NBA News and Notes Sunday 1/10

NBA News and Notes Sunday 1/10

Sunday's Best NBA Bets

Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors (-1, 198)


There is still a large gap between the Celtics and the Raptors in the Atlantic Division. But the way Toronto is playing, Boston has to feel the hot breath of the Dinos on its neck.

The Raptors won their third straight game and eighth in their last nine contests against the Philadelphia 76ers Friday night. Toronto battled back from an 11-point second-half deficit to win 108-106 as a 2-point road underdog. The victory was also the team’s seventh cover in those last nine games.

All-Star forward Chris Bosh came up big, completing a 3-point play in the final seconds to give the Raptors the win. Bosh, who finished with 29 points, was under fire from his coach, Jay Triano, heading into Friday. Triano pointed out to reporters Bosh’s inconsistent efforts, specifically his 18-point showing against the Orlando Magic earlier in the week.

"I think he was a little bit bound and determined to get the ball there," Triano told reporters of Bosh’s game-winning play. "We'd gone away from him on a couple of previous plays and he had asked for the ball. But I just didn't want to play our hand too soon."

Toronto's lone blemish during this stretch was a 103-96 loss to the Celtics in Boston last weekend. The Raptors are thirsty for another crack at the division leaders, especially at home where they are 12-5 this season, covering in 10 of those games.

Pick: Raptors

Miami Heat at Los Angeles Clippers (-1.5, 194)

With the Lakers losing back-to-back games, the hottest team in La-La Land doesn’t sport the purple and gold.

The Clippers are riding a three-game winning streak, getting their most recent win at the expense of their STAPLES Center roommates Wednesday. They face the Heat at home Sunday, where they have won five games in a row.

“This is a very important stretch for us and we need to come out and have a sense of urgency," Clippers forward Craig Smith told reporters.

The team’s defense has been behind this winning run, allowing just under 92 points per game during those five home contests. The Clippers held the Lakers to 38 percent shooting after watching opponents hit shots at more than 45 percent and score more than 98 points per game this season.

"We're right there in that position; we can't really afford to come off these big wins and fall back with a tough loss," Smith said. "We've got to keep building, keep climbing the ladder. That's what it felt like in practice today, that guys are ready to take the next step."

Pick: Clippers

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Re: NBA News and Notes Sunday 1/10

NBA RoundUp For 1/10
By Dan Bebe

Celtics @ Raptors - A pick in Toronto with a total of 198. Didn't think we'd see the day when the Celtics weren't favored over the Raptors, but here we are, with Toronto playing half-decent basketball, and the Celtics are without their most ferocious weapon, Kevin Garnett. You've gotta think with the "relative marqueeness" of the two teams in this one, the Celtics are going to be garnering the vast majority of public money, especially against a team they just beat by 7, in Boston, a week ago, but this line doesn't favor the Celtics for a reason. Toronto has won 8 of 9, and covered 7 of those 9, with the only loss in there to these very same Celtics. A strong revenge angle should rear its head, and with the weird early Sunday start time up in Canada, this should be a tough spot for Boston. The Raptors finally gave up more than 103 points in their last game, a hard-fought 108-106 win over the Sixers, but these totals are much more reasonable on defense, and I think this game may feature the Celtics scoring in the mid-90's. I strongly believe Toronto wins this one by a reasonable sum, and courtesy of the Pick line, we can get a great idea of where the sharps sit, and where the public does, since it would take a lot of planning to set up a middle on a game this early. I lean Toronto, and I lean Under, since I don't think we get much fast-paced action in the early game.

Hornets @ Wizards - Hornets by 1.5 with a total of 198.5. Can New Orleans continue to win close games in this one? This isn't exactly a game they'll care about. The Hornets have won 5 straight games, though they failed to cover their last game, at home against New Jersey, and I wonder if we're going to see a couple of failed covers from the Nets now that they're through the "proving grounds", the games on the road against Utah and Oklahoma City. I'm curious to see how the motivation level is for New Orleans on this back-to-back in D.C. and Philadelphia. On the other side, you have the Wizards, who just beat the Magic fresh off the news that Gilbert is gone for as long as you can envision, courtesy of the wild, wild west locker room. I just wonder if this team is going to get the adrenaline going for a few games while they try to make a statement that they're not going belly-up without Gilbert. I like Washington's resolve in that last game, and I definitely do NOT see this game as a letdown spot for the Wizards. They're going to try to put together whatever they can right now, and the Hornets are beatable, especially here, starting a road trip to two cities they don't have any particularly strong feelings about. I lean Washington, and I lean Under, due to Washington's recent run of low-scoring games, somewhat unexpectedly low, in fact.

