NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday 11/8

NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday 11/8

Thursday Tips
By Kevin Rogers
VegasInsider.com

Following last Thursday's postponement of the Knicks/Nets game, TNT will finally have its first Thursday doubleheader of the season this week. The Bulls open things up against the defending Western Conference champion Thunder, while the Blazers and Clippers finish the night at the Rose Garden. We'll begin in the Windy City with Oklahoma City attempting to break above the .500 mark for the first time in this young season.

Thunder at Bulls

In spite of playing with Derrick Rose on the sidelines, Chicago has found a way to win three of its first four games. Granted, the three victories are over the Kings, Cavaliers, and Magic, but Chicago is relying on the frontcourt of Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, and Joakim Noah to lift them to this 3-1 record. The Bulls needed a moderate rally to knock off Orlando on Tuesday, 99-93, but Chicago failed to cover as nine-point favorites.
   
The Thunder bounced back from Sunday's home loss to the Hawks by beating the Raptors soundly, 108-88 as nine-point 'chalk.' Oklahoma City jumped out to a 30-17 lead after one quarter, while cruising to a 19-point halftime edge. The Raps shot just 35% from the floor, as Kyle Lowry left the game in the first half with a sprained ankle. Not one member of the Thunder scored more than 20 points, but six players finished in double-figures, including a game-high 19 points from Russell Westbrook.

The Bulls own an 0-3 ATS record at the United Center after not cashing against Sacramento and Orlando in close victories, while losing straight-up to New Orleans as nine-point favorites. In Chicago's six-point triumph over Orlando, the Bulls pulled off a 12-2 run to start the fourth quarter to take control of a game that was in doubt for three quarters. Tom Thibodeau's club held the Magic to 42% shooting from the floor, including a 7-22 effort from Glen Davis.

Oklahoma City won the lone meeting with Chicago last season, 92-78 as six-point home favorites. The two teams have split each of the previous four matchups at the United Center, including a 99-90 triumph by the Bulls in December 2010.

Clippers at Blazers

Los Angeles finishes off a tough back-to-back stretch after facing San Antonio at home on Wednesday. The Clippers head up the coast to the Rose Garden for a meeting with the Blazers, who return to Portland following a three-game road swing. The Blazers picked up only one victory on that trip, coming in overtime at Houston. In the two losses, Terry Stotts' team lost by 14 points or more at Oklahoma City and Dallas.

Portland's lone game at the Rose Garden turned out to be its best overall effort, a 116-106 whipping of the Lakers as short 'dogs. The Blazers have failed to capitalize on that win by scoring 100 points or less in each of the last three games. In Monday's setback at Dallas, the Blazers trailed by just four points heading into the final quarter, but the Mavs outscored Portland, 31-12 en route to a 114-91 blowout. Portland's bench scored just 17 points in the loss, while allowing Dallas to shoot a scorching 61% from the field.

The Clippers are leaving Los Angeles for the first time this season following five games at Staples Center (including a "road" contest against the Lakers). Vinny Del Negro's squad didn't look particularly sharp in home losses to the Warriors and Cavaliers as heavy 'chalk,' while being listed as an away favorite for the second time this season. The Clips have won 10 of their past 15 games when laying points on the road, including five of the last seven as an away favorite of three points or less.

Los Angeles captured three of four matchups last season, while rallying from 18 points down at the Rose Garden in a February 74-71 triumph. That victory by the Clippers snapped a six-game skid in Portland dating back to 2009.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday 11/8

NBA TNT Doubleheader: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

Oklahoma City Thunder at Chicago Bulls (+2, 191.5)

James Harden is lighting it up in Houston and Derrick Rose is on the sidelines, but Thursday game between Oklahoma City and Chicago is still an intriguing matchup. Both teams are learning how to win without a key player, although the adjustment hasn't been as smooth for the Thunder. Oklahoma City, which dealt Harden to the Rockets shortly before the season began, evened its record with a 108-88 victory over Toronto on Tuesday in the finale of a three-game homestand.

The Bulls will likely will be without Rose until after the All-Star break. Chicago handed Orlando its first loss of the season with a 99-93 win on Tuesday. The former league Most Valuable Player is recovering from a torn ACL sustained in Chicago's first-round playoff loss to Philadelphia. 

