NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday, Dec. 13

NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday, Dec. 13

Thursday Tips
By Kevin Rogers
VegasInsider.com

All three matchups on the Thursday NBA card involve mismatches according to record. The Hawks (12-6) battle the struggling Bobcats (7-13) for the third time this season, while the Spurs (18-4) play the second of a back-to-back in Portland against the inconsistent Blazers (9-12). In the primetime TNT matchup at 8:00, the Lakers (9-13) try to bounce out of their funk when they travel to the Madison Square Garden.

Lakers at Knicks

New York is a perfect 8-0 straight-up at home this season, as the Knicks (16-5) go for their ninth win in 10 games overall on Thursday. Mike Woodson's team welcomes in a Lakers' squad that can't get out of their way recently, dropping five of their past six games, including an embarrassing loss at Cleveland on Tuesday night.

The Lakers played their fifth straight game without power forward Pau Gasol as Los Angeles trailed from the start in a 100-94 setback to the Cavs. L.A. closed as a 6½-point favorite, but fell to 2-7 SU and 3-6 ATS away from Staples Center this season. Since Mike D'Antoni has taken over as head coach, the Lakers own a 4-8 record, while allowing at least 100 points in six of the last seven contests. The Lakers have compiled a dreadful 1-5 ATS record as an underdog this season, as the lone cover came in a 114-108 loss at Oklahoma City last Friday as 7 ½-point 'dogs.

The Knicks overcame a 17-point deficit to shock the rival Nets on Tuesday, 100-97 in their second visit to the Barclays Center in three weeks. New York failed to cover as 3½-point 'chalk,' falling to 1-5 ATS the last six opportunities as a road favorite. The story changes when the Knicks suit up at Madison Square Garden, posting a 7-1 ATS record with the lone non-cover coming as 11-point favorites against Phoenix on December 2. Since starting 4-0 to the 'under' at home, the Knicks have compiled four straight 'overs' in Manhattan, while busting the 100-point mark seven times.

The two teams split a pair of meetings during the lockout-shortened season of 2012, with the home team winning each time. The Lakers routed the Knicks at Staples Center, 99-82 as 4½-point favorites in late December, while New York exacted revenge with a 92-85 triumph at MSG as 4 ½-point 'dogs six weeks later.

Spurs at Blazers

The league office better be on alert as San Antonio is playing on a back-to-back on TNT. The last time the Spurs were in this situation, Gregg Popovich decided to send Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili home prior to a game at Miami in which San Antonio was playing its fourth game in five nights. This is the final game of a four-game road trip for the Spurs, who have already won once at the Rose Garden this season.

Playing without Parker, the Spurs rallied for a 112-109 victory on November 10 to cover as 2½-point favorites. San Antonio outscored Portland, 39-30 in the final quarter as Gary Neal scored 27 points off the bench to help the Spurs overcome 10 three-pointers by the Blazers. The win ended a four-game losing skid at the Rose Garden for San Antonio, which includes a 137-97 beatdown by the Blazers last season with Parker, Duncan, and Ginobili out.

Portland continues a season-high six-game homestand following a loss to Sacramento and victory over Toronto. Terry Stotts' club put together their best defensive performance of the season in a 92-74 rout of the Raptors on Monday, holding Toronto to 35% shooting from the floor. The most impressive part of Portland's triumph is debatable since the Blazers won without Nicholas Batum and Wesley Matthews, while also managing the victory by shooting 0-for-20 from three-point range.

From an ATS standpoint, the Blazers are just 3-6 ATS the last nine games, while cashing two of three times as a home 'dog. The Spurs have cashed in 10 of their past 11 road contests, while eclipsing the 100-point mark eight straight times on the highway. Probably the most impressive number is the frequency of 'overs' in this stretch, as San Antonio is 8-0 to the 'over' in the last eight away games.

Bobcats at Hawks

We didn't exactly save the worst for last, but somebody has to be the final one to be picked. Atlanta returns home from a three-game road trip as the Hawks go for their third win of the season over the Bobcats. Charlotte is quickly reverting back to last season's disaster following a surprising 7-5 start by dropping eight consecutive games.

The Bobcats have won just two of seven contests away from Time Warner Cable Arena, beating the Timberwolves and Wizards as road 'dogs. Charlotte's defense is getting shredded by the day, as the Bobcats have allowed at least 100 points in nine of the last 10 games. The 'over' is hitting for the Bobcats lately, going 8-3-1 the previous 12 contests.

