NBA News and Notes Thursday 12/17

NBA News and Notes Thursday 12/17

NBA Doubleheader on TNT
By RICKY DIMON

Orlando Magic at Miami Heat (+4, 201)

Home is where the Heat is


AmericanAirlines Arena has not been particularly kind to the Miami Heat (12-11, 11-12 ATS) this season. The team is 7-7 at home (5-9 ATS) and had dropped four consecutive home games (0-4 ATS) before putting an end to the streak with a 115-95 win over Toronto on Tuesday.

“The thing about this group, there is a purity of heart and that's something that we talked about,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after the victory. “We were all embarrassed the last couple games. There's a lot of pride in that locker room.”

Orlando (18-6, 13-11 ATS), meanwhile, has been impressive on the road this year. The Magic are 10-4 overall as the visiting team (8-6 ATS) and have won eight of their last 10 games (6-4 ATS) away from home.

Mad Men

Second-year forward Michael Beasley (15.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg) tied his career-high with 28 points while also grabbing 11 rebounds against the Raptors. “I think it's been long enough for me playing average,” Beasley explained. “I'm just kind of mad at myself for not stepping out of the box. I'm kind of angry right now.”

Magic center Dwight Howard (18.2 ppg, 12.7 rpg) has recorded four straight double-doubles and he overpowered Indiana for 21 points and 23 rebounds on Monday despite taking a physical beating. Pacers coach Jim O’Brien accused Howard of throwing a punch in the third quarter after the big man was hacked on the neck by Troy Murphy.

“It fired us up,” Vince Carter said. “We want to protect (Howard) the best we can.”

“It’s out of hand what (the officials) are letting people do to Dwight,” added coach Stan Van Gundy.

Trends and injuries


The over is 5-0 in the Heat’s last five games, 5-2 in the team’s last seven home games and 4-0 in the last four meetings between the Heat and Magic.

Orlando is 17-8 ATS in its last 25 games against Eastern Conference opponents. Miami is 2-6 in its last eight vs. the Eastern Conference.

The Magic are 10-3-1 in their last 14 meetings with the Heat, including 5-2 ATS in the last seven games at Miami.

The Magic, who hosted Toronto on Tuesday night, have played back-to-back games five times this season. They are 3-2 overall and 3-2 ATS playing on no days rest.

Heat shooting guard Quentin Richardson (8.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg) has missed two games since straining a hamstring last week against Dallas. Richardson was listed as day-to-day on Wednesday.

Magic point guard Jameer Nelson has not played since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on Nov. 18 to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Nelson assured on Monday that he is ready to play right now, but Van Gundy says that Nelson will not even practice until Sunday at the earliest.

Phoenix Suns at Portland Trail Blazers (-3, 201)

Trail of Tears


The hard-luck Trail Blazers (15-11, 12-13-1 ATS) are playing without Greg Oden, Rudy Fernandez, and Travis Outlaw. Oden (fractured patella) is out for the season, Fernandez had back surgery on Dec. 8 and will miss another 4-5 weeks and Outlaw—not expected to return until March—has missed 15 games with a broken left foot.

As if Portland needed any additional distractions, point guards Andre Miller and Steve Blake have been the subject of trade rumors throughout the past two weeks.

Amidst these tough times, the Blazers have lost six of their last nine games (2-6-1 ATS). They ended a two-game skid with a 95-88 home win over Sacramento on Monday. LaMarcus Aldridge, who is averaging 23.4 points per game since Oden went down, scored 25 points and added nine rebounds.

“We talked about where we are,” coach Nate McMillan said following the victory. “And basically, for us, with so many changes and so many guys out, our focus is: We’re not going to quit. We’re not going to give in to all this that has happened.”

The Nash Equilibrium

Steve Nash is averaging 18.3 points per game for Phoenix (17-8, 15-10 ATS), but once again it is decision-making with the basketball that is proving to be especially crucial for the Suns. Nash is dishing out 11.2 assists per game and he is distributing the ball so effectively that six different players are scoring in double-figures.

