NBA News and Notes Saturday 1/16

NBA News and Notes Saturday 1/16

Saturday's Best NBA Bets

New Orleans Hornets at Indiana Pacers (+1, 208)


Do you know what will drastically help a struggling basketball team – getting its two best players back in the lineup.

Indiana forwards Danny Granger and Troy Murphy have returned to the floor the last five games and the club is a competitive team once again. The Pacers are 3-2 (4-1 ATS) in those contests, but the two losses were on the road by six and seven points while two of the wins came against the Suns and surging Raptors.

The Pacers climbed back from a 24-point deficit versus Phoenix Wednesday and 23 points against Toronto Monday night.

"One of these days, we'll get a lead," joked coach Jim O'Brien after the game.

"Just a little more sense of urgency," Mike Dunleavy said. "I don't know if it just takes us a while to settle in and figure out our opponents. Once we get it down, we do a pretty good job."

Granger and Dunleavy both posted 30 or more points against the Suns and Granger is averaging 25.0 ppg since his return. Murphy is cleaning up on the glass, grabbing 12.5 rpg since coming back to action while also contributing 16.3 ppg.

Chris Paul’s Hornets have been terrible on the road this season (5-14 SU, 8-11 ATS) so the Pacers shouldn’t have to depend on a crazy comeback to take this one.

Pick: Pacers

Milwaukee Bucks at Utah Jazz (N/A)

You know how you always want to impress the boss your first week of work? Well, rookie Jazz guard Sundiata Gaines made a lasting impression on Jerry Sloan in his fifth game with the team.

Gaines drained a fade-away 3-pointer with no time left on the clock Thursday to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers. The former Georgia Bulldog scored nine fourth-quarter points that night and earned another paycheck as Utah signed him to his second 10-day contract Friday.

"He has a little swag in him and believes in himself," said Carlos Boozer. "I tell you what, he made us a believer in him, too."

Boozer watched the game-winning three from the bench after fouling out and the Jazz were without Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko by that point in the game, but were still able to pull off the comeback.

Gaines may have to come up with another miracle on Saturday versus the Bucks as Williams and Kirilenko are both questionable.

Pick: Jazz

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Re: NBA News and Notes Saturday 1/16

New Orleans Hornets vs. Indiana Pacers

The New Orleans Hornets and the Indiana Pacers will both be gunning for a victory on Saturday when they meet at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Chris Paul had 24 points and dished out 14 assists in the Hornets 110-104 overtime loss to the Pistons on Friday. The Hornets were 2.5-point favorites in that game, while the 214 points sailed OVER the posted total of 190.5.

The Pacers were in control from the start on Friday, as they cruised to a 121-105 victory over the Nets. The Pacers covered the 2.5-point spread, and the 226 points sailed OVER the posted total of 207.5.

Troy Murphy poured in 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for a double-double in leading the way. Danny Granger added 28 points in that win.

Current streak:
Indiana has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
New Orleans: 20-18 SU, 18-20 ATS
Indiana: 14-25 SU, 17-22 ATS

New Orleans most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 6-4
Before playing San Antonio are 4-6
After playing Detroit are 9-1
After a loss are 7-3

Indiana most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 7-3
Before playing Miami are 5-5
After playing New Jersey are 4-6
After a win are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
New Orleans is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games
The total has gone UNDER in 15 of New Orleans's last 20 games when playing Indiana
New Orleans is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Indiana
New Orleans is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing Indiana
Indiana is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home
Indiana is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 15 of Indiana's last 20 games when playing New Orleans
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Indiana's last 6 games at home

Next up:
New Orleans home to San Antonio, Monday, January 18
Indiana at Miami, Tuesday, January 19


Phoenix Suns vs. Charlotte Bobcats

The Phoenix Suns and the Charlotte Bobcats will both be trying to pick up a win on Saturday when they battle at Time Warner Cable Arena.

The Suns were defeated 102-101 by the Hawks last time out, as 5.5-point underdogs. That game's 203 points went UNDER the posted total of 216.

Amar'e Stoudemire netted 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for a double-double in leading the Suns.

