NBA News and Notes Friday 3/20

NBA News and Notes Friday 3/20

Friday's NBA Preview
By Josh Jacobs

All of the focus on Friday night will be on a much anticipated contest between Boston and San Antonio. A quick glance at the rest of the 11-game card just doesn’t conjure up much excitement unless you’re solely looking to maximize profits. And what else are you looking to do but to bank as much as possible before the weekend takes hold?

Charlotte at Toronto – 7:00 p.m. EST

Can Charlotte push past Milwaukee and Chicago for that last seeded position in the Eastern Conference? That question will be answered soon enough but on a wagering note, the Bobcats have been a solid bet, racking up an 8-3 ATS record in their last 11 games. Coach Larry Brown has his team riding a wave of success, scoring 100.5 PPG during the same stretch. And you have to agree that a 7-3 record on the ‘over’ has been reason enough to scramble to the window. Finally, a 20-13 ATS (60.6%) run off one-day of rest this season is just another angle to investigate. It’s safe to say that Toronto is pretty much spent after what’s been another disappointing season. The Raptors dropped seven straight games straight up and against the spread before finally breaking that free fall against Indiana (winning, 110-87 against Indiana). And to say that a 5-16 SU and ATS record in the last 21 hasn’t been damaging to both backers and team would be an utter lie. A 4-7 ATS slide in the last 11 home games hasn’t been much of a slide at all given Toronto’s 11-19-2 ATS record at home this season. The favorite is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 head-to-head meetings and the ‘under’ is 9-4 in the last 13 pairings. It was just on Monday that Charlotte took the ‘W’ against Toronto, 112-86 as seven point favorites.

Miami at New Jersey – 7:30 p.m. EST

New Jersey decided to waltz into Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, defeating New York, 115-89. The win snapped a four-game losing streak but marked just the third victory in the last 10 games for Jersey. The Nets find themselves 2 ½-games out of the No. 8 spot in the East but are looking at a schedule which includes facing nine games (14 total games left) against opponents playing above .500. With that said, New Jersey is 7-8 ATS at home against teams in possession of a winning record. Vise versa, Miami is 8-5 ATS on the road against teams playing under .500 ball. The Heat are coming off a disheartening, 101-96 overtime loss in Boston on Wednesday. But a 20-14 ATS record off one-day of rest could benefit backers in this contest. Miami is 0-3 in its last three road games. But if there’s an angle to take to the counter it’s the Heat’s 10-3 record on the ‘over’ in the last 13. And the ‘over’ is 5-1 in the last six head-to-head meetings between these two teams.

Utah at Oklahoma City – 8:00 p.m. EST

Probably not a contest of equal talent but still an interesting look, the Thunder will look to improve its home record to 5-1 in the last six. Utah found itself struggling to close out a five-game road trip when it dropped three straight in Atlanta (100-93), Miami (140-129) and Orlando (105-87). Even worse is the Jazz falling short of the window, dropping four straight against the spread. And then there’s the Thunder standing at 10-4 ATS in the last 14 pairings against Utah (the underdog is 11-4 ATS in the last 15 head-to-head games). Oklahoma enters Friday with a 16-8-1 ATS record as the home underdog and is 29-18-1 ATS off a SU loss (103-96 defeat against Chicago on Wednesday). Total wagering uncovers a strong, 9-3 record on the ‘under’ in the Thunder’s last 12 while the Jazz have excelled at 11-3 on the ‘under’ in the last 14.

Boston at San Antonio – 8:30 p.m. EST

San Antonio ended Boston’s four-game ATS run in head-to-head games on Feb. 8 (books had closed Boston as an underdog in all four ATS wins). The Spurs cashed out on the road, winning 105-99 as six-point visiting underdogs. But the real focus remains on the Celtics and their sketchy play of late. Injury bugs abound, Boston has truly struggled without Kevin Garnett in the lineup. The Celts are 3-12 ATS without the big man in the lineup this season and are 7-6 SU in the last 13 games. Combine a 1-10 ATS record in its last 11 and an 0-5 ATS slide in the last five road games and there’s no questioning the financial trouble that Boston has dragged its backers into. A 6-3 ATS stint in the last nine home games has been an improvement over the Spurs seasonal, 15-17-1 ATS record at home. San Antonio has been able to outscore opponents by 5.8 PPG inside its own building this season with the defense showing up, allowing just 92.5 PPG. The ‘under’ is 6-3 during the Spurs last nine games but a much more erratic, 6-5 record on the ‘under’ in the last 11 home games isn’t much evidence to build on.