Amare Stoudemire (19.6 ppg, 8.0 rpg) is leading the way in both points and rebounds, but Phoenix has also enjoyed significant contributions from Jason Richardson (15.8 ppg), Grant Hill (12.2 ppg), Channing Frye (11.9 ppg) and Leandro Barbosa (11.6 ppg).

“I think [Nash] is playing right now better than he did the year he got the MVP, either one of them," said coach Alvin Gentry

Trends


The Suns, who are 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings with Portland, are coming off a 116-104 home victory over San Antonio on Tuesday night. Phoenix is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games playing on one day’s rest.

The Suns are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall, all against teams with winning SU records. The Blazers are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall.

The under is 8-0-1 in Phoenix’s last nine road games and 10-4 in the Trail Blazers last 14 home games.

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Re: NBA News and Notes Thursday 12/17

Orlando (19-6, 14-11 ATS) at Miami (12-11, 11-12 ATS)

The Magic try to end a rare two-game road losing skid when they make the short trip to South Beach for a Southeast Division battle with the Heat at American Airlines Arena.

Orlando won 10 of its first 12 road games to start the season, then fell on back-to-back nights at Utah on Thursday (120-111 as a 2½-point favorite) and at Phoenix on Friday (106-103 as a 2½-point underdog). The Magic have since gotten back on track with a pair of home victories, knocking off the Pacers 106-98 on Tuesday (coming up short as a 12½-point favorite) then pummeling Toronto 118-99 as an 11½-point chalk last night. Stan Van Gundy’s squad has scored in triple digits in eight of its last nine outings, averaging 110.6 ppg.

Miami is coming off Tuesday’s 115-95 rout of Toronto, easily covering as a 6½-point home favorite to end a two-game SU and ATS funk. The Heat have still dropped 10 of their last 16 games, going 5-11 ATS overall, including 1-8 ATS at home. Prior to the victory over the Raptors to start this week, Miami had surrendered 100 points per more in six straight games for an average of 108 ppg.

The Heat went to Orlando on Thanksgiving Eve and stole a 99-98 victory as a 9½-point road underdog, with Dwyane Wade (team-high 24 points) leading five Miami players in double-digit scoring. Despite that outcome, the Magic are still on a 12-2 SU run in this rivalry, going 10-3-1 ATS during this stretch, including 5-2 ATS in their last seven trips to South Beach.

Orlando is on a series of 1-4 ATS slumps – overall, on Thursday and against winning teams – but it is 17-8 ATS in its last 25 games against Eastern Conference foes and 8-2 ATS in its last 10 against Southeast Division rivals. Miami carries nothing but negative ATS trends, including 5-11 overall, 1-8 at home, 3-8 when playing on one day of rest, 2-6 against the Eastern Conference and 3-11 on Thursday.

The under is 11-5 in the Magic’s last 16 road games and 13-3 in their last 16 on Thursday, while Miami has stayed low in five of six on Thursday and five of seven against division rivals. Conversely, the Heat are on “over” runs of 5-0 overall, 5-2 at home and 4-0 against winning team, and the last four meetings in this rivalry have hurdled the posted total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: ORLANDO


Phoenix (17-8, 15-10 ATS) at Portland (15-11, 12-13-1 ATS)

Two teams struggling with consistency right now hook up at the Rose Garden, where the Trail Blazers will attempt to upend the Suns for the third consecutive time.

Phoenix routed the Spurs 116-104 on Tuesday, easily cashing as a two-point home favorite. The Suns have followed up an 0-4 ATS drought with four straight spread-covers, but they’re still just 3-5 SU in their last eight games, with all five losses coming on the road. In those five road setbacks, Phoenix – which averages 108.7 ppg overall – managed just 95.4 ppg.

Portland returned home Tuesday after a four-game road trip and held off the Kings 95-88, pushing as a seven-point chalk. Despite that win, the Blazers are just 3-6 SU in their last nine games (2-2 at home) and 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10. Prior to this recent funk, Nate McMillan’s squad had been on a 10-2 SU roll.