The Hawks enter Thursday's contest with an 0-6-1 ATS record at Philips Arena when laying at least four points. Atlanta barely covered in its last meeting with Charlotte, a 94-91 victory as nine-point favorites in late November. Larry Drew's club is a perfect 3-0 SU/ATS with no rest coming off Wednesday's game at Orlando, including road wins at Portland and Memphis.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday, Dec. 13

NBA TNT Doubleheader: Lakers at Knicks, Spurs at Blazers
Covers.com

Los Angeles Lakers at New York Knicks (-7, 208.5)

Watching a team struggle badly under coach Mike D'Antoni is not an unfamiliar site for New York fans. When the Los Angeles Lakers stumble into Madison Square Garden on Thursday to face the Knicks, it will be exactly nine months since D'Antoni was fired by New York. The Lakers and D'Antoni are riding a three-game losing streak as they prepare for the matchup against the league's only unbeaten team at home. Los Angeles has lost eight of its last 11. ''It doesn't make any sense," Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant said. "We're still finding ways to lose games.''

The Knicks, on the other hand, keep finding ways to win games. New York erased an early 17-point deficit to eke out a 100-97 win at Brooklyn on Tuesday night in a budding rivalry becoming known as the Battle of the Boroughs. Carmelo Anthony erupted for a season-high 45 points to carry the Knicks to their seventh win in eight games. New York has registered 11 of its 16 wins by double digits, including a pair of 20-point demolitions of the defending world champion Miami Heat.

ABOUT THE LAKERS (9-13, 9-13 ATS):
Los Angeles is searching for answers after tumbling to 4-8 since D'Antoni took the coaching reins. Bryant termed the recent struggles as the most "challenging" and "baffling" stretch of his storied career. With forward Pau Gasol missing his fifth straight game, the Lakers fell behind by 15 points at halftime against a Cleveland squad that entered the game with four wins. Bryant scored a season-high 42 points against the Cavaliers and has averaged 35.5 points in his last six games - a stretch in which the Lakers have gone 1-5.

ABOUT THE KNICKS (16-5, 13-8 ATS): Anthony is having an MVP campaign, pouring in 79 points in his last two games after sitting out the previous two due to a cut on his finger. Yet New York is also getting timely production from veteran guard Jason Kidd since he returned from a four-game injury absence. Kidd buried the winning 3-point shot against the Nets and finished with 18 points on 6-of-8 from behind the arc. That followed a 17-point performance against Denver in which Kidd connected on 3 of 4 from long range to go along with seven assists.

TRENDS:

* Under is 4-0 in the last four meetings.
* Lakers are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
* Favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.

BUZZER BEATERS:

1. Anthony sat out last February's 92-85 win over the Lakers that snapped a string of nine straight losses in the series.

2. Los Angeles is 1-10 when Bryant scores at least 30 points.

3. D'Antoni compiled a 121-167 record in three-plus seasons with the Knicks.


San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers (+5.5, 201)

The San Antonio Spurs will look to rebound from a rare loss when they wrap up a four-game road trip Thursday against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Spurs had their five-game winning streak snapped in Utah on Wednesday on a 3-point buzzer beater by Mo Williams. It was an uncharacteristic defeat for San Antonio, which blew an eight-point lead in the final four minutes to drop one game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the league's best record. The Spurs still own the league's best mark away from home at 11-3.

While San Antonio will be playing for the fifth time in seven nights, the Trail Blazers have had a couple of much-needed days off since walloping the Toronto Raptors on Monday. Nicolas Batum, who has been battling a back injury that caused him to miss Monday's game, said his condition has improved and he is hopeful of facing the Spurs. Wesley Matthews also sat out Monday's game with a left hip flexor strain, ending a streak of 250 consecutive games played.

ABOUT THE SPURS (18-5, 15-7-1 ATS): Veteran Tim Duncan had his worst shooting performance of the season in Monday's shootout victory at Houston, connecting on only 1 of 9 shots, but he still managed to pull down 13 rebounds and block three shots. Duncan bounced back from that game with a vengeance, scoring 22 points and hauling down a season-high 21 rebounds against the Jazz. It was the 21st 20-20 game of the future Hall of Famer's career. The perennial All-Star also blocked six shots - another season high.

ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (9-12, 8-12-1 ATS): The return of Batum and/or Matthews would go a long way to preventing a repeat from Monday's dreadful shooting display that set an NBA record for futility. Portland misfired on all 20 3-point attempts, breaking the record set by the New York Knicks (0 for 18) in 2010. Batum has made a team-high 49 3-pointers and has connected on at least one in all but one game. Seldom-used Sasha Pavlovic did a solid job as an emergency starter against Toronto with 10 points, seven boards and five assists in 42 minutes.

TRENDS:

* Favorite is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.
* Over is 5-1 in the last six meetings.
* Home team is 15-6 ATS in the last 21 meetings.
* Spurs are 2-8 ATS in the last 10 meetings in Portland.

BUZZER BEATERS:

1. The Spurs withstood 35 points from Batum to win at Portland 112-109 on Nov. 12.

2. Blazers F LaMarcus Aldridge has four straight double-doubles and is averaging 22.5 points and 11.3 rebounds in that span.

