NBA Betting News and Notes Wednesday, April 24

NBA Betting News and Notes Wednesday, April 24

HOUSTON (45 - 38) at OKLAHOMA CITY (61 - 22) - 4/24/2013, 7:00 PM

Top Trends for this game.
HOUSTON is 30-43 ATS (-17.3 Units) in road games over the last 2 seasons.
OKLAHOMA CITY is 49-32 ATS (+13.8 Units) in all games this season.
OKLAHOMA CITY is 47-29 ATS (+15.1 Units) as a favorite this season.
OKLAHOMA CITY is 13-4 ATS (+8.6 Units) as a home favorite of 9.5 to 12 points this season.
OKLAHOMA CITY is 28-14 ATS (+12.6 Units) in home games this season.
OKLAHOMA CITY is 26-17 ATS (+7.3 Units) after a win by 10 points or more this season.
OKLAHOMA CITY is 28-15 ATS (+11.5 Units) after scoring 105 points or more this season.
OKLAHOMA CITY is 25-15 ATS (+8.5 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
HOUSTON is 92-56 ATS (+30.4 Units) in road games after allowing 105 points or more since 1996.
HOUSTON is 50-26 ATS (+21.4 Units) in road games after 3 or more consecutive losses since 1996.

Head-to-Head Series History
OKLAHOMA CITY is 7-5 against the spread versus HOUSTON over the last 3 seasons
OKLAHOMA CITY is 8-4 straight up against HOUSTON over the last 3 seasons
7 of 12 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


ATLANTA (44 - 39) at INDIANA (50 - 32) - 4/24/2013, 7:30 PM

Top Trends for this game.
ATLANTA is 1-9 ATS (-8.9 Units) when playing with 2 days rest this season.
ATLANTA is 10-25 ATS (-17.5 Units) in road games in all playoff games since 1996.
ATLANTA is 46-70 ATS (-31.0 Units) in road games versus good defensive teams - allowing <=91 points/game since 1996.

Head-to-Head Series History
ATLANTA is 7-5 against the spread versus INDIANA over the last 3 seasons
ATLANTA is 7-5 straight up against INDIANA over the last 3 seasons
7 of 12 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


LA LAKERS (45 - 38) at SAN ANTONIO (59 - 24) - 4/24/2013, 9:30 PM

Top Trends for this game.
LA LAKERS are 34-48 ATS (-18.8 Units) in all games this season.
LA LAKERS are 8-17 ATS (-10.7 Units) as an underdog this season.
LA LAKERS are 15-27 ATS (-14.7 Units) in road games this season.
LA LAKERS are 14-29 ATS (-17.9 Units) when trailing in a playoff series since 1996.
LA LAKERS are 9-19 ATS (-11.9 Units) in road games revenging a loss vs opponent over the last 2 seasons.
LA LAKERS are 7-15 ATS (-9.5 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
LA LAKERS are 10-21 ATS (-13.1 Units) in road games versus good offensive teams - scoring 99+ points/game over the last 2 seasons.
SAN ANTONIO is 90-68 ATS (+15.2 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
SAN ANTONIO is 74-54 ATS (+14.6 Units) as a favorite over the last 2 seasons.
SAN ANTONIO is 122-88 ATS (+25.2 Units) as a home favorite of 6.5 to 9 points since 1996.
SAN ANTONIO is 48-30 ATS (+15.0 Units) in home games over the last 2 seasons.
SAN ANTONIO is 132-99 ATS (+23.1 Units) when playing with 2 days rest since 1996.
SAN ANTONIO is 59-39 ATS (+16.1 Units) after a win by 10 points or more over the last 3 seasons.
SAN ANTONIO is 137-103 ATS (+23.7 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season since 1996.
SAN ANTONIO is 13-22 ATS (-11.2 Units) second half of the season this season.
SAN ANTONIO is 9-21 ATS (-14.1 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 99+ points/game this season.