The Bobcats dominated the second half as they cruised past the Spurs 92-76 on Friday. The Bobcats won that game as 2-point underdogs, while the teams played UNDER the posted total of 188.

Boris Diaw netted 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for a double-double in leading the way.

Current streak:
Phoenix has lost 2 straight games.
Charlotte has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
Phoenix: 24-16 SU, 22-17-1 ATS
Charlotte: 18-19 SU, 23-14 ATS

Phoenix most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 5-5
Before playing Memphis are 8-2
After playing Atlanta are 6-4
After a loss are 7-3

Charlotte most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 4-6
Before playing Sacramento are 4-6
After playing San Antonio are 1-9
After a win are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
Phoenix is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games when playing Charlotte
Phoenix is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Charlotte
Phoenix is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Charlotte
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Phoenix's last 6 games when playing Charlotte
Charlotte is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
Charlotte is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Charlotte's last 6 games when playing Phoenix
Charlotte is 2-6-1 ATS in its last 9 games when playing Phoenix

Next up:
Phoenix at Memphis, Monday, January 18
Charlotte home to Sacramento, Monday, January 18


Sacramento Kings vs. Washington Wizards

The Sacramento Kings and the Washington Wizards will both be gunning for a victory on Saturday when they meet at Verizon Center.

The Kings were defeated 98-86 by the 76ers last time out, as 3-point underdogs. That game's combined score went UNDER the posted total of 209.5.

Jason Thompson poured in 19 points and hauled down 16 rebounds for a double-double in the loss.

The Wizards were defeated 121-119 by the Bulls last time out, as 6-point underdogs. That game's 240 points sailed OVER the posted total of 198.

Antawn Jamison had a double-double with 34 points and 18 rebounds in the loss.

Current streak:
Sacramento has lost 2 straight games.
Washington has lost 4 straight games.

Team records:
Sacramento: 15-23 SU, 19-17-2 ATS
Washington: 12-26 SU, 14-24 ATS

Sacramento most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 3-7
Before playing Charlotte are 5-5
After playing Philadelphia are 4-6
After a loss are 4-6

Washington most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 5-5
Before playing Portland are 6-4
After playing Chicago are 4-6
After a loss are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 11 of Sacramento's last 13 games when playing on the road against Washington
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Sacramento's last 7 games when playing Washington
Sacramento is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Washington
Sacramento is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Washington
Washington is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games when playing Sacramento
The total has gone OVER in 11 of Washington's last 13 games when playing at home against Sacramento
Washington is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Sacramento
Washington is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Sacramento

Next up:
Sacramento at Charlotte, Monday, January 18
Washington home to Portland, Monday, January 18


New York Knicks vs. Detroit Pistons

The New York Knicks and the Detroit Pistons will both be trying to pick up a win on Saturday when they battle at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

The Knicks were defeated 112-104 by the Raptors last time out, as 2-point favorites at home. That game's 216 points made it OVER the posted total of 210.5.

David Lee had 25 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists in a losing cause.

Richard Hamilton poured in a game-high 32 points to help the Pistons defeat the Hornets 110-104 in overtime on Friday. The Pistons won the game as 2.5-point underdogs, and the 214 points sailed OVER the posted total of 190.5.

Ben Wallace finished with 13 points and 21 rebounds for a double-double in that win.

Current streak:
Detroit has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
New York: 16-23 SU, 19-20 ATS
Detroit: 13-25 SU, 17-20-1 ATS

New York most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 1-9
Before playing Detroit are 3-7
After playing Toronto are 4-6
After a loss are 6-4

Detroit most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 6-4
Before playing New York are 5-5
After playing New Orleans are 7-3
After a win are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of New York's last 6 games when playing Detroit
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New York's last 5 games when playing on the road against Detroit
New York is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games when playing Detroit
New York is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games when playing on the road against Detroit
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Detroit's last 6 games when playing New York
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Detroit's last 5 games when playing at home against New York
Detroit is 11-3 SU in its last 14 games when playing at home against New York
Detroit is 15-8 SU in its last 23 games when playing New York

Next up:
New York home to Detroit, Monday, January 18
Detroit at New York, Monday, January 18


Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

The Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder will both be trying to pick up a win on Saturday when they battle at Ford Center.

