NBA Basketball Betting News and Notes Sunday, March 10

NBA Basketball Betting News and Notes Sunday, March 10

Sunday's NBA Betting Notes
By Covers.com

Check out our betting notes on Sunday’s NBA action:

Boston Celtics at Oklahoma City Thunder (-10.5, 200.5)

The Celtics' five-game winning streak is the third-longest active streak in the league behind Miami (17) and Denver (8). Oklahoma City has won four straight and seven of eight. It also has won four straight at home, where its 27-4 mark is the third-best in the league. It's the last of two meetings this season. The Celtics won the first matchup 108-100 on Nov. 23 in Boston. Boston is 5-0 ATS in its last five games overall.

Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Lakers (-5.5, 194.5)

Chicago has lost four of its last seven but is coming off an 89-88 win over Utah and is clinging to fifth place in the East.  The Bulls are an impressive 17-13 on the road as they head into Staples Center, where the Lakers have won five straight. Los Angeles is above .500 for the first time since it was 6-5 and has pulled even with struggling Utah for eighth place. Chicago has won the past three meetings since snapping a seven-game skid against the Lakers, including a 95-83 home victory in the first meeting this season on Jan. 21. The Bulls are 1-6 ATS in their last seven Sunday games.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Toronto Raptors (-5.5, 202.5)

The Toronto Raptors have faded from the Eastern Conference playoff picture with losses in six of their last seven games. The Cavaliers have been much improved over the past couple of months and have won five of their last nine, but they're coming off a 103-92 loss to Memphis on Friday. It's the last of four meetings this season, and the Raptors are trying to salvage a split of the series. Toronto won 113-99 at Cleveland in the first meeting, but the Cavaliers have won the past two contests - 99-98 at Toronto and 103-92 at home.  The underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.

Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic (+2, 195)

The wheels have totally come off for the Sixers, who have dropped four straight and 11 of their last 12 games to plummet out of contention in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia has dropped 12 straight away from home, its worst skid since losing 20 straight in 1987-88. Orlando is trying to stop a dubious streak of its own, having suffered seven straight losses at home. The Magic were one game below .500 when power forward Glen Davis sustained the first of two injuries. Since that time, the Magic have lost 33 of 38 games. One of their five victories in that stretch came at the expense of the 76ers in Philadelphia on Feb. 26. The over is 5-0 in the Magic’s last five Sunday games.

Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat (-6.5, 190)

The Miami Heat have bulldozed through every team in their path over the past five weeks but they will not lack for motivation when they put their franchise-record 17-game winning streak on the line against the Pacers. The last team to beat the Heat was the Pacers, who have won both matchups against Miami this season, including a 102-89 victory on Feb. 1. The Pacers have limited the Heat to 77 and 89 points in two double-digit home victories this season. Indiana has not allowed 100 points in 11 consecutive games. The Heat are 0-5 ATS in their last five home games while the Pacers are 5-0 ATS in their last five away from home.

Portland Trail Blazers at New Orleans Hornets (+2.5, 196.5)

The Portland Trail Blazers are coming off perhaps their most impressive performance of the season but they cannot afford a misstep when they visit the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday. The Trail Blazers ran roughshod over the Western Conference-leading San Antonio Spurs on Friday, rolling up 136 points in a stunning 30-point romp, and now return to the site of one of their most embarrassing losses, when they were trampled by the Hornets 99-63 on Feb. 13. The Hornets have dropped eight of 10 since drubbing Portland, with the wins both coming at home against two of the league's weaker clubs, Sacramento and Detroit. The Blazers are 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven games overall.

Dallas Mavericks at Minnesota Timberwolves (+2.5, 202.5)

The Dallas Mavericks look to keep their postseason hopes alive on Sunday when they continue their four-game road trip against the injury-plagued Minnesota Timberwolves, who have dropped seven of their last eight games. The Timberwolves are down to nine healthy players with forward Andrei Kirilenko (calf) and center Nikola Pekovic (abdominal strain) hoping to return next week.  The under is 6-0-1 in Minnesota’s last seven home games.

Milwaukee Bucks at Sacramento Kings (-1.5, 215)


Milwaukee guards Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings combined for 57 points in a 103-93 victory over Golden State on Saturday, pulling the Bucks within two games of seventh-place Atlanta in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Sacramento, which is in the midst of playing five of six games at home, connected on 13 3-pointers in a 121-112 win over Phoenix on Friday. The Kings have made 10 or more 3-pointers in seven of their last nine games. The Bucks are 6-0 ATS in their last six Sunday games.

