NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday December, 20
NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday December, 20
NBA TNT Doubleheader: Thunder at T-Wolves, Heat at Mavs
Oklahoma City Thunder at Minnesota Timberwolves (+4.5, 199.5)
Oklahoma City takes the best record in the league and a 12-game winning streak into Thursday road contest against Minnesota. Oklahoma City, which dropped two of three to begin the season, has won 20 of 22 and hasn't lost since Nov. 23. Kevin Durant scored a season-high 41 points in Wednesday's 100-92 victory over Atlanta. He scored 18 points in the fourth quarter, when the Thunder held off a late rally by the Hawks, and had 13 rebounds.
The Timberwolves will play their second straight game against a team that made last season's NBA Finals. Minnesota fell 103-92 win at Miami on Tuesday. Ricky Rubio is expected to play Thursday after sitting out against the Heat. The second-year point guard, who struggled in 16 scoreless minutes Monday against Orlando, won't play in back-to-back games for now as he comes back from knee surgery. He had eight points and nine assists in 18 minutes in his season debut Saturday against Dallas.
ABOUT THE THUNDER (21-4, 16-8-1 ATS): Russell Westbrook didn't play like someone who had a bad wrist on Wednesday. He scored 27 points, including 21 in the first half, and 11 assists. Westbrook fell on his right wrist while driving to the basket late in Monday's win over San Antonio, but played 39 minutes against the Hawks. Westbrook has played in 337 consecutive games, the longest streak among active players. He's never missed an NBA game since being drafted out of UCLA in 2008.
ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (12-11, 13-10 ATS): Minnesota began the week with a four-game winning streak, but that could soon be a distant memory. After playing the Thunder, the Timberwolves face a Saturday road game against the New York Knicks, who have the best record in the Eastern Conference. A second-half collapse on Monday led to more criticism from forward Kevin Love. A week after questioning the franchise's direction, Love said following the game that the Timberwolves must be more physical, especially on defense.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Thunder are 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings in Minnesota.
* Thunder are 0-5 ATS in the last five meetings.
* Underdog is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings.
1. Minnesota C Nikola Pekovic, playing with a sore back against Miami, scored 18 points and had 12 rebounds, but committed six turnovers.
2. The Thunder's 12-game winning streak is the franchise's longest since it moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City in 2008. The Seattle SuperSonics had a 14-game winning streak in 1996.
3. Oklahoma City has 12 straight wins over Minnesota dating back to 2009.
Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks (+5.5, 202)
While receiving good news regarding Dirk Nowitzki, the Dallas Mavericks may be shorthanded when they host the reigning champion Miami Heat on national television on Thursday. Nowitzki on Wednesday participated in his first practice since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on Oct. 19 and is hoping to make his season debut shortly after Christmas. However, Dallas will be without point guard Derek Fisher for its meeting with Miami and also could be missing Elton Brand and Brandan Wright. Both are game-time decisions.
Fisher hurt his right knee during an awkward fall in the first quarter of Tuesday's home triumph over Philadelphia, which halted Dallas' three-game skid. Brand suffered a groin injury and Wright sprained his right ankle in the same contest. The Mavericks begin a stretch of three games in four nights against the Heat, who completed a 4-2 homestand Tuesday with a 103-92 triumph over Minnesota. Miami has won four of five after losing consecutive games for the first time this season.
ABOUT THE HEAT (16-6, 11-11 ATS): Miami continued its strong fourth-quarter play in the win over the Timberwolves. The Heat never trailed in the final period, marking the 10th time this season and fourth time in the last five games they maintained the lead throughout the quarter. Superstar LeBron James is the first player to score at least 20 points in each of his team's first 22 games since Utah's Karl Malone in 1989-90. James is averaging 30.4 points in his last seven regular-season meetings with the Mavericks. The Heat are looking for their first three-game winning streak against the Mavericks since capturing 16 in a row from 1992-99.