Dwyane Wade poured in 37 points and dished out eight assists in helping the Heat down the Rockets 115-106 on Friday. The Heat won the game as a 4-point underdog, while the 221 points sailed OVER the posted total of 194.

Rafer Alston had 17 points with four rebounds, and Jermaine O'Neal collected 16 points.

The Thunder were defeated 99-98 by the Mavericks last time out, as 5-point underdogs. That game's 197 points went UNDER the posted total of 196.

Kevin Durant finished with 30 points and 13 rebounds in a double-double.

Current streak:
Miami has won 2 straight games.
Oklahoma City has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Miami: 20-18 SU, 19-19 ATS
Oklahoma City: 21-18 SU, 23-16 ATS

Miami most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 4-6
Before playing Indiana are 5-5
After playing Houston are 4-6
After a win are 4-6

Oklahoma City most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 6-4
Before playing Atlanta are 2-8
After playing Dallas are 4-6
After a loss are 6-4

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

Next up:
Miami home to Indiana, Tuesday, January 19
Oklahoma City at Atlanta, Monday, January 18


San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies

The San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies will both be gunning for a victory on Saturday when they meet at FedExForum.

The Spurs were upset 92-76 by the Bobcats on Friday, as 2-point favorites. That game's 168 points went UNDER the posted total of 188.

DeJuan Blair had 11 points with 16 boards for a double-double in the loss.

Zach Randolph put up 20 points with 12 boards for a double-double on Friday, as the Grizzlies crushed the Timberwolves 135-110. The Grizzlies covered the 7.5-point spread, while the 240 points sailed OVER the posted total of 209.5.

Rudy Gary added 21 points, while O.J. Mayo chipped in with 20 points and seven assists.

Current streak:
Memphis has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
San Antonio: 24-14 SU, 20-17-1 ATS
Memphis: 20-18 SU, 21-17 ATS

San Antonio most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 7-3
Before playing New Orleans are 7-3
After playing Charlotte are 8-2
After a loss are 6-4

Memphis most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 2-8
Before playing Phoenix are 3-7
After playing Minnesota are 3-7
After a win are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
San Antonio is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Memphis
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of San Antonio's last 7 games when playing on the road against Memphis
San Antonio is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Memphis
San Antonio is 19-6 SU in its last 25 games when playing on the road against Memphis
Memphis is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Memphis's last 7 games when playing at home against San Antonio
Memphis is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games
Memphis is 6-19 SU in its last 25 games when playing at home against San Antonio

Next up:
San Antonio at New Orleans, Monday, January 18
Memphis home to Phoenix, Monday, January 18


Milwaukee Bucks vs. Utah Jazz

The Milwaukee Bucks and the Utah Jazz will both be gunning for a victory on Saturday when they meet at EnergySolutions Arena.

Brandon Jennings went for 25 points as the Bucks defeated the Warriors 113-104 on Friday. The Bucks won the game as 3.5-point underdogs, while the 217 points went UNDER the posted total of 217.5.

Andrew Bogut had 15 points and 16 rebounds for a double-double. Luke Ridnour chipped in with 15 points and eight assists.

The Jazz came back in the fourth quarter and snuck out a 97-96 victory over the Cavaliers on Thursday. The Jazz won the game as a pick'em, while the 193 points went UNDER the posted total of 194.5.

Carlos Boozer tossed in 19 points with 13 rebounds for a double-double.

Current streak:
Utah has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
Milwaukee: 16-21 SU, 20-17 ATS
Utah: 22-17 SU, 22-16-1 ATS

Milwaukee most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 6-4
Before playing Houston are 5-5
After playing Golden State are 3-7
After a win are 5-5

Utah most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 3-7
Before playing Denver are 4-6
After playing Cleveland are 5-5
After a win are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Milwaukee's last 7 games when playing on the road against Utah
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Milwaukee's last 11 games when playing Utah
Milwaukee is 8-17 SU in its last 25 games
Milwaukee is 3-12 SU in its last 15 games on the road
Utah is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing at home against Milwaukee
Utah is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Milwaukee
Utah is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games when playing Milwaukee
Utah is 12-2 ATS in its last 14 games when playing Milwaukee

Next up:
Milwaukee at Houston, Monday, January 18
Utah at Denver, Sunday, January 17


Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Los Angeles Clippers

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Clippers will both be trying to pick up a win on Saturday when they battle at STAPLES Center.

