NBA News and Notes Friday 11/20

NBA News and Notes Friday 11/20

Houston (7-5 SU, 8-4 ATS) at Atlanta (10-2 SU, 11-1 ATS)

The high-flying Hawks, winners of six in a row SU and ATS, close out a four-game homestand with a visit from the Rockets at Philips Arena.

Atlanta has beaten New Orleans, Portland and Miami to start its current stint in front of the home fans, and crushed the Heat 105-90 as a 7½-point favorite on Wednesday. Joe Johnson had 30 points while Al Horford and Josh Smith had 16 points apiece to pace the Hawks. Atlanta is a perfect 6-0 SU and ATS at home, averaging 111.7 points a game and shooting 47.7 percent from the floor.

Houston has alternated wins and losses in its last nine games (6-3 ATS), but went to Minnesota on Wednesday and beat the Timberwolves 97-84 as a six-point road favorite. Luis Scola led the way with 20 points and 16 rebounds while Trevor Ariza chipped in with 18 points.

The Rockets have won three of the last four in this series (4-0 ATS) and six of the last nine (7-2 ATS). The home team has taken nine of the last 10 meetings, including both games last season. Atlanta won 103-100 at home but failed as a 5½-point chalk while Houston won the rematch in Texas, 92-84 as a five-point favorite.

The SU winner is 11-1 ATS in each team’s 12 games this year.

Houston is just 1-5 ATS in its last six Friday games but it is otherwise on pointspread runs of 8-3 overall, 5-1 after one day off, 22-6 against Southeast Division teams and 5-1 as an underdog. Atlanta is on a plethora of positive ATS streaks, including 20-7-2 at home, 11-1-1 overall, 13-2-1 against Western Conference teams, 21-6-1 as a chalk and 21-7-1 after a spread-cover.

The Rockets have stayed below the posted total in four of their last five overall, but they’ve topped the total in four of five on Friday and five of six as an underdog. The Hawks are on “over” streaks of 7-1 overall, 4-0 at home, 16-5 as a favorite and 4-0 as a home chalk. Finally, in this rivalry, the “under” is 11-5 in the last 16 meetings and 6-2 in the last eight matchups in Atlanta.

ATS ADVANTAGE: ATLANTA


Orlando (9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS) at Boston (9-3 SU, 5-7 ATS)

The Magic head to TD Banknorth Garden in Boston looking for their fourth straight win as they take on the Celtics in a battle of Eastern Conference heavyweights.

The Magic have won three straight (2-1 ATS), all at home, including Wednesday’s 108-94 win over the Thunder, cashing as 12-point favorites. Vince Carter had 18 points while Rashard Lewis finished just shy of a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

Boston is just 3-3 in its last six games and 1-6 ATS in its last seven overall. The Celtics got double-digit scoring from all five starters on Wednesday, beating Golden State 109-95 but coming up just short as a 16-point home favorite.

These teams had a seven-game war in the Eastern Conference semifinals back in May with Orlando prevailing (4-3 SU and ATS) 101-82 in Game 7 back in Boston, cashing in as a 2 ½-point underdog. The Magic won two of the four games in Boston, taking Games 1 and 7 both SU and ATS, but they’re still just 5-14 ATS in the last 19 visits to Beantown. The home team is 25-12 ATS in the last 37 series clashes (playoffs included).

Orlando is just 1-5 ATS in its last six after a straight-up win, but it is on positive ATS streaks of 38-17-1 as an underdog, 12-5 against Eastern Conference teams, 6-0 against the Atlantic Division and 4-1 on Friday. The Celtics are on ATS slides of 1-6 overall (all as a favorite), 1-4 at home, 1-4 after a non-cover and 2-5 at home against teams with winning road records.

The Magic are on “under” streaks of 6-1 on the road and 6-2 against Atlantic Division squads. Boston is on several “under” streaks, including 8-3 against the Eastern Conference, 11-5 overall, and 6-0 against Southeast Division teams, but the “over” is 28-13-1 in the Celtics’ last 42 road games. Finally, the last four playoff games between these teams back in the spring stayed low, and the under is also 4-1 in the Magic’s last five trips to Beantown.

ATS ADVANTAGE: ORLANDO

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Re: NBA News and Notes Friday 11/20

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers

The division rival Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers are set to renew hostilities on Friday when they meet at Conseco Fieldhouse.

LeBron James netted a game-high 30 points and dished out nine assists to give the Cavaliers a 108-91 victory over the Wizards on Wednesday. The Cavaliers covered the 3.5-point spread, while the combined score made it OVER the posted total of 195.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas chipped in with 10 points and nine assists in that win.

The Pacers were upset 110-103 by the Knicks last time out as a 6.5-point favorite on Wednesday. That game's 213 points went UNDER the posted total of 215.

Danny Granger collected a game-high 33 points with seven rebounds in the loss.

Team records:
Cleveland: 8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS
Indiana: 5-4 SU, 5-4 ATS

Cleveland most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Philadelphia are 6-4
After playing Washington are 5-5
After a loss are 7-3

Indiana most recently:
When playing on Friday are 3-7
Before playing Charlotte are 6-4
After playing New York are 8-2
After a loss are 6-4

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

Next up:
Cleveland home to Philadelphia, Saturday, November 21
Indiana at Charlotte, Sunday, November 22


Memphis Grizzlies vs. Philadelphia 76ers

The Memphis Grizzlies and the Philadelphia 76ers will both be gunning for a victory on Friday when they meet at Wachovia Center.

