NBA Odds and Predictions: Wednesday, January 28 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 1/27/2015
Charlotte's playoff chances took a hit when star point guard Kemba Walker announced on Monday that he was going to have left knee surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus. Walker is averaging 18.8 points and 5.2 assists in 35.6 minutes per game, leading the team in those categories. The Hornets are hoping he misses only six weeks and thus could return late in the regular season. The team is looking at trade options, with reports saying the Hornets are targeting someone like the Kings' Ramon Sessions or Miami's Norris Cole. The Hornets begin life without Walker on Wednesday in San Antonio. Here's a look at that matchup and every game on the schedule.
Trail Blazers at Cavaliers (-6, 205.5)
Second of a back-to-back for Cleveland as it was in Detroit on Tuesday. Portland was supposed to play Monday in Brooklyn but that game was postponed. The Blazers beat visiting Washington 103-96 on Saturday behind 26 points and nine rebounds from LaMarcus Aldridge -- who was supposed to miss nearly two months due to thumb surgery. He's trying to play through it. Starting forward Nicolas Batum missed that game with a wrist injury and he's questionable here. The Blazers beat the visiting Cavaliers 101-82 back on Nov. 4. LeBron James was held to just 11 points.
Key trends: Portland is 2-5 ATS in its past seven games. The "over/under" has gone over in five of Portland's past six on the road.
Early lean: Cavs will remember that first meeting and get payback. Give the points and go over for sure.
Pistons at 76ers (TBA)
Detroit hosted the Cavaliers on Tuesday. Philly enters on a six-game losing streak, not scoring more than 91 points in any of those games. The Sixers were clobbered 99-74 in New Orleans on Monday. The team has ruled leading scorer Tony Wroten out for the season. Guard Michael Carter-Williams missed the Pelicans game with an upper respiratory infection and is day-to-day. One of Philly's eight wins this season came in Detroit on Dec. 6, 108-101 in overtime. Detroit won the most recently meeting, 107-89 at home on Jan. 17. That began this six-game losing streak for the 76ers.
Key trends: The Pistons are 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings. The over is 7-1 in the past eight.
Early lean: If the Sixers get double-digit points I'd take them. Anything under no.
Kings at Raptors (-8.5, 205)
Toronto played at Indiana on Tuesday. Sacramento was in New York to face the Knicks on Monday, but that was postponed. The Kings have thus been off since a 126-101 blowout loss in Golden State on Friday, the team's sixth straight loss. That was the night the Warriors' Klay Thompson had that crazy 37-point third quarter. Sacramento is 5-14 since firing Coach Michael Malone. The Kings lost at home to Toronto 117-109 on Dec. 2. Kyle Lowry had 27 points for Toronto, which had five players in double figures. DeMar DeRozan was out injured then.
Key trends: The Kings have covered one of their past 12 vs. the East. Toronto has failed to cover its past five vs. the West. The favorite is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings.
Early lean: I'll take the points. Go under.
Nets at Hawks (-14, 195.5)
Brooklyn was supposed to host Portland on Monday, but it was postponed because of that massive storm hitting the Northeast. That was rescheduled for April 6. The Nets have lost two straight and 10 of 12. They were destroyed last Thursday at the Clippers and Saturday in Utah, becoming just the fifth team in league history with back-to-back losses by at least 35 points. That's a team that has quit. The Hawks put their franchise-best 16-game winning streak on the line here. The last four wins have been by at least 11 points, and the Hawks have led by at least 10 in every game. Atlanta won in Brooklyn 98-75 on Dec. 5.
Key trends: The road team is 6-1 ATS in the past seven meetings. The under is 5-2 in those seven.
Early lean: Nets and under.
Mavericks at Rockets (TBA)
Dallas hosted Memphis on Tuesday. Houston routed the Lakers in their gym 99-87 on Sunday for its second straight win. James Harden had 37 points as the Rockets played without Dwight Howard due to an injured ankle. I have a feeling that if the Rockets were playing a quality opponent that Howard could have played so I'd be moderately surprised if he doesn't here. Houston beat visiting Dallas 95-92 on Nov. 22 behind 32 from Harden. The Mavs led by four with less than a minute left. Howard missed that game too.
Key trends: The home team is 6-2 ATS in the past eight meetings. The over is 4-1 in the past five.
Early lean: Wait on Howard, who is a game-time call.
