NBA News and Notes Friday 4/24

NBA News and Notes Friday 4/24

Friday's Tip Sheet
By Brian Edwards

Gamblers get another tripleheader Friday night in the NBA Playoffs. Will the Cavs put their foot on Detroit’s throat and take a commanding 3-0 series lead? Who will take the upper hand in the Philly-Orlando series? Let’s take a look at these two games.

**Cavaliers at Pistons**

--Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened Cleveland (68-16 straight up, 52-32 against the spread) as a six-point favorite with a total of 177 ½. As of Thursday night, most books had adjusted the Cavs to 4 ½-point ‘chalk’ with the total at 178. Bettors can back the Pistons to win outright for a plus-170 return (risk $100 to win $170).

--Cleveland took a 2-0 lead over Detroit in this first-round series by capturing a 94-82 win as an 11 ½-point favorite in Game 2. The Cavs led by 29 at one point, only to allow the Pistons to pull within seven late in the fourth quarter. Nevertheless, the Cavs covered, albeit barely, after providing anxious moments galore for their backers as Detroit missed three shots for a backdoor cover on the final possession. The 176 points stayed ‘under’ the 177 ½-point tally.

--LeBron James had 29 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in Game 2 after dropping 38 on the Pistons in the series opener. Mo Williams added 21 points and seven assists in Tuesday’s triumph, while Delonte West chipped in with 20 points.

--Detroit (39-45 SU, 34-50 ATS) is only a shell of its former self with Chauncey Billups in Denver, Allen Iverson missing in action and Ben Wallace playing for the opponent. Rasheed Wallace and Richard Hamilton are still around, but that combination along with Rodney Stuckey doesn’t appear to be enough to keep pace with the top-seeded Cavs.

--Michael Curry’s squad has been atrocious at home all year, especially for our purposes. The Pistons are just 21-20 SU at the Palace of Auburn Hills and own a pathetic 13-28 spread record at home.

--Might Cleveland be due for a letdown in this spot? I might think that if not for what happened in the fourth quarter of Game 2. All of the starters had put on their warm-ups and appeared to be done for the night as the Cavs led by 20-plus point early in the stanza. However, when Will Bynum got hot and dwindled Detroit’s deficit down to 16, Cleveland head coach Mike Brown was forced to put James and Williams back in the game. Furthermore, both of the Cavs’ leading scorers had to play the rest of the game and both took several hard shots in the process (at a time when Brown wanted them on the bench to avoid injury). Therefore, I think Cleveland has a crystal-clear goal of getting out of this series healthy and as soon as possible.

--The ‘under’ is 9-1 in the last 10 head-to-head meetings between these Eastern Conference adversaries.

--The ‘under’ is 42-40-2 for the Pistons overall, 20-20-1 in their home assignments.

--The ‘under’ is 46-37-1 overall for the Cavs, but they haven’t seen ‘unders’ nearly as prevalent in their road games with it going 21-20.

--ESPN will have the telecast at 7:05 p.m. Eastern.
   
**Magic at 76ers**

--Philadelphia (42-42 SU, 38-42-2 ATS) stunned Orlando by rallying from an 18-point second-half deficit to steal Game 1 by a 100-98 count as a 9 ½-point underdog. Andre Iguodala was the catalyst with 20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, including the game-winning jumper with just a couple of ticks left. Gamblers backing the 76ers on the money line were hooked up with a monster payout north of plus-400.

--Orlando (60-24 SU, 49-34-1 ATS) bounced back in Game 2 with a 96-87 victory, but Philly backers got paid again as the 76ers closed as 10 ½-point underdogs. Once again, the Sixers were down big only to rally in the fourth quarter for a backdoor cover.

--The hero for Orlando in Game 2 was rookie Courtney Lee, who scored a team-high 24 points to offset Dwight Howard being held to just 11 points.

--Philadelphia point guard Andre Miller was sensational in the losing effort Wednesday night, finishing with 30 points and seven rebounds.

--For Game 3 in the City of Brotherly Love, LVSC opened Orlando as a 2 ½-point favorite with a total of 191 ½. As of Thursday night, most spots had the Magic at 3 ½ with the total in the 191-192 range.