The Grizzlies won for just the third time this season as they defeated the Clippers 106-91 on Wednesday. The Grizzlies covered the 6-point spread, while the 197 points went UNDER the posted total of 199.

Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph each had 21 points in that win.

The 76ers built up an early lead and then held on for a hard-fought 86-84 win over the Bobcats on Wednesday. The 76ers failed to cover the 3-point spread, while the 170 points went UNDER the posted total of 184.

Elton Brand poured in 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to finish with a double-double for the 76ers. Andre Iguodala added 25 points in the win.

Current streak:
Memphis has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Memphis: 3-8 SU, 5-6 ATS
Philadelphia: 5-6 SU, 3-8 ATS

Memphis most recently:
When playing on Friday are 1-9
Before playing Milwaukee are 5-5
After playing LA Clippers are 2-8
After a win are 4-6

Philadelphia most recently:
When playing on Friday are 4-6
Before playing Cleveland are 3-7
After playing Charlotte are 4-6
After a win are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Memphis's last 6 games when playing on the road against Philadelphia
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Memphis's last 5 games
Memphis is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games when playing on the road against Philadelphia
Memphis is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games when playing Philadelphia
Philadelphia is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Memphis
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Philadelphia's last 6 games when playing at home against Memphis
Philadelphia is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Memphis
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Philadelphia's last 8 games

Next up:
Memphis home to Milwaukee, Saturday, November 21
Philadelphia at Cleveland, Saturday, November 21


Miami Heat vs. Toronto Raptors

The Miami Heat and the Toronto Raptors will both be trying to pick up a win on Friday when they battle at Air Canada Centre.

The Heat were simmered 105-90 by the Hawks last time out as a 7.5-point underdog. That game's 195 points made it OVER the posted total of 190.5.

Michael Beasley had 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds in a losing effort.

Chris Bosh tossed in a game-high 32 points to go with 17 rebounds in a double-double in the Raptors' 104-91 loss to the Jazz last time out as 8-point underdogs. The teams played UNDER the posted total of 212.

Current streak:
Miami has lost 2 straight games.
Toronto has lost 3 straight games.

Team records:
Miami: 7-4 SU, 6-5 ATS
Toronto: 5-7 SU, 6-6 ATS

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

Toronto most recently:
When playing on Friday are 4-6
Before playing Orlando are 4-6
After playing Utah are 4-6
After a loss are 3-7

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

Next up:
Miami home to New Orleans, Sunday, November 22
Toronto home to Orlando, Sunday, November 22


Houston Rockets vs. Atlanta Hawks

The Houston Rockets and the Atlanta Hawks will both be trying to pick up a win on Friday when they battle at Philips Arena.

The Rockets dominated the fourth quarter and solidified a 97-84 victory over the Timberwolves on Wednesday. The Rockets covered the 6-point spread, while the 181 points went UNDER the posted total of 197.

Luis Scola led the way with 20 points and 16 rebounds for a double-double in the win.

The Hawks extended their winning streak to six games by crushing the Heat 105-90 on Wednesday. The Hawks covered the 7.5-point spread, while the 195 points made it OVER the posted total of 190.5.

Joe Johnson poured in a game-high 30 points, while Al Horford and Josh Smith added 16 points apiece in that win.

Current streak:
Atlanta has won 6 straight games.

Team records:
Houston: 7-5 SU, 8-4 ATS
Atlanta: 10-2 SU, 11-1 ATS

Houston most recently:
When playing on Friday are 6-4
Before playing Sacramento are 5-5
After playing Minnesota are 7-3
After a win are 3-7

Atlanta most recently:
When playing on Friday are 1-9
Before playing New Orleans are 5-5
After playing Miami are 3-7
After a win are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
Houston is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Atlanta
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Houston's last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Houston's last 8 games on the road
Houston is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games
Atlanta is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Atlanta is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
Atlanta is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
Atlanta is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games at home

Next up:
Houston home to Sacramento, Saturday, November 21
Atlanta at New Orleans, Saturday, November 21


Washington Wizards vs. Oklahoma City Thunder


The Washington Wizards and the Oklahoma City Thunder will both be gunning for a victory on Friday when they meet at Ford Center.

The Wizards were defeated 108-91 by the Cavaliers last time out, as 3.5-point underdogs. That game's combined score made it OVER the posted total of 195.

Antawn Jamison had a double-double with 28 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.

The Thunder were defeated 108-94 by the Magic on Wednesday as a 12-point underdog. That game's combined score made it OVER the posted total of 196.

Jasmes Harden shot 7-for-14 from the field with 24 points in the loss.

Team records:
Washington: 3-7 SU, 3-7 ATS
Oklahoma City: 6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS

Washington most recently:
When playing on Friday are 7-3
Before playing San Antonio are 6-4
After playing Cleveland are 4-6
After a win are 1-9

Oklahoma City most recently:
When playing on Friday are 4-6
Before playing LA Lakers are 3-7
After playing Orlando are 5-5
After a loss are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Washington's last 5 games on the road
Washington is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Oklahoma City
Washington is 10-2-1 ATS in its last 13 games when playing Oklahoma City
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Washington's last 7 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Oklahoma City's last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 13 of Oklahoma City's last 17 games at home
Oklahoma City is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games at home
Oklahoma City is 4-8 ATS in its last 12 games at home

Next up:
Washington at San Antonio, Saturday, November 21
Oklahoma City at LA Lakers, Sunday, November 22


Orlando Magic vs. Boston Celtics

The Orlando Magic and the Boston Celtics will both be trying to pick up a win on Friday when they battle at TD Garden.