Head-to-Head Series History
SAN ANTONIO is 7-4 against the spread versus LA LAKERS over the last 3 seasons
SAN ANTONIO is 7-4 straight up against LA LAKERS over the last 3 seasons
8 of 11 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


HOUSTON vs. OKLAHOMA CITY
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Houston's last 5 games when playing Oklahoma City
Houston is 3-7 SU in its last 10 games when playing Oklahoma City
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Oklahoma City's last 8 games at home
Oklahoma City is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games

ATLANTA vs. INDIANA
Atlanta is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Indiana
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Atlanta's last 6 games when playing Indiana
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Indiana's last 6 games
Indiana is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games

LA LAKERS vs. SAN ANTONIO
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of the LA Lakers last 8 games when playing on the road against San Antonio
LA Lakers are 2-4 SU in their last 6 games when playing on the road against San Antonio
San Antonio is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games
San Antonio is 1-7 ATS in its last 8 games


Houston at Oklahoma City
Houston: 1-9 ATS away off BB ATS losses
Oklahoma City: 10-1 ATS at home after scoring 60+ first-half points

Atlanta at Indiana
Atlanta: 1-9 ATS playing with two days rest
Indiana: 13-5 ATS off a home win by 10+ points

LA Lakers at San Antonio
LA Lakers: 5-16 ATS as a road underdog
San Antonio: 24-12 ATS at home off a home win

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Wednesday, April 24

Wednesday's NBA playoff action: What bettors need to know
By COVERS.COM

Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder (-11, 212)

Thunder lead series 1-0

The Oklahoma City Thunder were so dominant in the opening game of their first-round series with Houston that it won’t be a surprise if the Rockets get swept. Oklahoma City looks to take a 2-0 lead when it hosts Houston on Wednesday and matching its stellar Game 1 performance will be tough. “They did a good job of following the game plan, executing it, and playing as hard as they could possibly play,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said after Sunday’s 120-91 victory.

The Rockets traveled back to Houston in between games and will hope they are much more composed in Game 2. Eighth-seeded Houston looked overwhelmed by the top-seeded Thunder at the outset and then was mauled in the second half. “There were definitely nerves,” Rockets guard James Harden said afterward. “Not just for me, but also for my teammates that were going through their playoff game on the road.” Not only did Houston have trouble dealing with Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook but power forward Serge Ibaka scored 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting.

ABOUT THE ROCKETS: Point guard Jeremy Lin has trouble shadowing athletic opponents and was badly outplayed by Westbrook in Game 1. Lin had four points on 1-of-7 shooting and committed four turnovers. “He’s a young kid and this was his first playoff game,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said in defense of Lin after the contest. “I think that sometimes the expectation levels are so high. He’ll be better the next game. He’s a tough kid and he’ll bounce back.” Lin had plenty of company when it came to players who struggled as Harden (20 points on 6-of-19 shooting) was the lone starter to score in double digits.

ABOUT THE THUNDER: Westbrook operated at will in the opener and fell two rebounds shy of a triple-double. He had 19 points and 10 assists despite not playing in the final quarter. “When we have an open man, you have to pass the ball to the open man,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. “Russell, he almost had a triple-double in the first half. His ball movement, his rebounding and ability to get to the basket was very good.” The Thunder got 47 points from its bench with veteran guard Derek Fisher sinking three 3-pointers while playing 12 minutes.

TRENDS

*The over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
*Houston is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games in Oklahoma City.
*Houston is 1-6 ATS in their last seven.
*Oklahoma City is 17-6 in their last 23 at home.
*Under is 6-1-1 in Thunder's last eight home games.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Oklahoma City’s 29-point win marked its third rout of the Rockets this season. The Thunder notched regular-season victories of 30 and 22 points.

2. Houston’s 91-point outing in the opener was 15 points below its season average.

3. The Thunder are 18-5 in playoff games held in Oklahoma City.


Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers (-7, 187)

Pacers lead series 1-0

The Indiana Pacers had an easy time in Game 1 thanks to a huge free throw advantage and an inspired turn from Paul George. The Atlanta Hawks will try to even things up when they visit the Pacers for Game 2 on Wednesday. George recorded the second postseason triple-double in Indiana franchise history with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists on Sunday and was part of a defensive effort that left the Hawks with few options.

Atlanta coach Larry Drew was upset with how his team failed to respond to the Pacers’ physicality in Game 1 and called them out to reporters on Monday. “That team physically manhandled us,” Drew said. “This is playoff basketball. That cannot happen. Absolutely cannot happen.” The Pacers had ended their season in a bit of a funk defensively but have been one of the best teams in the league all season at controlling the pace. Indiana doesn’t mind slowing it down and playing inside-out with David West and Roy Hibbert in the post but found its most success with George slashing the lane and getting to the line on Sunday.