Heat @ Clippers - Clippers by 1.5 with a total of 193. Here's a strange matchup. Miami comes to Southern California off an outright underdog victory over the Phoenix Suns, a place that Miami generally does play pretty well. They also play well at Staples Center, barely losing to the Lakers earlier this year. Still, this is a different bird, with a surging Clippers club likely trying to build on the momentum of a win over the Lakers. I worry that this is a letdown spot for both teams, though, with both coming off impressive wins, I just can't see either team playing as well in this follow-up match. The Clippers have covered 5 straight, but this one just doesn't feel right for either team. No lean on the side. The total's an interesting bird, as the Clippers have been opening things up a bit lately. We know the Heat like to slow games down, as when they're playing defense they're at their best, but I get the feeling the Clippers somewhat mediocre defense and recent choice to start pushing the ball with a healthy lineup may lead to an Over. I know, short write-up on this game, but when I just get no feelings on the side, it's tough to elaborate. We may very well see sharps try to set up a middle, so don't be fooled if this one flips favorites to Heat by 1.5.

Nets @ Spurs - San Antonio by 14 with a total of 197. Well, Jersey got a cover in New Orleans, what's to stop them here? I'll tell you, a white-hot Spurs club playing defense and scoring. This is a scary team right now, even though they're coming off a home loss to the Mavericks. So, the question is, are the Spurs going to be angry enough to take Jersey down by 20 points, or are they going to be waiting patiently for the Lakers to come into town in a couple of days? My guess would to have to be that the Spurs are gameplanning for the Lakers already, and we're likely to see an 85% effort on this one. 14 points is just an absolute ton, and I think we see huge public money on San Antonio, so we'll keep an eye on this line. I lean Jersey, but I mean, come on, can we really play this game? Not so sure. This is a team, after all, that has gone 12-24 ATS this year, and no spread is high enough. That is, until the day you decide to play the other guys, hah. The total looks terribly high for a Nets game, but they're coming off a nice offensive game against New Orleans, and I think San Antonio allows an even faster tempo. I lean Over.

Cavs @ Blazers - Portland getting 5.5 at home with a total of 188. Uh oh, the fabled line. Road favorite of 5.5. Actually, for what it's worth, I think this one is accurate. We've seen a few that are trap lines, but after Cleveland closed favored by 4 in Denver, being favored by 1.5 more in Portland seems pretty reasonable. The Cavs come to Portland off a tough loss in Denver, a game that was seemingly much more important for the struggling Nuggets than the vastly superior Cavaliers. Interestingly, the Cavs are just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games, and the loss in Denver opened up a difficult road trip that will also send them to Golden State, Utah, and LA to play the Clippers. I know the Cavs are the better club, but I'm not sure I can trust them right now. That's not to say I can trust Portland. The Blazers got their typical home win over the Lakers, and I'd much prefer to see them play a low-level team in a letdown spot. Instead, we have to make a little bit of a guess as to how this extremely shorthanded team will handle two big teams in 3 days. If the past is any indication, Portland has been able to come back strong even in a potential letdown spot, as they showed in back-to-back road wins over Dallas and San Antonio in mid-December. They also played the Cavs tough in Cleveland, losing by just 5 points and covering a +10 spread on the road. That game was relatively high scoring, and went Over the posted total of 187 by 16 points. Here, interestingly, the side would seem to predict Portland doesn't play any better at home, and that's what scares me away from the typical +5.5 play. The total, though, is only 1-point higher despite the extremely high-scoring game in Cleveland. I believe oddsmakers are expecting a low-scoring game.