The Magic got out to an early lead and never let up in a 108-94 victory over the Thunder on Wednesday. The Magic covered the 12-point spread, and the combined score made it OVER the posted total of 196.

Rashard Lewis just missed a triple-double, netting 17 points with 10 rebounds and nine assists.

The Celtics scored 60 points in the second half as they cruised to a 109-95 victory over the Warriors on Wednesday. The Celtics failed to cover the 16-point spread, and the combined 204 points went UNDER the night's posted total of 211.

Rajon Rondo netted 18 points with seven rebounds while dishing out 12 assists.

Current streak:
Orlando has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
Orlando: 9-3 SU, 7-5 ATS
Boston: 9-3 SU, 5-7 ATS

Orlando most recently:
When playing on Friday are 6-4
Before playing Toronto are 9-1
After playing Oklahoma City are 6-4
After a win are 5-5

Boston most recently:
When playing on Friday are 6-4
Before playing New York are 8-2
After playing Golden State are 4-6
After a win are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
Orlando is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Orlando's last 5 games when playing Boston
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Orlando's last 5 games when playing on the road against Boston
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Orlando's last 7 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Boston's last 5 games when playing Orlando
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Boston's last 5 games when playing at home against Orlando
Boston is 19-5 SU in its last 24 games at home
Boston is 9-3 SU in its last 12 games

Next up:
Orlando at Toronto, Sunday, November 22
Boston at New York, Sunday, November 22


Sacramento Kings vs. Dallas Mavericks

The Sacramento Kings and the Dallas Mavericks will both be trying to pick up a win on Friday when they battle at American Airlines Center.

Donte Greene scored 24 points for Sacramento in its 101-87 loss to Chicago on Tuesday night.

Chicago cashed as 1-point road underdogs, while the teams played UNDER the 198-point total listed by oddsmakers.

Dirk Nowitzki poured in a game-high 41 points to lead the Mavericks in a 99-94 victory over the Spurs on Wednesday. The Mavericks covered the 3-point spread, while the 193 points went UNDER the posted total of 196.

Nowitzki also had 12 rebounds to finish with a double-double. Drew Gooden added a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Current streak:
Dallas has won 4 straight games.

Team records:
Sacramento: 5-5 SU, 6-4 ATS
Dallas: 9-3 SU, 9-3 ATS

Sacramento most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Houston are 3-7
After playing Chicago are 4-6
After a loss are 3-7

Dallas most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Golden State are 6-4
After playing San Antonio are 6-4
After a win are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Sacramento's last 7 games on the road
Sacramento is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
Sacramento is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Sacramento's last 10 games when playing on the road against Dallas
Dallas is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games when playing at home against Sacramento
Dallas is 22-3 SU in its last 25 games at home
Dallas is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
Dallas is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games

Next up:
Sacramento at Houston, Saturday, November 21
Dallas home to Golden State, Tuesday, November 24


Charlotte Bobcats vs. Milwaukee Bucks

The Charlotte Bobcats and the Milwaukee Bucks will both be gunning for a victory on Friday when they meet at Bradley Center.

The Bobcats were defeated 86-84 by the 76ers last time out as a 3-point underdog. That game's 170 points went UNDER the posted total of 184.

Stephen Jackson tossed in a game-high 26 points in the loss for the Bobcats.

The Bucks dominated the second half as they disposed of the Nets 99-85 on Wednesday. The Bucks covered the 9.5-point spread, and the 184 points went UNDER the posted total of 185.

Andrew Bogut netted 21 points with 11 rebounds for a double-double for the Bucks. Carlos Delfino also had 21 points in that win.

Current streak:
Charlotte has lost 6 straight games.

Team records:
Charlotte: 3-8 SU, 7-4 ATS
Milwaukee: 6-3 SU, 6-3 ATS

Charlotte most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Indiana are 4-6
After playing Philadelphia are 4-6
After a loss are 2-8

Milwaukee most recently:
When playing on Friday are 7-3
Before playing Memphis are 3-7
After playing New Jersey are 1-9
After a win are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
Charlotte is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
Charlotte is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Milwaukee
Charlotte is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games
Charlotte is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Milwaukee
Milwaukee is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games when playing at home against Charlotte
Milwaukee is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games at home
Milwaukee is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
Milwaukee is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Charlotte

Next up:
Charlotte home to Indiana, Sunday, November 22
Milwaukee at Memphis, Saturday, November 21


Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors

The Portland Trail Blazers and the Golden State Warriors will both be trying to pick up a win on Friday when they battle at Oracle Arena.

The Trail Blazers were outscored by 15 points in the fourth quarter, but managed to defeat the Pistons 87-81 on Wednesday. The Trail Blazers failed to cover the 10-point spread, while the 168 points went UNDER the posted total of 180.5.

Brandon Roy led the way with 20 points, four rebounds, and five assists. LaMarcus Aldridge also added 20 points in the win.

