December 18, 2012
By Kevin Rogers
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The theme of Wednesday's NBA card is simple: revenge. Seven games involve teams playing for at least the second time this season, including five non-divisional battles. We'll take a look at four of these matchups, leading off with the showdown of the Empire State in Manhattan.
Nets at Knicks - 7:05 PM EST
New York tries to shake off its first home loss of the season on Monday to Houston, as the Knicks and Nets hook up for the third time. Carmelo Anthony sat out his second straight game with an ankle injury, as the Knicks' All-Star is listed as questionable for Wednesday. The Nets have split a pair of games with their rivals so far this season, but this will be the first meeting at Madison Square Garden.
Jason Kidd burned his former team with a late three-pointer in a 100-97 victory by New York at Barclays Center on December 11, but the Nets cashed as 3 ½-point home underdogs. The Knicks were able to avenge an earlier overtime setback at Brooklyn on November 26, as New York fell, 96-89, cashing the 'under' of 193.
The Nets are playing with no rest following Tuesday's two-point loss to the Jazz, as Avery Johnson's team is 2-3 SU/ATS when playing on the second of a back-to-back. The Knicks own a 3-0 SU/ATS record at home coming off a loss, while hitting the 'over' each of the last two times in this situation.
Thunder at Hawks - 7:35 PM EST
Oklahoma City is the hottest team in the league with 11 consecutive victories, as the Thunder attempts to win its seventh road game in eight tries. The Hawks return home after Tuesday's contest at Washington, as Atlanta has cleaned up against most of the league's garbage.
Larry Drew's club owns eight wins over the Bobcats, Magic, and Wizards, but the Hawks have beaten the Grizzlies and Thunder on the road. Playing without Josh Smith on November 4, Atlanta rallied for a 104-95 triumph as nine-point 'dogs at Oklahoma City. The Hawks are listed as a home 'dog for the third time this season, falling to the Heat on November 9, while beating the Clippers on November 24.
The Thunder has played twice as many road games (8) as home contests (16) this season, as OKC is 6-2 SU/ATS away from Chesapeake Energy Arena. Oklahoma City bounced back from a 1-2 start by winning 19 of the last 21 games, while eclipsing the 100-point mark in 14 of the previous 15 contests.
Bucks at Grizzlies - 9:35 PM EST
Memphis continues to be in the mix as one of the teams to compete with Oklahoma City for greatness atop the Western Conference. The Grizzlies topped the Bulls on Monday in a low-scoring affair, 80-71 to cover as 6 ½-point favorites. The Bucks head to Memphis with no rest following a divisional battle with the Pacers on Tuesday, as Milwaukee has lost all three road games against the Western Conference this season.
The last time the Bucks and Grizzlies met at BMO Harris Bradley Center in early November, Memphis dominated Milwaukee, 108-90. The Grizzlies grabbed a 13-point halftime lead and cruised from there, as Lionel Hollins' club shot a sizzling 53% from the floor. Memphis has won each of the last four meetings with Milwaukee, but only one of those victories came at the FedEx Forum.
The Grizzlies have cashed the 'under' in six of the last eight home contests, as one of those 'overs' came against Phoenix in overtime. Milwaukee started the season with three consecutive road victories, but Scott Skiles' team is just 3-5 SU and 4-4 ATS the last eight games on the highway.
Hornets at Clippers - 10:35 PM EST
In one of the biggest upsets of the season, New Orleans went into Staples Center as 13-point underdogs in late November and knocked off Los Angeles, 105-98. The Clippers returned from a four-game road trip and stubbed their toe, as Vinny Del Negro's club is in the same spot after finishing their most recent highway voyage at 4-0 (while winning 10 straight overall).
Los Angeles concluded its away swing with a victory at Detroit, while holding all four opponents to 94 points or less. However, the Clips have hit the 'over' in seven of eight games as a home favorite of at least 8 ½ points this season. Since falling to the Hornets, the Clippers have won five consecutive games at Staples Center, while covering each of the last four.
The Hornets continue their five-game road trip, as New Orleans plays with no rest after Tuesday's affair at Golden State. Monty Williams' team has profited as a road 'dog of at least eight points this season by putting together a 4-2 ATS record, but the Hornets own just two wins away from the Big Easy.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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