Bucks @ Lakers - LA by 10 with a total of 193.5. This Over is going to get killed, there is almost no question in my mind. So very rarely do you see a Lakers total this close to 190 that doesn't induce some public money on the Over, since folks, that's what the public likes best. Still, as we talked about yesterday, the public is winning some plays lately, and perhaps for the next week or two, we can't immediately eliminate particular plays just because they're square. Anyway, back to the game at hand. The Lakers return home after a stinker of a "road trip", losing to the Clippers and the Blazers, and as noted a few days back, when this team loses one game ATS, they almost always lose another. Well, now they've lost 2 straight, but they're just not the same team, defensively or offensively without Pau Gasol. Milwaukee has covered 5 straight against the Lakers despite going 1-4 SU, so do not be deterred by the fact that the Bucks look ripe for the picking. The Lakers have a road game in San Antonio coming up, but this feels more like the game where they look to build a little momentum than the look-ahead, so I don't think the Lakers will lose. I do, however, believe they will struggle to cover. They're just not scoring and defending like a team that can cover a large spread right now, because even when they put up some points, the opponents are scoring too. I lean to the Bucks, who have won 3 straight and sort of righted the ship. I also like the Under, since I think we'll see some solid defense at work in this one.

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Re: NBA News and Notes Sunday 1/10

New Orleans Hornets vs. Washington Wizards

The New Orleans Hornets and the Washington Wizards will both be trying to pick up a win on Sunday when they battle at Verizon Center.

The Hornets gave the Nets another loss, taking a 103-99 win at New Orleans Arena Friday night.

New Jersey covered as a 9.5-point road underdog while the final score played OVER the 190-point total.

The reeling Wizards surprised the Magic with a 104-97 victory at the Verizon Center Friday night.

Washington covered as a 7.5-point home underdog while the final score played UNDER the 204-point total.

Current streak:
New Orleans has won 5 straight games.

Team records:
New Orleans: 18-16 SU, 16-18 ATS
Washington: 12-22 SU, 13-21 ATS

New Orleans most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 5-5
Before playing Philadelphia are 6-4
After playing New Jersey are 6-4
After a win are 7-3

Washington most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 3-7
Before playing Detroit are 5-5
After playing Orlando are 6-4
After a win are 3-7

A few trends to consider:
New Orleans is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of New Orleans's last 7 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of New Orleans's last 12 games
New Orleans is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Washington is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing New Orleans
Washington is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing at home against New Orleans
Washington is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against New Orleans
The total has gone OVER in 11 of Washington's last 15 games when playing at home against New Orleans

Next up:
New Orleans at Philadelphia, Monday, January 11
Washington home to Detroit, Tuesday, January 12


Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors

The Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors will meet on the court at Air Canada Centre on Sunday in a battle of division rivals.

The Celtics dropped a big game to the Hawks, losing 93-85 at Philips Arena Friday night.

Atlanta covered as a 3.5-point home favorites while the final score played UNDER the 195-point total

Chris Bosh completed a 3-point play with eight seconds left to give the Raptors a 108-106 win over the 76ers at the Wachovia Center Friday.

Toronto covered as a 2-point road underdog while the final score played OVER the 208-point total.

Current streak:
Toronto has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
Boston: 25-9 SU, 15-19 ATS
Toronto: 19-18 SU, 18-19 ATS

Boston most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 7-3
Before playing Atlanta are 6-4
After playing Atlanta are 6-4
After a loss are 6-4

Toronto most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 5-5
Before playing Indiana are 3-7
After playing Philadelphia are 8-2
After a win are 7-3

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

Next up:
Boston home to Atlanta, Monday, January 11
Toronto at Indiana, Monday, January 11


Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Clippers

The Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Clippers will both be gunning for a victory on Sunday when they meet at STAPLES Center.

Dwyane Wade dropped 33 points on the Suns, giving the Heat a 109-105 win at US Airways Center Friday.

Miami covered as a 6-point road underdog while the final score played UNDER the 214.5-point total.

Baron Davis dropped 25 points with 10 assists on Wednesday, as the Clippers defeated the Lakers 102-91. The Clippers won this game as 5-point underdogs, while the 193 points went UNDER the posted total of 196.

Chris Kaman added a double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds, while Eric Gordon had 18 points in the win.