Philadelphia at Golden State – 10:30 p.m. EST

Golden State is looking to put this season behind it but a recent 8-4 SU and 7-5 ATS surge at home has been more then acceptable in the grand scheme of things. On top of that, the Warriors have walked gamblers by the hand to the counter by cashing in on five straight ‘over’ games and working for a 7-1 record on the ‘over’ in the last eight home games. What speaks volumes is Golden State’s offense rolling to the basket by scoring 120.7 PPG in the last 12 while the defense has been steamrolled, giving up 116.8 PPG. We’re talking about combined scores that are averaging 237.5 PPG! The 76ers will get a day of rest before they play on the West Coast. In this spot, Philadelphia is a decent 18-13-2 ATS. Thanks to the rest, the ‘Sixers have returned to the court holding opponents to scoring 93.5 PPG for a point margin at 3.2 PPG. And the ‘under’ has been a gambler’s best friend at 20-10-3 with the one-day off of work. Where Philly has struggled is in head-to-head matches. The Warriors are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 meetings with the 76ers and has been able to maintain a 6-2 SU record in the last eight battles.

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Re: NBA News and Notes Friday 3/20

Game of the day: Celtics at Spurs
By David Chan

Boston Celtics at San Antonio Spurs

History lesson


The Spurs beat the Celtics 105-99 as 6.5-point underdogs in Boston back on February 8th. Both teams were at full strength for that game with Manu Ginobili and Kevin Garnett playing key roles. Ginobili scored 19 points for the Spurs while K.G. poured in 26 in a losing effort.

Last season, the Celtics swept the series 2-0 including a 93-91 victory in San Antonio.

The Spurs have had a tough time against Atlantic Division opponents. They're 5-13-2 against the number in their last 20 matchups. The Celtics are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games against teams from the Southwest Division.

Painting by numbers

Boston abused San Antonio in the paint in the last meeting, outscoring the Spurs by a 58-38 margin. That advantage should be much less pronounced with Garnett in street clothes. Losing Leon Powe to a knee sprain also puts a damper on the Celtics efforts around the basket.

The Spurs success down low is dependent on the availability of Tim Duncan. It sounds like he'll be good to go, but it's hard to say whether he'll be at full strength. He sat out Tuesday's win over the T-Wolves.

Home sweet home?

The Spurs own a strong 24-9 straight up record at home, but from a betting perspective, they haven't been nearly as dominant.

They're 15-17-1 ATS as the host compared to 19-14-1 ATS on the road this season. They've suffered two key losses to the Cavs and Lakers on this floor in the past month. When they do lose outright at home, it's usually against elite teams such as the Celtics.

Boston is 23-12 on the road but has lost three in a row heading into this quick two-gamer that also includes a trip to Memphis on Saturday.

Total recall

There's been a stark contrast between these two teams from an over/under standpoint in recent weeks.

The Celtics have cashed the over in seven of their last nine games while five of the Spurs last seven have stayed under the total.

One thing has remained constant, and that's the Celtics being a serious under team on the road this season. Only 12 of their 35 road games have found their way over the total. Over their last 25 road tilts they've cashed 18 under tickets.

But it's never that easy. Each of the last three meetings in this series, dating back to the start of last season, have gone over the number.

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Re: NBA News and Notes Friday 3/20

NBA Today

SCOREBOARD

Friday, March 20

Boston at San Antonio (8:30 p.m. EDT). The defending NBA champion Celtics beat Miami on Wednesday night to clinch the Atlantic Division title.

STARS

Thursday

— LeBron James, Cavaliers, had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his 24th career triple-double in Cleveland’s 97-92 overtime victory over Portland.

— Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, Lakers. Bryant scored 21 points and Gasol had 21 points and 14 rebounds in Los Angeles’ 114-106 win over Golden State.

— Joe Johnson, Hawks, scored 24 points in Atlanta’s 95-87 victory over Dallas.

NEAR-FLAWLESS

The Cleveland Cavaliers committed only two turnovers, tying an NBA record and setting a franchise mark for fewest in a game, during a 97-92 overtime win over Portland on Thursday night. Cleveland—which matched the record set by Milwaukee against Indiana on April 1, 2006—nearly broke the mark, but Mo Williams’ pass while trying to run out the clock hit the backboard and was picked up by the Trail Blazers.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Monta Ellis scored 27 points and Kelenna Azubuike added 25 in Golden State’s 114-106 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night. … Dirk Nowitzki had 23 points and 12 rebounds in Dallas’ 95-87 loss to Atlanta. … Brandon Roy scored 24 points in Portland’s 97-92 overtime loss at Cleveland.

FINED

Boston coach Doc Rivers was been fined $25,000 by the NBA on Thursday for criticizing a referee earlier in the week. Rivers was irate following the Celtics’ 127-121 loss at Chicago on Tuesday night, after he got whistled for his second technical foul in the final minute. That led to an automatic ejection and a rant against referee Bill Kennedy. The league also fined referee Kennedy an undisclosed amount.

STATUS

Bobcats top-scorer Gerald Wallace is expected to play Friday at Toronto after an MRI on his left knee showed only a bruise. Wallace crumpled to the floor in pain late in the first half of Wednesday’s win over Sacramento. He declined a doctor’s request to get the knee examined at the hospital and returned for the second half. Wallace finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds, but underwent an MRI on Thursday morning to make sure there was no serious damage.