The Warriors were defeated 109-95 by the Celtics last time out as a 16-point underdog. That game's combined 204 points went UNDER the night's posted total of 211.

Corey Maggette had 23 points with eight rebounds for the Warriors, who lost their third straight.

Current streak:
Golden State has lost 3 straight games.

Team records:
Portland: 9-4 SU, 8-5 ATS
Golden State: 3-8 SU, 6-5 ATS

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

Golden State most recently:
When playing on Friday are 6-4
Before playing Dallas are 5-5
After playing Boston are 3-7
After a loss are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
Portland is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games
Portland is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games on the road
Portland is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
Portland is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games
Golden State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Portland
Golden State is 11-2 ATS in its last 13 games when playing at home against Portland
Golden State is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games
Golden State is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Portland

Next up:
Portland home to Minnesota, Saturday, November 21
Golden State at Dallas, Tuesday, November 24


Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers

The Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers will both be gunning for a victory on Friday when they meet at STAPLES Center.

Carmelo Anthony poured in 32 points, as the Nuggets dropped the Raptors 130-112 on Tuesday night.

Denver covered as 8.5-point home favorites, while the game played OVER the 217-point total set by oddsmakers.

Baron Davis collected 23 points with five assists in the Clippers' 106-91 loss to the Grizzlies last time out, as a 6-point underdog. That game's 197 points went UNDER the posted total of 199.

Current streak:
Denver has won 2 straight games.
Los Angeles has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Denver: 8-3 SU, 6-5 ATS
Los Angeles: 4-9 SU, 3-10 ATS

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

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Friday are 4-6
Before playing Minnesota are 4-6
After playing Memphis are 4-6
After a loss are 2-8

A few trends to consider:
Denver is 5-0 SU in their last 5 games when playing LA Clippers
Denver is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games when playing LA Clippers
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Denver's last 5 games when playing LA Clippers
Denver is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games when playing on the road against LA Clippers
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of the LA Clippers last 12 games when playing at home against Denver
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of the LA Clippers last 11 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 5 of the LA Clippers last 7 games when playing Denver
The total has gone UNDER in 11 of the LA Clippers last 16 games when playing Denver

Next up:
Denver home to Chicago, Saturday, November 21
LA Clippers home to Minnesota, Monday, November 23

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Re: NBA News and Notes Friday 11/20

Friday Night Card
By Kevin Rogers

Nearly one month of the NBA season is wrapped up, as ten games take place on the Friday card. Several teams return home from long trips (Raptors, Clippers, and Warriors), while the Kings are the only team beginning a substantial road trip. The biggest game on the card involves a rematch of the Eastern Conference semifinals between Boston and Orlando.

Magic at Celtics (-7, 191)

Orlando staved off a beat-up Boston squad in seven games this past postseason, as the Magic eventually advanced to the Finals. The Celtics played without Kevin Garnett, who missed the final three months of the season with a knee injury. Fast forward six months, and both teams are still among the East's elite, owning identical 9-3 records.

Several things have changed since the last time these teams met in May, as Rafer Alson and Hedo Turkoglu are out of Orlando. The Magic have another scoring threat in Vince Carter, while the Celtics are fully healthy with the return of Garnett.
   
The C's have burned plenty of money recently, dropping six of their last seven ATS. Boston has been single-digit 'chalk' only three times, going 1-2 ATS, as this game will feature the shortest line the Celtics have seen as a favorite this season. The Magic, meanwhile, are listed as an underdog for the first time this season, going 3-2 ATS on the road.

Eight of the teams' eleven meetings last season finished 'under' the total, while Boston held the upper-hand, going 6-5 ATS.

What else to watch for:

The Cavs try to bounce back after getting tripped up in Washington against the suddenly healthy Wizards. Cleveland heads to Indiana to take on a Pacers' squad that had its five-game winning streak abruptly halted by the lowly Knicks. Indiana gave away a 19-point lead to New York, as the Pacers have finished 'under' the total in seven of the last eight games. The Cavs have hit the 'over' in five straight games, including the last three without Shaquille O'Neal, who is out with a shoulder injury.

The Hawks own the top record in the Eastern Conference at 10-2, as Atlanta hosts surprising Houston. The Rockets continue to be inconsistent, alternating wins and losses in each of their last nine games, coming off the 13-point victory at Minnesota on Wednesday. Houston has cashed consistently as an underdog, going 5-2 ATS when receiving points. The Hawks are a league-best 11-1 ATS, including a perfect 6-0 ATS mark at Philips Arena.

The Raptors come home from a 1-3 SU/2-2 ATS road swing, with the only victory coming over the Clippers. Toronto has played only four home games this season, going 3-1 SU/ATS. The Raps host a Heat squad that has recently hit the skids. Miami has dropped three of four, with the lone victory coming over the winless Nets by one point. The Heat are 3-1 SU/ATS as an underdog, with all three wins coming in this price range, as a 'dog of three points or less.

The Kings leave Arco Arena for the first time since November 7, as Sacramento heads to Dallas to take on the Mavs. Paul Westphal's team wrapped up a four-game homestand 3-1 SU/ATS, as the Kings were knocked around by the Bulls on Wednesday. Seven of the last eight meetings in Dallas have finished 'over' the total, while the Kings are 2-13-1 ATS the last 16 trips to Texas. The Mavs were 4-6 ATS last season when laying at least double-digits at home, while the Kings are 11-4 to the OVER the since 2007 on the road off a loss as a home underdog.