--Orlando has been a big-time money maker on the road this year, compiling a 27-14 SU record and a 26-14-1 ATS mark.

--The ‘under’ is on a 7-2 run in Orlando’s last nine games. On the flip side, the ‘over’ has hit in seven of the 76ers’ last eight outings.

--The ‘under’ is 23-16-2 in Philadelphia home games this season, 40-40-4 overall.

--Tip-off is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.

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Total Talk - Rockets/Blazers
By Chris David

Sixteen games of the NBA playoffs are in the books and the latest craze that has bookmakers and gamblers puzzled is the inordinate amount of ‘over’ tickets that have been cashed at the counter.

Even though the postseason usually stresses half-court basketball and more focus on defense, it’s hard to slow down the scoreboard operator when the shots are falling and that’s been the case so far.

The ‘over’ has gone 12-3-1 in this year’s first-round and some gamblers that have the opportunity to shop, could easily be 13-3 if you had ‘over’ 188.5 in Game 2 of the Spurs’ 105-84 victory over Dallas.

Looking at past playoffs, you can see that this 'over' run is outside the norm. Last year, the ‘under’ went 28-18-1 (61%) in the first-round. In 2007, the ‘under’ produced a 23-17 (58%) ledger.

Have the books adjusted?

VegasInsider.com handicapper Matt Moore answers, “This postseason has been tough to gauge when looking at the lines. The ‘over’ has cashed in over 75% of the games so far, yet the numbers haven’t moved that much. Normally when you see a final score easily eclipse the closing number by a large margin, you’ll see the total jump up for the following contest and vice versa with a low-scoring affair.”

“The Celtics-Bulls and Lakers-Jazz meet in Game 3’s on Thursday and both of those series have watched the ‘over’ go 2-0. The total for the third installment in each battle has jumped by four to five points, which means the books are anticipating public action on the ‘over’ again.”

Another first-round series that has seen the ‘over’ go 2-0 in its first two games is the Portland-Houston matchup.

The Rockets posted a 108-81 victory in Game 1, while the Trail Blazers bounced back with a 107-103 in Game 2. Oddsmakers listed the total on the first installment at 183 and then inched it to 184 for the second battle, both fairly easy winners for gamblers.

Including the aforementioned outcomes, the ‘over’ is now on a 6-0 run in this head-to-head series. With that being known, some might expect the ‘over/under’ for Game 3 in Houston to jump a bit and it has had, but not by much.

Oddsmakers at Sportsbook.com opened the number at 184 ½ for Friday’s battle from Toyota Center.

Moore explained, “The number is real fair and doubt you’ll see it go higher than 187 in this series, even if the ‘over’ run continues. What’s strange about this streak is that both teams like to slow it down and both actually play defense. The only reason why you’re seeing winners is because both clubs are shooting a great percentage.”

In Game 1, Houston shot 59 percent from the field and was 24-of-28 from the free throw line as well. Yao Ming recorded 24 points and was perfect from the field (9-of-9) and the charity stripe (6-of-6). Portland only shot 41 percent in its loss in the first contest but bounced back with a 51 percent effort in Game 2. The Rockets also shot 50 percent from the field. The key factor in this game was the combined free throws attempted (68) between both teams. Getting points when the clock is stopped is huge with ‘over’ tickets and it should be noted that both teams missed 20 of those attempts in Tuesday’s affair.

At home, Houston saw the ‘under’ go 22-18 during the regular season. Portland liked to push the tempo at the Rose Garden this year however it was a different story on the road. The ‘under’ went 23-18 in the Blazers’ road tilts.

ESPN will offer national coverage of this Western Conference quarterfinal at 9:35 p.m. EDT.

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Game of the day: Magic at 76ers
By The Miller Group.

Orlando Magic at Philadelphia 76ers (+3.5, 191)

The betting line


The chance to back the visiting Magic as 2-point favorites has come and gone. That opener quickly shot up to -3.5, where it stands now.

