NBA Odds and Predictions: Wednesday, November 12 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 11/11/2014
Pacers-Heat has been one of the NBA's best rivalries the past few seasons, although Miami always got the upper hand when they met in the playoffs. The two face off for the first time this year on Wednesday night, the opening game of an ESPN doubleheader. Alas, Pacers-Heat doesn't quite mean much this season. The other ESPN game is Rockets-Timberwolves, and WagerWeb will offer live betting on both. Here's a look at every game Wednesday.
Pistons at Wizards (-8, 192.5)
Detroit fell 102-91 in Chicago on Monday and has lost two straight following a modest two-game winning streak. Young Pistons center Andre Drummond, a future superstar, was rather passive in the loss by going just 0-for-5 from the field for two points. He did have 12 rebounds. The Pistons are now 0-3 on the road. Washington has been off since a 97-90 win in Indiana on Saturday. The Wiz led 32-14 after one quarter, and that was pretty much that. It was Washington's first regular-season win at Indiana since 2007.
Key trends: Detroit is 1-8 ATS in its past nine after a double-digit loss. The "over" hasn't hit in the past five meetings in Washington.
Early lean: Pistons haven't looked good on the road yet, so give the points.
Jazz at Hawks (-7, 199)
Utah has alternated losses and wins over the past seven games, so if that holds true the Jazz will beat Atlanta on Wednesday night. Utah was beaten 97-86 on Monday at Indiana. Hoosier state native Gordon Heyward led Utah with 30 points. He gave out 50 tickets to friends and family for the game. Atlanta pulled a minor upset on Monday, 91-85 at the Knicks to complete the home-and-home sweep. Atlanta went 27-of-28 (96.4 percent) from the free-throw line, compared to the Knicks' 7-of-12 (58 percent). The Hawks swept the Jazz last season.
Key trends: Utah is 1-6 ATS in its past seven in Atlanta. The over is 5-1 in the past six.
Early lean: Hawks and over.
Thunder at Celtics (TBA)
It's the second of a back-to-back for Oklahoma City as it played in Milwaukee on Tuesday night. OKC is hoping to get back rotation guys -- starters as badly injured as the team is now -- Perry Jones (knee) and Anthony Morrow (knee) soon, perhaps Tuesday night or in this one. Boston will be well rested, last playing Saturday and pulling a 106-101 surprise in Chicago. The Celtics played that game without Rajon Rondo and rookie guard Marcus Smart. Rondo stayed in Boston to have screws removed from his surgically-repaired left hand but could play here. Smart is going to miss 2-3 weeks with a sprained ankle. There won't be a line until Rondo's status is made clear.
Key trends: The Thunder are 0-6 ATS in their past six vs. the East. The over is 7-0 in Boston's past seven home games.
Early lean: Celtics will win the game, but have to wait for the line.
Pacers at Heat (-9, 188)
Hard to say what kind of team Indiana will be able to put on the floor here. It has been playing without starters David West (sprained ankle) and George Hill (bruised knee) for a while. Ditto Rodney Stuckey (foot) and C.J. Miles (migraines). Then Roy Hibbert suffered a leg injury late in Monday's win over Utah in which he had 29 points. He should play. The other four? Hard to say. The Heat's Luol Deng had a season-high 30 points in Miami's upset in Dallas on Sunday. Miami could use big man Chris Andersen in this one against Hibbert, but Andersen hasn't played since Nov. 1 with a rib injury. There's a chance he returns here.
Key trends: The Pacers are 2-9 in their past 11 following a win of more than 10 points. The over is 6-0 in Indiana's past six on the road. It is 5-0 in the past five in Miami.
Early lean: Miami and over.
Magic at Knicks (-6, 193.5)
Well, the Knicks are a total mess. New York is last in the NBA in scoring and lost its fifth straight game on Monday as Atlanta completed a home-and-home sweep. Then you hear talk that Knicks boss Phil Jackson is peeved because Commissioner Adam Silver publicly pointed out what everyone can plainly see: the team is struggling in a big way to learn to the triangle. "I wasn't so humored by the commissioner actually jumping in on top of that, too," Jackson said. "He doesn't need to get in on that. There's enough focus on [the] triangle." New York won't get many better chances to win than this game as the Magic are pretty terrible and had to play in Toronto on Tuesday night.