The home team has won each of the last five meetings between these squads (4-1 ATS). The final two clashes last year took place at the Rose Garden, with Portland winning by scores of 124-119 and 129-109, splitting the cash as a 6½-point chalk in each contest. Prior to those two wins, the Blazers had lost 11 straight games to the Suns (2-8-1 ATS), and Phoenix is still 23-9-1 ATS in the last 33 battles and 5-1 ATS in its last six trips to Portland. Finally, the favorite is on a 16-5-1 ATS roll in this rivalry.

The Suns are on ATS runs of 4-0 overall (all against winning teams), 4-1 against the Northwest Division, 6-1 after a spread-cover and 8-2 when playing on one day of rest, but they’re 5-18 ATS in their last 23 on Thursday.

Portland is 5-1-1 ATS in its last ssevenix against the Pacific Division, but otherwise the Blazers are in pointspread slumps of 2-7-1 overall, 0-4-1 at home, 1-5 versus winning teams, 2-5 after a SU victory and 4-10 on Thursday.

Phoenix topped the total in Wednesday’s victory over San Antonio, ending an 8-0 “under” streak. Still, the Suns remain on “under” tears of 8-0-1 on the road, 5-0-1 when playing after one day of rest, 4-0-1 after a SU victory and 3-1-1 against the Northwest Division, but the over is 6-1 in their last seven on Thursday. Portland is on “under” streaks of 10-4 at home, 14-5 versus Western Conference foes and 4-1 against winning teams.

Finally, the over is 15-7 in the last 22 meetings between these teams and 8-3 in the last 11 clashes at the Rose Garden.

ATS ADVANTAGE: PHOENIX

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Re: NBA News and Notes Thursday 12/17

Inside the Paint - Thursday
By Chris David

Pro basketball is quietly getting a little more pub on television and at the betting counter, with both the pro and college football seasons coming to a close. Once again, TNT will provide us with national coverage of its weekly double-header. The Heat and Magic tangle in an Eastern Conference battle from South Beach in the first matchup at 8:05 p.m. EST. Then, a Western Conference duel at 10:35 p.m. EST between the Suns and Trail Blazers from the Great Northwest will close the night.

Let’s take a closer look at the pair.

Orlando (19-6 straight up, 13-10 against the spread) at Miami (12-11 SU, 11-12 ATS)

Orlando is proving to be a legit contender again this season after reaching the NBA finals last year. Stan Van Gundy’s squad sits atop the Southeast Division and appears to be on pace for one of the top four seeds in the East.

The Magic showed that they could win on the road last year and the same can be said again this season. The team owns a 10-4 record outside the Magic Kingdom even though it recently lost its past two on the road. The setbacks weren’t surprising, since they came against Utah (111-120) and Phoenix (103-106).
   
Despite the pair of defeats, Van Gundy and company rebounded with back-to-back homes wins against Indiana (106-98) on Tuesday and Toronto (118-99) last night.

On Thursday, Orlando faces a game on zero days rest when they visit Miami. The Magic have gone 3-2 SU and 3-1-1 ATS when playing in the second game of a back-to-back spot this season. The ‘over’ has gone 3-2.

Miami has been inconsistent all season but it showed some life on Tuesday when it ripped Toronto 115-95 as a 6½-point home favorite. The Heat needed the win badly after dropping four of their previous five games.

American Airlines Arena used to be a tough out for opponents but that’s not the case this season. The Heat are 7-7 SU and 5-9 ATS at home.

Prior to the 20-point win over the Raptors, Miami was just 2-5 SU and 0-7 ATS in its previous seven at home. And, the two wins both came by one point against the Hornets and Nets.

Miami should have some confidence heading into this game against Orlando on Thursday. The Heat stole a 99-98 road victory against the Magic on Nov. 25 as 9 ½-point underdogs when Michael Beasley followed up an air ball with a game-winning dunk in the final seconds.

Despite that lucky win, the Magic have gone 7-2 SU and 5-3-1 ATS in the last nine encounters versus the Heat, including this year’s only matchup. The ‘over’ has produced a 7-2 mark over this span.

Orlando opened as a four-point road favorite, and the total is hovering between 200 and 201 at most books. The Heat are 1-3 both SU and ATS in their last four meetings against the Magic in South Beach.

