NBA Odds and Predictions: Tuesday, February 10 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 2/9/2015
Could we see George Karl back on an NBA bench as early as Tuesday night? It's possible as the Sacramento Kings are in talks to hire Karl. The team really never should have fired Mike Malone as it did in mid-December as the Kings have gone just 7-19 under interim coach Tyrone Corbin. Karl 100 percent wants the job, but for some reason Sacramento star DeMarcus Cousins doesn't seem all that thrilled about the possibility as the team's franchise player made some cryptic comments about the potential hiring over the weekend. Karl's 1,131 wins are sixth in NBA history. Here's a look at the Kings' game and the rest of Tuesday's schedule.
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Pistons at Hornets (-2, 189)
Detroit comes off a 112-101 home loss to Minnesota on Sunday. You can't be losing at home to the Wolves and expect to make the playoffs, even in the Eastern Conference. Strangely it was Minnesota's 10th straight win over the Pistons. Andre Drummond had 17 points and 14 rebounds to lead Detroit. Charlotte lost 103-102 at home to Indiana on Sunday for its second straight defeat. The Hornets gagged away a 21-point third-quarter lead. Starting forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist didn't play and will be out through the All-Star Break with a hamstring injury. Jeffery Taylor made his first start of the season in his place. It's the first meeting of the season between the Pistons and Hornets.
Key trends: Detroit is 6-1 ATS in its past seven after a loss. Charlotte is 4-1 ATS in its past five after a defeat. The "over/under" has gone under in six off the Hornets' past seven games. The Pistons are 7-1 ATS in their past eight trips to Charlotte.
Early lean: Hornets and under.
Rockets at Suns (-2, 218)
Phoenix lost for the fourth time in five games on Sunday, 85-83 at Sacramento. It was the fourth game this season that the Suns lost at the buzzer, by far the most in the NBA. In fact, it's tied for the most such losses by any team in a decade. The Suns missed 23 of 28 3-point attempts. They played without their best player, guard Eric Bledsoe, who left the team to be with his wife, who is expecting. I'm presuming Bledsoe sits here as well (center Alex Len also likely out again). Houston lost 109-98 at home to Portland on Sunday to drop to 5-2 since losing Dwight Howard to a knee injury. James Harden had 45 in the loss, his NBA-high fifth game this season with at least 40 points. Houston is 2-0 vs. the Suns this season and handed Phoenix one of those buzzer-beating losses on Jan. 23 in the desert. Harden hit the winner; that was the game in which Howard left early with his injury.
Key trends: Houston is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings. The over is 4-0 in the past four.
Early lean: Rockets and over.
Kings at Bulls (TBA)
I do think the Kings will hire Karl, but it would make more sense for him to take over during the All-Star Break to give him some practice time with his guys. Sacramento won for only the second time in the past 13 games on Sunday, 85-83 at home against Phoenix as Cousins hit the game-winning 19-footer at the buzzer. He had 28 points and 12 rebounds. There's no opening line here because of the status of the Kings' Darren Collison and Rudy Gay. Collison missed his second straight Sunday with an abdominal strain, and Gay sat with a sore left foot. The Bulls haven't played a home game since Jan. 25 as they concluded a six-game road trip at 3-3 with a 98-97 win in Orlando on Sunday. Pau Gasol won it on a put-back dunk of a Derrick Rose miss with 9.4 seconds left. The Bulls rallied from a six-point hole with just over two minutes left. Chicago lost 103-88 in Sacramento on Nov. 20 but was without Gasol and Rose.
Key trends: The Kings are 2-9 ATS in their past 11 on the road. Chicago is 1-9 ATS in its past 10 vs. teams with a losing record. Sacramento has covered six straight meetings.
Early lean: I expect a Bulls blowout.
Nets at Grizzlies (-11, 191)
Second of a back-to-back for Brooklyn as the Nets were in Milwaukee on Monday. Deron Williams was a game-time call for that after missing the shootaround with an illness. Memphis beat visiting Atlanta 94-88 on Sunday for its ninth win in 10 games. It was tied at 86 with 3:24 left before the Grizzlies scored the next eight points. Memphis killed the Hawks on the boards, 55-37. Zach Randolph had 11 points and 15 rebounds. The Grizzlies are 9-1 against the Eastern Conference at home. The Grizzlies won 103-92 in Brooklyn on Jan. 14 behind 20 points and 14 boards from Randolph. The Nets didn't have Williams then or Kevin Garnett, and it's possible KG sits here too in the second of a back-to-back.
Key trends: Brooklyn is 1-4 ATS in its past five in the second of a back-to-back. The under is 7-0 in the Grizzlies' past seven at home.
Early lean: Grizzlies and under.
Nuggets at Lakers (+1.5, 200.5)
Denver hosted Oklahoma City on Monday night riding a five-game skid. L.A. dropped its fourth straight on Sunday, 120-105 in Cleveland to end a winless road trip. Rookie Jordan Clarkson scored a career-high 20 for the Lakers, who tied a franchise record with their 10th straight road loss. Coach Byron Scott benched leading scorer Nick Young in the second quarter for a while after he picked up a technical foul. Young finished with eight points in 22 minutes. The Lakers and Nuggets have split two meetings, each winning on the road.
Key trends: The road team has covered four straight in this series. The over is 7-2 in the past nine meetings.
Early lean: Lakers and over.
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