ABOUT THE HAWKS: Atlanta forward Josh Smith suffered a sprained right ankle in Game 1 and missed practice on Monday. The Hawks’ leading scorer, who collected 15 points and eight rebounds on Sunday, is hopeful that he will play on Wednesday. The Pacers limited Smith and Al Horford to a combined 29 points in Game 1 while Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 21 points and seven assists. Teague got to the free throw line six times in the contest but the Hawks totaled only 14 attempts, making seven. The lack of aggression upset Drew. “We didn’t come up with the big plays,” Drew said. “We didn’t come up with the hustle plays, the energy plays…They clearly outworked us.”

ABOUT THE PACERS: George was given the award as the NBA’s Most Improved Player on Tuesday and will likely be on the shortlist for Defensive Player of the Year as well. The 22-year-old went 17-for-18 from the free throw line in Game 1 and little trouble getting into the lane against Smith, Kyle Korver or anyone else the Hawks threw at the swingman defensively. Indiana put six players in double figures in Game 1 and continued to pound the ball inside to Hibbert even though he went 7-for-17 from the field. The commitment to the post helped to open things on the outside for George Hill and Lance Stephenson. George and Stephenson both played over 40 minutes on Sunday but the playoff schedule will allow for two days off in between Games 1 and 2, and another two full days of rest before Game 3.

TRENDS

*The over is 8-1 in Atlanta's last nine road games.
*Indiana is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games.
*The favorite is 20-6 ATS in the last 26 meetings in this series.
*The over is 5-1 in Indiana's last six overall.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Indiana outrebounded Atlanta 48-32 in Game 1.

2. Horford grabbed six rebounds on Sunday, matching his lowest total since March 3.

3. The series will shift back to Atlanta for Game 3 on Saturday.


Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs (-8.5, 186.5)

Spurs lead series 1-0

San Antonio Spurs big man Tim Duncan called teammate Manu Ginobili the "X-factor" entering the postseason, and the future Hall of Famer's words proved prophetic in Game 1 against the Los Angeles Lakers. Ginobili, who missed nine of the final 10 regular-season games due to a hamstring injury, scored 18 points and sparked a decisive run to help San Antonio to a 91-79 win. The Spurs will look to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series Wednesday at home.

The Lakers finished the regular-season on a five-game win streak, but their offense looked lost without superstar Kobe Bryant. Los Angeles got plenty of production from the inside tandem of center Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, who combined for 36 points and 31 rebounds. Points from the perimeter were hard to come by, thought, as Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Metta World Peace combined to shoot 13-for-37. "Both of the Steves had some good looks," Howard said. "I think they will knock down those shots in this game."

ABOUT THE LAKERS: Point guard Nash is clearly not 100 percent and looked rusty after sitting out the final eight games of the regular season with hip, leg and back injuries. He scored 16 points on 6-of-15 shooting and had just three assists while struggling to get the team into an offensive flow. "He's not having the explosive stuff he has, but he's always a threat on the perimeter," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said. "He has a better shot at shooting well than anyone else I know, so we'll take our chances." D'Antoni conceded that Los Angeles is trying to make an abrupt transition to an "inside-out" offense that relies on the scoring of Howard and Gasol.

ABOUT THE SPURS: Ginobili pronounced himself fine one day after his efficient Game 1 outing that produced 18 points in only 19 minutes. "It's just his basketball IQ," Duncan said of Ginobili. "Just him being on the floor brings a different energy, a different movement to the entire team." It was the first time since March 27 that the Spurs had their Big 3 of Duncan, Ginobili and Tony Parker on the floor for extended minutes and erased the memory of seven losses in their last 10 games. Matt Bonner joined Ginobili in double figures off the bench with 10 points, giving San Antonio a 40-10 edge in scoring among the reserves. Duncan had 17 points and 10 boards in the opener.

TRENDS

*San Antonio is 5-16 ATS in its last 21.
*Lakers are 2-6 ATS in their last eight on the road.
*The under is 20-6 in the last 26 Lakers-Spurs games.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Lakers are 34-1 when winning Game 1 in the first round and 4-9 when they drop the series opener.