Detroit Pistons at Los Angeles Clippers (-14, 198)

This is the opener of a three-game homestand for Los Angeles that will include matchups against Memphis and the New York Knicks. Los Angeles has won the past three meetings, including an 88-76 victory at Detroit in December. The Pistons have dropped four straight and seven of eight as they prepare to open a four-game road trip against Western Conference opponents. Detroit coach Lawrence Frank has missed the last two games due to personal reasons and no timetable has been given for his return. The Clippers are 6-0 ATS in their last six vs. Eastern Conference foes.

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Re: NBA Basketball Betting News and Notes Sunday, March 10

Sunday's NBA Action
By Sportsbook.ag

BOSTON CELTICS (34-27) at OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (46-16)

The Celtics are trying to stay perfect this month when they visit the high-powered Thunder on Sunday afternoon.

Boston has not lost since Feb. 24, ripping off five straight wins (SU and ATS), with three of those coming on the road in tough venues (Utah, Philadelphia and Indiana). Oklahoma City is also red-hot, with seven wins in its past eight contests (6-2 ATS), including four straight victories. The Thunder are also 27-4 SU (22-9 ATS) at home this season, outscoring these visitors by 14.3 PPG. Although Boston won the first matchup of this season series on Nov. 23 by a score of 108-100, Oklahoma City won the three previous meetings (SU and ATS) by 5, 9 and 15 points when these teams last met as Chesapeake Energy Arena on Feb. 22, 2012.

A big reason Boston was able to beat Oklahoma City in November was the heroics of PG Rajon Rondo who had 16 assists and just two turnovers that game. But although Rondo is now out for the season with a torn ACL, the team hasn't skipped a beat, going 14-4 (SU and ATS) since Jan. 27, which was the first game the Celtics played after Rondo suffered his injury. Boston's offense hasn't always been great this season (96.3 PPG on 46% FG and 35% threes), but it is certainly clicking during the five-game win streak with 100.6 PPG on 48% FG and 42% threes. SF Paul Pierce (18.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG) has been the catalyst for the win surge with 22.0 PPG (51% FG, 46% threes), 8.2 RPG and 6.0 APG in the five games. PF Kevin Garnett (15.1 PPG, 7.8 RPG) has also played well with 14.6 PPG (48% FG) and 9.4 RPG during the five victories. The duo combined for 44 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists in Friday's 107-102 overtime win over Atlanta. SG Jason Terry (10.4 PPG) was also a key player in that victory with 19 points (3-of-4 threes), five assists and four rebounds. PF Jeff Green (11.1 PPG, 3.5 RPG) also contributed mightily off the bench against Atlanta with 12 points, three assists and a game-high +10 rating. All four of these players also performed at a high level in the Nov. 23 win versus the Thunder. Pierce had a team-high 27 points, Garnett went for 18 points, nine rebounds and a game-high +18 rating, while Terry pumped in 16 points (6-of-8 FG, 4-of-6 threes) and Green had 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting.

Oklahoma City is an outstanding offensive team with 107.0 PPG on 48.4% FG and 39.2% threes. This club has scored at least 100 points in each of its past 12 home games, averaging a whopping 113.8 PPG on 51% FG and 45% threes. SF Kevin Durant (28.5 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 4.7 APG) needed just 24 minutes in Friday's game to light up Charlotte for 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds. In his past nine games, he's averaging a well-rounded 24.3 PPG, 10.2 RPG and 6.6 APG, a stretch that includes two triple-doubles. PG Russell Westbrook (23.4 PPG, 7.7 APG, 5.2 RPG) had scored at least 20 points in 10 straight games before tallying just 11 points in 25 minutes against the Bobcats. SG Kevin Martin (14.5 PPG) has been in a shooting funk since March began, scoring just 10.2 PPG on 33% FG in five games. But PF Serge Ibaka (13.5 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 3.0 BPG) has barely missed a shot during a six-game streak of scoring in double-figures, averaging 15.0 PPG on 66% FG and 79% FT while adding 7.1 RPG and 2.9 BPG on the defensive end. Ibaka tallied 17 points and 13 boards (4 offensive) in the Nov. 23 loss in Boston, while Durant had 29 points (but only three rebounds) and Westbrook had a well-rounded 26 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Martin was the only key Thunder player that struggled in that defeat at TD Garden, making just 1-of-7 shots and posting a minus-15 rating.
 
CHICAGO BULLS (35-27) at LOS ANGELES LAKERS (32-31)

After getting over the .500 mark with a huge comeback win Friday, the Lakers will try to extend their win streak Sunday afternoon when the Bulls come to town.

