setting the table at mid-week is a flashback to the first round of the 2004 NBA playoffs. The Lakers (50-13 straight up, 32-31 against the spread) were manhandled in Portland on Monday, losing 111-94 as 2 ½-point visiting favorites. Shooting 44 percent from the field, allowing the Trail Blazers to hit 48 percent of their shots and getting outrebounded, 46-38 were all recipes for the defeat in hostile territory.

Los Angeles has now recorded three losses in the last five games with only one ATS win. This is an offense that’s posted close to 10 points per game less then its seasonal average (108.5 vs. 98.6 PPG in the last five) and a 5.5 lower shooting percentage from the field. But maybe the most important piece of betting information is the Lakers’ 5-8 ATS record in the last 13. L.A. is 0-3 SU in the last three road games and 1-4 ATS in the last five played away from home.

Houston (42-23 SU, 31-33-1 ATS) enters the contest coming off a 97-95 win in Denver. This is a team who’s 11-2 SU and 8-5 ATS in the last 13, outscoring opponents by an average of 100.4-91.5 PPG. And that’s been the key to success; a stern defensive effort (12-8 on the ‘under’ in the last 20).

Some numbers to take into consideration include the Lakers’ 11-21 ATS record off one-day of rest (Houston hasn’t been much better with a 10-19 ATS skid), L.A.’s 10-13-1 ATS record as an away favorite, a 4-8 ATS stint off a SU loss and, finally, the Lake Show’s 13-17 ATS slide off an ATS loss.

Note: Be advised that after Monday’s altercation between the Lakers and Portland, league officials continue to review whether or not L.A.’s Lamar Odom will be suspended for leaving the bench.

The second contest worth mentioning as part of Wednesday’s card includes warfare between Dallas (38-25 SU, 30-33 ATS) and Portland (40-23 SU, 31-31 ATS). It was on Feb. 4 that the Mavericks took their second straight victory in head-to-head play, beating out the Trail Blazers, 104-99. It was the sixth time in the last 10 meetings that Dallas was able to cover the spread. And while the ‘over’ is now 3-0 in the last three meetings, let it be known that the ‘under’ is 12-5 in the last 17 pairings between these two teams.

The Mavs will be coming into this game after playing just the night before in Phoenix. This is a Dallas team that’s 5-7 ATS without a day of rest. This will be the fifth back-to-back series for the Mavericks since Feb. 20. Coming off a 119-103 ‘W’ over Washington, look out for Dallas’ 14-23 ATS (37.8%) letdown record off a SU win and a 10-19 ATS stance off an ATS victory.

While Portland is 5-1 SU in the last six, a 1-3 ATS record in the last four has put backers in a shallow hole. However, an 8-5 ATS record at home versus teams with a winning record and a 10-2 ATS winning record in the last 12 home games could indicate just the right time for gamblers to take the home team in this one.

Thursday

Once again, Thursday’s professional basketball schedule will include two top notch games televised on TNT. On one hand we have an 8:00 p.m. EST showdown between San Antonio and the Lakers, while the late night tip-off at 10:30 p.m. EST will pit Cleveland and Phoenix together.

The Cavaliers (49-13 SU, 41-21 ATS) continue to be the league’s best friend for bettors. Cleveland is 10-2 in its last 12 games, but has also walked backers to the window in exchange for a 9-3 ATS run in the last 12. And while the Cavs are the team to beat in terms of financial revenue, a 7-9 ATS trend in the last 16 road games is something to look out for. Connecting the dots on why Cleveland covers at home much better then on the road runs directly parallel with the team’s 15.2 PPG margin inside Quicken Loans Arena versus a much closer, 4.2 PPG margin during road trips.

Phoenix (34-29 SU, 24-36-2 ATS) is coming off a brutal, four-game road trip for which the team went a winless, 0-4 SU and a not much more impressive, 1-3 ATS. And the problems continue as a 13-17 ATS (43.3%) record in home games (12-16 ATS as the home favorite) and a 13-20-1 ATS (39.4%) slide off one-day of rest is much to be desired.

In their first meeting of the season, Cleveland was able to grab the win on Feb. 11, downing Phoenix 109-92 at home and as nine-point favorites. The total cashed in on the ‘over’ at 200 ½. Even after hitting 49.3 percent of its shots from the field (but just 27.3 percent from beyond the arc), the Suns took 16 fewer attempts then their opponent. Combine that with the Cavs’ 80 percent success rate from the free throw line versus Phoenix’s 70.8 percent and the discrepancies become quite apparent.

The Lakers are once again in the belly of the beast when it faces the Spurs (42-20 SU, 32-28-2 ATS). San Antonio has had a rough time facing Cleveland (lost 97-86), Portland (lost 102-84) and Dallas (107-102) throughout the last six games. The remaining three contests were wins in L.A. against the Clippers (106-78), Washington (100-78) and Phoenix (103-98). The reoccurring theme in these wins was taking easy wins against teams under .500 by a 28 and 22-point margins.

The Spurs have weathered a storm which included playing 17 road games in the last 25 games overall. Throughout that stretch, Tim Duncan and company have gone 10-7 SU and 9-7 ATS. But home games have been at a premium as San Antonio is 10-2 SU and 7-5 ATS. Against its Western Conference foes, San Antonio is a solid 22-14-1 ATS and is 19-11-2 ATS off one-day of rest.

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