2. Duncan has 139 postseason double-doubles and trails Shaquille O'Neal by three for No. 3 all time.

3. Lakers backup G Jodie Meeks did not practice Tuesday after rolling an ankle in the series opener.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Wednesday, April 24

Wednesday Playoff Tips
By Kevin Rogers
VegasInsider.com

The first home team finally fell last night as the Nuggets were run by the Warriors at the Pepsi Center. Three road clubs look to break through tonight and even up their series as the Rockets, Hawks, and Lakers all look to rebound from double-digit defeats. We'll start in Oklahoma City with the defending Western Conference champions seeking another blowout.

Rockets at Thunder (-11, 212)

Three seasons ago, Oklahoma City qualified for the playoffs as the eighth seed before getting eliminated by the Lakers. Now, the Thunder is the team to beat in the Western Conference as OKC looks for a 2-0 edge in the first round after a 120-91 rout of Houston to cash as 10 ½-point favorites. OKC jumped out to a 13-2 edge, but the Rockets rallied back to tie things up at 38-38 apiece halfway through the second quarter. However, the Thunder started the runaway with a 22-9 run over the final six minutes of the half to open up a 13-point edge and would never look back.

James Harden scored a team-high 20 points on 6-of-19 shooting against his former team, but the Rockets received just 13 points from Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons combined. The Thunder had its way against the Rockets from the floor, knocking down 53% of their shots, including 10 three-pointers. Past Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook putting up a total of 43 points, six other members of the Thunder scored at least eight points in the rout.

Oklahoma City has now taken three of four meetings from Houston this season by at least 20 points, but finished 'under' the total for the first time. The Rockets own a dreadful 2-5 SU and 1-6 ATS record the last seven games, while compiling a 1-4 ATS record the previous five opportunities as a road underdog. The Thunder has put together an incredible 12-2 ATS mark the last 14 games as a double-digit home favorite, while not losing once at home when laying that amount of points this season.

Hawks at Pacers (-7, 187)
   
Atlanta faltered down the stretch to avoid Brooklyn (and potentially Miami in the second round), dropping the Hawks to the sixth seed. Maybe the Hawks want to re-think that strategy after getting chased by the Pacers in the series opener, 107-90 as seven-point road underdogs. Atlanta shot 50% from the floor, but Indiana countered that by down knocking down 30-of-34 from the free throw line.

Paul George compiled his first career triple-double for the Pacers with 23 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists, while being the benefactor of plenty of fouls by the Hawks by hitting 17-of-18 foul shots. All five Pacers' starters put up double-figures, but the contributions off the bench from Tyler Hansbrough (9 points) and Gerald Green (11 points) helped finish off the victory. Josh Smith sprained his ankle in the second half of Sunday's loss, but the Hawks' forward is expected to play tonight.

The home team has won nine of the last 10 meetings in the series, including a 5-0 SU and 3-2 ATS record this season. The 'over' has hit in four straight matchups between the Hawks and Pacers, while Indiana is riding a 7-2 stretch to the 'over' the last nine games overall. Even though Indiana was on cruise control to wrap up the regular season, Sunday's cover was just the second in the last nine games. Atlanta hasn't much better lately with a 2-8 ATS record the past 10 trips to the court, but six of those ATS losses came in the role of a favorite.

Lakers at Spurs (-8½, 187)

Los Angeles thought the hardest part of the season was making the playoffs after starting 17-25. The Lakers found a way to put together an impressive run to qualify for the postseason, but playing without leading scorer Kobe Bryant is a whole new task after getting limited to 79 points in the series opening loss at San Antonio.

The Spurs cruised to a 91-79 victory to take a 1-0 series advantage over Los Angeles, while grabbing their first cover in eight games. San Antonio didn't shoot particularly well from the floor (37%), but received solid contributions off the bench from Manu Ginobili (18 points) and Matt Bonner (10 points). The Lakers' reserves provided basically no help with just 10 points total, but Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard did combine for 31 rebounds in the Los Angeles frontcourt.

