Weekend Hoops Action

Weekend Hoops Action

Weekend Hoops Action
By Bodog

It looks like one of the greatest basketball players of all time is about to hang ‘em up or is he? Allen Iverson is planning to retire from the NBA, if what Stephen A. Smith (remember that dude from ESPN?) had on his website Wednesday night is actually genuine or just a frustrated rant. Iverson, or what most call him "The Answer", was an college hoops star at Georgetown before turning pro with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1996. He’s been a controversial figure ever since, but at least no one will accuse Iverson of overstaying his welcome. AI signed with Memphis in the offseason and later retired, most likely due to his minutes. Most wonder if the league's pound-for-pound toughest player will get picked up again or just pack it in for good?

In honor of AI, we’ll hit up both the Hoyas and Sixers in our Weekend Basketball Betting Preview. All times are Eastern; as always, the freshest basketball lines are available LIVE ODDS24/7 at Bodog Sports.
   
Saturday: Lafayette at No. 19 Georgetown

You may recall Georgetown was a huge money loser for betting on basketball last year at 9-17-1 ATS. The Hoyas had a few too many new players coming in to replace people like 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert (NBA - Indiana) and point guard Jonathan Wallace – the two most important positions on the floor. But the Hoyas are a year older now and looking good at 3-0 (1-1 against the spread), although they had a narrow 46-45 escape against Tulane (+10.5). The Lafayette Leopards (4-1) represent the Patriot League, which ranked No. 27 out of 32 conferences in efficiency last year. Keep an eye on sophomore Greg Monroe, who will most likely be playing in the NBA with Hibbert soon enough.

Sunday: Nevada at No. 12 UNC

So the Tar Heels (5-1 SU, 2-3 ATS) have already been knocked down a peg in the rankings, dropping from the four-spot after getting handled by Syracuse (87-71) in the finals of the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden. UNC could be this year’s Georgetown after having to replace so many key players. Losing this early in the season could prove beneficial to supporters in the long run; the Heels are still talented and coach Roy Williams once again has a vibrant freshman class. But for now, they’re No. 113 in Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency rankings. The Wolf Pack (2-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) are No. 15 with the No. 2-ranked offense and perfectly capable of a non-con upset here. The run 'n gun in Chapel Hill needs to get back on track with new players. Maybe this matchup will help out the club.

Saturday: Mavericks at Cavaliers

These two teams give us an object lesson in how getting to the pay window requires a combination of talent and low expectations. The supremely talented Cavaliers are 11-4 SU and 7-8 ATS. The Mavericks, fighting for respect in the tougher Western Conference, are 11-4 SU and 10-5 ATS. The Cavs have missed Shaq (18.6 points, 11.3 rebounds per 40 minutes) for the past six games, going 5-1 SU and 2-4 ATS, but he’s expected to suit up Friday against Charlotte. Dallas is 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS in its last seven; the Mavs have added depth this year with Shawn Marion (15.8 points, 8.2 rebounds/40) and rookie shooting guard Rodrigue Beaubois.

Sunday: Celtics at Heat

The overinflation of the Celtics (11-4 SU, 5-10 ATS) continues unabated despite their poor record versus the number this year. They had narrow victories over both New York and Philadelphia to fall to 1-9 ATS in their last 10 contests. The signing of Rasheed Wallace (27.2 percent from long range) has been a bust up to this point, and Marquis Daniels (12.2 points, 4.3 assists/40) hasn’t panned out any better. Miami (9-5 SU, 7-7 ATS) has also come up dry at 1-6 ATS after a hot start. Depth is an issue right now with swingman Quentin Richardson out since last week with a back injury. The Celtics can at least look forward to the return of reserve guard Tony Allen, who is a solid defender.

Sunday: 76ers at Spurs

Things are going to heck in a handbasket for the Sixers at 5-10 SU and 6-9 ATS, although they’ve managed to cover three games in a row, including Wednesday night against Boston. This might actually be Philadelphia’s best chance to get to the bank simply because of the injuries. Elton Brand is day-to-day with a hamstring injury; he’s the focal point of all that’s wrong with the Sixers, who should be running and gunning but can’t when Brand and Sam Dalembert are both starting in the frontcourt. Starting point guard Louis Williams is also out with a broken jaw. The Spurs (7-6 SU and ATS) are back in business with three covers in a row following the return of point guard Tony Parker to the lineup. Dare we say four on Sunday?

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