NBA Odds and Predictions: Tuesday, January 6 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 1/5/2015
A very unusually light two-game schedule on Tuesday in the NBA this week. Might be the lightest Tuesday schedule of the year other than the All-Star Break. Did the NBA think the NCAA National Championship Game was being played on Jan. 6 or something? Nope, it has four games scheduled opposite the Oregon-Ohio State clash next Monday. Here's a look at both games on Tuesday's slate, with Suns-Bucks available for live betting at it's televised nationally on NBA TV.
Suns at Bucks (+3, 210)
Phoenix has followed back-to-back road losses with consecutive home wins. It played very well Sunday in a 125-109 rout of Toronto. The stellar three-guard backcourt of Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas combined for 56 points. Seven Suns overall scored in double figures in the team's highest-scoring non-overtime game this season. Phoenix made 18 of 23 shots in a 43-point second quarter, its most points in any quarter this season. The Suns, who have scored at least 100 points in eight straight games, have now won five straight games against Eastern Conference foes. They would be a legit conference title contender if in the East, but not in the West. Milwaukee has won three of four and won 95-82 at the sorry Knicks on Sunday. Zaza Pachulia had 16 points and 14 rebounds to lead Milwaukee, which didn't have to face Carmelo Anthony or Amare Stoudemire. Giannis Anteokounmpo added 16 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks, his league-best seventh straight game with at least two blocks. Bucks big men Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders missed that game. Ilyasova is dealing with a concussion and won't play here. Sanders is away for personal reasons and likely won't, either.
Phoenix lost at home to Milwaukee 96-94 on Dec. 15, the final game of the Suns' season-high six-game losing streak. It was a great game as Milwaukee's Khris Middleton hit the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer -- the ball bounced off the backboard and then hung on the rim for what seemed like five seconds. The buzzer-beating game-winner was the first of Middleton's career. Markieff Morris, who led Phoenix with 25 points, had given his team the lead with a 14-foot jumper with 3.9 seconds left. Dragic missed the game for the Suns. Brandon Knight led the Bucks with 20 points in a game that had six lead changes in the final 42 seconds. Bucks fans will remember that day with sorrow as it was the one NBA Rookie of the Year favorite Jabari Parker went down with what ended up being a season-ending injury.
Key trends: The Suns are 9-1 ATS in their past 10 games. They have covered eight of their past 10 vs. teams with a winning record. The Bucks have covered six of their past seven vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 4-0 in Phoenix's past four on the road. The under is 6-0 in Milwaukee's past six games.
Early lean: Suns and under.
Pistons at Spurs (TBA)
Detroit continues to thrive since cutting Josh Smith as it beat Sacramento 114-95 on Sunday for its fifth straight win -- the Pistons were 5-23 before dumping Smith. Brandon Jennings is getting more shots now that Smith is gone, and he had 35 points vs. the Kings. He's averaging 21.6 points in the winning streak. The Spurs beat visiting Washington 101-92 on Saturday for their second straight win. Tim Duncan had just four points in 31 minutes vs. the Wizards. It's the fewest points he has ever scored in a game he logged at least 30 minutes in. Once again, Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker sat out with injuries. Leonard is still a ways from returning, but Parker could Tuesday (thus the TBA).
First meeting of the season between the teams. They split a year ago. Detroit won 109-100 at home and the Spurs 120-100 in their gym. That Pistons win was their first game after the team had fired head coach Maurice Cheeks. Manu Ginobili and Leonard both missed that game for San Antonio. Two former Pistons led the team in scoring against San Antonio last year: Rodney Stuckey at 18.5 points per game and Smith at 18.0. Andre Drummond averaged 15.0 points and 13.0 rebounds. Marco Belinelli led the Spurs in scoring against Detroit at 20.0 points per game. Duncan averaged 12.0 points and 7.5 rebounds. Parker joined Ginobili and Leonard as playing in just one Pistons game last season. San Antonio has won four straight at home in this series.
Key trends: Detroit is 5-2 ATS in its past seven road games. It is 2-7 ATS in its past nine vs. teams with a winning record. The Spurs have covered only one of their past six after a win. The over is 8-1 in Detroit's last nine against clubs with a winning record. The over is 10-1 in San Antonio's last 11 against teams with a losing record. The Pistons have covered five of the past six meetings.
Early lean: I would guess this opens around 7ish, and I'd take any points over 6. Go over.
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