NBA Odds and Predictions: Tuesday, February 24 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 2/23/2015
It was interesting to watch the Miami Heat futures odds over the past few days. They got a major boost after Thursday's trade for Phoenix point guard Goran Dragic but then changed dramatically, and not in a good way, with the news that star forward Chris Bosh would miss the rest of the season due to a blood clot in his lung. Would the Heat have still traded for Dragic had they known that beforehand? Hard to say. And will it affect Dragic's choice of whether to re-sign there? Bosh is expected to be fine for next season. No Heat game on Tuesday but here's a look at each matchup.
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Warriors at Wizards (TBA)
The big question here is whether NBA MVP favorite Steph Curry plays. He sat out Sunday's 104-98 loss at Indiana, which ended Golden State's four-game winning streak. Curry sat because of soreness in his right ankle, but it's not considered serious and he's day-to-day. That was the first game Curry had missed this season. The Warriors had 38 first-quarter points against the Pacers but then just 60 the rest of the way. Golden State is in the midst of playing 10 of 11 games away from home. Washington lost its third straight on Sunday, 106-89 at Detroit as the team clearly misses the injured Bradley Beal. He's out indefinitely. This is the first meeting of the season between the teams. The Warriors have won four straight in Washington and six of the past seven vs. the Wizards overall.
Key trends: The Warriors have failed to cover seven straight vs. the East. Washington hasn't covered its past five vs. the West. The "over/under" has gone under in five straight Warriors games.
Early learn: Wait on Curry.
Cavaliers at Pistons (+8.5, 205)
Reggie Jackson made his Detroit debut Sunday in a 17-point home win over Washington. He was clearly pressing early, missing his first eight shots. But Jackson calmed down and finished with 17 points and five assists. Here's one of the best statistics I have ever heard: Pistons center Andre Drummond scored his first points on a 15-foot jumper. That's his fourth CAREER make outside of 10 feet. That's amazing. Cleveland has blown out the Wizards and Knicks off the break, and we could see the debut of Kendrick Perkins in this one. He was traded to Utah last Thursday and then bought out. He chose Cleveland over the Clippers and Bulls. He won't play a lot but adds some depth and bulk to combat big teams like Washington and Chicago in the playoffs. The Pistons and Cavs have split two meetings, each winning on the road.
Key trends: The Cavs are 1-6 ATS in their past seven Tuesday games. Detroit has covered five straight on Tuesday. The over is 5-1 in Cleveland's past six games.
Early lean: Pistons and over.
Pacers at Thunder (-5.5, 204)
Oklahoma City will be without Kevin Durant another game and at least the rest of this week after he had another procedure done on his surgically-repaired foot. That has to worry the Thunder, no matter what they say publicly. Durant missed his 29th game of the season Sunday, a 119-94 win over the visiting Nuggets, after missing only 16 total in the first seven years of his career. If you have Russell Westbrook on your fantasy NBA team right now, good for you. He's going to be a monster as long as Durant is sidelined. Westbrook had 21 points, 17 assists (career high) and eight rebounds against Denver. Westbrook is only the second player in NBA history to have at least 20 points, 15 assists and five rebounds in a game in which he played less than 30 minutes. Enes Kanter had 20 points and 12 boards in his second game with OKC after coming over from Utah. Indiana won its third straight Sunday by upsetting visiting Golden State 104-98. Rodney Stuckey played through a sprained ankle and finished with 30 points. The bench put up 61 points, the second straight game with that many.
Key trends: Indiana has covered four straight games. The Thunder have covered six straight. The home team is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings.
Early lean: Thunder and under.
Raptors at Mavericks (-4, 206)
Toronto's four-game winning streak ended Saturday at Houston, 98-76. Kyle Lowry had an off night, going 2-for-13 for 11 points. The Raptors, who were in Philly on Monday, are 12-8 against the West this season. Dallas will be without forward Chandler Parsons for at least the next three games due to a sprain and bruise on his left ankle. He rolled it Friday in a win over Houston, but X-rays were negative. Parsons is averaging 15.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He sat out Sunday's 92-81 home win over Charlotte, with Richard Jefferson taking his starting spot. Amare Stoudemire made his Dallas debut in that one and had 14 points in 11 minutes. Dallas won in Toronto 106-102 on Nov. 28 behind 30 points from Monta Ellis. Parsons had 16. That was the game in which DeMar DeRozan left with a groin strain, which caused him to miss several weeks.
Key trends: The Raptors are 9-2 ATS in their past 11 in the second of a back-to-back. The Mavs are 2-6 ATS in their past eight vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 7-0 in Dallas' past seven against the East.
Early lean: Mavericks and over.
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