NBA Betting News and Notes Friday, March 15

NBA Betting News and Notes Friday, March 15

Friday NBA Tips
By Kevin Rogers
VegasInsider.com

Things heat up on the NBA hardwood on Friday night with a heavy 10-game card. The two hottest teams behind the Heat square off in Denver as the Nuggets battle the Grizzlies, while the Bulls try to put Wednesday's awful effort at Sacramento behind them with a trip to Golden State. We'll start in the Hoosier State as the Lakers will be without their main man for the first time this season.

Lakers at Pacers

Kobe Bryant will miss his first game of the 2012-13 campaign after suffering an ankle sprain on the final shot of Wednesday's 96-92 setback to the Hawks. The Lakers were making plenty of headway for a playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 16-6 run prior to the Atlanta loss, but Los Angeles' lead over Utah for the eighth spot is just a half-game heading into Friday's action.

The task will not be easy with a trip to Indiana, as the Pacers own a 26-7 record at Bankers Life Fieldhouse this season. The Pacers have alternated wins and losses in each of their last five games, coming off Wednesday's blowout of the Wolves, 107-91 to barely cash as 15-point favorites. That victory snapped a three-game ATS skid for Frank Vogel's team at home, while Indiana owns a 6-2 mark to the 'over' the last eight home contests.

The Lakers haven't lost consecutive games since January 21 and 23, while winning seven straight times off a defeat. Bryant missed eight contests last April, as Los Angeles put together a 4-4 ATS record, but only a 1-2 ATS ledger in the underdog role. L.A. continues to struggle in the road 'dog situation by cashing just four of 12 times this season, but the Lakers have won seven of their last 12 away from Staples Center since the start of February.

Heat at Bucks

Miami can't be stopped right now after becoming the fifth team in NBA history to win 20 consecutive games. The Heat heads to Milwaukee in a potential first-round playoff matchup, as the Bucks begin a three-game homestand. Milwaukee tries to get on track following consecutive losses to Dallas and Washington, while allowing at least 106 points in seven of the last eight games (6-2 to 'over').

The Heat held off the 76ers for the second time in a week, this time sneaking by with a fourth-quarter rally, 98-94 at the Wells Fargo Center. Miami failed to cover as eight-point favorites, falling to 12-8 ATS during this hot streak. The defense has tightened up since allowing 129 points to Sacramento on February 26, as Erik Spoelstra's club has not given up more than 96 points in the last eight trips to the court.

The Bucks have cashed in both meetings this season against the Heat, including a 104-85 blowout of Miami as 4 ½-point 'dogs in late December. In spite of shooting just 40% from the floor, Milwaukee found a way to win by outscoring Miami, 35-14 in the final quarter, while Brandon Jennings led the Bucks with 25 points. That victory over the Heat was the only one in five tries as a home 'dog this season, as Milwaukee is a dreadful 1-9 ATS the last 10 games at BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Grizzlies at Nuggets

Past Miami, Memphis and Denver are the two teams heating things up in the Western Conference as the two clubs look to improve their seeding at the Pepsi Center. The Grizzlies have won 14 of their past 15 games (with the only loss coming to the Heat), while covering six of their last seven. Memphis avenged two earlier defeats to the Clippers in Wednesday's 96-85 triumph as Staples Center as six-point underdogs, as the Grizzlies held their 12th straight opponent to less than 100 points.

The Nuggets are riding a 10-game winning streak following Wednesday's 23-point blowout of the Knicks, while Denver has covered seven in a row. George Karl's team has won 14 consecutive contests at the Pepsi Center, including a 12-2 ATS record in this stretch. The offense continues to run by eclipsing the 100-point mark in 16 of the last 17 home games, but the 'under' is 5-2 the past seven home contests.

The first three meetings between these teams have all finished 'under' the total, including a 99-94 victory by the Nuggets in Memphis' last visit to Denver in mid-December. Denver has taken 18 of the last 20 meetings with Memphis at the Pepsi Center dating back to 2002, but one of those losses came last March as the Grizzlies pulled off a 94-91 triumph as six-point 'dogs.

