NBA Odds and Predictions: Tuesday, February 3 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 2/2/2015
The Portland Trail Blazers have to be thrilled to be home. They just finished a four-game road trip winless, although not 0-4. That's because one game was snowed out. The Blazers are one of the toughest teams to beat at home with a 20-5 mark. The only clubs with fewer home losses are Atlanta and Golden State, the two conference leaders. Here's a look at Portland's game vs. Utah and the rest of Tuesday's schedule. Heat-Pistons and Jazz-Blazers are both nationally televised on NBA TV.
Nuggets at 76ers (+6.5, 193)
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Denver begins a three-game road trip on a two-game losing streak. The Nuggets fell 104-86 at home to Charlotte on Saturday in their last game. The team played without big men Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur as both were dealing with an illness. Both should return here. It was JaVale McGee's second game back from a long injury absence. He had eight points in just under 16 minutes. He reportedly was part of a Denver recent trade offer to Brooklyn for center Brook Lopez. The Nets said no. Philly comes in off the second of a back-to-back, playing at red-hot Cleveland on Monday. It's the first meeting of the season between the Nuggets and Sixers. Denver has won two straight in Philly.
Key trends: The Nuggets are 0-9 ATS in their past nine playing on two days of rest. The Sixers have covered four of their past five at home vs. teams with a losing road record. The "over/under" has gone under in Denver's past five road games. The Nuggets are 2-6 ATS in the past eight meetings.
Early lean: Sixers and under.
Heat at Pistons (-4.5, 188.5)
Miami ended a two-game skid with Sunday's 83-75 win in Boston. The other 29 teams in the league must be kicking themselves for not signing Hassan Whiteside when they had the chance. He had another big game Sunday with 20 points and nine rebounds. The Heat played without starters Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng. Wade missed his second game in a row with a strained right hamstring, while Deng sat out his third straight with a strained calf. Deng has a good shot at playing here but Wade doesn't. Detroit ended a four-game skid and won its first game since Brandon Jennings' season-ending injury with a 114-101 victory over visiting Houston on Saturday. D.J. Augustin, now starting in place of Jennings, had 28 points and 12 assists. It's the first meeting of the season between the Heat and Pistons.
Key trends: Miami is 10-1 ATS in its past 11 road games vs. teams with a losing home record. The Pistons have covered four straight at home. The road team is 5-0 ATS in the past five meetings.
Early lean: Pistons and under.
Celtics at Knicks (-1.5, 190.5)
New York is starting to play well enough to not get the most ping-pong balls in the draft lottery, so the Knicks better shut down Carmelo Anthony soon. They beat the visiting Lakers 92-80 on Sunday behind 31 from Melo. Langston Galloway added 13 points for the Knicks, who have won five of seven. Boston has lost three straight, falling at home to Miami by eight on Sunday. Avery Bradley and Tyler Zeller led the Celtics with 17 points apiece. Tayshaun Prince sat out with a hip injury but should return here. Jared Sullinger should be back in the starting lineup after being benched Sunday as he was late to a walk-through. New York won in Boston 101-95 on Dec. 12 to end a 10-game road losing streak at the time. Anthony had 22 points.
Key trends: The road team has covered five of the past seven meetings. The under is 5-1 in the past six in New York.
Early lean: Knicks and under.
Jazz at Trail Blazers (-8, 194.5)
Utah ended a two-game losing streak with a pretty shocking 110-100 home win over Golden State on Friday. Gordon Heyward dominated with 26 points and 15 rebounds. As noted above, the Blazers have dropped three in a row and they didn't reach triple digits in any of those games. The last was a 95-88 loss in Milwaukee on Tuesday. After ranking sixth in the league with 103.8 points per game through their first 38, the Blazers have averaged 97.2 in the last 10 (losing eight). LaMarcus Aldridge continues to play through his thumb injury and finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds vs. the Bucks. Portland shot a season-worst 37.1 percent. This is the first meeting of the season between the teams. Portland was 4-0 vs. Utah last year.
Key trends: The over is 7-1 in the past eight meetings in Portland. The Jazz are 1-4 ATS in the past five in the series.
Early lean: Blazers and over.
Warriors at Kings (+9, 216)
Sacramento ended an eight-game skid with Saturday's 99-94 win in Indiana. Rudy Gay led the way with 31 points, while DeMarcus Cousins had 20 points and 19 rebounds. Thankfully the NBA announced that Cousins would replace Kobe Bryant on the Western Conference All-Star team because Cousins most certainly deserves to be an All-Star. Barring injury he will be the first Kings player to play in an All-Star Game in 11 years. Golden State bounced back from a loss in Utah on Friday -- told you that was a trap game -- with a 106-87 home win over Phoenix on Saturday to avoid its first three-game losing streak of the season. Steph Curry had 25 points, playing through a black eye suffered vs. the Jazz. The Warriors are 3-0 vs. the Kings this year, all blowouts.
Key trends: The Warriors have covered the past five meetings. The over is 7-3 in the Kings' past 10 vs. the West.
Early lean: Kings won't want to be embarrassed again. Take the points. Love the over.
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