NBA Odds and Predictions: Wednesday, February 4 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 2/3/2015
Many times after a long winning streak ends, a team will go into a little funk. It's human nature to feel a little deflated and perhaps have your intensity drop for a few games. Thus it might be wise to bet against the Atlanta Hawks for a couple of games as their franchise-record 19-game winning streak ended Monday night. The Hawks' next three games are all against NBA title contenders as well, including Wednesday vs. Washington. Here's a look at that and the rest of Wednesday's schedule.
Pistons at Pacers (-4, 190.5)
Detroit hosted Miami on Tuesday night. Indiana has been off since Saturday's 99-94 home loss to Sacramento. The Pacers lost despite their bench outscoring the Kings' 56-11. Of course it didn't help the starters weren't scoring much. Former starting point guard George Hill continues to come off the bench since returning from injury, but that's mainly because he's been on a minutes restriction to get back into shape. Coach Frank Vogel said that Saturday might be the end of that restriction. Detroit leads Indiana 2-0 this season, winning just by two in Indianapolis on Jan. 16 behind 37 from Brandon Jennings. Of course he's done for the year.
Key trends: The road team has covered six of the past seven meetings. The "over/under" has hit in five of the past six in the series.
Early lean: Pacers and under.
Nets at Raptors (-10.5, 202.5)
Brooklyn pulled a pretty big surprise on Monday night with a 102-100 home win over the Clippers to end a seven-game skid. Jarrett Jack hit the tiebreaker jumper with 1.3 seconds left. The Nets erased a nine-point deficit in the final 1:35. Deron Williams played his first game since Jan. 7 due to injury and had 15 points. Toronto's six-game winning streak ended in Monday's 82-75 home loss to the Bucks. The Raptors' 75 points were a season low. Toronto is 2-0 vs. Brooklyn this season. The last meeting was in Brooklyn on Jan. 30, a 127-122 Raptors OT win. Jack had a career-high 35 in that one.
Key trends: The Nets are 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The under is 5-0 in Toronto's past five following a loss.
Early lean: Take the points and go under.
Wizards at Hawks (-6, 198.5)
Washington enters this nice matchup on a three-game losing streak, the last two at home. The Wizards were beaten 92-88 by Charlotte on Monday. John Wall was clearly bothered by his sprained right ankle and migraine headaches as he was just 4-for-14 shooting from the field. He might have to take a game or two off. Bradley Beal led Washington with 18 points and a season-high 11 rebounds. Atlanta lost by 15 in New Orleans on Monday. It fell behind by double digits in the first quarter and trailed the rest of the way. Before this winning streak the Hawks were given just a 13 percent chance of getting the top seed in the East. Now it's 97 percent.
Key trends: Washington is 0-7 ATS in its past seven games. The road team is 4-1 in the past five meetings. The over is 5-1 in the past six.
Early lean: If Wall plays take the points, but don't if not.
Nuggets at Celtics (-1, 198.5)
Second of a back-to-back for Denver as it was in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Boston also played Tuesday, visiting the Knicks. The Celtics won in Denver 100-99 on Jan. 23. Avery Bradley hit a go-ahead 3-pointer and a jumper to help secure the lead in the final 1:24. Denver didn't have star point guard Ty Lawson for that one. JaVale McGee also missed it, and he's back now too. Kelly Olynyk missed for Boston and he won't play until after the All-Star Break.
Key trends: Denver has covered one of its past seven in the second of a back-to-back. Boston has covered eight of its past 10 in that scenario. The Celtics have covered four of the past five meetings.
Early lean: Celtics and over.
Bulls at Rockets (TBA)
Chicago continues its schizophrenic ways, winning in Golden State last Tuesday and then following that with close losses at the Lakers (not acceptable) on Thursday and Phoenix (that's acceptable) on Friday. The Bulls' Mike Dunleavy hopes to return here from a 16-game injury absence. Houston had a four-game winning streak end 114-101 in Detroit on Saturday as the team played without Dwight Howard and apparently will for several more games as he deals with knee troubles. James Harden left that game near the end of the second quarter with a knee injury of his own but did return (although didn't practice Monday). Houston lost 114-105 in Chicago on Jan. 5. Pau Gasol had 27 points and 14 rebounds.
Key trends: The Rockets are 6-1 ATS in their past seven at home. The under is 11-2 in Chicago's past 13 road games vs. teams with a winning home record.
Early lean: Like Bulls to win this outright.