ABOUT THE THUNDER (2-2): Kevin Martin, the key figure Oklahoma City received in the blockbuster trade, has replaced Harden as the sixth man. The veteran guard has provided a solid offensive punch, averaging 19.3 points and shooting 51.2 from the field. Martin has hit 61.9 percent of his 3-point attempts. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are averaging 20.8 points apiece, but the offense has struggled in the first four games. Oklahoma City is averaging 98.3 points after scoring 103.1 points last season.

ABOUT THE BULLS (3-1): Other than an unexpected loss to New Orleans in the home opener, Chicago has played well without its star. Coach Tom Thibodeau always stresses defense and that's paid off early in the season. The Bulls allow 88.8 points and force 16.7 turnovers game. Kirk Hinrich has taken over at point guard for Rose, but backup Nate Robinson has provided the biggest boost. Robinson is averaging 12.3 points and 5.3 assists while shooting 51.2 percent.

TRENDS:

* Under is 5-1 in the last six meetings.
* Thunder are 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings in Chicago.
* Thunder are 16-5-1 ATS in their last 22 Thursday games.
* Bulls are 1-6 ATS in their last seven vs. Western Conference.

BUZZER BEATERS:

1. Westbrook, who has been playing with a sore shoulder, is shooting 38.7 percent from the field and has made just 26.7 percent of his 3-point attempts.

2. The Bulls have six players averaging at least 9.0 points a game. Joakim Noah leads the team in points (16.0) and rebounds (8.8).

3. The Thunder beat the Bulls 92-78 at home in their only meeting last season. Oklahoma City led by 29 points going into the fourth quarter. The teams split six games over the previous three seasons.

Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers (+1, 201.5)

The Los Angeles Clippers travel to Portland to face the well-rested Trail Blazers on Thursday. The Clippers dominated San Antonio for a 106-84 home win on Wednesday. Blake Griffin (22 points, 10 rebounds), DeAndre Jordan (20 points, 11 rebounds) and Chris Paul (10 points, 12 assists) all had double-doubles as the Clippers handed the Spurs their first loss of the season. The lopsided win allowed coach Vinny Del Negro to rest his key players.

Portland hasn't played since Monday when it dropped a 114-91 decision at Dallas. Rookie guard Damian Lillard has been one of the early season surprises in the league. Lillard, the No. 6 overall pick in the draft from Weber State, is second on the team in scoring with a 19.3 average. LaMarcus Aldridge is scoring 22 points a game to lead the Trail Blazers.

ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (2-2): Portland has been outscored in the fourth quarter of each game so the Trail Blazers are fortunate to be .500. The least productive bench in the NBA has a lot to do with the problems. Portland's reserves have combined to score 51 points in four games. Rookie center Meyers Leonard, who has scored 14 points, and small forward Sasha Pavlovic, who has 10, are the only bench players to reach double figures for the season. Portland was outscored 31-12 in the fourth quarter of Monday's loss.

ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (3-2): Injuries have played a major role in the early going for Los Angeles. Griffin, the Clippers' All-Star forward, has been playing with a ruptured bursa sac in his right elbow and a strained neck. He's averaging 17.4 points and 8.4 rebounds. Veterans Chauncey Billups and Grant Hill have yet to play. Billups is still recovering from Achilles' tendon surgery last season while Hill has a bone bruise in his right knee. Jamal Crawford, who went into Wednesday averaging 24 points a game, was held to 10 against San Antonio.

TRENDS:

* Over is 8-1-2 in the last 11 meetings in Portland.
* Favorite is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings.
* Home team is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings.
* Clippers are 2-5 ATS in the last seven meetings.
* Clippers are 1-4 ATS in the last five meetings in Portland.

BUZZER BEATERS:

1. The Clippers won three of the four meetings last season.

2. Portland held a 23-2 advantage in offensive rebounds against Dallas, but lost the game by 23 points.

3. Los Angeles committed 15 turnovers Wednesday after turning the ball over 25 times in Monday's loss to Cleveland.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday 11/8

NBA Odds, Picks and Trends: Thursday, November 08, 2012
By: The Linemakers   
Sportingnews.com

There are only two games in the NBA tonight, but like most Thursdays during the season, TNT offers a couple of intriguing matchups. We’ve got two short road favorites, with the Thunder laying 2.5 points at Chicago, and the Clippers a 1-point favorite at Portland.

