November 20, 2012
By Kevin Rogers
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The NBA will take Thanksgiving off, but fans and bettors have plenty to feast on with Wednesday's 13-game card. There are several key matchups less than a month into the season, including the Clippers and Thunder hooking up in Oklahoma City. Late night, the Nets conclude their three-game California trip with a visit to Oakland against the surprising Warriors. We'll start in South Florida with two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference meeting up for the first time this season.
Bucks at Heat - 7:35 PM EST
Out of the two division leaders matching wits in Miami, it is no shock the Heat is ruling the Southeast Division at 8-3. However, Milwaukee was expected to be a middle of the road team in the Central behind Chicago and Indiana, but the Bucks are rolling with a 6-3 record. In spite of Monday's slip-up at Charlotte, Scott Skiles' team has put together a 3-1 SU/ATS mark away from Milwaukee this season.
The Bucks have found a way to be a thorn in Miami's side over the years, winning four of the last five meetings at American Airlines Arena, including a 91-82 triumph this past January as nine-point underdogs. Milwaukee has been below average against the number (4-5), but the Bucks own outright road 'dog victories at Boston and Philadelphia.
The Heat returns home following a 4-2 road trip, capped off by Saturday's nine-point win at Phoenix. Dwyane Wade sat out two games on the trip, but is expected to be in the lineup on Wednesday. In seven games with Wade active, Miami has hit the 'over' five times, including three times at home. Erik Spoelstra's club has compiled a 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS record at the AAA, as the Heat hits the highway only twice before Christmas with 12 of the next 14 games in South Florida.
Spurs at Celtics - 7:35 PM EST
San Antonio has lost three games this season, but two of those defeats are to the Clippers, as the Spurs visit Boston on Wednesday. Gregg Popovich's club followed up a 126-point effort against Denver on Saturday with an 87-point output in Monday's five-point loss to Los Angeles. The Spurs go for their fourth road win in five tries against a Celtics' squad coming off a humiliating 103-83 setback at Detroit on Sunday.
After failing to cover its first four games, Boston owns a 3-1-2 ATS ledger the last six contests, including home victories over Utah and Toronto. The Celtics dropped an 87-86 decision to the Spurs in the lone meeting last season, as the road team has claimed seven of the previous eight matchups. Boston has lost consecutive games just once this season, as the C's scored just 58 points in the final three quarters of Sunday's defeat to the Pistons.
Two of San Antonio's three road victories have come by three points or less against the Lakers and Blazers, as both wins were in a short favorite role. In Monday's loss to the Clippers, the Spurs were held to 35% shooting from the floor, while squandering an early 10-point advantage. San Antonio has drilled the 'under' in three of four away games, as the lone 'over' came with Tony Parker out of the lineup at Portland.
Clippers at Thunder - 7:35 PM EST
A pair of eight victory squads meets up in Oklahoma City as the Clippers attempt to win their seventh straight contest. Los Angeles improved to 3-0 SU/ATS on the road following Monday's 92-87 triumph at San Antonio, the fifth opponent in the last six games the Clippers have limited to less than 100 points. The task will not be easy for Vinny Del Negro's team, which faces a Thunder squad that has won seven of their past eight contests, capped off by a 119-109 home victory over the Warriors on Sunday.
Oklahoma City has topped the 105-point mark on six occasions this season, but the 'over' has cashed only three times. The Thunder owns a mediocre 3-3 ATS record as a home favorite, as two of those ATS losses came when laying at least nine points. OKC dropped three of four meetings with Los Angeles last season, as three of the games finished 'over' the total.
The Clippers continue a four-game road trip, as Los Angeles has covered in all eight wins this season. The two losses were suffered as heavy home favorites to the Warriors and Cavaliers, but four of their last six victories during this hot streak came by double-digits. After hitting the 'over' in the first four games, Los Angeles is riding a 5-1 stretch to the 'under,' including 'unders' in each of the last two road contests.
Nets at Warriors - 10:35 PM EST
Brooklyn finishes up a three-game swing through the Golden State, taking on the Warriors at Oracle Arena. The Nets play with no rest following Tuesday's contest against the Lakers, as Brooklyn hasn't been in this role yet this season. The Warriors return to Oakland after a 2-1 SU/ATS road trip, capped off by an overtime triumph at Dallas on Monday.
Golden State owns a 2-2 SU/ATS record at home, as both wins came in the favorite role over Cleveland and Atlanta. Mark Jackson's team hit the 'over' in the past three games, while cashing the 'over' seven times in the last 10 contests overall. The Warriors have fared well this season against upper-tier competition by compiling a 4-1 SU/ATS record versus teams that own records of .500 or better.
The Nets are listed as an underdog for just the third time this season, while Avery Johnson's club is a perfect 3-0 to the 'under' on the highway. Last season, the Nets rallied from a 19-point deficit to stun the Warriors in Oakland, 102-100, as Golden State played without leading scorer Stephen Curry.
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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