November 19, 2012
By Kevin Rogers
It's a light NBA card on Tuesday with three games to wager on, but the two Empire teams are on center-stage. The Knicks look to stay hot in New Orleans, while the Nets continue their road trip against the Lakers. We'll begin in Philadelphia with a pair of division rivals hooking up.
Raptors at 76ers - 7:05 PM EST
Philadelphia is attempting to finish off its five-game homestand at 3-2 after beating Utah and Cleveland the last two contests. The Sixers welcome in the Raptors, who are trying to win consecutive games for the first time this season, coming off Sunday's matinee triumph over the Magic.
Doug Collins' squad hasn't scored many points this season, busting the 100-point mark only once in their first 10 contests. However, Philadelphia's defense put together another solid defensive effort on Sunday by limiting Cleveland to 79 points in a seven-point victory. The Sixers own a 4-1 mark to the 'over' following an 'under' this season, while going for their third division win. Philadelphia topped Toronto on November 10, a 93-83 road triumph as three-point underdogs.
The Raptors continue to play with starting point guard Kyle Lowry, who missed the last six games with a foot injury. Toronto held off Orlando on Sunday, 97-86 to cash four-point 'chalk,' as five Raptors finished in double-figures. Dwane Casey's team has only one road win in five tries, while allowing at least 100 points four times.
Knicks at Hornets - 8:05 PM EST
New York continues to roll along following Sunday's blowout of Indiana to improve to 7-1 SU/ATS. The Knicks head back to the road for three games against Southwest Division foes. Mike Woodson's club split a pair of contests at San Antonio and Memphis, while suffering their first loss of the season against the Grizzlies last Friday. The task won't be easy heading to New Orleans, taking on a Hornets' squad that continues to cash for bettors.
The Hornets are just 3-5 on the season, but Monty Williams' team has covered six times, including Saturday's four-point defeat at Milwaukee as eight-point 'dogs. The two non-covers both came at home in blowout losses to Philadelphia and Oklahoma City, as the Thunder drubbed the Hornets on Friday, 110-95. New Orleans continues to put up high-scoring games of late, cashing the 'over' in four straight contests.
The Knicks boast the league's best defense through the first three weeks, allowing just 90 points per game. New York gave up 100 points in consecutive games at San Antonio and Memphis, but the defense tightened up by yielding a season-low 76 points to the Pacers. This is just the second time the Knicks have listed as a road favorite this season, while beating the Magic last Tuesday, 99-89 as seven-point 'chalk.' New York looks for its fourth consecutive win in New Orleans, as the Knicks have cashed seven of the last eight meetings with the Hornets.
Nets at Lakers - 10:35 PM EST
Brooklyn has overcome a 1-2 start to capture five straight victories, as the Nets travel to Tinseltown on Tuesday to battle the streaking Lakers. Los Angeles is moving forward from the Mike Brown era by scoring over 100 points in four of the last five games, while winning four times to improve to 5-5. The Lakers close out a six-game homestand, seeking a 5-1 SU/ATS record.
The uptempo Lakers held off the Rockets, 119-108 on Sunday, cashing as seven-point favorites to move to 5-0 ATS the last five games in the favorite role. The 208 ½ total posted on Tuesday is the highest for Los Angeles this season, but the Purple and Gold managed to eclipse the 'over' in each of the last two games listed at 200 or above.
The Nets held off the Kings on Sunday to kick off their three-game California road trip, 99-90 as 3 ½-point 'chalk.' Gerald Wallace returned to the Brooklyn lineup after missing the previous six games with ankle injury, but scored just four points at Sacramento in 24 minutes. After allowing 100 points or more in the first three games, the Nets have given up triple-digits just once during this five-game hot streak.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.
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