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (12-13, 12-13 ATS): Nowitzki is cautiously optimistic about his prospects of returning to action before the end of the calendar year. "This is the first day we're stopping, pushing off, moving, and we'll just see how (the knee) reacts," he said. "I'm gonna do that a couple of times and do some contact for a while, and maybe anytime after Christmas I'll be fine." Coach Rick Carlisle refuses to speculate on when Nowitzki will suit up. "We don't know when he's gonna play," Carlisle said. "When it happens, it will happen. We hope it's sooner than later, but we don't have a time yet."
* Over is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.
* Heat are 7-2-1 ATS in the last 10 meetings in Dallas.
* Favorite is 3-1-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
* Road team is 15-5-2 ATS in the last 22 meetings.
1. The Mavericks have allowed fewer than 90 points only once this season.
2. The Heat are 22-29 overall in the all-time series and 10-15 at Dallas.
3. Dallas is 8-3 at home and has won three straight at American Airlines Center.
Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday December, 20
Inside the Paint - Thursday
By Chris David
Since the NFL won’t be in action on Thursday, gamblers can turn their attention to the Association and tonight’s three-game slate features two of the best teams in the league on the hardwood, Oklahoma City and Miami. The Thunder and Heat are both on the road and both laying points, which isn’t surprising at all. Some bettors might be weary to lay the points on the road, but NBA favorites have been cashing at a ridiculous rate this week.
The ‘chalk’ has gone 22-5 straight up and 18-9 against the spread in the last three days and that includes a 10-1 SU and 9-2 ATS mark last night. It’s safe to say the underdogs are overdue but the betting public certainly won’t be looking at the home pups tonight.
Let’s take a closer look at the three matchups.
Oklahoma City (21-4 SU, 16-8 ATS) at Minnesota (12-11 SU, 13-10 ATS)
The Thunder visit Minnesota with a season-high 12-game winning streak after they beat Atlanta 100-92 on the road last night. TNT will provide national coverage of this game at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Fatigue will certainly a factor but Oklahoma City has gone 5-0 (3-2 ATS) on zero days rest this season. Including the victory over the Hawks on Wednesday, OKC has gone 7-2 on the road with the two losses coming to quality opponents in San Antonio (84-86) and Boston (100-108).
Is Minnesota in the same class with the Spurs and Celtics? Despite dealing with key injuries this season, the Wolves are above .500 and more than half of their wins have come at home (7-3 SU, 6-4 ATS). Since losing three in a row at the Target Center in mid-November, Minnesota has won four straight (3-1 ATS) at home but they were favored in those games against inferior clubs. Tonight, the Wolves opened as 3 ½-point home underdogs and the line is up to 4 ½ at most books. Minnesota will be looking to bounce back after getting swept in the Sunshine State to Orlando (93-102) and Miami (92-103) earlier this week.
Oklahoma City has owned this head-to-head series, winning 12 consecutive contests against Minnesota. What’s a little eye opening is that the Thunder are just 4-8 ATS in this span and that includes five straight non-covers heading into tonight’s game. What it tells you is that the Wolves have been competitive but they can’t seem to get over the hump and earn the quality win. After this contest, OKC will be off until its nationally televised showdown at Miami on Christmas Day, which could present a look-ahead spot for the visitor.
Miami (16-6 SU, 11-11 ATS) at Dallas (12-13 SU, 12-13 ATS)
Miami has certainly been caught napping at times this season but it still manages to chalk up wins. The Heat got a wake-up call two weeks ago when they lost consecutive games to the Wizards (101-105) and Knicks (92-112). Since then, the Heat have won and covered four of five games, the lone loss coming on a last-second bucket (95-97) to an improved Golden State team.
The Heat are laying five points on the road tonight and it should be noted that they’ve only played on the road once in their last 11 games, which was the aforementioned loss to Washington on Dec. 4.
Even though Dallas has a losing record, coach Rick Carlisle has done a good job considering All-Star Dirk Nowitzki hasn’t played a game. What’s a little surprising is how bad Carlisle’s team is defensively. They’re allowing 101.5 points per game, which has helped the ‘over’ go 15-10.