With or without Bryant, the Lakers struggled all season in the role of a road underdog, owning a 5-15 ATS record when receiving points on the highway. The 79-point output in Game 1 was the fewest scored on the road this season for the Lakers and the second-fewest overall (77 points vs. Indiana in late November). San Antonio improved to 4-15 ATS the last 19 games, but that's a tough record to take at face value due to the Spurs relegated themselves to the second seed in the West.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Wednesday, April 24

2013 NBA Playoffs

Home side won all five Atlanta-Indiana games this season; Hawks lost all three visits here, by 11-6-17 points, with all three games going over. Atlanta is 2-6 in its last eight games overall, with five of last six going over total. Indiana lost five of its last seven games, with five of last six going over as well- they played faster pace in games vs Atlanta than vs any other team in league. Underdogs are 4-1 vs spread in Game 2's this week, after going 2-6 in Game 1's. Pacers outscored Atlanta 30-7 from foul line in Game 1; George was 17-18 from charity stripe by himself.

Spurs shot under 39% in three of four games vs Lakers, but are 3-1 in those games, winning by 2-3-12 points; they made 19-47 from arc in Lakers' visits to Alamo. All four series games stayed under total. Bottom line is Bryant is one of top 10 players of all-time and he's not playing in this series, so despite LA going 20-9 in last 29 games, they're huge dog to win one game in San Antonio, much less advance to next round. LA is +21 in FT's tried in four series games this year, but its bench was -63 in first game, scoring two baskets. Ginobili was +19 in 19 minutes off the bench for San Antonio.

Thunder scored 120-124-119-120 in winning three of four games with Houston this season, which is better-than-average #8 seed, but because Rocket star Harden played for Thunder, there is zero chance OC takes Houston for granted. Rockets got whacked by 22-30-29 points in three losses to OC- Harden scored 46 in their only win. Lin/Harden combined to go 7-26 from floor in Game 1; team was 8-36 behind arc. Asik was -3 for Rockets, only Houston starter with plus/minus better than -18, so he keeps Thunder honest inside, but only played 27 minutes. Again, zigzag theory says Houston will play better here, but 30 points better?

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Wednesday, April 24

Wednesday's NBA Action
By Sportsbook.ag

HOUSTON ROCKETS (45-38) at OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (61-22)

After a thorough beatdown on Sunday night, the Rockets will try to climb back into their first-round playoff series in Wednesday's Game 2 versus the mighty Thunder.

The Rockets are now 2-5 SU (1-6 ATS) in their past seven games, but none of those losses were as painful as the 120-91 shellacking they absorbed in Game 1. All five of Oklahoma City's starters posted a rating of greater than +20, and none needed to log even 35 minutes in the blowout victory. The Thunder have now won 11 of their past 14 games (9-5 ATS), and have beaten Houston three out of four times this season, winning those games by 22, 30 and 29 points. The Rockets have struggled all season on the road, producing a 16-26 SU record (17-24-1 ATS, 42%) while allowing 104.3 PPG to host teams. The Thunder have scored a hefty 108.8 PPG at home this season, tallying a 35-7 SU record (28-14 ATS, 67%) at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Although Houston is 9-5 SU (7- 7 ATS) with 2 days' rest this season, Oklahoma City is a perfect 8-0 SU (5-3 ATS) in this same scenario.
   
Houston's offense was outstanding all season with 106.0 PPG (2nd in NBA) on 46.1% FG and 36.6% three-pointers (both 9th-best in league), knocking down 10.6 threes per game (2nd in NBA). But in Game 1, the club shot 36% from the floor, including just 8-of-36 threes (22%), with nearly as many turnovers (15) as assists (17). Defensively, this Rockets team really struggles to stop opponents, allowing 102.5 PPG (3rd-worst in league) in the regular season. SG James Harden was the only Game 1 starter in double-figures with 20 points, but he made just 6-of-19 FG (1-of-6 threes) and posted a horrific minus-28 rating in his 34 minutes on the court. PF Greg Smith was even worse in this category with a minus-34 rating in just 17 minutes. Harden did have six rebounds though, and he should be able to bounce back against his former team, whom he averaged 29.3 PPG (44% FG) and 4.0 RPG in three meetings during the regular season. SF Chandler Parsons usually stuffs the stat sheet, entering this series with 23.5 PPG on 58% FG (4-of-11 threes) with 5.0 APG and 4.0 RPG in the final two games in the regular season. But he finished Game 1 with a pedestrian nine points, three rebounds, zero assists and minus-18 rating in 25 minutes. PG Jeremy Lin was awful in his postseason debut on Sunday, posting four points (1-of-7 FG, 0-for-4 threes), four assists, four turnovers and a minus-23 rating. Lin's confidence should have been pretty high after stringing together a strong month of April with 17.3 PPG (44% FG, 36% threes), 6.9 APG and a 2.70 Ast/TO ratio. C Omer Asik averaged a double-double versus Oklahoma City (10.0 PPG and 10.0 RPG) during the regular season, but fell just short of those marks on Sunday with nine points and seven rebounds in his 27 minutes. Although two players came off the bench to score double-figures on an identical 4-of-10 shooting -- PG Patrick Beverley (11 points, four assists) and SG Carlos Delfino (10 points) -- the duo combined for a minus-31 rating.