The Cavaliers were defeated 97-96 by the Jazz on Thursday, as a pick'em. That game's 193 points went UNDER the posted total of 194.5.

LeBron James poured in a game-high 36 points with nine rebounds and six assists in the loss.

The Clippers were pounded 126-86 by the Lakers on Friday, as 10.5-point underdogs. The teams played OVER the posted total of 196.5.

Baron Davis had 14 points with four rebounds and seven assists in the loss.

Current streak:
Los Angeles has lost 3 straight games.

Team records:
Cleveland: 30-11 SU, 20-20-1 ATS
Los Angeles: 17-21 SU, 17-21 ATS

Cleveland most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 5-5
Before playing Toronto are 7-3
After playing Utah are 7-3
After a loss are 8-2

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 5-5
Before playing New Jersey are 4-6
After playing LA Lakers are 2-8
After a loss are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
Cleveland is 5-0 SU in their last 5 games when playing LA Clippers
Cleveland is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games when playing LA Clippers
Cleveland is 15-4 SU in its last 19 games
Cleveland is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games on the road
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
The total has gone UNDER in 13 of the LA Clippers last 15 games at home
LA Clippers are 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games when playing at home against Cleveland

Next up:
Cleveland home to Toronto, Tuesday, January 19
LA Clippers home to New Jersey, Monday, January 18

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Re: NBA News and Notes Saturday 1/16

NBA RoundUp For 1/16
By Dan Bebe

Suns @ Bobcats - Bobcats by 1 with a total of 208. Well, for what it's worth, at least we won't have to worry about Morrison money. The Suns covered last night in a truly demoralizing loss to the Hawks. Phoenix outplayed Atlanta, especially for the first 11 minutes of the 4th quarter, but unable to rebound a Hawks missed free throw that led to a 3-point Atlanta possession, then a missed free throw of their own left the door open, and as you've probably already seen multiple times, Jamal Crawford doesn't mind shooting from 30 feet. Phoenix's road woes continue, and while they did cover the spread, I'm just not sure that this Suns team can be trusted to handle themselves on the road. Moreover, Phoenix is just 2-6 on the back end of these 2-games-in-2-night ordeals (or as the kids call 'em, "back to backs"). I just can't advocate backing Phoenix on the road, not while they've shown a complete inability to execute when it counts, and despite a huge points in the paint advantage over the Hawks, they just couldn't make Atlanta go away. The Bobcats, meanwhile, are coming off a very strong showing against San Antonio, dominating the Spurs in a 92-76 victory as a 2-point underdog, and this team just continues to shine at home. Charlotte's 15-4 home record is among the best in the NBA, and with the Suns decomposing on the road, my only real concern with a strong Charlotte lean is that they're ONLY laying 1 point, though a good deal of that is the back-to-back. The total of 208 might feel high for a Charlotte game, but I'm inclined to believe it's this high for a reason. In fact, this is the FIRST total for Charlotte all season long over 200 points. Phoenix has played to the Over in the second night of btb games, possibly because of a lackluster effort on the defensive end, and I lean Over, since I don't think oddsmakers would make an 8-point error.

Kings @ Wizards - Washington by 2 with a total of 211.5. By the time I'm done writing this Preview, this line will probably crash to a Pick, with the Wizards JUST NOW finishing off a 2-OT loss to the Bulls (but a cover). We all know Washington's situation - they're a team in disarray, but in a great situational spot, managed to send Chicago to the brink before falling by 2. Now, they come home on the second night of a back-to-back to host the Kings, who got run out of Philadelphia by a surging Samuel Dalembert. With both teams on back-to-back, the small advantage here has to go to Sacramento, given the less emotional nature of their game. Still, I don't think either team is in a valuable position, and my first thought is that I want no part of this side. The Kings are not very good on the road, the Wizards aren't very good anywhere, and I just have to look over at the total. If EITHER team can bring any sort of defensive intensity for even half a quarter, that might be enough to send this total under the mark. Just think for a moment about the energy the Wizards expended tonight in a solid offensive effort. This is a game that no one wants to play, and I believe that Kevin Martin is going to be the only guy on the court with some energy. I lean just slightly to Sacramento, and strongly to the Under, which may also be dropping while I type. My concern with the total is that I'm not going to be the only person that likes the Under. Let's watch the bet percentages and the line movement and see if this one continues to stand out later.