Phoenix (17-8 SU, 14-10 ATS) at Portland (15-11 SU, 12-13 ATS)

Phoenix will play its league-high 17th road game on Thursday when it heads to Portland. Lately, the team hasn’t been playing its best basketball outside of Arizona. After opening the year by winning eight of their first 11 games away from home, the Suns have dropped five straight on the road.

Alvin Gentry’s team is all about offense, which is ranked first in scoring (108.7 PPG) and second in field goal percentage (49.3). Plus, it tops the list in 3-point shooting (43.3%). Unfortunately, when the offense doesn’t show up the defense (105.6 PPG) isn’t good enough to win games.

During their five-game skid on the road, the offense only cracked the century mark once and that came in a 102-101 setback to the Mavericks on Dec. 8. The offense did show up on Tuesday when the Suns ripped the Spurs 116-104, but that was at home.

Playing this many road games will help Phoenix in the spring but for now it’s been tough. After tonight, the Suns host the Wizards on Saturday.

The Suns aren’t alone when comes to scheduling woes. Just last week, Portland finished up a four-game trip versus Eastern Conference foes and the club only posted a 1-3 record. Fortunately, they got some rest before beating Sacramento 95-88 on Tuesday at home.

The victory helped Portland improve to 9-4 SU at home. Unfortunately it hasn’t been able to put anybody away, which has produced a lousy 5-7 ATS mark. The defense (91 PPG) has been stout in front of the locals and that’s helped the ‘under’ go 9-4.

Injuries can never be forecasted and Portland’s had as bad luck as anybody this season. Center Greg Oden (leg) was lost for the year, forward Travis Outlaw (foot) could miss up to four months and guard Rudy Fernandez (back) is expected to miss close to a month.

Last year, the four-game regular season series between the Suns and Trail Blazers was all about the home team. Phoenix swept in the desert and Portland captured its pair at home. It should also be noted that all four contests were no contests, with every game being decided by double digits. Portland averaged 126.5 PPG at home compared to 94 PPG at Phoenix. The ‘over’ went 3-1.

Oddsmakers opened Portland as a 2½-point home favorite for tonight’s contest, while the total is sitting at 201.

Most would believe that the Trail Blazers want to get out of this game tonight with a win, since another four-game road trip is right around the corner. After this battle, the club faces the Magic and Heat in a back-to-back spot starting on Saturday. Then, they have another back-to-back scenario in Texas against the Mavericks and Spurs, which begins Tuesday. Can you say 1-3 again, maybe?

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Re: NBA News and Notes Thursday 12/17

Orlando Magic vs. Miami Heat

The Orlando Magic and the Miami Heat will both be gunning for a victory on Thursday when they meet at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Six players reached double figures as the Magic crushed the Raptors 118-99 on Wednesday. The Magic covered the 11-point spread, and the combined score made it OVER the posted total of 207.5.

Dwight Howard collected a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Magic, and Rashard Lewis netted a game-high 21 points in the win.

Michael Beasley scored 28 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, as the Heat handled the Raptors 115-95 on Tuesday night.

Miami covered as 7-point home favorites, while the teams played OVER the 205.5-point total posted by sportsbooks.

Current streak:
Orlando has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Orlando: 19-6 SU, 14-10-1 ATS
Miami: 12-11 SU, 11-12 ATS

Orlando most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 6-4
Before playing Portland are 6-4
After playing Toronto are 5-5
After a win are 8-2

Miami most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 6-4
Before playing Portland are 3-7
After playing Toronto are 6-4
After a win are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
Orlando is 12-2 SU in its last 14 games when playing Miami
Orlando is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Miami
Orlando is 13-3 SU in its last 16 games
Orlando is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Miami's last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Miami's last 5 games when playing Orlando
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Miami's last 7 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Miami's last 6 games when playing at home against Orlando

Next up:
Orlando home to Portland, Saturday, December 19
Miami home to Portland, Sunday, December 20


New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls

The New York Knicks and the Chicago Bulls will both be gunning for a victory on Thursday when they meet at United Center.