Key trends: Orlando is 1-8 ATS in the past nine meetings. The over is 8-0 in the past eight in New York.
Early lean: I fully expect a Knicks blowout win here.
Lakers at Pelicans (-10.5, 206)
Tough back-to-back for Los Angeles as it played in Memphis on Tuesday night and, I presume, will lose in a big way. The Lakers (1-5) ended their worst start in 57 years with a 107-92 home victory over Charlotte on Sunday. New Orleans lost 118-111 in Cleveland on Monday despite 27 points and 14 rebounds from Anthony Davis. The Pelicans didn't arrive in Cleveland until nearly 3 a.m. the night before, so even playing that well was commendable. The Pelicans won two of three matchups with the Lakers last season.
Key trends: New Orleans is 5-1 ATS in its past six road games. The over is 5-1 in the past six meetings.
Early lean: No doubt the Pelicans win, but that line's a bit too high for my taste. Take the points.
Trail Blazers at Nuggets (+2.5, 209)
Portland played Tuesday night at home vs. Charlotte and was without starting forward Nicolas Batum. He was hurt in Sunday's 116-100 home win over the Nuggets. The Blazers, winners of three of their last four games, made 16-of-31 3-point attempts, and all five starters scored in double figures vs. the Nuggets -- led by LaMarcus Aldridge's 28 points. Denver has been off since that night. It got back forward/center J.J. Hickson from a five-game suspension but didn't have forward Darrell Arthur due to a one-game suspension. Denver starting center JaVale McGee could have his minutes cap increased as soon as Wednesday. The Nuggets are being cautious -- as they are with Danilo Gallinari -- after McGee's leg injury cost him most of last season
Key trends: The road team has covered six of the past eight meetings. Portland is 1-5 ATS in its past six on the road.
Early lean: The toughest back-to-back in the NBA is playing the second game in the thin air of Denver. And the Nuggets get points here? Yes please.
Nets at Suns (-4, 206)
Phoenix played perhaps its best game of the young season with Sunday's 107-95 win over previously unbeaten Golden State. Of course, it helped Phoenix that the Warriors didn't have an injured Klay Thompson. The Suns outscored the Warriors 36-16 in the fourth quarter as Isaiah Thomas and Gerald Green combined for 31 of those 36. The Warriors committed a season-high 27 turnovers. This starts a tough three-games-in-four-nights West Coast trip for the Nets. They just completed a four-game homestand at 3-1. Brooklyn beat Orlando 104-96 on Sunday. Interestingly, Nets center Brook Lopez was benched for the entire fourth quarter as he was being dominated to Nikola Vucevic.
Key trends: The Nets are 8-2 ATS in their past 10 vs. the West. The under is 6-0 in Phoenix's past six vs. the East.
Early lean: Going opposite the trends: Suns cover and over.
Rockets at Timberwolves (+6, 201)
Houston suffered its first loss Saturday against Golden State so has been stewing in that since then. Houston played without center Dwight Howard (flu-like symptoms), point guard Patrick Beverley (hamstring) and power forward Terrence Jones (bruised right leg), which obviously made things much easier for the Warriors inside. Howard was a surprising late scratch. Houston attempted an absurd 42 3-pointers (making 10) with no inside game. Look for Howard to play here but Jones and Beverley probably not. Minnesota has lost two straight, falling 102-92 in Miami on Saturday. The Wolves played without point guard Ricky Rubio, who is sidelined indefinitely because of a sprained left ankle.
Key trends: The under is 4-1 in the past five in Minnesota. The under is 9-0 in Houston's nine. The Rockets are 7-1 ATS in their past eight vs. the West.
Early lean: I like the Wolves covering with Houston probably down two starters and perhaps Howard not quite 100 percent.
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