Like Houston, Oklahoma City possesses an outstanding offense, scoring 105.7 PPG (3rd in NBA) on a remarkable shooting accuracy of 48.1% FG (3rd in league) and 37.7% threes (also 3rd in NBA) during the regular season. The team shattered those marks in Game 1 with 120 points on 53% FG and 42% threes (10-for-24). The Thunder dished out more than twice as many assists (28) as turnovers (13) while also stepping up defensively with nine steals and nine blocked shots. They also won the rebounding battle, 46-39, and outscored the Rockets 50-46 in terms of points in the paint. SF Kevin Durant had his typical strong performance of 24 points (7-of-15 FG, 9-of-9 FT), six rebounds, four assists, two blocks, two steals and an unbelievable +34 rating. This effort wasn't a huge surprise though, considering he had his way against Houston in the regular season with 26.3 PPG (47% FG), 7.0 RPG and 5.7 APG. PG Russell Westbrook had been even better in the regular-season series with 23.3 PPG, 8.3 APG and 7.7 RPG, and he posted a near triple-double in Game 1 with 19 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, leading to a +29 rating. PF Serge Ibaka was also highly efficient (+26 rating), pitching in 17 points (7-of-11 FG), seven rebounds and three blocks in his 27 minutes. He was also outstanding versus the Rockets in the regular season with 16.0 PPG (65% FG), 8.7 RPG and 4.0 blocks per contest. SG Kevin Martin (14.0 PPG) has been dealing with a minor back injury, which could have been a major factor in his 5-of-15 shooting night. However, Martin did not shoot very well against Houston during the regular season (41.5% FG), but still scored 17.0 PPG in the three meetings. Three other backcourt players all had solid games for the Thunder with nine points apiece, as SG Thabo Sefolosha recorded a +21 rating, PG Reggie Jackson had four assists and PG Derek Fisher drained 3-of-4 threes.
 

ATLANTA HAWKS (44-39) at INDIANA PACERS (50-32)

The Hawks will need to rally together and come back with a better performance in Wednesday's Game 2 after losing by 17 points to the Pacers in Sunday's series opener.

Indiana led 34-26 after the first quarter and the Hawks couldn’t make it any closer after that. The Pacers dominated the game from start to finish and it was in large part due to their excellent rebounding. They out-rebounded the Hawks 48-32 despite shooting just 44.9% from the field compared to Atlanta’s 50.0% FG. So far this season, the Pacers are 2-1 ATS at home versus the Hawks with their only non-cover being a six-point victory. They have owned Atlanta at home and this will continue to be the case as long as SF Paul George, coming off a triple-double in Game 1, and the rest of the Pacers continue to outwork their opponents.

Atlanta came out in Game 1 with a very poor effort, failing to do the little things necessary to win a game. The Hawks were destroyed on the glass, but that is something the team has dealt with all season, posting a poor minus-2.8 RPG margin (5th-worst in NBA). The best player on the floor for Atlanta in Game 1 was PG Jeff Teague, who finished with 21 points (7-of-14 FG) and seven assists. If the Hawks are going to win, however, they will need their big guys to play much better. SF Josh Smith was just 7-15 from the field on Sunday with 15 points, eight rebounds, four turnovers and a minus-21 rating. He will need to be more aggressive in attacking the rim as well as defending it, as Smith had zero blocks despite his 1.8 BPG during the regular season. C Al Horford will also need to make a bigger impact on the game as he saw just 28 minutes of playing time due to foul trouble early, as well as a lack of effectiveness. Horford was 7-for-12 from the field with 14 points and six rebounds, but turned the ball over three times and posted a minus-15 rating. His shooting wasn’t a problem, but he didn’t seem as engaged mentally as he has been in the past, pulling down zero offensive rebounds.

