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NBA Betting News and Notes Wednesday, February 20
NBA Betting News and Notes Wednesday, February 20
By Kevin Rogers
Things heat up on the Wednesday NBA card with a full slate of games to wager on. Highlighting the 11-game schedule is a rematch of old friends when the Celtics continue their West Coast swing against the Lakers at Staples Center. We'll start with a reunion of sorts north of the border as the Grizzlies see their former top scorer with a visit to Toronto.
Grizzlies at Raptors
Both of these clubs are playing with no rest, while Rudy Gay will take on his ex-team for the first time since getting dealt to Toronto in late January. The Raptors own a solid 5-2 SU and 4-3 ATS record since Gay's insertion to the lineup, including three wins in five opportunities at the Air Canada Center. The Grizzlies are riding a strong 'over' run by cashing in seven of the last eight games, while allowing at least 100 points in each of the past four road contests. Toronto has been exceptional with no rest this season, cashing in 10 of 12 times on the second of a back-to-back, while Memphis is profiting in this rest situation with a 7-4 ATS mark. The Grizzlies dominated the Raptors in their first meeting in late November, a 103-82 rout as 10 ½-point favorites, as Toronto was limited to 35 points in the second half.
Knicks at Pacers
Two of the top three teams in the Eastern Conference that may hook up in the second round of the playoffs lock horns for the third time this season. New York grabbed the first matchup at Madison Square Garden in mid-November, an 88-76 drubbing of Indiana as seven-point 'chalk.' The Pacers avenged that defeat by beating the Knicks without Carmelo Anthony, 81-76 on January 10, as neither team shot better than 39% in the game. Indiana will have to wait for Danny Granger's much-anticipated return to the Pacers' lineup after missing the first 53 games with a knee injury. New York closed the first half with consecutive home losses to the Clippers and Raptors, while the offense has been limited to 99 points or fewer in four of the last five games. The Pacers have won 16 of their previous 18 contests at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, as Indiana owns a 6-1 ATS mark in this span as a home favorite or six or less points.
Pistons at Bobcats
This isn't exactly a game that will change the face of the playoff race in the Eastern Conference, but it's another game on the board. Charlotte has dropped 17 of its past 19 home contests, as one of those victories came right before the All-Star break against Boston, 94-91. The Bobcats beat the Pistons earlier this season at the Palace of Auburn Hills, 108-101 in overtime to cash outright as eight-point underdogs. Surprisingly, Detroit has put together a 2-0 SU/ATS record as a road favorite with wins at Cleveland and Washington as short 'chalk.' The Pistons have played plenty of low-scoring affairs with no rest, coming off Tuesday's loss to Memphis, as Detroit is 9-3 to the 'under' on the second of a back-to-back.
Hornets at Cavaliers
New Orleans saw its modest two-game winning streak go by the boards in a 96-87 defeat to Chicago last night. The Hornets fell to 2-13 SU in the front-end of back-to-backs, as New Orleans heads to Cleveland on Wednesday. The Cavaliers wrap up a seven-game homestand, as Cleveland dropped the last three contests to Denver, Minnesota, and San Antonio. Byron Scott's team enters this game owning a dreadful 2-5 ATS record as a home favorite, as the Cavs won't have to worry about Hornets' guard Eric Gordon, who will sit out Wednesday's game on the second of the back-to-back.
76ers at Timberwolves
Two struggling teams meet in Minneapolis, as the Wolves go for the season sweep of the Sixers. Minnesota dominated Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center in December, 105-88 to cash outright as three-point road 'dogs. The Wolves have lost 11 of their last 13 games, while dropping seven of their past eight at the Target Center. The Sixers haven't fared much better by losing three of four after a three-game winning streak. Philadelphia's offense is coming up short recently by scoring 92 points or less in seven straight games, while cashing the 'under' six times in this stretch.
Nets at Bucks
Brooklyn finally figured out the Milwaukee enigma as the Nets beat the Bucks for the first time in 14 meetings on Tuesday night. The Nets managed a 113-111 overtime victory, but the Bucks covered as five-point road 'dogs (14th straight cover in series by Milwaukee). The two squads wrap up the home-and-home set in Wisconsin on Wednesday, as the Bucks snapped an eight-game ATS skid with the narrow cover in the overtime defeat. Milwaukee has posted an 0-5 ATS record the last five games at BMO Harris Bradley Center, but the Bucks have taken each of the previous six home meetings with the Nets dating back to 2009.
Heat at Hawks
Miami closed the first half with seven consecutive victories, including a blowout of Oklahoma City in an NBA Finals rematch. The Heat travels to Atlanta tonight, seeking their third win over their division rivals this season. The Hawks return to the court following a pair of road triumphs over Dallas and Orlando, but Atlanta may be playing its final game with Josh Smith in the lineup, as the forward is the main subject of trade rumors. Atlanta owns a 2-3 SU/ATS record as a home underdog this season, which includes a 95-89 setback to Miami as five-point 'dogs in early November. The Heat is rolling through a five-game 'over' streak, while topping the 107-point mark each time.