Hornets @ Pacers - Indiana by 1 with a total of 208. Two teams coming into this game on totally opposite sides of the back-to-back spectrum, but what does that mean, really? The Hornets might be suffering something of a letdown after a solid winning stretch, and they fell to the Pistons in overtime last night, as Detroit is waking up again, and the health of their better players is central in this mini-surge for Detroit. The Hornets continue this odd stretch of alternating 1-2 home games with 1-2 road games, this one again being on the road. Books very rarely will let a middling team like the Hornets crush the spread over and over again, and I think we're starting to see that adjustment, and it's our job to make sure we're spotting the adjustment and stay ahead of the curve. So now, I'd say we should start by looking to fade the Hornets, and only move TO New Orleans with huge reason. In this game, I don't believe there's huge reason. Indiana is streaking all of the sudden, and it's no coincidence that it happens to occur at the same time as the return of Troy Murphy and Danny Granger. Indiana is killing opponents at home, and they showed a renewed focus with last night's throttling of the Nets on the road. So, how about both teams on the back-to-back. These numbers are going to be a bit skewed because the Pacers have just been terrible in all situations without their stars, but let's check them out anyway. The Hornets are 3-4 SU and ATS on back-to-backs, so not terrible, but 2-4 in second games on the road; the Pacers are 3-8 SU, but 6-5 ATS, so they are clearly the better wager, showing better gumption when fatigued, and I believe they'll excel again. I lean Indy, and I lean Under, since I don't see these teams pushing the pace on their little nights of rest.

Knicks @ Pistons - This line is OFF. Another game with both teams on a back-to-back, but another unique one. The Pistons stay at home off last night's overtime win over the Hornets, so this team has now won 2 straight games outright, but the overtime is definitely going to be accounted for in the spread. It seems like the Pistons bottomed out in that loss to the Bulls, as a 30-plus point drubbing can often wake a team up, and now Detroit is playing with purpose. New York beat the pants off the Pistons in Detroit less than a month ago, in the pre-rock bottom time for Detroit, and you just know Detroit is going to want to come back tomorrow with another solid performance. Obviously, my concern is that the Knicks are a little more energized playing in a game that was decided pretty early, but at the same time, it takes a ton of energy to try to come back, and the Knicks were working on that all game long. Both teams are tired, and I have to lean to the home team despite the overtime situation the night before. I think we'll see a line that should be pretty close to a pick as oddsmakers start to slowly bring the Pistons back up a point or two in their power rankings, and I think we'll see a fairly low total, perhaps low-190's. If those are indeed the numbers we see, I don't like picking a side, but I lean Detroit and I'd lean to the Under due to fatigue.

Heat @ Thunder - Oklahoma by 4 with a total of 193. More teams on a back-to-back, another new spot. This time we've got the road team, Miami, rolling into town off a clubbing of the Houston Rockets, who just looked beyond tired. I wonder if Miami is going to run into a buzz-saw. Still, the Thunder come home off an emotional loss in Dallas, covering the number, but dropping a heart-breaker. I don't think either team has value in this one. The Heat are going to get some extra attention because of the big road victory, and the Thunder are going to be a little more fatigued, so it's sort of a lesser of two evils spot, here. Rather than get into the gritty details on each team's performance on back-to-backs (Miami 1-4 SU, 2-3 ATS; Oklahoma 3-4 SU, 4-3 ATS), I think it's more important to note that the two situational intangibles favor Miami. The Heat are confident, slightly more rested than the Thunder who also had to fly home for this one, and Miami is going to be looking to avenge a 13-point home loss to these same Thunder, a game that had Miami as a 6.5-point favorite, so this one swings quite a bit towards the Thunder, and a total that's actually set higher than the final score in the last game, which went Over a 183.5 total. Very weird numbers here, but the back-to-back could be partly to blame, as it does throw a wrinkle into things. I lean Miami, and I lean to the Over.