Chicago has been scuffling since the start of February, going 7-10 SU (9-8 ATS) and not winning back-to-back games once during this stretch. But the Bulls remain one of the league's best road bets at 18-11-1 ATS (62%) away from home this season. Los Angeles is just 14-18 ATS at home this season, but has scored 111.4 PPG (48% FG, 40% threes) during a five-game home win streak. Despite trailing by 15 points to Toronto in the second quarter on Friday, the Lakers were able to come back and win 118-116 in overtime. Two nights earlier, L.A. erased a 25-point deficit to win at New Orleans. Although the Lakers used to dominate the Bulls, beating them seven straight times from 2007 to November 2010, Chicago has prevailed in each of the past three meetings, including a 95-83 home win on Jan. 21.

Chicago was able to hold off Utah on Friday by an 89-88 score despite not having PF Taj Gibson (knee), SG Richard Hamilton (back) or PG Kirk Hinrich (foot) in that defeat. Hinrich and Hamilton comprised the starting backcourt in the win over L.A. in January, combining for 35 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds, so they will sorely be missed on Sunday. The Bulls also beat the Jazz despite their leading scorer, SF Luol Deng (16.3 PPG) netting just 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting. Deng has made just 38% of his shots (2-for-15 threes) over the past five games, failing to score 20 points in any of those contests. But the other four Bulls starters all played well on Friday. PF Carlos Boozer (15.5 PPG, 9.2 RPG) had 22 points and 10 rebounds, SG Marco Belinelli (10.0 PPG) also scored 22 points with four rebounds, C Joakim Noah (11.9 PPG, 11.4 RPG) finished with nine points and 13 boards (8 offensive) while PF Nate Robinson (11.7 PPG, 4.2 APG) produced 14 points (4-of-13 FG), seven assists and six rebounds. And in the Jan. 21 win over the Lakers, Boozer had 14 points and six boards, Belinelli scored 15 on 5-of-8 FG (3-of-3 threes), Noah chipped in six points, 13 rebounds (5 offensive) and six blocks, while Robinson netted 11 points (3-of-4 threes) in just 13 minutes in that victory.

The L.A. offense has been great throughout the season with 102.7 PPG on 46.0% FG and 36.1% threes. The defense is still lacking though, allowing 101.7 PPG on 45.7% FG and 35.9% threes. SG Kobe Bryant (27.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 5.7 APG) has scored at least 29 points in eight straight games, averaging 35.9 PPG on 56% FG and 48% threes during this hot streak. After scoring 42 points with 12 assists in the comeback win over the Hornets on Wednesday, he nearly matched that production with 41 points and 12 assists in Friday's victory versus the Raptors. C Dwight Howard (16.2 PPG, 12.1 RPG, 2.4 BPG) has grabbed at least a dozen rebounds in each of his past nine games, averaging 14.1 RPG during this stretch. He also has 20+ points in each of the past two victories, averaging 22.0 PPG on 58% FG. PG Steve Nash (12.3 PPG, 6.8 APG) has done a nice job with his offense in the past seven games (15.4 PPG on 49% FG and 52% threes), but has just seven assists and six turnovers in his past three games combined. PF Antawn Jamison (9.0 PPG, 4.8 RPG) has also shot extremely well recently with 13.1 PPG on 49% FG (42% threes) while pulling down 6.2 RPG in his past 11 games. Nash was the Lakers' high scorer in the Jan. 21 loss in Chicago with 18 points (7-of-12 FG), but Bryant (16 points on 7-of-22 FG) and Howard (eight points on 2-of-5 FG) did not play well at all. SF Earl Clark (8.0 PPG, 6.2 RPG) provided quality numbers against the Bulls with 12 points and eight rebounds, but finished the game with a minus-12 rating.

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Re: NBA Basketball Betting News and Notes Sunday, March 10

Inside the Paint - Sunday
By Chris David
VegasInsider.com

Sunday’s NBA slate offers up nine games and seven of them take place in the evening. Truth be told, if it wasn’t for the Miami-Indiana matchup, the other six games tonight are borderline watchable. However, you can bet on them and we’re going to break down the action.

Indiana at Miami

The Heat (46-14 straight up, 31-29 against the spread) will look to extend their winning streak to 18 games on Sunday when Indiana visits (39-23 SU, 35-27 ATS) American Airlines Arena. Coincidentally, the last team to beat Miami was Indiana, which happened on Feb. 1 as the Pacers secured a 102-89 home victory. Can the Heat avenge that loss and keep the streak going? It’s certainly looks doable to VegasInsider.com handicapper Marc Lawrence and his betting database.