Chris Duhon went for 18 points and six assists for New York in its 94-87 loss to Charlotte on Tuesday night.

Charlotte covered as 5-point home favorites, while the game played UNDER the 196-point total posted by oddsmakers.

Derrick Rose paced the Bulls with 21 points and six assists in their 96-87 loss to the Lakers on Tuesday night.

Los Angeles couldn't cover as 9.5-point road favorites, while the game played UNDER the 193.5-point total posted by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Chicago has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
New York: 8-16 SU, 12-12 ATS
Chicago: 8-15 SU, 6-15-2 ATS

New York most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 3-7
Before playing LA Clippers are 3-7
After playing Charlotte are 3-7
After a loss are 3-7

Chicago most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 5-5
Before playing Atlanta are 1-9
After playing LA Lakers are 4-6
After a loss are 2-8

A few trends to consider:
New York is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Chicago
New York is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
New York is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of New York's last 5 games on the road
Chicago is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games when playing at home against New York
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Chicago's last 5 games when playing New York
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Chicago's last 8 games at home
Chicago is 13-5 SU in its last 18 games when playing New York

Next up:
New York home to LA Clippers, Friday, December 18
Chicago home to Atlanta, Saturday, December 19


Phoenix Suns vs. Portland Trail Blazers

The Phoenix Suns and the Portland Trail Blazers will both be trying to pick up a win on Thursday when they battle at Rose Garden.

Amare Stoudemire dropped 28 points and hauled down 14 rebounds to lead the Suns over the Spurs 116-104 on Tuesday night.

Phoenix covered as 1.5-point home favorites, while the teams played OVER the 209.5-point total posted by sportsbooks.

Brandon Roy went for 25 points and 10 assists, as the Trail Blazers dumped the Kings 95-88 on Tuesday night.

The game resulted in a push with Portland as 7-point home favorites, while the teams played UNDER the 203.5-point total set by oddsmakers.

Team records:
Phoenix: 17-8 SU, 15-9-1 ATS
Portland: 15-11 SU, 13-13 ATS

Phoenix most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 7-3
Before playing Washington are 9-1
After playing San Antonio are 3-7
After a win are 5-5

Portland most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 4-6
Before playing Orlando are 6-4
After playing Sacramento are 5-5
After a win are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Phoenix's last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Phoenix's last 9 games
Phoenix is 11-2 SU in its last 13 games when playing Portland
Phoenix is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Portland
Portland is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Portland's last 14 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Portland's last 9 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Portland's last 6 games when playing at home against Phoenix

Next up:
Phoenix home to Washington, Saturday, December 19
Portland at Orlando, Saturday, December 19

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Re: NBA News and Notes Thursday 12/17

Knicks, Bulls Clash On Thursday Night

The Week That Was: Knicks

Coach Mike D’Antoni saw the same movie twice in the past week, with his team experiencing victory in one showing and defeat in the other. On Friday, Dec. 11, the Knicks – trailing the New Orleans Hornets by a slight margin heading into crunch time – scored 18 unanswered points in the final 4:57 to subdue Chris Paul’s crew by a 113-96 score. Four days later, on Dec. 15, the Knickerbockers would swallow the bitter pill they forced New Orleans to swallow. Leading 85-79 with 3:58 remaining in regulation, New York got outscored by Charlotte, 15-2, and dropped a 94-87 decision to coach Larry Brown’s Bobcats. As was the case in the New Orleans game, the final few minutes witnessed the complete disappearance of one team. It was as though the Knicks were so fascinated by New Orleans’ big fade that they decided to try out the act for themselves.

It’s not exactly a sports betting tip because it has long-accepted point of NBA wisdom that the final six minutes of a game are the only part that really matters, as long as the scoreboard margin is reasonable. The New York Knicks have re-discovered this truth over the past week. Now, they need to be more consistent finishers.

Bulls Week Recap

Compared to previous weeks, sportsbook odds makers know that the Chicago Bulls actually had a somewhat decent seven-day stretch. For one thing, they won a game. On Dec. 11, the Bulls topped Golden State in overtime, 96-91, thanks to an 18-point, 14-rebound effort from center Joakim Noah.