The Blazers make a quick trip to Oakland to battle the short-handed Warriors. Portland has done plenty of traveling over the last ten days, now playing in the seventh different city since November 10. The Blazers did cover six straight prior to not cashing the last two contests against the Hawks and Pistons. The Warriors, meanwhile, are playing their first home game since dealing Stephen Jackson to the Bobcats on Tuesday. Golden State owned a 15-6-1 ATS mark last season as a home underdog, as the Warriors have opened up as 9½ home 'dog.

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Re: NBA News and Notes Friday 11/20

Celtics, Magic clash on ESPN
By AllStar.com

The Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic went to war in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season, with the Magic eliminating the Celtics in 7 games and in the process earned the right to get pasted by the Lakers in the Finals. Both teams look like the class of the 2009 Eastern Conference, and Boston will be looking to send the message that they are still the elite team in the Conference.

Orlando will be looking for a fourth straight victory and the Celtics hoping to continue their recovery from some recent stumbles will try and defend their home court, where they are an un-Celtic like 5-2.
   
Orlando (9-3) despite some roster changes and early injury concerns, the team is looking like a contender to get back to the finals. The Magic, because of a variety of injuries, have used eight different starting lineups through the first 12 games. Despite the revolving-door lineup, the Magic remain near the top of the Eastern Conference, which illustrates their depth.

Dwight Howard has found himself in foul trouble early and often this season; and his foul issues are really cutting into his playing time and thus his production as a result. Howard still manages to record a double-double every time he plays. Howard has recorded eight double-doubles this season.

Van Gundy has asked newly acquired Vince Carter to play more aggressively on offense, and Carter delivered in the win over Oklahoma City with 18 points and 6 rebounds. In his second game after a 10-game drug suspension, Rashard Lewis had 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists despite sitting out the fourth quarter.

The Magic have played especially well in the third quarters of recent games, which is a change from last season. In the last three games, the Magic have held opponents to 15, 16 and 14 points, respectively, in the third period.

Dwight Howard matched his season-low with 17 minutes Wednesday, once again plagued with foul trouble. Howard still had his eighth double-double of the season, getting 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Rashard Lewis narrowly missed his first triple-double of the season, even though he didn't even play in the fourth quarter. He had 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. His nine assists tied a career high. Early season injuries have caused Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus, Ryan Anderson and Brandon Bass to miss time. Point guard Jameer Nelson is expected to be out 4-6 weeks after having knee surgery Wednesday. The Magic seem to miss Hedo Turkoglo and his steady 20 and 10 every night, Carter was acquired to ease the pain, but Vincanity has yet to really go off in the 2009 season.

The Celtics (9-3) will likely try to slow the pace and rely on their defense, as they are among three teams allowing fewer than 90 points per game. This year’s team has relied too much on the three-point shot as an anchor of the offense. The three pointers should be the shot that breaks apart defenses and opens better shots inside of the paint. Instead, the Celtics are basing their offensive success on it. For the second straight game we witnessed a team effectively defend the Celtics 3-point shot (3-12) and knock our entire offensive structure off point. The Celtics will likely try to slow the pace and rely on their defense, as they are among three teams allowing fewer than 90 points per game.

A healthier Garnett has returned as the centerpiece defensively, and Boston added veteran Rasheed Wallace to a star-studded lineup as it hopes to make another run at the franchise's 18th NBA title. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen remain the team's top scorers. The Celtics' play, however, has been uneven after their 6-0 start. They lost back-to-back games against Atlanta and Indiana before rebounding with a 109-95 victory over Golden State on Wednesday. Rajon Rondo led the way with 18 points and 12 assists after averaging 7.0 points and 6.5 assists in the previous two games. Rajon Rondo went 1-for-4 from the free throw line, leaving him at 4-for-16 for the season. The Celtics came into Wednesday's game against Golden State with two straight losses and a chip on their shoulder. And they hope they can carry it to weekend games against Orlando and New York.

Schedule-makers didn't do Boston any favors having the Celtics play eight games in 12 days, then three games in four days. Fatigue takes a bigger toll on older teams, but they only have two more back-to-backs in 2009.

After going through a five-game stretch where opponents shot 45 percent or better and scored 97 points or more in four of those games, Celtics coach Doc Rivers has practiced defense of late, refocusing the troops on picking up the defensive intensity and smarter shot selection.

The Celtics big acquisition Rasheed Wallace has been averaging 11 points and 4 rebounds per game, and has shown an unselfish attitude with the rock, while playing excellent defense.

Home and Away:
-- The Boston Celtics are 5-2 at home this season, and 5-2 against Eastern opponents.
-- At home the Celtics are averaging 101.4 scoring, and holding teams to 89.1 points scored on defense.
-- The Orlando Magic is 3-2 while on the road this season, and 7-2 against Eastern opponents.
-- On the road, the Magic are averaging 93.4 scoring, and holding teams to 93.8 Points scored on defense.

Series History:
In the last 10 games in the Series, the Magic are 6-4 straight up, they are knotted at 5-5 ATS, and the UNDER is 8-2.

