November 6, 2012
By Kevin Rogers
The Wednesday NBA card is loaded with 13 games to wager on, including a handful of contests with plenty of interest. We'll take a look at four games, as the Bucks and Spurs look to stay unbeaten, while the Lakers and Jazz try to get on track. The night begins in South Florida with the Heat attempting to close out their homestand at a perfect 3-0.
Nets at Heat - 7:35 PM EST
For the exception of a hiccup at New York, Miami's offense has dominated in its three victories, averaging 121 points per game. The Heat hits the road for six games following Wednesday's contest against Brooklyn, who squandered a 22-point lead in Monday's home loss to Minnesota as 7 ½-point favorites.
Miami ran Phoenix out on Monday, 124-99 as 13-point 'chalk,' while hitting the 'over' for the third time in three games at the American Airlines Arena. The Heat drilled 15 three-pointers, as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh combined to score 63 points. The addition of Ray Allen off the bench has paid huge dividends early, as the former Celtic is averaging 15 points per game, while tallying 38 points in the wins over the Nuggets and Suns.
The Nets have played just two games so far with their opener against the Knicks postponed due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Brooklyn picked up a victory in its first game against Toronto, 107-100 to cash as 5 ½-point favorites, but stumbled in its quest for a second win on Monday. The Nets led the Wolves by 15 at the half and even 22 in the third quarter, but that lead evaporated quickly as Brooklyn would score just 10 points in the final quarter to lose, 107-96.
Grizzlies at Bucks - 8:05 PM EST
Milwaukee stunned Boston in its opener as seven-point road favorites, while needing a Brandon Jennings' buzzer-beating three-pointer to escape Cleveland to improve to 2-0. Although the Bucks didn't cover against the Cavs as seven-point 'chalk,' Scott Skiles' club looks for a 3-0 start when the Grizzlies invade the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Wednesday.
Memphis also attempts to win its third consecutive contest following victories over Golden State and Utah by nine points or more. The Grizzlies overcame an earlier 12-point deficit to beat the Jazz on Monday as five-point favorites, 103-94, as Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph combined to score 38 points. Memphis has taken each of the last three meetings against Milwaukee, including a 99-95 triumph in Wisconsin this past March as 2 ½-point 'dogs.
The Bucks nearly had a letdown on Saturday against the Cavs, but held off Cleveland, 105-102. Mike Dunleavy came off the bench to score 29 points for the Bucks, while Milwaukee shot 52% from the field. Last season, the Bucks put together a 9-10 SU and 7-12 ATS record at home off a victory, but Milwaukee compiled a strong 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS mark at the Bradley Center off a home win.
Lakers at Jazz - 9:05 PM EST
Both Los Angeles and Utah have started 1-3 out of the gate, as the two teams meet up in Salt Lake City on Wednesday. The Jazz returns home following a disappointing 0-3 road swing with losses at New Orleans, San Antonio, and Memphis, while failing to cover in all three defeats. The Lakers go for their second straight victory after breaking through the win column on Sunday night against the Pistons, 108-79 as 7 ½-point favorites.
Los Angeles is still without point guard Steve Nash (fibula), but jumped on Detroit in the first quarter to take a 34-13 advantage after 12 minutes. Dwight Howard led the Lakers with 28 points, while L.A. limited the Pistons to just 35% shooting from the floor. The Lakers lost their lone game away from Staples Center, falling at Portland, 116-106, as Los Angeles lost nine of 25 in the road underdog role last season.
Utah's best performance came in its only home contest, dominating an unrested Dallas squad, 113-94 on Halloween night as 8 ½-point favorites. Since then, the Jazz has reached the 100-point mark only once in three games, while wrapping up their road trip with a 103-94 defeat at Memphis. The Lakers and Jazz split four meetings last season with each team winning once at home and once on the road.
Spurs at Clippers - 10:30 PM EST
San Antonio swept Los Angeles in the second round of last season's Western Conference playoffs, as the Spurs try to reach 5-0 for the first time in franchise history. The Spurs cruised past the Jazz and Pacers by double-digits to finish off their homestand at 3-0, while the defense has allowed 95 points or less three times through four games.
The Clippers started the season at 2-0 after beating the Grizzlies and Lakers, but were knocked off as heavy favorites in losses to the Warriors and Cavaliers. Vinny Del Negro's club has broken the 100-point mark in all four games, while the defense has given up at least 108 points in each of their two defeats. The Cavs knocked down 14 three-pointers, as Cleveland outscored Los Angeles in three of the four quarters.
The Spurs grabbed six of seven meetings from the Clippers last season, including a perfect 3-0 mark at Staples Center.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at email@example.com
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.