Thunder at Rockets
James Harden has made his mark with Houston this season, but the Rockets have been unable to slow down the Thunder. OKC dominated Houston twice, beating the Rockets by at least 20 points in a pair of routs, while each game cleared the 'over' easily. The Thunder looks to rebound off a two-game skid heading into the break, as Oklahoma City has dropped three of its past four road contests. Since the last meeting between the Thunder and Rockets in Houston, Kevin McHale's squad has won seven of the past eight contests at the Toyota Center, while cashing the 'over' six times.
Magic at Mavericks
There has been very little magic recently for Orlando, who was blown out at home by lowly Charlotte last night. The Magic has a quick turnaround to Texas tonight, taking on a Mavericks' squad that has won three of four. Dallas rallied back from an early 14-point deficit in a visit last month to Orlando, beating the Magic, 111-105 as 3 ½-point favorites. Seven Mavs finished in double-figures that night, while each team shot 50% from the floor. Orlando has lost 14 of the last 15 games overall, including eight consecutive road defeats.
Celtics at Lakers
Boston took care of Los Angeles less than two weeks ago, 116-95 at TD Garden as 1 ½-point favorites. The Celtics keep rolling without Rajon Rondo, winning eight of 10 games since the All-Star point guard tore his ACL on January 25. However, the C's fell short in the opener of a five-game road swing in last night's 97-90 defeat at Denver, but Boston cashed as nine-point 'dogs. The Lakers have alternated wins and losses in each of their last six games, while ending a tumultuous first half with a bitter 24-point defeat to the rival Clippers. The Purple and Gold owns a 2-4 ATS record the last six games at Staples Center, while posting a 5-11 ATS record the past 16 contests overall.
Suns at Warriors -
Phoenix started the second half with an impressive performance in a 102-98 triumph at Portland, just the sixth road victory in 29 tries this season. The Suns head to the Bay Area tonight with double-revenge against the Warriors, who lost their sixth straight game last night in a 115-101 defeat at Utah. Golden State has allowed at least 115 points in five losses during this cold streak, resulting in five 'overs.' The Suns have struggled on the second end of a back-to-back, putting together a 4-9 ATS mark and 9-4 record to the 'under' with no rest. Golden State has drilled the 'over' in four of the last five without rest, while the last win for the Warriors came against the Suns, 113-93 on February 2.
Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Wednesday, February 20
Celtics at Lakers: What Bettors Need to Know
Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers (-7.5, 196.5)
The Los Angeles Lakers play their first game since the death of longtime owner Jerry Buss on Wednesday when they host the Boston Celtics, who lost 97-90 in Denver on Tuesday. The Lakers are hoping for a fresh start after the All-Star break, but they’re still 3 1/2 games behind the Houston Rockets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They’ll need to go 16-12 over their final 28 games just to reach .500.
Boston, which is 8-2 since losing point guard Rajon Rondo with a season-ending knee injury, played well in the first three quarters against Denver before fading in the final minutes. Leading scorer Paul Pierce was held to 10 points on 2-of-14 shooting, but he had 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the Celtics’ convincing 116-95 win over the Lakers at TD Garden on Feb. 7. Boston has struggled on the road with an 8-16 record.
ABOUT THE CELTICS (28-25, 22-28-3 ATS): Boston began its five-game road trip with too many mistakes down the stretch against the Nuggets, but there were a number of bright spots. Forward Jeff Green scored a season-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, while guard Avery Bradley chipped in 17 points. Pierce and Kevin Garnett continue to be mentioned in talks with Thursday’s trade deadline fast approaching, but president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has said it’s unlikely the Celtics will move either player. Garnett, averaging 15.1 points and 7.7 rebounds, has indicated that he would not waive his no-trade clause.
ABOUT THE LAKERS (25-29, 21-32-1 ATS): If Los Angeles is going to make a playoff push, it needs to start against the Celtics. Coach Mike D’Antoni said the team spent the recent break thinking of ways to better utilize point guard Steve Nash and center Dwight Howard. The latter has posted solid numbers while failing to click with 14-time All-Star Kobe Bryant. Howard leads the league in rebounding with 11.8 per game, but he’s scored more than 25 points only five times. Bryant, who scored a game-high 27 points against Boston earlier this month, has made one of his last 30 3-point attempts over his last 14 games.
* Celtics are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings in Los Angeles.
* Over is 3-1-1 in the last five meetings.
* Celtics are 16-7-1 ATS in the last 24 meetings.
* Underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.
* Road team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.
1. Bryant is averaging 25.6 points in 27 career regular-season games against Boston.
2. The Celtics are 5-20 when trailing after three quarters.
3. The Lakers are 2-3 since F Pau Gasol suffered a torn plantar fascia injury to his right foot on Feb. 5.