Similar to Minnesota, Dallas has been competitive but quality wins are lacking. Except for a 114-111 home win against New York on Nov. 21, it’s hard to pinpoint a great effort against a great team. The Mavericks have won three straight at home and they won an 8-3 record (6-5 ATS). As a home ‘dog, the Mavs are 1-1 both SU and ATS.
In last year’s lockout-shortened season, Miami swept the two regular season battles, which included a 105-94 victory last Christmas in Dallas.
Tonight’s total is hovering around 201 points and the Heat have watched the ‘under’ cash in four straight. That streak might come to an end here with the ‘over’ producing an 8-3 mark at home for Dallas.
Tip-off is set for 9:35 p.m. ET and TNT will complete its double-header coverage.
Denver (14-12 SU, 16-10 ATS) at Portland (11-12, 9-14 ATS)
Two teams from the Northwest Division meet tonight with three-game winning streaks on the line. Unfortunately for Portland, it’s going to be shorthanded for the battle. All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge (21 PPG, 8 RPG) sprained his ankle on Sunday and will be ‘out’ of action. Also, Wesley Matthews (15.5 PPG) tweaked his hip in the last game and he’s ‘questionable’ as well. Portland rookie point guard Damian Lillard (18.8 PPG, 6.3 APG) has been outstanding this season but the first-year player will have his hands full tonight against Denver.
The Nuggets have the best point-guard tandem in the league with Ty Lawson starting and Andre Miller coming off the bench. The duo has helped the Nuggets maintain a winning record despite playing an unbalanced schedule. Tonight’s road contest for the Nuggets will be their league-high 19th road game. So far, George Karl’s team has gone 7-11 SU and 10-8 ATS outside of Colorado, which isn’t great but certainly not horrible considering the lopsided slate. At home, Denver is 7-1 and certainly a team to watch in the final two-thirds of the season.
Portland has gone 6-1 at home after losing three of its first four games at the Rose Garden.
These teams haven’t met yet this season but the head-to-head series has been dominated by the home team, who has won the last 10 encounters between the pair.
Denver has been installed as a 5.5-point road favorite over the Trail Blazers.
Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday December, 20
NBA Point Spreads and Trends
By: The Linemakers
There are three games on Thursday night’s NBA schedule, two of which — Thunder at Timberwolves (7:05 p.m. ET) and Heat at Mavericks (9:35 p.m. ET) — will be nationally-televised on TNT. Also, the Nuggets visit the Trail Blazers at 10:05 p.m. ET.
The lines below are from the LVH SuperBook as of about 8:15 a.m. PT.
* The Thunder have covered the spread in 12 of their past 16 games coming into tonight, as well as in their past four games against teams with a winning home record. But they've covered only once in their past six games in Minnesota. The T’Wolves have covered 13 of their past 16 games coming off a loss of 10 points or more. Four of the last five meetings between these teams have gone OVER the total. The Thunder are -3.5, with a total of 198.5, in Minnesota tonight.
* The Heat have covered four of their past five games. The Mavericks have covered four of their past five home games. The Heat have been playing good defense lately, staying UNDER the total in their last four games, however, the OVER has occurred in the last four meetings between the Heat and Mavericks. The Heat are -5.5 in Dallas tonight, and the total is 201.5.
* The streaking Nuggets have covered their past five games coming into tonight, as well as their last six games against Northwest Division teams. They also have gone OVER the total in their last six games coming off a win. The Blazers have gone OVER the total in five of their last six games when playing on three-days’ rest. The favorite has covered in 13 of the last 16 meetings between the Nuggets and Blazers. The Nuggets are tonight’s 5.5-point favorite, and the total is 199.
* T’Wolves forward Josh Howard (knee) missed Minnesota’s last game and is questionable tonight.
* Mavericks forward Elton Brand (groin) missed Dallas’ last game and is questionable vs. Miami.
* Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge (ankle) is OUT for tonight’s game vs. Denver.
* Blazers guard Wesley Matthews (hip) is questionable.