Celtics at Timberwolves (+3.5, 202.5)
This is the end of a six-game road trip for Boston, which is a solid 3-2 on it. The C's won 99-90 in Utah on Monday night behind 19 points from new Celtic Tayshaun Prince. Evan Turner left that game for a while with a thumb injury. X-rays were negative, but he's questionable for this one. Minnesota lost its fifth straight Monday, 92-84 at Oklahoma City. Andrew Wiggins had 23 points but the Wolves shot a season-low 34.1 percent. Kevin Martin missed his 34th consecutive game with a fractured right wrist. He was listed as questionable, but did not dress. Guard Mo Williams hurt his hip in the game and is questionable for this one. Minnesota lost in Boston 114-98 on Dec. 19.
Key trends: Boston has covered five straight on the road. The Wolves are 1-8 ATS in their past nine at home vs. teams with a losing road record. The home team is 5-0 ATS in the past five meetings.
Early lean: Celtics and over.
Nuggets at Pelicans (-6.5, 204)
Denver fell at the L.A. Clippers 102-98 on Monday for its seventh straight loss. L.A. outscored the Nuggets by 12 in the fourth quarter. Ty Lawson led the Nuggets with 19 points and 11 assists. Denver has lost three straight on the road, where it is 6-15. New Orleans crushed the visiting 76ers on Monday for its fourth straight win. Anthony Davis had a typical line of 32 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. New Orleans (24-21) moved three games above .500 for the first time since coach Monty Williams' first season in 2010-11. The Pelicans lost by 20 in Denver on Nov. 21.
Key trends: The home team is 10-1 ATS in the past 11 meetings. The under is 11-2 in the past 13 in New Orleans.
Early lean: Pelicans and under.
Thunder at Knicks (TBA)
Oklahoma City ended a two-game skid with Monday's eight-point home win over Minnesota despite playing without Kevin Durant, who has a sprained toe. If at all possible, he will want to play Wednesday in his only trip of the season to Madison Square Garden. Thunder center Steven Adams, who missed Sunday's game against Cleveland with a migraine, was back Monday. New York's game Monday against Sacramento also was postponed due to that winter storm. It was rescheduled for March 3. The Knicks have actually won three of four. They lost in Oklahoma City 105-78 on Nov. 28 while playing without Carmelo Anthony.
Key trends: The Knicks have covered one of their past 10 vs. the West. The under is 4-1 in OKC's past five. The Thunder are 1-4 ATS in their past five at the Knicks.
Early lean: Wait on Durant.
Hornets at Spurs (-12, 190)
Charlotte is playing much better of late and has won four of five. It has been off since beating the Knicks 76-71 on Saturday. Brian Roberts started for Walker and had 17 points. Hornets big men Marvin Williams (concussion) and Bismack Biyombo (knee bruise) left the game early and did not return. Biyombo is expected to miss 10 days, while Williams has to pass the league's concussion protocol. San Antonio has won two straight. It won in Charlotte 98-93 on Jan. 14 behind 27 points from Manu Ginobili. Walker had 28. The Spurs have won eight straight against the Hornets.
Key trends: Charlotte is 10-4 ATS in its past 14 after a win. The Spurs are 4-0-1 ATS in their past five vs. teams with a losing record. The Hornets are 1-5 ATS in the past six meetings.
Early lean: Spurs and over.
Clippers at Jazz (+6.5, 200)
Utah's two-game winning streak ended with Monday's 99-90 home loss to Boston. Gordon Heyward had 26 points in the loss. Jazz rookie guard Dante Exum had his third straight start but was held scoreless in 25 minutes. The Clippers have won five straight, scoring at least 102 points in all of them. They beat visiting Denver 102-98 on Monday as Jamal Crawford scored 21 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter. L.A. forward Matt Barnes re-aggravated a sprained abdominal muscle in the game and is questionable for Wednesday. The Clippers are 3-0 vs. Utah this season.
Key trends: The road team has covered the past four meetings. The over is 4-1 in the past five in Utah.
Early lean: Clippers and over.
Wizards at Suns (-4, 211)
Washington was at the L.A. Lakers on Tuesday night. Phoenix lost 120-100 at home to the Clippers on Sunday for its second straight defeat -- both at home after winning seven straight there. Isaiah Thomas scored 25 points and Eric Bledsoe added 17 for the Suns. Phoenix was without reserve forward Brandan Wright, out with a sore foot. Guard Goran Dragic played the second half with a golf ball size knot on his right elbow after colliding with Chris Paul. The Suns won in Washington 104-92 on Dec. 21.
Key trends: Washington is 2-5 ATS in its past seven in the second of a back-to-back. Phoenix has covered just one of its past six vs. teams with a winning record. The road team is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings.
Early lean: Wizards and over.
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