The hero of Game 1 was clearly SF Paul George, who played the best game of his career on national television. George, who was struggling coming into the playoffs, finished the game with 23 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds. George shot poorly from the field (3-of-13), but was able to make 17-of-18 free throws. He was getting to the rim at will and drew fouls pretty much every time he wanted to. C Roy Hibbert was also a big factor in this contest as the Hawks don’t have anybody with the size to match up with him. Hibbert contributed 16 points (7-of-17 FG), eight rebounds and two blocks. SG Lance Stephenson played 41 minutes in Game 1, scoring 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field. Stephenson did a little bit of everything, finishing with five rebounds, four assists, three steals and a game-high, +23 rating. Two other starters also played well, as PF David West scored 13 points with nine rebounds, while PG George Hill pumped in 18 points (7-of-10 FG) with a +19 rating.


LOS ANGELES LAKERS (45-38) at SAN ANTONIO SPURS (59-24)

After a poor offensive showing in Game 1, the Lakers try to get their offense going when they attempt to even their first-round series in San Antonio on Wednesday night.

Los Angeles entered the playoffs on a hot streak, scoring 105.0 PPG on 46.1% FG during a five-game win streak to end the regular season. But its offense was completely shut down in Sunday's Game 1 when it tallied just 79 points on 41% FG and 3-of-15 threes. In five games without Kobe Bryant this season, the Lakers have scored only 91.6 PPG, well below the 101.9 PPG they average overall. The Spurs also struggled to shoot the basketball, making 37.6% FG and 7-of-22 threes. But they dominated in fast-break points (17 to 2), and committed just half (nine) the amount of turnovers the Lakers had on Sunday (18). L.A. is now 16-26 SU and 15-27 ATS (36%) on the road, and despite being a veteran club, is just 10-9 SU (8-10-1 ATS) with at least two days of rest this season. That's a big difference from San Antonio, which is 15-2 SU (10-7 ATS) with this much time off in between games. But the Spurs, who are 36-6 SU (86%) at AT&T Center, are just 2-7 ATS in their past nine home games, and 27-29-2 ATS (48%) following an SU win this season.

The Lakers' lack of offense was troubling in Game 1, considering during the regular season, they scored 102.2 PPG (6th in NBA) on 45.8% FG (10th in league) despite a subpar 35.5% threes (19th in NBA). The defense did play better than it usually does this season, where it allowed 101.0 PPG (9th-worst in NBA) on 45.3% FG (14th in league) and 35.7% threes (also 14th in NBA). C Dwight Howard and PF Pau Gasol have been carrying this team on their large shoulders, and Sunday was no different as Howard went for 20 points (8-of-12 FG), 15 rebounds and two blocks, but did commit four turnovers and five fouls in his 41 minutes. Gasol logged 43 minutes of action, scoring 16 points (7-of-16 FG) with 16 boards, six assists and two steals, but also six turnovers. While Gasol has 14.0 RPG in three games versus San Antonio this season, he has struggled offensively (11.0 PPG on 30% FG). Howard has been strong though, with 19.7 PPG and 15.7 RPG in three games versus the Spurs. SF Metta World Peace has still not regained his form after being out with a torn meniscus. He made just 35% FG for 7.0 PPG in 21.2 MPG in the final five games of the regular season, and started the postseason with five points (2-of-9 FG) and six rebounds in 32 minutes. The club did get a boost with SG Steve Nash back on the court after having missed eight straight games with a hamstring injury. The future Hall of Famer scored 16 points (6-of-15 FG), but dished out only three assists in his 29 minutes. PG Steve Blake pitched in 12 points (5-of-13 FG), but had just three assists, three turnovers, five fouls and a dismal minus-14 rating. His defense was strong though, producing four steals and two blocks. L.A.'s bench was horrible in Game 1, as the foursome of PF Antawn Jamison, SF Earl Clark, PG Darius Morris and SG Jodie Meeks combined for 10 points (2-of-8 FG) and a minus-44 rating over 56 minutes.