The Magic were dogged by 5 points and favored by 1.5 in their two regular season matchups in Philadelphia.

The total has been shaved down a full point after opening at 192. That's right in the middle of the first two posted totals from this series.

The series so far

Philadelphia shocked most, including the Magic themselves, by taking the series opener on a last-second shot from Andre Iguodala. The Sixers rallied from an 18-point third quarter deficit to win that game outright as 10.5-point underdogs.

A much different story unfolded in Orlando on Wednesday as the Magic jumped on top in the second quarter and never relinquished their lead.

Still, the 76ers were able to sneak in under the pointspread, which was once again set at Magic -10.5. Orlando won the game by nine.

Road warriors

The Orlando Magic showed the mark of a great team during the regular season, posting an impressive 27-14 road record while going 26-14-1 ATS in the process.

They won and covered in each of their two visits to Philadelphia, but it wasn't easy. Those games were decided by two and six points.

It's worth noting that the 76ers led by double digits most of the way in their February 28th home matchup with the Magic. That was before Orlando turned the tables with a 36-20 fourth quarter scoring edge.

A dog's life

No series has been as one-sided as this one in terms of underdogs covering the pointspread.

The team catching points is now 25-11 ATS in the last 36 matchups between the Magic and 76ers.

Philadelphia has been well suited to the role of home underdog, cashing at a 10-3 ATS clip in its last 13 opportunities.

We should look at the other side of the coin as well. Heading into this series, the 76ers hadn't had much success as a playoff underdog, posting a 5-15-1 ATS record over the last several years.

There's no question this is a different 76ers team under head coach Tony DiLeo. The group has shown more fight than it ever did under Mo Cheeks and has the ability to win in a shootout, or a grind-it-out affair.

On the mend

The Magic limped down the stretch with Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu battling injuries, and they showed plenty of rust in Game 1.

While both players continued to struggle shooting the ball, they were more aggressive in Game 2 with 19 combined trips to the line as evidence.

Both also played over 40 minutes, so it will be interesting to see how that affects them, if at all, in Game 3.

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Re: NBA News and Notes Friday 4/24

CLEVELAND (68 - 16) at DETROIT (39 - 45)
Top Trends for this game.
CLEVELAND is 51-33 ATS (+14.7 Units) in all games this season.
CLEVELAND is 45-27 ATS (+15.3 Units) as a favorite this season.
CLEVELAND is 26-16 ATS (+8.4 Units) after a win by 10 points or more this season.
DETROIT is 34-50 ATS (-21.0 Units) in all games this season.
DETROIT is 13-28 ATS (-17.8 Units) in home games this season.
DETROIT is 15-24 ATS (-11.4 Units) second half of the season this season.
DETROIT is 5-13 ATS (-9.3 Units) vs. division opponents this season.
DETROIT is 2-15 ATS (-14.5 Units) after a division game this season.
DETROIT is 16-25 ATS (-11.5 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.

Head-to-Head Series History
CLEVELAND is 13-7 against the spread versus DETROIT over the last 3 seasons
CLEVELAND is 11-9 straight up against DETROIT over the last 3 seasons
15 of 20 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


ORLANDO (60 - 24) at PHILADELPHIA (42 - 42)
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
PHILADELPHIA is 6-6 against the spread versus ORLANDO over the last 3 seasons
ORLANDO is 9-3 straight up against PHILADELPHIA over the last 3 seasons
7 of 11 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


PORTLAND (55 - 29) at HOUSTON (54 - 30)
Top Trends for this game.
HOUSTON is 91-77 ATS (+6.3 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
HOUSTON is 47-27 ATS (+17.3 Units) second half of the season over the last 2 seasons.
HOUSTON is 50-35 ATS (+11.5 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
HOUSTON is 29-17 ATS (+10.3 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season over the last 2 seasons.
PORTLAND is 30-15 ATS (+13.5 Units) after scoring 105 points or more over the last 2 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
HOUSTON is 7-6 against the spread versus PORTLAND over the last 3 seasons
HOUSTON is 9-4 straight up against PORTLAND over the last 3 seasons
7 of 13 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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Re: NBA News and Notes Friday 4/24