Current streak:
Los Angeles has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
Miami: 18-16 SU, 17-17 ATS
Los Angeles: 16-18 SU, 15-19 ATS

Miami most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 5-5
Before playing Utah are 6-4
After playing Phoenix are 6-4
After a win are 4-6

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 6-4
Before playing Memphis are 2-8
After playing LA Lakers are 2-8
After a win are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Miami's last 5 games when playing LA Clippers
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Miami's last 5 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Miami's last 5 games when playing on the road against LA Clippers
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Miami's last 9 games
LA Clippers are 5-0 SU in their last 5 games at home
LA Clippers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games at home
LA Clippers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of the LA Clippers last 5 games when playing Miami

Next up:
Miami at Utah, Monday, January 11
LA Clippers at Memphis, Tuesday, January 12


New Jersey Nets vs. San Antonio Spurs

The New Jersey Nets and the San Antonio Spurs will both be trying to pick up a win on Sunday when they battle at AT&T Center.

The Nets were handed another loss, getting beat 103-99 by the Hornets at New Orleans Arena Friday night.

New Jersey covered as a 9.5-point road underdog while the final score played OVER the 190-point total.

The Spurs fell 112-103 to state rivals, the Mavericks, at the AT&T Center Friday night.

Dallas covered as a 4.5-point road underdog while the final score played OVER the 194.5-point total.

Current streak:
New Jersey has lost 4 straight games.

Team records:
New Jersey: 3-33 SU, 12-23-1 ATS
San Antonio: 21-13 SU, 18-15-1 ATS

New Jersey most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 3-7
Before playing Boston are 7-3
After playing New Orleans are 5-5
After a loss are 1-9

San Antonio most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 8-2
Before playing LA Lakers are 6-4
After playing Dallas are 5-5
After a loss are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 4 of New Jersey's last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New Jersey's last 5 games when playing San Antonio
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New Jersey's last 5 games when playing on the road against San Antonio
New Jersey is 8-17 ATS in its last 25 games
San Antonio is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing New Jersey
San Antonio is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against New Jersey
San Antonio is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 games when playing New Jersey
The total has gone OVER in 4 of San Antonio's last 5 games at home

Next up:
New Jersey home to Boston, Wednesday, January 13
San Antonio home to LA Lakers, Tuesday, January 12


Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Portland Trail Blazers

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Portland Trail Blazers will both be trying to pick up a win on Sunday when they battle at Rose Garden.

LeBron James' 35 points weren't enough to push the Cavaliers past the Nuggets, losing 99-97 at the Pepsi Center Friday night.

Denver covered as a 4-point home underdog while the final score played under the 202.5-point total.

The Trail Blazers handed the Lakers their second straight loss, winning 107-98 at the Rose Garden Friday night.

Portland covered as a 4-point home underdog while the final score played OVER the 194-point total.

Team records:
Cleveland: 28-10 SU, 19-19 ATS
Portland: 23-15 SU, 20-17-1 ATS

Cleveland most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 7-3
Before playing Golden State are 4-6
After playing Denver are 8-2
After a loss are 8-2

Portland most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 7-3
Before playing Milwaukee are 2-8
After playing LA Lakers are 4-6
After a win are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
Cleveland is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Portland
Cleveland is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Cleveland's last 6 games on the road
Cleveland is 13-3 SU in its last 16 games
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Portland's last 8 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Portland's last 7 games at home
Portland is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games at home
Portland is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games

Next up:
Cleveland at Golden State, Monday, January 11
Portland home to Milwaukee, Wednesday, January 13


Milwaukee Bucks vs. Los Angeles Lakers

The Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers will both be trying to pick up a win on Sunday when they battle at STAPLES Center.

Michael Redd hit a pair of free throws to put the Bucks ahead of the Bulls, winning 96-93 at the Bradley Center Friday night.

Chicago covered as a 4-point road underdog while the final score played UNDER the 193-point total.

The Lakers lost their second straight game, falling 107-98 to the Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden Friday night.

Portland covered as a 4-point home underdog while the final score played OVER the 194-point total.