Betting Trends:
The Magic are 5-14 ATS in their last 19 games in Boston
The Magic are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 against the Eastern Conference
The Celtics are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games
The UNDER is 4-0 in the last 4 games between the two teams
The UNDER is 4-1 in the last 5 games between the two teams in Boston

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Re: NBA News and Notes Friday 11/20

Tips and Trends

Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics


Magic: Orlando has already had to deal with several players missing time due to injuries, sickness, or suspension. Of their 12 games this season, the Magic have used 8 different starting lineups. Despite this, the Magic are still 9-3 SU, including a current 3 game winning streak. Orlando has 7 players averaging double digits in PTS. C Dwight Howard leads the way, with over 18 PPG and 10 RPG. Orlando has F Rashard Lewis back in the lineup after serving his suspension, and he nearly had a triple double in his 2nd game back. Orlando is counting on PG Jason Williams to play well as he fills in for Jameer Nelson over the next month.

Orlando is 5-14 ATS last 19 meetings in Boston.
Under is 6-1 last 7 road games.

Kedy Injuries - G Jameer Nelson (knee) is out.

PROJECTED SCORE: 88


Celtics (-7, O/U 189.5): This is a big revenge game for Boston, as the last time these two faced off on in Boston the Magic eliminated the Celtics from the playoffs. The Celtics started off the year 6-0 SU, but have gone 3-3 since that start. Boston has already lost 2 games at home SU, and are only 3-4 ATS at home. The Celtics are playing good defense, as they are one of only 3 teams allowing fewer than 90 PPG. Boston has all 5 starters averaging double digits in PTS, with F Paul Pierce leading the way. Tonight's game against the Magic represents the smallest spread the Celtics have faced at home this season.   

Celtics are 1-6 ATS last 7 games as a favorite.
Under is 6-0 last 6 vs. NBA Southeast.

Key Injuries - G Tony Allen (ankle) is out.
F Glen Davis (thumb) is out.

PROJECTED SCORE: 91(UNDER - Total of the Day)

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Re: NBA News and Notes Friday 11/20

NBA Round-Up for 11/20
by Dan Bebe

I went to sleep and woke up this morning with the same excruciating mental image running through my head, that of the New Orleans Hornets collecting TWENTY-FIVE offensive rebounds. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry.

Sports Wagering

Raptors/Heat -
Raptors by 3 on their home court with a total of 200.5. The Raptors return home off a 4-game road trip that saw them win the first game against the Clippers, then fall in the final 3 (at Phoenix, at Denver, at Utah). We all know how dicey that first game home off a long road trip can be, though a 4-game road trip isn't the kind of back-breaking road trip that makes a play on the Heat mandatory. Why? Well, for one, the Raptors are 2-6 on the road, but 3-1 at home, so there's clearly a strong home court edge for a team that relies heavily on jumpshots. Secondly, the Heat are struggling badly. Miami has lost 3 of 4 after starting the year winning 6 of 7, and their only win over the last 4 games was on a buzzer beater, at HOME, against the winless Nets. This game is truly a battle of futility. Miami is not a team that is going to outscore many folks, but they were winning with defense to start the season. Now, not so much. All three of Miami's recent losses have been marked by shoddy defense, as the Cavs, Thunder, and Hawks all scored over 100 points against them. This Raptors team plays an up-tempo game, and may give Miami's defense fits yet again. Level-3 lean to the Raptors, and level-1 lean to the Under, since Miami has broken 100 themselves just twice all season.

Sixers/Grizzlies -
Philly laying 6 at home with a total of 197. Elton Brand woke up, but the Sixers are still a mess. I would argue this team is the WORST 5-6 team in the NBA. They've beaten Milwaukee, New York, Jersey twice and Charlotte for their 5 wins - not terribly impressive. They outrebounded their opponent in just 2 of 11 games, which is pretty awful considering Philly has some pretty large bodies on the inside. The issue is with their defense. In Philadelphia's 6 losses, their opponent has shot over 51% in 4 of them, so you can see that one of the biggest problems is figuring out a way to stop the other guys. With all the athleticism, you'd think the Sixers would be able to muster something at some point, but not yet, and without solid defensive rebounding, the Sixers can't get out on the break where they're most lethal. So, instead, they've tried slowing the game down a bit, and have played to the Under in 7 of 11 games so far. The Grizzlies are 3-8 on the year, but are coming off back-to-back home wins over the Wolves and Clippers in two games you couldn't have paid me to watch live. Memphis, like Philly, tried to win with offense to start the year but realized that unless you have the weaponry of the Lakers, Nuggets or Suns, you need to focus on defense. Memphis started the year with 3 of 4 Overs, but after an Under, a Push and one final Over, Memphis has gone Under 4 straight times as they continue to focus on executing an offensive gameplan and using their underrated strength to take the ball to the hoop, get to the line, and slow the game down. The Grizzlies are 3-2 at home, and 0-6 on the road, though, which gives us very little confidence in the side. Level-1.5 lean to the Sixers, level-4 lean to the Under.