Heat at Timberwolves (+1.5, 188)
Miami played in Detroit on Tuesday without Dwayne Wade but perhaps the return of Luol Deng. Minnesota lost 100-94 in Dallas on Monday for its third straight defeat. The bright spot there was the return of Wolves starting point guard Ricky Rubio. He had been out with a sprained ankle since Nov. 7. Rubio had 10 points and four assists. Minnesota lost in Miami 102-92 on Nov. 8. Wade had 25 points.
Key trends: The Wolves are 1-4 ATS in their past five at home. The under is 4-1 in Miami's past five in the second of a back-to-back.
Wolves and over.
Lakers at Bucks (TBA)
Los Angeles lost 92-80 at the Knicks on Super Bowl Sunday, shooting just 35.5 percent from the field. Carlos Boozer led L.A. with 19 points and 10 rebounds as the Lakers played without Nick Young, who is dealing with a sprained right ankle. He has a good shot of playing vs. Milwaukee. The Lakers also lost starting forward Jordan Hill in the first quarter to a strained quad and he's day-to-day. The Bucks won their fourth straight on Monday, 82-75 in Toronto, despite scoring only nine fourth-quarter points. The team played without starting point guard Brandon Knight due to a sore right quad; he's day-to-day. Jorge Gutierrez started for Knight, who had started all 47 previous games this season. The Bucks are 17-0 this season when holding foes under 90 points. It's the first meeting of the season between these teams.
Key trends: The Lakers have covered two of their past 11. Milwaukee has covered six straight. The home team has covered four of the past five meetings.
Early lean: Bucks should roll here if Knight plays.
Thunder at Pelicans (TBA)
New Orleans got its best win of the season Monday with that 15-point victory over Atlanta to end the Hawks' winning streak. Anthony Davis returned from missing a game and had 29 points and 13 rebounds. Eric Gordon scored 20 points for New Orleans, while Tyreke Evans scored 15 points and tied a season high with 12 assists for the fourth time in five games. The Pelicans improved to 17-6 at home. Oklahoma City beat visiting Orlando 104-97 on Monday without Kevin Durant due to an injured toe. He's day-to-day but didn't practice Tuesday. Russell Westbrook had his 10th career triple-double in the game with 25 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds. The Pelicans are 2-0 vs. OKC this season.
Key trends: The Thunder are 0-6 ATS in their past six games. The Pelicans have covered six of their past seven. The under is 6-2 in the past eight meetings.
Early lean: Wait on Durant.
Magic at Spurs (-12.5, 204)
San Antonio's three-game winning streak ended in Saturday's 105-85 home loss to the Clippers. San Antonio's Big Three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili combined for just 18 points. San Antonio went 10 for 30 on 3s and was outrebounded 56-36. I'm assuming that Jacque Vaughn will be Orlando's coach for this game but it's possible not as there are rumors swirling he could be canned any day as the Magic are on a nine-game losing streak. Victor Oladipo returned in Monday's loss to the Thunder after missing a game and had 22 points. First meeting of season between Spurs and Magic.
Key trends: Orlando is 14-3 ATS in its past 17 road games vs. teams with a winning home record. The Spurs have covered only one of their past seven at home vs. teams with a losing road record. The Spurs are 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings.
Early lean: Magic and over.
Grizzlies at Jazz (+6.5, 191)
Memphis won its seventh straight game Monday, 102-101 in Phoenix -- the Suns were the first team in this winning streak to reach 100 points. Jeff Green converted a three-point play with 4.5 seconds to play and the Grizzlies rallied from seven down in the final 1:35. Marc Gasol blocked Markieff Morris' shot at the finish to preserve the victory. Utah was in Portland on Tuesday night. The Jazz won the only meeting with the Grizzlies thus far, a 97-91 upset in Memphis on Dec. 22. That did come at the end of a tough stretch of games for the Grizzlies, who also were without Zach Randolph and Tony Allen.
Key trends: Memphis is 3-8 ATS in its past 11 trips to Utah. The under is 6-0 in the past six there.
Early lean: Grizzlies and definitely under.
Mavericks at Warriors (-8.5, 217.5)
Golden State played in Sacramento on Tuesday. Dallas won its third straight on Monday, 100-94 over the visiting Wolves. Rajon Rondo was injured over the weekend and missed that game, as he will at least a few more with an orbital fracture and fractured nose. J.J. Barea had 10 points and eight assists starting in his place. Chandler Parsons returned after missing the previous two games for the Mavs and had 18 points. Golden State won the only meeting with Dallas so far, 105-98 in Big D on Dec. 13. That was the Warriors' 15th straight win at the time. Dallas played without Parsons while the Warriors didn't have Andrew Bogut.
Key trends: The underdog is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The under is 6-1 in the past seven.
Early lean: Mavericks and under.
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