NBA Odds and Predictions: Wednesday, November 26 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 11/25/2014
I believe that the NBA schedule is dark on just two days during the regular season outside of the All-Star Break. Those days would be Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. So with no games on Thursday it's an expected very heavy schedule Wednesday night with all but four teams in action. For your live betting pleasure at WagerWeb, Knicks-Mavericks (ESPN) and Grizzlies-Lakers (NBA TV) are on national television. Here's a look at every game.
Trail Blazers at Hornets (TBA)
Back in the preseason I loved Portland to win the Northwest Division with the Thunder's loss of Kevin Durant, and that looks great right now. The Blazers have won eight in a row and have a comfortable lead atop the division. OKC is already 8.5 games back. The Blazers won 114-104 in Philly on Monday behind 33 points and 11 boards from LaMarcus Aldridge. Charlotte has been an abject disaster and has dropped six in a row. The Hornets lost in Portland on Nov. 11, 102-100. They blew a 23-point lead. Charlotte's Gary Neal hit a game-tying layup at the buzzer but it was ruled after it went off. Neal left Charlotte's last game with a shoulder injury and is iffy. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist remains out.
Key trends: The home team has covered seven of the past nine meetings. The "over/under" has gone over in the past five.
Early lean: Even with Portland off on Thursday, this looks like a trap game with the Blazers hosting excellent Memphis on Friday. Hornets win outright.
Wizards at Cavaliers (-6, 201.5)
Second of a back-to-back for Washington as it hosted Atlanta on Tuesday. The Wizards did that without big man Nene, who injured his foot in the team's game over the weekend. Don't look for him here, either. Cleveland took out its frustrations on Orlando on Monday with a 106-74 home blowout to end a four-game skid. LeBron James had 29 points and a season-high 11 assists while sitting out the fourth quarter. Game 2 of that four-game skid was a 91-78 loss in Washington on Friday. The Cavaliers went the final nine minutes without scoring a field goal. John Wall dominated with 28 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
Key trends: Washington is 5-0 ATS in its past five vs. teams with a losing home record. The under is 5-0 in Cleveland's past five overall.
Early lean: Cavs get payback for last meeting and cover. Go over.
Warriors at Magic (TBA)
Second of a back-to-back for Golden State after playing in Miami on Tuesday. The Warriors' Andrew Bogut and Leandro Barbosa were questionable to play vs. the Heat, so monitor that. Obviously Bogut being the more important player. As noted above, Orlando was trashed in Cleveland on Monday night. The 74 points were the fewest the Magic have scored and a season-low allowed by the Cavaliers. The Magic played without forward Tobias Harris, their second-leading scorer and rebounder. He missed his second straight game with a strained right calf. He's questionable here.
Key trends: Golden State is 1-4 ATS in its past five in Orlando. The under has hit in the past four meetings.
Early lean: Too early to say.
Nets at 76ers (+7, 198.5)
Is this win No. 1 for Philly? The Nets are inconsistent enough for that to happen. The 76ers at least have been competitive in their last two defeats. They led red-hot Portland by two at halftime on Monday. The 76ers (0-14) are one loss from tying the franchise mark for consecutive defeats to start a season and four losses from tying the 2009-10 Nets, who set an NBA record by beginning the season 0-18. Brooklyn isn't exactly a world beater on the road with its only away wins coming in Detroit and Oklahoma City.
Key trends: The under is 5-1 in the Nets' past six. The home team has covered five of the past six meetings.
Early lean: Take the points and go under.
Knicks at Mavericks (TBA)
No line here because of the status of New York's Carmelo Anthony. He left Monday's loss in Houston with back spasms. Anthony did travel with the team to Dallas, but as of this writing the Knicks are waiting to see how serious it might be if at all. I'd be surprised if he plays. Of course, the Knicks and Mavericks made a big trade this offseason with New York sending out Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton and getting back Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert and Shane Larkin. Calderon just made his season debut Saturday off a calf injury.
Key trends: The Knicks are 1-7 ATS in their past eight after a loss. The over is 5-2 in Dallas' past seven after a loss.
Early lean: I expect a Mavericks blowout and Melo not to play.
Raptors at Hawks (+1.5, 204)
Tough back-to-back for Atlanta as it had to visit Washington on Tuesday night. The Raptors and Wizards have the two best records in the Eastern Conference. Toronto beat Phoenix 104-100 for its fifth straight victory. Jonas Valanciunas had a career-high 27 points and 11 rebounds. Atlanta lost its season opener in Toronto 109-102. Seven Toronto players reached double figures in scoring, including all five starters.
Key trends: The home team has covered the past five meetings. The over is 5-2 in the past seven.
Early lean: Raptors and under.