Pacers/Cavaliers - This line is OFF, as we wait to find out the status of the Cavs' injured bodies. My thoughts on the game are basically as such: Indiana is coming off an ugly home loss to the Knicks, blowing a 19-point lead at one point en route to a 7-point straight-up loss. The Knicks' 3 off days seemed to give them extra life in the second half, and the Pacers tired legs led to a litany of fouls, and a game that took about 10 minutes longer than every other 7pm eastern game that night, thanks to rituals at the charity stripe. The Cavs are coming off getting their asses handed to them on the road by the Wizards, who looked like a playoff contender with Antawn Jamison back. The game didn't really tell me much about the Cavs, though. A healthy Washington team ALWAYS plays the Cavaliers tough in our nation's capital, and the Cavs usually move on to other cities and deliver a solid beating. I expect the Cavs to be favored by just a point or two on the road, with oddsmakers assuming Indiana's meltdown was a fluke and this team is more like the one that won 5 straight. Indiana is a high-scoring team, which should inflate the total a shade, but the Cavs are playing an offensive-style game all of the sudden, and have hit 5 straight Overs, so...

Hawks/Rockets - Hawks by 7 at home with a total of 205.5. Is this finally the game where the Hawks fail to cover? This team has been a cash cow this year, going 10-2 straight up and 11-1 ATS. This does, of course, mean that the books will adjust at some point, and the Hawks will likely fail to cover more often than not the rest of the way. This is a pretty high line for Atlanta against a Houston team that is really nothing to scoff at. Atlanta has won their last 6 games and is a perfect 6-0 at home, where they've long been an outstanding club. Houston has been alternating ATS wins and losses the last 7 games, and we're coming off an ATS win in Minnesota. This trend is obviously insane to follow, but it does point to Houston not covering. You can't really take stock in a pattern like that, though. Perhaps the better notes on these clubs involve the scoring. Both are extremely high-scoring teams, yet we're seeing a very reasonable total of 205.5 (opened at 206.5). The total moved down a point from opening line because of some recent indicators. After opening the season with 6 of 7 Overs, the Rockets have gone Under in 4 of their last 5. Atlanta has gone Over in 9 of their 12 games, but the last 2 might be a bit misleading. The Portland game was sitting on 85-82 with 4 seconds to go in regulation, so without the 3-pointer that tied the game and the resulting OT, that one was at 167! The Miami game went over by just 4 points. This is a very interesting mark, and we'll watch the line throughout the day to get a feel for it. In terms of the leans, I just can't lean against Atlanta until they give reason to do so. Level-2 lean to the Hawks, waiting on the total.

Celtics/Magic - Boston laying 7 to the Magic in the Commonwealth with a total of 190. The first thing I think when I see this line is that it's too high, and so is the total, but let's see if that makes sense. The Magic are finally getting healthy and developing some team chemistry, covering 2 recent double-digit home spreads against the Nets and Thunder. They are certainly a better team with Rashard Lewis in the lineup. The Magic are 9-3 on the season, but the pattern is pretty clear in games they've lost. In Orlando's three defeats, they've shot 28%, 19% and 22% from 3-point land. This team takes a ton of threes, and if they're not falling, unless Orlando is taking on the dregs of the League, they're going to be in trouble. It's what makes this team so difficult to cap. I'm not convinced Dwight Howard is 100% either, and that might be an issue against Boston. The Celtics are also 9-3, but they seem to be headed in the other direction. While the Magic are getting healthy, Boston has a slightly injured Paul Pierce, and have lost 2 of their last 3 games, the win coming against the undersized Warriors. Also, while the Magic are more an Over team, the Celtics are more the Under bunch, which really makes us pause on this game for a while. The line feels awfully high for a battle of 9-3 clubs, and I'd lean to the Magic despite the early half-point reverse line movement -- this is a level-2.5 lean, and if we can eliminate the very minimal reverse line action, it will jump to a big play. I also lean (level-3) to the Under, since I feel Boston successfully slows the game down on their home court.

Thunder/Wizards -
The Thunder are very small favorites (looks like 2.5) at home, with a total of 194. Let's just check these teams out one at a time. First, the Thunder. Oklahoma City got blown out in Orlando in their last game, and now return home for one game. In fact, the schedule has sent the Thunder on the road for 3, home for 1, road for 2, home for 1, and then back on the road for 2 more before finally getting a real homestand. The Wizards, meanwhile, just got Antawn Jamison back from injury and delivered a firm punch to the Cavs' collective gut with a 17-point win. We need to remember, though, that Washington had lost 6 straight before the big win, so it's not time to put them in the pantheon of champions just yet. Still, the return of Antawn Jamison truly changed the way this team functions, and I'll be very curious to see how this team plays over the next couple weeks. The issue at hand here is that neither of these teams is what we saw in the last game. The Wizards are going to be decent, but not as great as they were against the Cavs. The Thunder are fairly middle-of-the-pack, but not as bad as we saw in Orlando. We know the Thunder will try to ratchet up the defense here, and we know the Wizards will continue to try to push the offense. These games where two different styles come together are always interesting. Level-2 lean to the Thunder, and level-1 lean to the Over.