Bulls at Warriors

Chicago is coming off by far its most embarrassing effort of the season on Tuesday night in a 121-79 thumping at Sacramento. The Kings shot 54% from the field, while putting up 65 points on the vaunted Bulls' defense. The Bulls continue their West Coast swing in northern California with a trip to Oakland, taking on a Warriors' team that is wrapping up a seven-game homestand.

Golden State won its second in a row by holding off Detroit on Wednesday, 105-97, but the Pistons cashed as 11 ½-point 'dogs. The Warriors own a 1-4 ATS record the last five games at Oracle Arena, while scoring 93 points or less four times in this stretch. Mark Jackson's club has dominated Eastern Conference foes at home by compiling a 9-3 SU/ATS record.

The Bulls beat the Warriors earlier this season at the United Center, 103-87 in late January as 2 ½-point favorites. Chicago has lost three straight visits to Golden State, but the Warriors were listed as an underdog in those games. The highway has been a tough road for the Bulls, who have lost five consecutive games away from the Windy City, while covering just once in this cold stretch.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Friday, March 15

Grizzlies at Nuggets: What Bettors Need to Know
Covers.com

Memphis Grizzlies at Denver Nuggets (-5, 195)

The two hottest teams west of Miami square off Friday when the Denver Nuggets host the Memphis Grizzlies. The Nuggets are seeking their 11th consecutive victory overall and their 15th straight home win. The Grizzlies have won six straight games and 14 of their last 15. Adding to the stellar matchup is that fifth-place Denver is just 1 1/2 games behind third-place Memphis in the Western Conference playoff race. The Grizzlies are playing the third contest of a four-game road swing.

Memphis has held 12 straight opponents under 100 points and it will be quite a challenge for them to hold down the high-flying Nuggets, who are averaging 122.8 points during their 10-game winning streak. The Grizzlies are a solid 19-11 on the road while Denver boasts a 29-3 home mark. Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler said his squad is happy with the two impressive streaks but not satisfied. “It feels good, but at the same time, we just want to keep playing like we’ve lost five in a row,” Chandler said after Wednesday’s trouncing of the New York Knicks. “You want to close the season strong, but you worry about getting better as a team rather than a win streak.” Denver has won two of this season’s three meetings, with Memphis holding the Nuggets to a season-low 72 points in its win on Dec. 29.

ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (44-19, 38-24-1 ATS): Forward Tayshaun Prince was initially stunned and disappointed that the Detroit Pistons had shipped in him to Memphis after 10 1/2 seasons but has begun to fit in well with the Grizzlies. Prince scored 18 points on 9-of-15 shooting in Wednesday’s victory over the Los Angeles Clippers and the scoring output matched his best showing in 18 games since joining the squad. Prince is averaging 9.4 points with Memphis. “We just keep playing good basketball,” Prince said after the win over Los Angeles. “It’s very surprising I’m able to build that bond with them so quickly, without having a training camp. We trust each other, and that’s the most important thing.”

ABOUT THE NUGGETS (44-22, 41-24-1 ATS): Denver last won 11 straight games during the 1982-83 season and has become nearly invincible at home. Chandler had 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting against the Knicks for his fourth 20-point outing in 11 games and has become a valuable reserve. Chandler missed most of the first 2 1/2 months after having offseason hip surgery and is averaging 11.4 points. Power forward Kenneth Faried has been a consistent force in the interior and recorded his 28th double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds against New York. Faried averages 11.8 points and 9.6 rebounds.

TRENDS:

* Under is 4-0 in the last four meetings.
* Grizzlies are 6-14 ATS in the last 20 meetings in Denver.
* Grizzlies are 8-0 ATS in their last eight road games.
* Nuggets are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 home games.

BUZZER BEATERS:

1. The Grizzlies are just 4-29 when playing in Denver, including a 99-96 loss on Dec. 14.

2. The Nuggets have scored 100 or more points in 24 of their past 25 games.

3. Memphis F Zach Randolph is averaging 16 points and nine rebounds in two games since returning from a four-game absence due to an ankle injury.

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