3. San Antonio leads the league in assists per game (25.9). Portland ranks 29th (19.1).

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NBA: Streaks, Tips, Notes
Sportspic.com

Los Angeles Lakers at New York Knicks

Taken behind the woodshed Tuesday night by Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Los Angeles Lakers will try to get back on track when they continue the four game road swing in New York. A tough test against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks lead by Carmelo Anthony (27.7) are a perfect 8-0 (7-1 ATS) at home this season netting 105.4 PPG while allowing just 91.2 per/contest. The Lakers not exactly road warriors are 2-7 (3-6 ATS) traveling this campaign (101.3 PF, 103.0 PA) and just 18-30 (17-31 ATS) the past 48 away from the Staples Center. Not the best spot for Lakers as they're 9-24 (8-25 ATS) on the road scoring <100 PPG, 6-16 ATS as road dogs scoring under the century mark. Knicks on an 9-2 (8-3 ATS) stretch at home in non-conference games, 4-0 (3-1 ATS) home vs the Pacific division allowing 90.5 PPG are worth a second look.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday, Dec. 13

Lakers vs. Knicks Point Spread and Pick
By: The Linemakers
Sportingnews.com

LAS VEGAS -- There are three games in the NBA tonight, highlighted by the Los Angeles Lakers (9-13) visiting Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Knicks (16-5), two teams going in drastically different directions.

On the Knicks side, there are nothing but positives – the team has demonstrated unity, everyone is contributing, and they've become one of the better stories of this young NBA Season. On the other side, we have the Lakers, who don’t play defense, can’t hit free-throws, can’t win on the road, but are still one of the league’s most sensational stories because of the magnitude of their struggles.

An intriguing subplot tonight is Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni, who was fired nine months ago by the Knicks after compiling a 121-167 record in three-plus seasons in New York. We saw a sudden zip in the Lakers’ step when D’Antoni was hired to take over the Lakers, but the only zip lately has been in the win column. The Lakers have gone 4-8 under D’Antoni and have lost five of their past six games, including their last three.

Tuesday night’s 100-94 loss at Cleveland may have sunk the Lakers to the depths of a new low that might even have Mike Brown saying, “Wow.” The Cavs, who had only four wins on the season before Tuesday, made the Lakers look old. It was the Lakers’ seventh loss in nine road games this season.

Among Western Conference teams, only the Suns (2-10) and Kings (1-8) are worse than the Lakers on the road this season. If the playoffs started today, the Lakers, with the fourth worst record in the West, would miss out.

One troubling fact for the Lakers is that even when Kobe Bryant has a good game, the Lakers still lose. He’s leading the league in scoring, but the Lakers are only 1-10 in games in which he scores 30 points or more.

While the Lakers keep finding new, or routine, ways to lose, the Knicks continue to find ways to win. They beat the Nets, 100-97, in Brooklyn Tuesday night, behind 45 points from Carmelo Anthony, after being down by as many as 17. They have the best record in the East and are a perfect 8-0 at home.

Anthony has become a front-runner for MVP honors, but the Knicks have been anything but a one-man wrecking crew. A different Knicks player each night seems to step up with an impact performance, and they've shown they can win even without Anthony. He has scored 79 points in his last two games, but he missed two games prior because of a finger injury. One of those games was a 20-point New York victory at Miami, the second time this season the Knicks beat the defending champs by 20-points.

The Linemakers’ take: The Knicks are 7-point favorites, with a total of 209.5, at home Thursday against the Lakers. Despite the Knicks playing well, we think the Lakers will get the cover and we also expect a high-scoring game. This Knicks like to run and have gone OVER the total in six of their last seven games. The Lakers will follow the Knicks lead, and their goal under D'Antoni is to run as well. Expect the Garden to bring out the best in Kobe and the Lakers tonight in a good one offered by TNT.

NBA trends:

* The Lakers have covered only five of their past 17 road games. The Knicks have covered 17 of their past 21 home games against teams with a losing record. The Knicks have gone OVER the total in their past four home games, but the UNDER has occurred in the last four meetings between the Lakers and Knicks.

* The Hawks have covered four of their past five Thursday games. The favorite has covered in six of the last seven meetings between the Bobcats and Hawks. Atlanta is laying 10.5 at home tonight, and the total is 193.5.

* The Spurs have gone 8-1-2 ATS in their last 11 games playing on the back end on back-to-back nights and have also gone OVER the total in 10 of their last 11 games under the same scenario. The Spurs have covered their last four games coming off a game they didn’t cover. The favorite has covered in the last four meetings between the Spurs and Blazers. There was no line posted on this game as of 7:00 a.m. PT.

NBA injuries:

* Lakers forward Pau Gasol (knee) is OUT tonight.

* Blazers forward Nicolas Batum (back) is questionable.

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