NBA Odds and Predictions: Tuesday, December 16 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 12/15/2014
What more do the Golden State Warriors have to do to become the Western Conference betting favorites at Sportsbook.ag? Golden State enters a huge matchup in Memphis on a 16-game winning streak yet still remains the +300 second-favorite to win the conference title behind San Antonio (+250). I mean, I get that books list prices mainly on what will draw the most action, but come on! That Warriors-Grizzlies games is on ESPN As is Thunder-Kings. Here's a look at every matchup.
Timberwolves at Wizards (-13.5, 205.5)
Minnesota has dropped two straight and comes off a 100-94 home loss to the Lakers. The team is hopeful of getting back guard Mo Williams on Tuesday, but he's questionable. Williams has missed six straight games with a back injury but was able to practice a bit over the weekend. Washington has won four straight games, the longest active winning streak in the Eastern Conference. It beat Utah 93-84 on Sunday behind 16 points, eight assists, six rebounds and five steals from John Wall. Now that's a fantasy basketball stat line. These teams split two meetings last season. The home team has won eight of the past nine matchups.
Key trends: The Wolves have covered one of their past eight on the road. The "over/under" has gone under in five of the past seven meetings.
Early lean: Take the points and go over.
Heat at Nets (TBA)
Don't look for Miami's Chris Bosh in this one, and he could miss a couple of weeks with a calf injury. The Miami Herald is reporting that "the muscle could tear away from the bone" if Bosh tries to play through it. That sounds painful. Bosh sat out Sunday's 93-75 loss to Chicago because of the injury. The Nets won 114-87 in Charlotte on Saturday behind 22 points from Joe Johnson. The Nets shot 16-for-23 from beyond the 3-point arc. It was the team's best 3-point field-goal percentage in the last 30 seasons when attempting at least 15 three-pointers. Kevin Garnett didn't play, but he's not hurt; it was just the second of a back-to-back. He should be in there vs. Miami. The Nets hosted Miami on Nov. 17 and lost 95-83. Dwyane Wade missed that one for the Heat.
Key trends: The Nets are 5-0 ATS in their past five vs. teams with a losing record. The under is 5-1 in Miami's past six overall.
Early lean: Nets should roll.
Warriors at Grizzlies (pick'em, 202)
I'll definitely be watching this game, and Warriors coach Steve Kerr already has told the media to calm down and that this club isn't going to win 72 games. He's right. Golden State was pushed to the limit Sunday in New Orleans in the second of a back-to-back, winning 128-122 in overtime. It was Golden State's club-record 10th straight road win. Warriors center Andrew Bogut sat out his third straight game with right knee tendinitis but went through limited warm-ups so maybe he plays here. The team will need him against the Grizzlies' frontcourt. Memphis nearly got caught in a trap game Saturday in Philadelphia (warned you on that) but did win 120-115 in overtime behind a career-high 36 from Mike Conley. Golden State has won two straight in this series, which followed an 11-game losing streak vs. Memphis. The Grizzlies have won nine of the past 10 meetings at home.
Key trends: The Warriors are 2-5 ATS in the past seven meetings. The over is 5-1 in Memphis' past six overall.
Early lean: Rare you won't have to give points when Memphis is at home. Grizzlies end the winning streak.
Jazz at Pelicans (TBA)
As expected, no opening line here as Pelicans star Anthony Davis is questionable. He missed Sunday's loss to Golden State with a chest contusion. If he can't go again, Ryan Anderson would start in his place. Utah lost 93-84 in Washington on Sunday and has dropped 11 of 12 games. The Jazz lost 106-94 at home to New Orleans on Nov. 22. Davis had a career-high 43 points along with 41 rebounds in that one. Gordon Heyward led Utah with 31. New Orleans won both home games last year vs. Utah.
Key trends: The over is 5-0 in the past five meetings. The underdog has covered 10 of the past 15.
Early lean: Have to wait on Davis.
Mavericks at Knicks (+6, 203)
Ah, the Knicks. They have dropped 11 of 12 but did play fairly well Sunday in a 95-90 overtime loss at home to Toronto. There was some talk that Carmelo Anthony would sit out for a while with knee problems, but he played and had 34 points and nine rebounds. However, guards Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith missed the game with injuries. Smith might return here, but Shumpert is out around a month with a dislocated left shoulder. Dallas lost 105-98 to Golden State on Saturday. The Mavs dropped to 0-5 against the top seven teams in the Western Conference. Dallas beat the visiting Knicks 109-102 in overtime on Nov. 26 behind 17 points and 25 rebounds from former Knick Tyson Chandler. Anthony missed the game.
Key trends: The Knicks are 5-1 ATS in their past six at home vs. teams with a winning road record. The over is 7-1 in Dallas' past eight overall.
Early lean: Knicks and over.
Thunder at Kings (TBA)
We've had the first coaching casualty in the NBA this season, and I'm moderately surprised that Sacramento dumped Mike Malone. The team is 11-13, which is pretty solid considering how often it has played without star center DeMarcus Cousins this season. Malone assistant and former Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin takes over on an interim role. Don't be surprised if the team hires George Karl as the full-time coach. Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro worked with him during his days with the Denver Nuggets. The Kings have lost three straight and will be without likely Cousins again. Oklahoma City has taken off with Kevin Durant's return, winning six straight. The Thunder beat the Kings 101-93 on Nov. 9 without Durant and Russell Westbrook.
Key trends: The under is 6-1 in the past seven meetings. The Kings are 1-6 ATS in their past seven at home.
Early lean: Thunder should win easily without having to deal with Cousins.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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