Detroit at Cleveland

Cleveland:

18-8 ATS playing only their 2nd game in 5 days
12-4 ATS off cover as a DD favorite

Detroit:
0-10 ATS off a division loss
3-12 ATS revenging a road loss


Orlando at Philadelphia

Orlando:

11-5 Over on Friday nights
27-14 ATS in road games

Philadelphia:
6-0 Over if road underdog L2 games
13-6 Over off BB ATS wins


Portland at Houston

Portland:

21-12 ATS off a home win
26-10 ATS if home favorite last game

Houston:
6-14 ATS if road underdog last game
13-28 ATS off ATS win

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Re: NBA News and Notes Friday 4/24

NBA Today

SCOREBOARD


Friday, April 24

Cleveland at Detroit (7 p.m. EDT). LeBron James and the Cavaliers try to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series. Cleveland dominated the first seven quarters of the series before Detroit showed some signs of life in the fourth period of Game 2.

STARS

Thursday

— Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks, scored 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field and grabbed seven rebounds in Dallas’ 88-67 over San Antonio.

— Paul Pierce, Celtics, scored 24 points as Boston beat Chicago 107-86 to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

— Carlos Boozer, Jazz, scored 23 points and tied a franchise playoff record with 22 rebounds as Utah edged the Los Angeles Lakers 88-86.

JAZZY FINISH

Deron Williams made a fadeaway jumper with 2.2 seconds left to lift Utah to an 88-86 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night, getting the Jazz back in the first-round playoff series they opened with two losses. Williams finished with 13 points and nine assists.

TENACIOUS D

Dallas topped San Antonio 88-67 on Thursday night as the Mavericks allowed their fewest points in a playoff game while improving to 16-1 at home since the All-Star break. They’re also 7-1 in games following 20-point losses. Meanwhile, the Spurs made only 31.2 percent of their shots, and missed 15 of 17 3-pointers

BACK IN ACTION

Rajon Rondo scored 20 points in Boston’s 107-86 win at Chicago on Thursday, and looked just fine for most of the night after spraining his right ankle in Game 2 and missing practice Tuesday. He hit eight of 15 shots, grabbed 11 rebounds, dished out six assists and collected five of Boston’s 16 steals, but afterward two teammates helped him down the hallway afterward. Even so, he insisted he’s OK.

SHUT ‘EM DOWN

Tony Parker was San Antonio’s leading scorer with just 12 points—down from 38 the previous game—in the Spurs’ 88-67 loss at Dallas on Thursday night. He made only five of 14 shots, with as many turnovers (three) as assists.

SPEAKING

“Have some mercy will ya? It’s bad enough I had to watch this. Now you’re going to make me look at the stat sheet?”—a playful Gregg Popovich after his San Antonio Spurs lost at Dallas 88-67 on Thursday night, making only 31.2 percent of their shots, and missing 15 of 17 3-pointers.

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Re: NBA News and Notes Friday 4/24

Detroit at Cleveland

Cleveland:

18-8 ATS playing only their 2nd game in 5 days
12-4 ATS off cover as a DD favorite

Detroit:
0-10 ATS off a division loss
3-12 ATS revenging a road loss


Orlando at Philadelphia

Orlando:

11-5 Over on Friday nights
27-14 ATS in road games

Philadelphia:
6-0 Over if road underdog L2 games
13-6 Over off BB ATS wins


Portland at Houston

Portland:

21-12 ATS off a home win
26-10 ATS if home favorite last game

Houston:
6-14 ATS if road underdog last game
13-28 ATS off ATS win

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Re: NBA News and Notes Friday 4/24

CLEVELAND vs. DETROIT
Cleveland is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
Cleveland is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games
Detroit is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games when playing at home against Cleveland
Detroit is 18-5 SU in its last 23 games when playing at home against Cleveland

ORLANDO vs. PHILADELPHIA
Orlando is 1-7 ATS in its last 8 games
Orlando is 17-8 SU in its last 25 games
Philadelphia is 5-14 ATS in its last 19 games when playing at home against Orlando
Philadelphia is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Orlando