Mavericks/Kings - Dallas by 11.5 at home with a total of 201. This game is a great spot for us to capitalize on the Kings letdown. Sacramento lost their top scorer a little over a week ago, as you probably recall, and promptly went on an impressive 4-game winning streak. That all came to a screeching halt on Tuesday, though, as Chicago blew into town and smashed the Kings 101-87. When a predominantly young team loses a top threat, the other guys often step up to fill his shoes, but when that team finally falls, there is often a few-game stretch where those young guys feel a tad overwhelmed, and this looks an awful lot like scenes we've seen in the past. Sacramento finally got beat by the Bulls, and had to fall off cloud-nine, then get on a plane and head to Dallas to face the surging Mavs. Dallas is 9-3 SU and ATS, and has won 4 straight, SU and ATS as well. I really like what this team is doing right now, as they're playing solid team defense, and the insertion of Drew Gooden into the starting lineup (even though it was due to illness) has seemingly given Dallas one more player who can do something on the offensive end. They'll need Dampier's toughness back at some point (though personally I think the guy is insufferable), but in the interim, this team is rock solid at home, and doing a ton of winning. The huge spread exists for a reason, and I think Dallas covers this one by 3 or 4. I also think Sacramento struggles to break 90, and lean to the Under. Level-4 lean on Dallas, level-2 lean on the Under.

Bucks/Bobcats - Milwaukee, another home favorite, is laying 5.5 with a total of 178.5. Milwaukee has been a truly pleasant surprise so far this year, and the 'team wins' Over might be the easiest bet ever cashed, barring any more injuries. Michael Redd is out, as usual, but rookie Brandon Jennings is, well, THE MAN. Kid can flat out play, and he's carried the Bucks to a 6-3 record to start the year, including 5-1 at home, where they'll be playing this one. In fact, the Bucks only home loss came on Dirk Nowitzki's miracle buzzer-beater in OT; otherwise, they've been bullet-proof on their court. I don't expect the Bobcats to break through. Sure, they acquired Stephen Jackson to give them a little more versatility on offense, but Charlotte continues to have all kinds of issues on offense. They're 0-6 away from home, though they HAVE covered the last two road games. Still, I can't expect this team to keep going on the road and losing close ones. A few of those in a row can take its toll, and the Bobcats are due for a loss of more than a couple points. The total of 178.5 feels pretty spot on. The Bucks have played some high-scoring games lately, but mostly because of the opponent: the Knicks, Nuggets, Warriors and then the OT game with the Mavs have seen a great many points, but now the Bucks can go back to slowing things down with the Bobcats. Level-3 lean to Milwaukee at home, and level-2 lean to the Under.

Clippers/Nuggets - This is a pretty hefty road line, and we'll have to summarize two of those to end this preview. The Nuggets are giving up 9 on the road with a total of 208. The Nuggets have a way of pushing totals up pretty high. The O/U for Denver is just 6-5, but breaking it down a bit further can reveal a few things. Three of Denver's Unders have come against the Blazers, Heat, and Bulls, teams that have been working hard to slow the tempo. The other two Unders came when the Lakers couldn't get off the floor in Denver, and against Indiana, when the posted total was 224. When Denver has played defense-neutral teams like the Clippers, the total has gone Over every time. The concern on this one is whether the Clippers can score at all. This team is, once again, floundering, and I hate to say it, but I think Dunleavy may have run his course in LA. Marcus Camby hurt his back again, and this team generally looks confused at both ends of the ball. A team with Baron Davis, Al Thornton, Chris Kaman, and when healthy, Eric Gordon and Marcus Camby, should NOT be as bad as these guys are. Over the last 6 games, the Clippers are 1-5 SU and ATS, losing every ATS battle when they've lost the game. Well, they're going to lose this game, which makes me think they've got a damn good shot of losing the ATS battle, as well. Level-3 lean to Denver, level-2.5 lean to the Over.

Warriors/Blazers - Another big road line, though this one has moved a bit. It opened with the Blazers favored by 9.5 in Golden State, and has since fallen to just 8 with a total of 206. It seems most folks felt the line was too high, but I have to admit, I'm on the other side of the fence on this one. The Warriors generally have their biggest problems with teams that can outmuscle them, and the Blazers are definitely the bigger, stronger of these two clubs. I can see a rebounding advantage for Portland upwards of 15 in this one, so even if they're not shooting the ball well, Portland should get ample second-chance opportunities. The Warriors are just 3-8 this year, but 6-5 ATS, so oddsmakers have adjusted well. Golden State has won their last 4 straight ATS, and I'm guessing that has a great deal to do with why this line dropped by 1.5. We need to remember, though, that the Warriors two home wins have come against the Grizzlies and the Timberwolves. They lost by 28 to the Clippers at home, and have only beaten the Knicks on the road. I think the initial line move might be a bit of an overreaction to the Warriors recent ATS run, and I have a level-2.5 lean to the Blazers, with a level-3 lean to the Under.

Fantasy Advice

Peja Stojakovic -
I have no idea where his 7-three performance came from, or the 13 rebounds, but if he can keep his back from decomposing, he could be a nice 3-point specialist for your fantasy team. Of course, so could Rudy Fernandez, and he's not injury prone.

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Re: NBA News and Notes Friday 11/20

Stan's Sharp Move for Friday
by Stan Sharp

Washington @ Oklahoma City

Total Opened 193.5 now 196, 196.5

Stan notes this total opened at 193 at the Greek and at Cris. Here in Vegas and offshore this game has been bet up to 196.5 at the Greek and 196 everywhere else. Stan notes that Oklahoma returns home from a short road trip but is playing their 7th game in 11 days. The Wise Guys expect Washington to play up tempo tonight and wear out a tired Oklahoma City team. Stan notes that tired teams generally don't play strong defense. Stan's take the Wise Guys have spoken so you should listen and Play Over.

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