Spurs @ Grizzlies - This line is OFF. Thus begins the 3 straight games without a line, but we'll do our best to try to lay out the situational angles and see what we can find. For one, I was strongly hoping the Spurs would win last night against the Bobcats and come rolling into Memphis overconfident, but such was not the case, and that gives just a tiny bit more value to San Antonio than I was hoping for. Still, I have to look first at Memphis. The Grizzlies, amazingly, haven't played their division rivals yet this season, so we're going to be capping an awful lot of Spurs/Grizz games from here on out. The Spurs swept the season series last year, so I believe the Grizzlies will be motivated to show their neighbors they're a new, powerful edition, ready to tackle the tough competition. And what better time to go after San Antonio than on the back-to-back? The Spurs are also playing their 4th game in 5 nights, so they're bound to be a little dead-legged, and I have to think Memphis is going to see a spread that looks unfavorable, but in actuality will help us out. Truth be told, the Spurs started to look tired last night, so it's tough for me to see them bouncing back after traveling, getting another short night of rest, then trying to keep up with the up-tempo Grizzlies. Duncan is not the same player on the second night of a back-to-back, and it took a godlike effort from Dajuan Blair in Oklahoma City to keep from melting down in that game a few nights back. I lean hard to Memphis based on situationals and trends, also considering they expended almost no energy in a beating of Minnesota tonight. I also like the Under, since I think the Grizzlies don't get credit for their defense, but they should get a chance to flex a little muscle here.

Bucks @ Jazz - This line is OFF. This is a very scary spot for both sides, scarier for the Bucks, for sure. Let's talk about why it's a tough spot for Utah. The reason is simple: Deron Williams. That balky wrist started acting up again during the game on TNT Thursday, and magically, a replacement stepped in and had a game he'll never forget. I won't even pretend to know who the kid was, but Sundiata Gaines caught lightening in a bottle. He might very well play a decent game again, but the potential for Deron to be listed as "probable" then get scratched, or vice versa, makes me very nervous, as I've been burned with late scratches more than once lately. Still, that's only a little scary. Playing on the Bucks, despite the fact that they're going to be collecting, probably, 8-10 points, is even scarier. I know that looks like a fat chunk of points to be giving away, but let's stop and remember the situation. The Jazz had a night to catch up on Z's after the emotional win over Cleveland, so they've been able to gameplan for Brandon Jennings for a full day of practice, and make sure that whoever is playing is going to be ready. The Bucks, as I'm typing this around 10pm Pacific time, are STILL playing! Golden State is about to fall to the road dog Bucks, creating all kinds of value for a potential play on Utah in this game. I just love that Milwaukee won this game, because I feel we'll see the cookie-cutter altitude game in Utah. Milwaukee will come out of the gates still riding the adrenaline of their comeback win over the Warriors, but with every fast break layup that doesn't fall, and every time Ronnie Brewer lays someone out, that momentum is going to slip. Utah will take over late in the first half, then carry that into the second half for a blowout win. I lean hard to the Jazz, and I'm pretty confident, that, barring a crazy injury report, this will sneak onto my card somewhere. I also like the Under, since I don't think Milwaukee breaks 85.

Cavs @ Clippers - This line is OFF. This might be a great opportunity to grab the Clippers at maximum value, though I fear the Cavs' wrath after getting beat by a miracle in Utah. Cleveland continues a fairly long west-coast swing, falling in Denver to start the trip, and taking games in both Portland and Golden State before the loss in Utah. Still, I don't think a team like Cleveland lets that game with the Jazz hang on their conscience for too long. Lebron is a man-child, and he'll come to play, the question is will they cover what's likely to be a reasonable spread? The Clippers will be playing a back-to-back, so add 2 more points to the spread, but I also like the fact that despite being on the "road", the Clippers settled back into their homes yesterday, and should have the first-game-back sluggishness sort of wiped away. I honestly would love to take the Clips, since teams rarely perform any WORSE than a 30-point loss, but without Chris Kaman, I'm not sure this team can compete with a defensive-minded, top-quality team like the Cavs. Baron Davis could very well light it up, since Mo Williams can't stop him, and if Baron heads down in the post, as he should, he can get shots over Mo all night long. The issue is that Cleveland's help defense is outstanding, and the Clippers won't get many, if any, easy buckets. I still lean to the home team, since I figure they'll be getting a nice share of points, but it's going to be tough to pull the trigger. I also think we may see an Over, though that's largely dependent on the posted mark. Cleveland is going to want to get out and run after that trench warfare game in Utah, and the Clippers have been playing better offensively, though Kaman is one of the keys to that. Tough spot here.