He explained, “Triple revenge is on tap in this one, as the Pacers smacked the Heat twice this year in Indy and once last season, all by double digits. Consider this majestical stat: Heat are 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS in the LeBron James era when avenging a same-season loss of 13 or more points, including 6-0 both SU and ATS when Miami owns a win percentage of .657 or more on the season.”

“Meanwhile, the Pacers find themselves in a same-season revenge sandwich with Orlando and Minnesota and these quick two-game road trips to Florida can play havoc with the attention span of Midwesterners. Heading from the Magic Kingdom to LeBron’s Kingdom can be tough: if Mickey’s distractions don’t get you, the Saturday night parties on South Beach will.”

Those numbers definitely lean to Miami, who opened as a 7½-point home favorite over Indiana. The early action is on the Pacers with the number hovering at 7 or 6½-points at most betting shops. Make a note that Miami is 0-5 ATS in their last five home games and Indiana is 5-0 ATS (4-1 SU) in its last five on the road, the lone loss coming by one at Denver (101-102) on Jan. 28.

Tip-off is slated for 6:05 p.m. ET with NBATV providing national coverage.

Non-Playoff Matchups

If you’ve followed my “Inside the Paint” columns weekly, then you’re well aware of me leaning to the ‘over’ when non-playoff teams square off. It’s a simple handicap and it focuses on defense or the lack thereof. I understand that these teams are far from offensive juggernauts but they are pros and they do make shots more often than not. The Wizards-Bobcats matchup applied last night and the ‘over’ cashed, plus the Mavs-Pistons and Kings-Suns both went ‘over’ on Friday. It doesn’t hit every night, evidenced by Washington-Minnesota (87-82) last Tuesday but the pace will be there and that’s the key to betting totals in hoops. 

Cleveland at Toronto: Revenge spot for the Raptors, who just lost at Cleveland (92-103) on Feb. 27. Much higher total here and you could be hesitant to back Toronto in its first game back from the four-game road trip. The Cavs have a ton of injury issues and you should probably wait to see if Irving and Waiters are playing tonight.
   
Philadelphia at Orlando: This particular line and matchup clearly defines the above angle with non-playoff teams. Orlando and Philadelphia have already met twice this season and the totals were 185 and 189. Those two games were clear-cut ‘under’ tickets and now the total here is 195. This one looks tempting but it’s really hard to watch Philadelphia and its scoring droughts. Fortunately, the Magic defense shouldn’t impose much of a threat.

Dallas at Minnesota: This could be the pass game considering the Timberwolves have been decimated by injuries. However the last four times Dallas has been listed as a road favorite, it has gone 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS and the ‘over’ has cashed in all four games.

Portland at New Orleans: This one is real tough to handicap. The Trail Blazers just put up a season-high 136 points in a win over San Antonio on Friday but it’s hard to forget that the same team was embarrassed 99-63 by Hornets three weeks ago in New Orleans. Portland is a hit or miss team and so is New Orleans, who watched the Lakers close them out with a 20-0 scoring burst last Wednesday. The Trail Blazers have covered seven straight and seeing them listed as favorites in the Big Easy makes you lean that way tonight. The opening total of 197 got bet down to 196 but make a note that this is the highest number between the pair in the last 19 meeting, which tells you something. 

Late-Night Action

Milwaukee at Sacramento:
The line should tell you everything here. We understand the Kings are home playing a team on no rest as well. Still, a team 20 games (22-42) under .500 that doesn’t play defense shouldn’t be laying points to a playoff team, which is the case here. The Bucks are currently the eighth seed in the West but they do have opportunities to move up. Last night, Milwaukee beat Golden State 103-93 as a 2½-point road underdog. Since the All-Star break, the Bucks are 5-2 SU and 4-3 ATS and that includes a 3-1 mark on the road. Milwaukee has gone 6-9 SU and 5-10 ATS on zero days rest. This game has the highest total (215) on the board largely due to Sacramento’s inept defense (105.2 PPG) and its ability to run ‘n gun. In early December from the Bradley Center, Milwaukee stopped Sacramento 98-85 as an eight-point favorite. 

Detroit at L.A. Clippers: Oddsmakers opened Los Angeles as a 14-point favorite against Detroit, who has dropped four straight and seven of its last eight games. The Clippers are off a loss as well, falling on the road to Denver 107-92 last Thursday. Los Angeles has played better (24-7 SU, 19-12 ATS) at the Staples Center but despite the poor road record, the Pistons (8-21 SU, 14-15 ATS) have been close to profitable outside of the Palace. These teams met in mid-December and Los Angeles notched a comfortable 88-76 victory on the road. The injury factor could scare you away from the Clippers tonight with key bench players Jamal Crawford (ankle) and Eric Bledsoe (calf) both listed as ‘doubtful.’

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