NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday, January 17

NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday, January 17

Heat at Lakers: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

Miami Heat at Los Angeles Lakers (-2.5, 205)

LeBron James is fresh off becoming the youngest player in NBA history to reach 20,000 career points as he leads the Miami Heat into Thursday’s contest against the host Los Angeles Lakers. James had 25 points and 10 rebounds in Wednesday’s 92-75 victory over the Golden State Warriors. The superstar reached the milestone at 28 years, 17 days old. The previous fastest was Kobe Bryant of the Lakers, who did it at 29 years and 122 days.

Los Angeles has a modest two-game winning streak after losing its previous six contests. The Lakers won games over the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks by a combined 36 points. In his second game back from a shoulder injury, center Dwight Howard contributed 31 points and 16 rebounds in Tuesday’s win over the Bucks. Miami is 2-3 on a six-game road swing that ends against the Lakers. The Heat return for two home games and then head right back out for four more road tilts.

ABOUT THE HEAT (25-12, 18-19 ATS): James also reached 5,000 career assists in the contest against the Warriors. In terms of games played, James reached 20,000 points in 726 regular-season contests, which is seventh-fastest. Wilt Chamberlain was the fastest on that scale, making it in 499 games. Nonetheless, James was thrilled about being the youngest ever to reach the milestone. “It means everything,” James said. “It means a lot. First of all, like I continue to say, it means I’ve been able to be healthy. To be out on the floor and do what I love to do, I love the game of basketball and I try to give everything to the game. And hopefully it continues to give back to me.”

ABOUT THE LAKERS (17-21, 16-21-1 ATS): Forward Pau Gasol is expected to return after missing five straight games due to a concussion. Gasol has begun making significant progress and would have to be cleared by doctors on Thursday before he could take the court. “It’s been a learning experience,” Gasol said after Wednesday’s practice. “The struggling of getting up every day and not getting better, constant headaches, being bothered by light or noise and not knowing what the next day will be like or not knowing when you’ll be healthy. You do a little research about concussions and it’s an unfortunate hit, but those can happen any day or any game.”

TRENDS:

* Heat are 0-5 ATS in their last five games following a win.
* Lakers are 0-3-1 ATS in their last four vs. NBA Southeast foes.
* Under is 4-0 in Lakers’ last four overall.
* Heat are 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings.

BUZZER BEATERS:

1. The Lakers are 9-4 against Miami in games played at the Staples Center.

2. The Heat are allowing just 85.4 points over their last seven outings.

3. Lakers F Earl Clark is questionable due to a bout with gastroenteritis.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday, January 17

Inside the Paint - Thursday
By Chris David
VegasInsider.com

After a wild offseason which included some big acquisitions, a lot of pundits expected the Los Angeles Lakers (17-21 straight up, 16-21 against the spread) and Miami Heat (25-12 SU, 18-19 ATS) to meet in this year’s NBA Finals. After watching nearly half the season play out, Miami has certainly lived up to the expectations but Los Angeles has easily been the biggest disappointment in the Association.

If the playoffs started today, the “Purple and Gold” wouldn’t be dancing. They currently sit in the 11th spot in the Western Conference, three games behind the eighth-seed Houston Rockets. We still have 40-plus games to play but the odds of watching the Lakers earn one of the top four seeds are very long.

Miami currently holds the No. 1 seed in the East and this team isn’t playing great basketball, which tells you how weak the other 14 teams in the conference are. You only have seven teams with winning records and outside of New York, who do you expect to challenge Miami? If you say Boston or anybody from the Central Division, then you haven’t been watching pro hoops this season.

At Sportsbook.ag, you bet the Heat at minus-180 (Bet $180 to win $100) odds to win the East and if you look at the big picture, that’s a bargain. Last year Miami was a 1/5 (Bet $500 to win $100) over Boston and two years ago against a good Chicago squad, oddsmakers made the Heat minus-190 (Bet $190 to win $100) favorites. Give it a look folks, seriously!

Despite being the prohibitive favorite to win the East this season, Miami is catching points to the underachieving Lakers tonight. Los Angeles opened as a two-point home favorite and the number actually moved up to 2½ at most outfits.
   
Miami has been installed as an underdog once this season, which came on Nov. 15 at Denver. In that matchup, the Heat didn’t have All-Star Dwayne Wade in the lineup and they still beat the Nuggets 98-83 as 3½-point road ‘dogs from the Pepsi Center.

After losing six straight, the Lakers have rebounded with a pair of double-digit wins at home albeit against the Cavaliers (113-93) and Bucks (104-88). Including those victories, L.A. has won six of its last seven matchups against the East.

If you look back at the Lakers’ recent losing streak, you’ll notice that five of the six setbacks came against playoff teams. Miami is certainly in that class and it will be interesting to see if Los Angeles can rise to the challenge when it steps up in class. All-Star center Dwight Howard believes the team can reach the next level.

“When we play the way we played these last two games, I don't see anybody beating us," Howard said. "The problem is we have to do it on a consistent basis and not have any lapses during the game. We're learning, but stuff like that takes time. When we stay focused and we stay together, we'll be great."