The Thunder (2-2) have been at home for their past three games and come off their most impressive win of the season, 108-88, Tuesday over the Raptors. However, there is some cause for concern in Oklahoma City because they have seemed a little off in two of their games.

They lost their only road game to the Spurs, 86-84, in the season opener, and then four days ago, got abused at home, 104-95, by the Hawks. Last season the offense averaged 103.1 points a game, this season they’ve been at 98.3.

We could point to the obvious and say the departure of James Harden has messed with their chemistry. The trade that caused sports books like the LVH to drop their Thunder rating a half-point, but Kevin Martin has actually done quite well taking over Harden’s role. He’s averaged 19.3 points per game and has hit 61.9 percent of his 3-point attempts.

Part of the reason for the Thunder’s inconsistency is that half of their dynamic duo is ailing. Russell Westbrook has been playing through a sore shoulder, and has struggled on offense. He’s shooting only 38.7 percent from the field (28.7 percent from 3-point range) and is averaging just over 20 points a game.

The Bulls (3-1) have covered only one of their games this season. But their only SU loss came when coach Tom Thibodeau tried to make a point of stressing defense and yanked three of his starters for the entire fourth quarter in a close game against the Hornets. Derrick Rose is still quite a ways from returning, but Kirk Hinrich and back-up Nate Robinson have done a good job producing points in his absence. Robinson has averaged 12.3 points and 5.3 assists a game and is one of six Bulls averaging at least nine points.

Despite the defensive mishaps that irritated Thibodeau against the Hornets, the Bulls have been a pretty good defensive team statistically, allowing only 88.8 points and forcing 16.7 turnovers per game.

The Thunder have won and covered two of their past three meetings against the Bulls, and two of those games have stayed UNDER the total.

The Thunder beat the Bulls, 92-78, at Oklahoma City in their only meeting last season, a game OKC led by 29 points heading into the fourth quarter. Expect tonight’s to be much closer but yield, perhaps, the same result.

The Blazers (2-2) play their second home game of the season after being on the road for their past three, going 1-2. The one road win was an impressive one over the then-hot Rockets. Portland cooled off Harden, who had 82 points combined in his previous two games, holding him to only 24 points. However, two nights later, in the middle of their Texas two-step, the Blazers fell hard to the much improved Mavericks in a 114-91 loss.

The Blazers have been led by rookie guard Damian Lillard, the No. 6 overall pick from Weber State, who is averaging 19.3 points a game. LaMarcus Aldridge leads the team with 22 points per game.

The Blazers will have a big edge in this game because they are much fresher, not having played since Monday. The Clippers (3-2) smoked the Spurs, 106-84, last night, for their first win in a three-game home stand after losing outright as big favorites against the Warriors (-8.5) and Cavaliers (-10). These types of up-and-down performances seem to plague the Clippers. At times they look like the best team in the league, and on other nights, they just don’t seem to be focused or up to the challenge of lesser opponents.

Last night, for example, they looked like the best team in the league, with Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul all having double-doubles while they handed the Spurs their first loss of the season. But on Monday, they turned the ball over 25 times in a loss to the Cavaliers.

While the Blazers have won four of their past seven against the Clippers, covering five, the Clippers have won three of the past four meetings against the Blazers. But it's hard to figure which Clip team will show up tonight. We do know they’ll be tired.

NBA notes:

Pistons center Greg Monroe recorded the first triple-double of his career with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in a 105-103 loss at Sacramento Wednesday night.

The Pistons have lost 21 of their past 22 road games against the Western Conference after losing in Sacramento Wednesday night. Their only win on the road in West over that span was against the Kings last season. Before the streak started, their last win in this situation was against the Kings in 2010.

The Hornets produced only 62 points in their loss against the 76ers Wednesday, the lowest total in franchise history. The previous low was 65 against Miami in 2000.

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