San Antonio is usually a great offensive team, scoring 103.0 PPG (4th in NBA) on 48.1% FG (2nd in league) and 37.6% threes (4th in NBA) during the regular season. The club also led the NBA in assists (25.1 APG) and ranked second in Ast/TO ratio (1.78), and ball protection was a big part of their 12-point win on Sunday, as the Spurs tallied 20 assists and only nine turnovers. Defensively, they were also pretty strong in the regular season, giving up only 96.6 PPG (11th in NBA) on 44.2% FG (8th in league) and 35.3% threes (12th in NBA). Their 8.5 steals per game ranked 6th-best in the league, and they produced a hefty 12 steals in the Game 1 victory. The team continues to be led by PG Tony Parker and PF Tim Duncan. Parker has been bothered with neck and ankle injuries this month, but appeared to be healthy on Sunday when he scored 18 points (8-of-21 FG) with eight assists, three steals and a +12 rating. Duncan produced a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds, while also adding three steals and a strong +11 rating. Duncan has a well-rounded stat line of 16.5 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 3.5 APG and 2.8 BPG in four meetings with the Lakers this season. SG Manu Ginobili has had a poor season, due mostly to injuries, but he was outstanding in Game 1 with 18 points (6-of-13 FG, 3-of-5 threes) and a game-high +19 rating in just 19 minutes. PF Matt Bonner also played well off the bench with 10 points, five rebounds and a +18 rating in 29 minutes. This reserve duo helped make up for a lackluster starting trio of C Tiago Splitter, SF Kawhi Leonard and SG Danny Green, which combined for 16 points on 5-of-18 shooting (28%). Leonard did help his team down low though, with 11 boards and two blocks.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Wednesday, April 24

NBA Playoff Betting Odds and Preview Capsules: April 24
Atssportsline.com

The first round of the NBA Playoffs continue on Wednesday. The dogs went 2-1 on Tuesday night so will they bark again on Wednesday?  Golden State shocked Denver without David Lee, Miami beat Milwaukee though the backdoor swung open and New York battered Boston. There are three games on Wednesday but we'll focus on the top two. Remember if you bet, to use wise money management and use NBA injury reports and NBA Key betting trends.  Check out a betting primer for the 2013 NBA Playoffs below.

Atlanta (44-39 SU, 37-44-2 ATS, 43-39-1 O/U) at Indiana (50-32 SU, 43-39 ATS, 39-42-1 O/U)


Intangibles:
Josh Smith missed practice on Monday with a sprained ankle
Paul George went 17-of-18 from the foul line
Indiana outrebounded Atlanta 48-32

Last game: (4/21/13) (Game 1) Indiana (-7) over Atlanta, 107-90

Keys to Success: The Hawks need to get out and run against an Indiana team that is too big to compete with in a halfcourt battle. Atlanta was just pounded on the boards in Game 1 on Sunday and now they have to play with Josh Smith playing on a gimpy ankle. Not have Zaza Pachulia to battle Roy Hibbert inside is hurting the Hawks and their bench has been non-existent. But they do have Jeff Teague, who led Atlanta with 21 points and seven assists. It appears he's becoming one of the better point guards in the East. Atlanta has to do a better defensive job on Paul George, this year's Most Improved Player in the NBA.. Atlanta is 1-9 ATS last 10 playing on 2 days rest. NBA Betting Odds: Indiana is a 7-point betting odds favorite. Total: 187.0.


Los Angeles Lakers (45-38 SU, 34-47-2 ATS, 42-40-1 O/U) at San Antonio Spurs (59-24 SU, 40-41-2 ATS, 36-45-2 O/U)


Intangibles:
Lakers guard Jodie Meeks missed practice on Tuesday with an ankle injury
Manu Ginobili scored 18 points in just 19 minutes in Game 1
Steve Nash scored 16 points in his playoff debut with the Lakers

Last game: (4/21/13) San Antonio (-8.5) over Los Angeles Lakers, 91-79.

Keys to Success: The Spurs look to go 2-0 against a banged-up Lakers team. The Lakers did finish the season winning five straight games and the Spurs struggled. But the return of Manu Ginobili has fueled the Spurs, while the loss of Kobe Bryant to a ruptured Achilles was devastating. The Lakers need a stronger performance from Nash, who had just three assists in the opener and may have been rusty after sitting out eight straight games. The Lakers have to pound it inside to Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard and force double teams to have any chance. They did beat the Spurs on the boards by one but they need a bigger advantage to have a shot. Lakers are 2-6 ATS last 8 road games.  Pro Hoops Odds: San Antonio is an 8.5-point betting odds favorite. Total: 186.5.

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