The Bulls’ other two games from the past week were losses, but Chicago actually displayed a reasonable amount of effort in both contests. The problem for coach Vinny Del Negro’s roster was that no one can score.

On Saturday, Dec. 12, the Bulls didn’t play their typical “matador defense.” Yes, the Boston Celtics dusted off Chicago by 26 points, but that was primarily the result of the Bulls’ meager 80-point total. The Celtics’ 106-80 win at the United Center turned into a yawner because the Bulls shot just 33 percent from the field. 

A few nights later against the world champion Los Angeles Lakers, the Bulls competed with even more vigor on defense and held the Lakers to under 100 points. Yet, two quarters with fewer than 18 points doomed Chicago in a 96-87 loss. Expert sports handicapping sharps know that if this team can’t develop regular second and third scorers, it won’t get off the canvas.

Outlook & Pick

The Bulls couldn’t hit the side of a barn against the Celtics and Lakers, but they at least showed that they can play for their coach when they put their minds to the task in front of them. That competitive integrity will be sorely tested in this game against the Knicks. Losing to Boston and the Lake Show can and will be forgiven, but dropping a home game to the Knicks just a week and a half after losing at home to the New Jersey Nets could very well be the last straw for Chicago management. If the Bulls lose here, the ax could fall on Del Negro. Desperation, then, should carry the Bulls to a home win, even though the Knicks are playing comparatively better basketball at the moment.

Pick: Bulls

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Re: NBA News and Notes Thursday 12/17

Trend Report - Thursday
By Ed Meyer

Knicks at Bulls - The Knicks are 0-7 ATS (-11.3 ppg) since April 16, 2008 with at most one day of rest off a loss as a dog in which they led by 10+ points. The Knicks are 0-6 ATS (-5.6 ppg) since March 26, 2001 off a loss that broke at least a four-game winning streak. The Knicks are 6-0 ATS (5.9 ppg) since February 07, 2004 before playing the Clippers at home. The Knicks are 6-0 ATS (8.8 ppg) since January 19, 2009 after Wilson Chandler had more turnovers than assists the last two. The Knicks are 0-6 ATS (-7.0 ppg) since December 03, 2008 when they scored at least 25 fewer points in their previous game than in the game before. The Knicks are 5-0 ATS (7.0 ppg) since February 01, 2008 as a dog with at most one day of rest after a game on the road in which their field goal attempt per turnover ratio was less than four. The Bulls are 0-9 ATS (-11.8 ppg) since February 24, 2008 with at most one day of rest after a game at home in which they scored less than 15% of their points from the free throw line. The Bulls are 0-8 ATS (-6.9 ppg) since February 14, 1999 at home with at least one day of rest off a loss as a home dog in which they led at the end of the third quarter. The Bulls are 8-0 ATS (7.2 ppg) since March 25, 2008 with at least one day of rest after a game at home in which they scored less than 10% of their points from the three-point line. The Bulls are 0-6 ATS (-9.2 ppg) since January 22, 2007 before playing the Hawks at home. The Bulls are 5-0 ATS (5.1 ppg) since January 29, 2008 after two home games in which Joakim Noah had more turnovers than assists in each. The Knicks are 0-7 OU (-17.2 ppg) since April 22, 2004 after a road loss in which they had at least 12 steals. The Bulls are 0-9 OU (-13.0 ppg) since February 23, 1998 as a home favorite with at most one day of rest after a game in which they blocked at least 10 shots.
   
