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NBA Notebook

NBA Week Of December 3 Betting Recap

Is it time to take the New York Knicks as serious NBA title contenders? New York had an impressive last week, beating the Heat in Miami without an injured Carmelo Anthony and then handling the Denver Nuggets in Melo's return. New York is now down to 15/1 to win it all at Bovada.

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The 112-106 home win over the Nuggets was one of the top results of the week for bettors. Anthony returned from a two-game absence due to a lacerated finger and had 34 points and six rebounds as the Knicks improved to 8-0 at home this season (7-1 ATS). If the NBA MVP vote were held today, Anthony probably would be the winner. Against Denver, the Knicks were 4.5-point favorites and took more than 65% of the lean. At -180, the Knicks took almost 86%. The over 205 points took about 83%.

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The Heat game, New York's second win over Miami this season by 20 points, was just a small win for bettors on the spread, with the Knicks as 9.5-point dogs. That number shifted four points when Anthony was ruled out. At -600, the Heat took nearly 85% of the action and that was the top moneyline result of the week for the book. The top spread result was Utah's 105-104 home loss to the L.A. Clippers on Monday. The Clippers were giving 2.5 points and took more than 82% of the action.

Carmelo provided one of the top player prop results of the week for bettors by going over 25.5 points in that Denver game. Other wins were: LeBron James over 26.5 points in that Knicks game; Kobe Bryant over 28.5 points in a loss to Oklahoma City; and Brooklyn's Deron Williams over 16.5 points against the Thunder. The book came out ahead on: Minnesota's Kevin Love under 13.5 rebounds against Philadelphia; the Clippers' Blake Griffin under 19.5 points against Dallas; and LeBron under 25.5 points against New Orleans.

Early-Week Live Betting Preview

ESPN offers a doubleheader on both Tuesday and Wednesday and the book will offer Live Betting on all four games. It begins Tuesday with Knicks at Nets, the second meeting of the season between the now-heated rivals. The Nets won at home 96-89 in overtime back on November 26.

The Nets clearly have missed center Brook Lopez. He has missed five games with a foot injury and Brooklyn has dropped the past four (0-4 ATS). Lopez did practice fully on Monday and will be a game-time call Tuesday. He had 22 points and 11 boards in the first meeting with New York.

The nightcap Tuesday features the Clippers in their lone visit of the season to Chicago. The Bulls seem to be finding themselves a bit without the injured Derrick Rose (and Richard Hamilton) as they have won three straight (3-0 ATS) to take over the Central Division lead. Guard Kirk Hinrich injured his elbow in Saturday's win over the Knicks but should play Tuesday. The Clips lead the Pacific and have won six in a row as Lamar Odom has begun to round into form.

One other note bettors should be aware of for Tuesday is the expected return of Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving, last season's Rookie of the Year. Irving hasn't played since November 18 due to a finger injury and the Cavs have gone down the tubes without him, losing nine of 11 and five straight. They host the equally struggling Lakers.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday the Live Betting doubleheader is Mavericks at Celtics and Spurs at Jazz. Utah will get back forward Derrick Favors in that one. He has missed five games with a foot injury. Counting last year's playoffs, Utah has lost eight of its past nine to San Antonio. That lone win came when the Spurs rested stars Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Who knows if Coach Gregg Popovich rests any of them Wednesday as the team then plays again Thursday night in Portland.

Check back Thursday for a weekend Live NBA Betting preview at the book.

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