Current streak:
Milwaukee has won 3 straight games.
Los Angeles has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Milwaukee: 15-18 SU, 18-15 ATS
Los Angeles: 28-8 SU, 15-21 ATS

Milwaukee most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 2-8
Before playing Phoenix are 4-6
After playing Chicago are 6-4
After a win are 5-5

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 6-4
Before playing San Antonio are 9-1
After playing Portland are 9-1
After a loss are 8-2

A few trends to consider:
Milwaukee is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games when playing LA Lakers
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Milwaukee's last 6 games on the road
Milwaukee is 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games when playing on the road against LA Lakers
Milwaukee is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
LA Lakers are 15-1 SU in their last 16 games at home
LA Lakers are 7-1 SU in their last 8 games when playing at home against Milwaukee
LA Lakers are 14-3 SU in their last 17 games when playing Milwaukee
LA Lakers are 20-5 SU in their last 25 games

Next up:
Milwaukee at Phoenix, Monday, January 11
LA Lakers at San Antonio, Tuesday, January 12

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Re: NBA News and Notes Sunday 1/10

Trend Report - Sunday
By Ed Meyer

Heat at Clippers –
The Heat are 9-0 ATS (7.6 ppg) since November 12, 2004 as a road dog when the OU line is at least fifteen points lower than it was last game.The Heat are 0-8 ATS (-4.5 ppg) since February 21, 2007 on the road after a win in which their field goal attempt per turnover ratio was at least eight. The Clippers are 0-11 ATS (-13.6 ppg) since January 21, 2008 after a home win in which they had an assist to turnover ratio of at least two. The Clippers are 10-0 ATS (7.5 ppg) since April 24, 2006 as a favorite with at least one day of rest after a game in which they allowed less than 40% from the field. The Clippers are 0-6 ATS (-7.1 ppg) since February 11, 1997 after a home win against the Lakers.

Bucks at Lakers – The Bucks are 0-12 ATS (-10.2 ppg) since March 25, 2007 when seeking revenge for a 1-3 point loss as a dog. The Bucks are 8-0 ATS (5.5 ppg) since March 24, 2006 versus the Lakers. The Bucks are 0-7 ATS (-8.5 ppg) since April 09, 1999 off a win as a favorite in which the game was tied at the end of the third quarter. The Lakers are 0-11 ATS (-5.0 ppg) since January 12, 2007 as a favorite when they lost their last two games and both were on the road. The Lakers are 0-8 ATS (-7.2 ppg) since November 25, 2007 at home with at most one day of rest after a loss in which they allowed at least 50% from the field. The Lakers are 0-7 ATS (-3.5 ppg) since March 02, 2008 after a loss in which they had an assist to turnover ratio of at least two.
   
Celtics at Raptors – The Celtics are 5-0 ATS (5.8 ppg) since January 26, 2007 on the road versus the Raptors. The Raptors are 0-6 ATS (-6.3 ppg) since February 06, 2005 at home with at least one day of rest off a win in which they trailed at the end of each of the first three quarters. The Raptors are 6-0 ATS (8.2 ppg) since February 15, 2000 as a favorite after a game on the road in which they had at least ten fewer assists than in the game before.

Nets at Spurs – The Nets are 0-7 ATS (-8.6 ppg) since May 10, 2006 as a dog with at least one day of rest after a game in which their opponent shot at least twenty three-pointers and made less than 25% of them. The League is 12-0-2 ATS (6.9 ppg) since March 28, 2007 as a favorite after a home loss in which they had five or fewer offensive rebounds. The Spurs are 8-0-1 ATS (10.8 ppg) since December 11, 2004 at home with at least one day of rest off a loss in which they led at the end of the third quarter.

Cavaliers at Trail Blazers – The Trail Blazers are 8-0-1 ATS (4.6 ppg) since November 30, 2001 at home with at least one day of rest after a win in which their opponent shot less than 60% from the free-throw line. The Trail Blazers are 7-0 ATS (8.4 ppg) since March 06, 2002 at home with at most one day of rest after a home win in which they committed fewer than ten turnovers.

Hornets at Wizards – The Hornets are 0-8-1 ATS (-11.8 ppg) since December 29, 2005 with at most one day of rest off a win of four points or fewer at home in which they held a double digit lead. The Wizards are 0-11 ATS (-13.5 ppg) since January 17, 2005 as a dog with at most one day of rest off a home win in which they trailed by 10+ points. The Wizards are 0-10-1 ATS (-9.2 ppg) since December 11, 2008 after a game in which they scored more than 25% of their points from the free throw line.

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