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Re: NBA News and Notes Saturday 1/16

Trend Report - Saturday
By Ed Meyer

Suns at Bobcats - The Suns are 9-0 ATS (10.9 ppg) since January 06, 1998 as a dog with at most one day of rest after a road loss in which they had at least five fewer turnovers than their season-to-date average. The Suns are 0-7 ATS (-5.9 ppg) since April 03, 2004 when playing the second of back-to-back road games after losing the first as a dog. The Bobcats are 10-0 ATS (8.8 ppg) since February 20, 2007 at home after a game at home in which they allowed less than 40% from the field.

Cavaliers at Clippers - The Cavaliers are 8-0 ATS (9.0 ppg) since January 13, 2004 off a loss as an away dog in which they led at the end of the third quarter. The League is 0-7 ATS (-9.6 ppg) since February 27, 2009 as a road favorite with at least one day of rest off a loss as a dog in which they led at the end of the third quarter. The League is 9-0 ATS (7.7 ppg) since January 31, 2009 after a double digit road loss in which more than 75% of their baskets were assisted. The Clippers are 0-7 ATS (-8.9 ppg) since December 04, 1999 as a home dog after a double digit loss in which they has more than 10 refereed turnovers.

Spurs at Grizzlies - The Spurs are 0-6 ATS (-6.1 ppg) since December 12, 1996 as a road favorite with at most one day of rest after a double digit road loss in which their DPS was minus 15 points or less. The Grizzlies are 0-7 ATS (-7.4 ppg) since January 05, 2007 at home after a game at home in which they had an assist to turnover ratio of at least two.

Bucks at Jazz -
The Bucks are 0-7 ATS (-6.6 ppg) since March 28, 2003 on the road versus the Jazz. The Jazz are 10-0-1 ATS (8.6 ppg) since November 19, 2002 as a home favorite off a win of four points or fewer in which they held a double digit lead.
   
Hornets at Pacers - The Hornets are 0-7 ATS (-5.3 ppg) since February 23, 2008 as a road dog on Saturday after playing on Friday. The Pacers are 0-9-1 ATS (-15.2 ppg) since March 09, 2003 with no rest when their opponent is off an overtime game. The Pacers are 0-7 ATS (-4.9 ppg) since December 13, 2003 as a favorite with no rest after a win in which they shot at least 50% from the field.

Knicks at Pistons - The Knicks are 0-8 ATS (-8.6 ppg) since November 26, 2008 as a dog with no rest after a game in which they scored more than 30% of their points from the three-point line. The Pistons are 0-9 ATS (-7.9 ppg) since March 28, 2003 with at most one day of rest off an overtime home win. The Pistons are 7-0 ATS (10.1 ppg) since April 23, 2008 as a favorite when facing a team they lost to at home in their previous same-season match-up.

Heat at Thunder - The League is 10-0 ATS (8.4 ppg) since January 13, 2008 on the road with no rest after a road win in which their opponent shot at least ten three-pointers and made at least half of them. The Heat are 0-9 ATS (-4.9 ppg) since February 21, 2007 on the road after a win in which their field goal attempt per turnover ratio was at least eight.

Kings at Wizards - The Kings are 0-6 ATS (-4.5 ppg) since November 02, 2005 on the road with at most one day of rest after a road loss in which their DPS was minus 15 points or less. The Wizards are 7-0 ATS (7.9 ppg) since December 15, 2007 at home with at most one day of rest after a game on the road in which they committed fewer than ten turnovers.

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