NBA Odds and Predictions: Tuesday, January 13 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 1/12/2015
Tuesday is a day of sports mourning in my opinion because it's the first day after the conclusion of college football season. Oh well, just means more of a focus on the NBA going forward. Here's a look at every game on Tuesday's schedule, highlighted by a potential Finals preview between the Spurs and Wizards, which is nationally televised on NBA TV. That exact Finals matchup is priced at +4000 on Sportsbook.ag.
Timberwolves at Pacers (-11, 198)
Indiana comes off a 93-92 loss in Philadelphia on Saturday, just the second team to lose there this season. David West had a season-high 28 points for the Pacers but came up short on a 13-footer at the buzzer that would've won it. Pacers guard C.J. Miles left with 42.1 seconds left in the first quarter with a left eye abrasion and didn't return, so he's questionable for this game. Starting point guard George Hill (strained left groin) missed his sixth straight game. Minnesota has lost 15 straight games and was routed 108-93 by San Antonio on Saturday. The Wolves have played for weeks without starters Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin and played the Spurs without emerging second-year player Shabazz Muhammad due to an abdominal injury. He's day-to-day. Minnesota lost at home to Indiana 100-96 on Dec. 21 with the Pacers playing the second of a back-to-back. Miles led the Pacers with 28 points, while Roy Hibbert had 15 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Mo Williams led the Wolves with 24 points and 10 assists.
Key trends: Minnesota is 0-7 ATS in its past seven vs. the East. The "over/under" has gone over in Indiana's past five after a loss. The home team has covered five of the past six meetings.
Early lean: Wolves are terrible but 11 points is too many to give. Go Minnesota and under.
Hawks at 76ers (+9.5, 197)
Potential trap game for Atlanta. The Hawks come off big weekend victories over red-hot Detroit and Washington, and they have won eight straight overall -- plus they have to travel after this game to Boston for Wednesday's matchup with the Celtics. Atlanta leads the Eastern Conference this late in the season for the first time in 21 years. The 76ers have won consecutive games for the first time this season. They won in Brooklyn on Friday and home to Indiana on Saturday (took the points in both, thank you very much!). Michael Carter-Williams hit the game-winning layup with 9.9 seconds left against Indiana. Philly lost 95-79 in Atlanta on Dec. 10. Carter-Williams nearly had an unusual triple-double in that one with eight points, 10 rebounds and nine turnovers. Sixers leading scorer Tony Wroten missed the game with an injury. So did Hawks key reserve Mike Scott with the flu.
Key trends: The Hawks are 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The under is 12-2 in Philly's past 14 vs. the East.
Early lean: I do think this will be a trap. Take the points.
Spurs at Wizards (-2.5, 193)
San Antonio has won two straight and four of five. Be aware that the Spurs play Wednesday night in Charlotte, so you have a sit-down alert for this game and that one. Manu Ginobili and Marco Belinelli sat out Saturday's game in the second of a back-to-back. The Spurs used their 21st starting lineup of the season. That's the most in the NBA. Washington was routed in Atlanta on Sunday to end a three-game winning streak. If these teams play again in 2015 it will be in June's NBA Finals. Washington lost in San Antonio 101-92 on Jan. 3. The Wizards were only down three points with just under six minutes left but then went more than four minutes without scoring. Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard missed the game with injuries. It was the Spurs' 17th straight win in the series, so do you think Washington might be a tad motivated in this one?
Key trends: The Spurs are 1-6 ATS in their past seven following an ATS win. Washington has covered one of its past 11 after allowing 100 points or more in its previous game. The Spurs have covered seven straight at Washington.
Early lean: Wizards and over.
Cavaliers at Suns (TBA)
Cleveland brings a five-game skid into this one and would fall back under .500 with a loss. The Cavs were crushed Sunday in Sacramento, 103-84. The Cavaliers fell behind by 15 points in the second quarter, and the Kings maintained a double-digit lead. The Cavs are 1-7 in the past eight games with LeBron James out with injuries, but he could return Tuesday. Timofey Mozgov made his first start for the Cavs vs. Sacramento and had 14 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks in 33 minutes. Phoenix lost 122-110 in overtime in Memphis on Sunday, the Suns' second straight defeat. Brandan Wright, obtained from the Celtics on Friday, made his first appearance for the Suns. He finished with seven points. These teams split last season, each winning by nine on the road.
Key trends: The Suns have covered six straight vs. the East. The under is 12-2 in Cleveland's past 14 after allowing 100 points or more in its previous game.
Early lean: Take the Cavs if LeBron plays. Suns if not.
Warriors at Jazz (+8, 202.5)
Golden State has won six straight, each by double digits. The Warriors have been off since dusting off Cleveland 112-94 on Friday. They are just the third team in NBA history to go undefeated on a homestand of six or more games and outscore opponents by an average of at least 20 points per game. Utah lost 97-82 in Houston on Saturday, its second straight loss. The Jazz had a whopping 31 turnovers. Utah lost in Oakland 101-88 in Nov. 21. The Warriors led 28-13 at the end of the first quarter (jumping to a 12-0 lead), 54-32 at the half and 85-57 entering the fourth. That game was notable because three Aussies played: the Warriors' Andrew Bogut and Jazz rookies Dante Exum and Joe Ingles. Wonder if that was a first.
Key trends: The Warriors are 5-0 ATS in their past five after a win of more than 10 points. Utah is 7-2 ATS in its past nine after a loss. The Warriors are 5-2 ATS in their past seven in Salt Lake City.
Early lean: Warriors and over.
Mavericks at Kings (+5, 212)
Dallas lost 120-100 at the Clippers on Saturday for its second straight loss -- the Mavs have yet to lose three in a row this season. The Kings beat visiting Cleveland by 19 on Sunday behind 26 points and 13 rebounds from DeMarcus Cousins. Sacramento lost 106-98 in Dallas on Nov. 11. Dirk Nowitzki passed Hakeem Olajuwon as the highest-scoring player born outside the USA in that game. The Kings were up 24 points in the second quarter but then outscored 58-28 from the middle of the second quarter to the end of the third. Sacramento matched the franchise's largest blown lead since at least 2000-01. Dallas matched the third-biggest comeback in franchise history.
Key trends: The under is 4-0 in the past four meetings. The Mavs are 1-4 ATS in the past five in this series.
Early lean: Kings and under.
Heat at Lakers (TBA)
Miami surprisingly won 104-90 at the L.A. Clippers on Sunday. Hassan Whiteside has become a good player for the Heat and he had career highs of 23 points and 16 rebounds as the Heat ended a three-game road skid. The Lakers fell 106-94 at home to Portland on Sunday. Kobe Bryant was rested by Lakers coach Byron Scott for the sixth time in 11 games and second game in a row. One would think he would play here, but it's not 100 percent so thus the TBA. Just two seasons ago, this matchup would have been must-see TV with LeBron and Bryant facing off. Now it's just a blah game between two below .500 teams. To no surprise, Miami swept the Lakers last season with James.
Key trends: The Heat have failed to cover their past 11 after a win. The under is 5-0 in the Lakers' past five.
Early lean: Wait on Kobe.
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