PORTLAND vs. HOUSTON
Portland is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games when playing Houston
Portland is 2-8 SU in its last 10 games when playing Houston
Houston is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games when playing at home against Portland
The total has gone UNDER in 14 of Houston's last 20 games when playing at home against Portland

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NBA Playoffs

Cavaliers are 5-1 against Detroit this year- five of six series games this season went under total. Cavs covered seven of eight games. Detroit lost its last five games, is 5-11 in its last 16, 1-7 vs spread in their last eight games as a dog. James was 13-17 from foul line in Game 2; entire Piston squad was 13-16. Pistons shot just 39.5% in Game 2.

Orlando lost four of last six games; they blew 18-point lead in Game 1 loss to 76ers, but had 14 offensive rebounds in Game 2; seven of its last nine games stayed under total. 76ers lost seven of last nine games, seven of their last eight games went over total. Magic is just 11-41 from arc in series, and forced total of only six Philly turnovers in the two games.

Rockets won five of last six games; Portland won six of last seven and 10 of last 12 games. Houston shot 50%+ in both series games, but shot 8% less in Game 2, while Blazers made 51.4% in Game 2, after making only 41.7% in Game 1. Roy had 42 points, 7 rebounds, one assist in Game 2; Houston's job here is to make him give ball up instead of shooting it.

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Tips and Trends

Cleveland Cavaliers at Detroit Pistons


Cavaliers (-4.5, O/U 178): In his first two wins against the Pistons this postseason, LeBron James is averaging 35.5 points—on 59 percent shooting—10.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists. “If I was a betting guy, I would say the best guy who could stop him is himself,” Cavs coach Mike Brown said. “But other teams are capable of doing it, to a certain degree.” “They have to play the percentages and take the ball out of (James’) hands to see if somebody else can beat them,” Zydrunas Ilgauskas said. “That’s when it falls on us to make shots and make the right pass and make them pay so they get out of it.”

The Cavaliers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 Conference Quarterfinals games.
The Favorite is 10-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings.

Key Injuries - F Ben Wallace (knee) is QUESTIONABLE.


PROJECTED SCORE: 89

Pistons: Richard Hamilton was asked Thursday if he thought the Pistons could beat Cleveland in Game 3. “We ain’t got a choice,” Hamilton said. “I fully believe that we’re going to take care of home court and win,” Pistons coach Mike Curry said. “He’s (LeBron) better and they’re better and they’re used to playing with him, seeing all types of coverages,” Curry said. “We have to do a good job on him and at some points of the game, we just have to be able to defend him one on one without that guy feeling like he’s on an island by himself.”

The Under is 17-5 in the last 22 meetings in Detroit.

Key Injuries - G Allen Iverson (back) is OUT for the season.

PROJECTED SCORE: 85 (UNDER - Total Play of the Day)

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Re: NBA News and Notes Friday 4/24

NBA Playoff Research
By Indiancowboy

Cleveland vs. Detroit

The last 9 of 10 in this series have gone Under. I am all about the home dog typically, for example, the Jazz yetserday. But I just can't go against Cleveland - desipte 80% of the public being on them and given the fact I love fading the public. This Cavs team is focused and 52-32 ATS. Usually, the trends goes dog/over, but given that the last 9 of 10 in this series have gone under, no lean there for me. I will say that if the Pistons had a chance at winning a game in this series, it is here, but the Cavs saw what happened with the Lakers last night, so they will look to sweep here. Plus, I think Curry can't coach worth a lick for the Pistons as that was a horrible hire. The guy looks like deer in headlights.

Portland vs. Houston

This game is interesting because we will see how this young Portland team responds to losing home court. They are 1-1, and they did win their first playoff game of the series. I'm so thrilled for Nate McMillan as his hard work hast at least produced the playoffs for this team. He is such a good guy who knows the game and teaches it to his young players. Props Nate. The last 6 in this series have gone over, but I cannot force myself to take the Over in a Blazer/Rockets game in Houston, if it was in Portland, maybe so, but not in Houston, no thanks.

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