Howard has looked great the past two games, tallying a combined 53 points and 30 rebounds, but the competition wasn’t exactly great.

Fortunately for the Lakers, the Heat hasn’t been a strong road team (9-9 SU, 7-11 ATS) this season but they easily cruised past Golden State 92-75 last night in the Bay Area. LeBron James scored 25 points in the win and also became the youngest player in NBA history to score 20,000 points.

Miami has only played five games this season on zero days rest and it’s posted a 4-1 record. The Heat was favored in four of those games and they went 2-3 ATS. The ‘under’ has gone 3-2 during this span. Make a note that none of the starters played heavy minutes as the Heat led the Warriors by 30 points after three quarters.

You should get a serious effort out of the Heat tonight, especially when you see that the team will have five days off after this game. Considering, they’ve gone 2-3 on their road trip, anything but a win here would be disappointing.

At the Staples Center, Los Angeles has gone 12-9 (10-11 ATS) this season. The club is expected to get forward Pau Gasol (concussion) back in the lineup tonight after missing the last five games. Following this game, the Lakers begin a quick three-game road trip which starts in Toronto on Sunday afternoon.

In last year’s lockout shortened-season, the two teams split their regular season encounters with the home team earning victories. The ‘under’ cashed in both affairs and is on a 4-0 run in this series.

The Lakers have watched the ‘over’ go 20-17 this season but the ‘under’ has cashed in three of the last four games. Miami has leaned to the ‘under’ (20-17) this season and three of the first five games on this road trip have stayed ‘under’ the number as well. Tonight’s total is hovering between 205 and 206 points.

TNT will provide coverage of this game at 10:35 p.m. ET.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday, January 17

NBA Point Spreads and Betting Guide
By: The Linemakers
Sportingnews.com

We’ve got four games in the NBA tonight, starting out with an early game at 3:05 p.m. ET between the Pistons and Knicks that’s being played at the O2 Arena in London. With Detroit (14-24) being involved, it might look like we’re giving our friends across the pond another dud American team like we always seem to offer from the NFL, but the Pistons and their effective twin towers have been playing well, going 7-3 over their last 10 games, while the Knicks are on a skid of losing five of their past eight games.

The highlight of the night will be the Miami Heat, fresh off pounding the Warriors last night, taking on the Lakers at the Staples Center, where there is a renewed sense of enthusiasm. After losing six games in a row, the Lakers have blown out the Cavs and Bucks at home for their first two-game winning streak since Christmas.

The Heat had been sleep walking until last night, losing three of four games on their current six-game road trip. After tonight’s game, the Heat will have five days off. You could look at their performance last night and say they have snapped out of their funk, but the Warriors have now lost four of their last five and played without Stephen Curry in that game.

Do the Heat want to put in their best performance before the layoff, or do they just want to get out of town and start their mini-vacation?

This will be a big test for the Lakers as they try to get close to the eighth and final seed in the West. They’re currently three games behind Rockets and Jazz for that spot.

The LVH updated their prop yesterday asking whether or not the Lakers would make the playoffs. Before the two-game win streak, YES was -110. After the two-game win streak, YES is now -175. The Lakers have also been dropped from 40-to-1 to 30-to-1 to win the NBA Championship.

We’re a little baffled by the Lakers being as high as a 2-point favorite in this game — only the second time this season the Heat have been underdogs — but we’re also impressed by the Lakers' recent play with Kobe Bryant taking a more active role defensively. Dwight Howard and Steve Nash also played very well in the last two games, and perhaps this group is finally putting things together.

The best betting angle to look at might be OVER 206.5 total points. The Lakers have scored over 100 points in 15 of their last 16 games, and in the game they didn’t, they scored 99. The Heat have slowed things down over their last seven games, but they'll get caught up in the Lakers flow.

NBA Trends:

* The Knicks have covered their last five Thursday games. The Pistons have covered six of their last eight against Eastern Conference teams. The Knicks have covered the past four meetings with the Pistons. The Knicks are -5.5 with a total of 194.5.

* The Clippers have covered their past six games following a game where they allowed 100 points or more. The T’Wolves have covered five of their last six home games against teams with a winning road record. The Clippers have covered their past four games at Minnesota. The Clippers are 4.5-point road favorites with a total of 192.5.

* The Bucks have covered seven of the last 10 games against a team with a losing record. The Suns have covered only twice in their last seven games. Eleven of the Suns' last 12 home games have stayed UNDER the total. The Suns are -1 with a total of 197.

* The Heat have covered only eight of their last 11 games. The Lakers have covered only seven of their last 24 games following a win. The Heat have covered seven of the past eight meetings, and the last four have stayed UNDER the total. The Lakers are -2 with a total of 206.5.

NBA Injuries:

* Knicks guard Raymond Felton (finger) is OUT indefinitely.

* Clippers guard Chris Paul (knee) has missed L.A.'s last two games and is doubtful tonight.

* T’Wolves forward Kevin Love (hand) is OUT indefinitely.

* Lakers forward Pau Gasol (concussion) has missed L.A.'s last five games and is probable tonight.

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