SPEAKING

“I thought Dirk (Nowitzki) was being held and pushed and got fouled repeatedly. I kept asking for a foul to be called, but it wasn’t. I turned to the official and just got thrown out.”—Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, after getting ejected by official Derrick Stafford for arguing with 2:46 left in the second quarter of Dallas’ 95-87 loss at Atlanta on Thursday night.

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Re: NBA News and Notes Friday 3/20

CHARLOTTE vs. TORONTO
Charlotte is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Toronto
Charlotte is 5-9-1 ATS in its last 15 games when playing Toronto
Toronto is 1-8 ATS in its last 9 games
Toronto is 1-8 SU in its last 9 games

DALLAS vs. INDIANA
Dallas is 2-8 SU in its last 10 games on the road
Dallas is 1-3-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Indiana
Indiana is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games when playing at home against Dallas
Indiana is 10-4 SU in its last 14 games when playing at home against Dallas

MIAMI vs. NEW JERSEY
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Miami's last 5 games
Miami is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
New Jersey is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Miami
New Jersey is 3-11 SU in its last 14 games when playing Miami

SACRAMENTO vs. NEW YORK
Sacramento is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing New York
Sacramento is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games when playing New York
New York is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games at home
New York is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games at home

LA CLIPPERS vs. DETROIT
LA Clippers are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games when playing Detroit
LA Clippers are 0-5 SU in their last 5 games when playing Detroit
Detroit is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games when playing LA Clippers
Detroit is 5-0 SU in their last 5 games when playing LA Clippers

MEMPHIS vs. NEW ORLEANS
Memphis is 1-7 SU in its last 8 games when playing New Orleans
The total has gone OVER in 11 of Memphis's last 13 games when playing New Orleans
New Orleans is 2-4-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Memphis
New Orleans is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing Memphis

UTAH vs. OKLAHOMA CITY
Utah is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 games when playing Oklahoma City
Utah is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Oklahoma City's last 6 games

BOSTON vs. SAN ANTONIO
Boston is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
Boston is 12-5 SU in its last 17 games on the road
San Antonio is 2-4-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing at home against Boston
San Antonio is 12-2 SU in its last 14 games when playing at home against Boston

MINNESOTA vs. HOUSTON
Minnesota is 0-4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Houston
Minnesota is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing Houston
Houston is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games at home
Houston is 13-2 SU in its last 15 games at home

WASHINGTON vs. DENVER
Washington is 2-10 ATS in its last 12 games when playing Denver
Washington is 2-10 SU in its last 12 games when playing Denver
Denver is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 games when playing Washington
Denver is 10-2 SU in its last 12 games when playing Washington

PHILADELPHIA vs. GOLDEN STATE
Philadelphia is 5-11 ATS in its last 16 games when playing Golden State
Philadelphia is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing Golden State
Golden State is 11-5 ATS in its last 16 games when playing Philadelphia
Golden State is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Philadelphia

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Re: NBA News and Notes Friday 3/20

Hot Teams
-- Bobcats won eight of their last eleven games.
-- Hornets won ten of their last thirteen games.
-- Rockets won six of their last eight games.
-- Spurs won five of their last seven games.
-- Nuggets won last four games, by 13-13-25-2 points.
-- Warriors covered five of their last six games. 76ers won four of their last five games.

Cold Teams
-- Mavericks lost three of their last four games. Pacers lost their last four games, by 12-14-23-10 points (0-4 vs spread).
-- Raptors lost four of their last five games.
-- Miami lost five of its last six road games. New Jersey lost six of last eight games overall.
-- Kings lost five in row, 19 of last 23 games.
-- Knicks lost last two games by 5-26 points.
-- Grizzlies lost six of last seven games, covered seven of last nine.
-- Pistons lost five of their last seven games. Clippers lost eight of their last ten games.
-- Thunder, Jazz both lost three of their last four games.
-- Minnesota lost 13 of its last 15 games (4-1 vs spread in last five).
-- Wizards lost nine of their last eleven games.
-- Celtics are 1-10 against the spread in their last 11 games.

Totals
-- Over is 9-4 in Mavericks' last thirteen games; last four Indiana games all stayed under the total.
-- Eight of last ten Charlotte games went over the total.
-- Over is 11-2-1 in last fourteen Miami games.
-- Knicks' last three games stayed under the total.
-- Three of last four Memphis games went over the total.
-- Five of last six Detroit games went over the total.
-- Eight of last ten Thunder games stayed under the total.
-- Six of last seven Houston games stayed under the total.
-- Seven of last nine Boston games went over the total.
-- Three of last four Denver games went over the total.
-- Five of last six Golden State games went over the total.

Back-to Back
-- Dallas is 3-1 vs spread playing second straight night on road.
-- Bobcats covered five of last seven if they play again the next night.
-- Knicks are 3-6-1 vs spread if they play again the next night.
-- Grizzlies are 1-5 vs spread on road if they play again the next night.
-- Boston is 9-4 vs spread if it plays again the next night.
-- Wizards are 6-3 vs spread last nine times they had game next night.
-- Warriors are 7-3 vs spread if they lost the night before.

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