Clippers at Pistons (TBA)
Detroit played in Milwaukee on Tuesday, and starting point guard Brandon Jennings was questionable (not looking likely to play). The Clippers have started their seven-game road trip at 3-1. They won in Charlotte 113-92 on Monday. All four L.A. road games on the trip have been blowouts. The Clips' Matt Barnes sat out vs. the Hornets with a calf injury, and Coach Doc Rivers said his starting forward could miss this game as well. L.A. has won six straight against the Pistons.
Key trends: Detroit is 1-5 ATS in its past six playing the second of a back-to-back. The Clippers have covered four straight in Detroit.
Early lean: Clippers by double digits and under.
Kings at Rockets (TBA)
Sacramento played in New Orleans on Tuesday. Houston has won two straight following its only two-game losing streak of the season. The Rockets are banged up, however, as both Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley missed Monday's win over the Knicks. It was the third straight game Howard has missed -- no line because of him -- and Beverley is probably going to be out for a while with a hamstring issue that has bothered him just about all season.
Key trends: The over has hit in four of past five meetings. The Rockets have covered four of the past five.
Early lean: Kings, even in second game in 24 hours, can and should steal this if Howard sits.
Bucks at Timberwolves (TBA)
Minnesota has lost starting shooting guard Kevin Martin for up to two months following wrist surgery that came out of nowhere. Point guard Ricky Rubio remains out with an ankle injury. The good news is that forward Thaddeus Young should return after taking leave from the team after the death of his mother. Milwaukee hosted Detroit on Tuesday with starting point guard Brandon Knight questionable.
Key trends: The Bucks have covered four straight vs. the West. The Wolves are 1-7 ATS in their past eight overall.
Early lean: Too early to call.
Jazz at Thunder (-3, 188)
OKC saw both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook practice on Monday for the first time since both went down with injuries, but neither is expected back yet. Perhaps Friday. Westbrook seems more likely to return than Durant. OKC badly needs them as it's a terrible offensive team without. The Thunder have lost six straight, including 91-81 in Utah on Nov. 18. The Jazz trailed by as many as 17 in the first half. Utah lost 97-95 at home to Chicago on Monday for its third straight loss.
Key trends: Utah is 7-1 ATS in its past eight after a loss. The under is 4-0 in OKC's past four at home.
Early lean: Thunder and under.
Pacers at Spurs (TBA)
Short-handed Indiana has pulled off some unlikely wins this season, including Monday's 111-100 victory in Dallas. Donald Sloan's 29 points led seven Pacers in double figures. The Pacers led the entire second half, set a season high in points and equaled their season high in field goal percentage (48.1). Center Roy Hibbert missed that game with an ankle injury, and he's questionable -- thus no line. The Spurs are starting to look like themselves, having won four straight and seven of eight.
Key trends: Indiana has covered six straight road games. The over is 8-1 in Pacers' past nine away games.
Early lean: Wait on Hibbert.
Nuggets at Suns (-6.5, 218)
Denver hosted Chicago on Tuesday night. The Suns and Nuggets play again in Denver on Friday night. The Suns had a four-game winning streak snapped in a 104-100 loss in Toronto on Monday. Phoenix made seven of 10 3-point attempts in final quarter, rallying from a 17-point deficit to briefly take the lead. Phoenix was 4-0 vs. Denver last year, the Suns' first season sweep of the Nuggets since 2004-05. Phoenix has won 15 of its last 18 home games against Denver.
Key trends: The over is 4-1 in the past five meetings. The Suns have covered the past four in the series.
Early lean: Suns and over.
Grizzlies at Lakers (+7, 199.5)
The terrible Lakers lost another player to a season-ending injury on Monday as Xavier Henry has a ruptured Achilles' tendon. Henry is the third Laker to be declared out for the season because of an injury, joining point guard Steve Nash (back) and rookie forward Julius Randle (leg). Reserve forward Ryan Kelly is currently sidelined because of a hamstring tear. Henry was pretty solid last year but averaging only 2.2 points in 9.6 minutes this year. The Lakers have lost two straight and are just 1-6 at home. Memphis has been off since schooling the Clippers 107-91 on Sunday. Marc Gasol had 30 points and 12 rebounds. Los Angeles had its nine-game streak of scoring at least 100 points on the road end against that terrific Memphis defense. The Grizzlies hosted the Lakers on Nov. 11 and failed to cover a big number in a 107-102 victory.
Key trends: The Lakers have covered three of the past four meetings at home. The under is 7-0 in Memphis' past five on the road vs. teams with a losing home record.
Early lean: Take the points (and the under). Grizz will be eyeing Friday's showdown with red-hot Portland.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Most Recent NBA Handicapping
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 8/26/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Saturday 8/22/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 8/21/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Thursday 8/20/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 8/19/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Tuesday 8/18/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Friday 8/14/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Thursday 8/13/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Wednesday 8/12/2020 and Opening Line Report
- Free NBA Picks Tuesday 8/11/2020 and Opening Line Report