Magic at Heat - The Magic are 7-0 ATS (8.5 ppg) since April 09, 2006 on the road after losing the previous matchup in which Dwight Howard took fewer than 10 shots. The Magic are 6-0 ATS (6.8 ppg) since April 13, 2006 on the road after losing the previous matchup in which Dwight Howard had more rebounds than points. The Magic are 6-0 ATS (14.0 ppg) since January 17, 2004 on the road when their assist-to-turnover ratio was higher than two for in each of their last two games. The Magic are 5-0 ATS (12.8 ppg) since January 23, 2008 on the road when seeking revenge for a loss in which they led at the end of the third quarter. The Magic are 0-5-1 ATS (-6.1 ppg) since January 27, 2000 on the road with no rest after a game in which they shot at least 55% from the field. The Heat are 0-12 ATS (-8.8 ppg) since November 01, 2008 after a win at home in which Mario Chalmers played fewer than 30 minutes. The Heat are 0-9 ATS (-8.8 ppg) since February 09, 2006 after a double digit win in which their field goal attempt per turnover ratio was at least eight. The Heat are 0-6 ATS (-8.7 ppg) since January 25, 2003 as a home dog when they scored at least 25 more points in their previous game than in the game before. The Heat are 0-5 ATS (-8.8 ppg) since March 16, 2006 after a win at home in which Dwyane Wade played fewer than 30 minutes. The Magic are 0-10 OU (-17.9 ppg) since February 06, 2008 when seeking revenge for a loss in which they led by double digits. The League is 0-13 OU (-15.4 ppg) since March 17, 2007 as a dog after a double digit win in which they had at least 10 more personal fouls than their opponent. The Heat are 0-6-1 OU (-16.9 ppg) since January 08, 2000 at home after a game at home in which they had at least 10 more personal fouls than their opponent.

Suns at Trailblazers - The Suns are 0-4 ATS (-6.2 ppg) since January 02, 2009 after a win in which Jason Richardson shot worse than 33% from the field. The Trailblazers are 5-0 ATS (11.6 ppg) since March 26, 2009 at home after Joel Przybilla shot better than 66% from the field the last two. The Suns are 11-0 OU (12.1 ppg) since November 17, 2007 on the road with at most one day of rest after a double digit home win in which they shot at least 50% from the field.

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Re: NBA News and Notes Thursday 12/17

Tips and Trends

Orlando Magic at Miami Heat

Magic (-4, O/U 201): This is a revenge game for Orlando, as they lost 98-99 at home to the Heat as -9.5 favorites earlier this season. The Magic have only lost at home twice all season long, so no doubt they will be looking to return the favor tonight. Orlando is 19-6 SU on the season, which is the 3rd best record in the entire NBA. The Magic are also 10-4 SU on the road, with only the Celtics having a better road record in the league. Orlando is 8-6 ATS on the road this season, including 6-5 ATS as a road favorite. With the Magic finally getting healthy, this offense has started to take flight. Orlando has scored 100 PTS or more in 8 of their past 9 games. G Vince Carter leads 5 Magic players averaging double digits in PTS, scoring 19.5 PPG himself. The Magic score the 9th most points in the NBA, at 103 PPG. Orlando is 3-2 both SU and ATS on the back end of back to back games this season.

Magic is 8-2 ATS last 10 vs. NBA Southeast.
Over is 4-0 last 4 vs. a team with a winning SU record.

Key Injuries - G Mickael Pietrus (illness) is questionable.
G Jameer Nelson (knee) is out.

PROJECTED SCORE: 101 (UNDER - Total of the Day)


Heat: Miami is simply average this season, as they are 12-11 SU including a home record of 7-7 SU. Miami is 11-12 ATS this season, including 5-9 ATS at home. The Heat have played 3 games as a home underdog, going 1-2 both SU and ATS in this specific situation. The Heat have lost 4 of their past 5 games at home SU coming into tonights matchup with the Magic. G Dwyane Wade leads a group of 4 Heat players averaging double digits in scoring this season. Wade is 6th in the NBA in scoring at 26.7 PPG. F Michael Beasley is averaging 15.6 PPG, and is coming off arguably his best game as a pro in his last game. Beasley has scored 20 PTS or more in 7 games this season. Despite the scoring of this duo, the Heat are only averaging 97.8 PPG which is the 10th fewest points in the NBA. Defensively, the Heat have allowed 6 of their past 7 opponents to score 100 PTS or more against them.   

Miami is 1-8 ATS last 9 home games.
Over is 5-0 last 5 overall.

Key Injuriews - G Quentin Richardson (hamstring) is questionable.

PROJECTED SCORE: 94

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