February 6, 2013
By Kevin Rogers
Wednesday's NBA card is one of the largest of the season with 13 games on tap. The Thunder and Warriors meet up for the third time this season with their series tied at one apiece, while the Bucks travel to Salt Lake City with no rest to battle the Jazz. We'll begin with the Heat playing their second game back from a long road trip against a run-and-gun Houston squad.
Rockets at Heat - 7:35 PM EST
The last time these two teams met up in Houston, the Heat outlasted the Rockets, 113-110 as 5 ½-point favorites in mid-November. Miami squandered a 17-point lead, but managed the victory as LeBron James torched Houston for 38 points and 10 rebounds, while the Heat shot 50% from the floor. The Rockets head to South Florida with no rest following Tuesday's home blowout of the Warriors.
Houston has won three of its last four games away from the Toyota Center, including double-digit victories at New Orleans and Utah as underdogs. However, the Rockets lost their most recent road contest at Denver last Wednesday, 118-110, the only non-cover in the last five games. Kevin McHale's club owns a solid 16-6 ATS record against the Eastern Conference, however, the Rockets have failed to cash in their last four road games versus Eastern foes.
The Heat have covered five straight off an ATS loss, as Miami is coming off a win as a 14-point favorite over Charlotte on Monday, 99-94. Miami hopes to avoid a letdown with both Los Angeles clubs coming into the American Airlines Arena this weekend (Clippers-Friday, Lakers-Sunday). Erik Spoelstra's club has put together a 2-4 ATS record the last six home games, as three of those losses came as double-digit favorites.
Grizzlies at Hawks - 7:35 PM EST
Both these clubs are coming off losses last night, as Memphis makes the short trip to Atlanta. The Hawks have dropped four of the previous five games, including Tuesday's 114-103 defeat at Indiana as six-point underdogs. The Grizzlies were tripped up by the Suns, 96-90, as Phoenix cashed in the road 'dog role.
Atlanta took care of Memphis in the first matchup back in December, 93-83 to cash outright as seven-point underdogs. The Hawks overcame a six-point halftime deficit by outscoring the Grizzlies, 32-13 in the third quarter, as Josh Smith led the way with 24 points. The road team has now won four of the last five meetings in the series, as the Grizzlies blew out the Hawks at Philips Arena last February.
Memphis has cashed seven of 10 times with no rest this season, including a 5-1 ATS record on the highway in this situation. The defense has let down the Grizzlies recently on the road, allowing at least 100 points in four of the last five away contests. The Hawks have hit the 'over' in six of eight home games against Western Conference competition.
Warriors at Thunder - 8:05 PM EST
Golden State hits the court in Oklahoma City tonight after suffering a 31-point thumping at Houston on Tuesday. The Warriors trailed by just one after the first quarter, but Mark Jackson's club was outscored, 102-72 over the final three quarters, while allowing the Rockets to knock down 23 three-pointers. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Warriors, who continue a tough road trip against a Thunder team that has alternated wins and losses in the last nine games.
OKC blew out Dallas on Monday night, 112-91, while cashing for the first time in three tries against the Mavs this season. Scott Brooks' team played just five home games in January, winning four times, including three victories against Western Conference foes Dallas, Denver, and Memphis. The Thunder fell to the Warriors in Oakland last month, 104-99 as 1 ½-point favorites, as Golden State outscored OKC, 52-42 in the second half.
The Warriors have cashed the 'over' in 10 of 12 games with no rest, while hitting the 'over' in eight of the last 10 contests overall. In fact, Golden State nailed the 'over' in eight of the last previous nine games away from Oracle Arena, as the only 'under' occurred in San Antonio with Stephen Curry out of the lineup. Golden State has lost seven straight visits to Chesapeake Energy Arena dating back to 2008, as the Thunder scored at least 100 points in each matchup.
Bucks at Jazz - 9:05 PM EST
Milwaukee suffered one of the worst ATS setbacks of the season last night, as the Bucks blew a 17-point lead in a 112-104 defeat at Denver. Here's the kicker - the Nuggets closed as seven-point favorites and never covered the spread until the final minute of regulation, much to the dismay of Bucks' bettors. The Bucks look to turn things around tonight with the short trip to Salt Lake City, facing a Jazz club that has won 10 of their last 14 games.
Utah is rolling at home with nine victories in its previous 10 contests at EnergySolutions Arena, including a 98-91 overtime triumph over Sacramento on Monday. The Jazz failed to cash as 8 ½-point favorites, the third ATS loss in the last four home games. Tyrone Corbin's team has won all six home games against Eastern Conference foes, while covering four times.
Since Jim Boylan took over as interim coach of the Bucks on January 6, Milwaukee is riding a crazy 11-4 run to the 'over.' Six of those nine 'overs' have come away from the BMO Harris Bradley Center, while scoring at least 100 points in four of the last five road games. The Bucks have struggled on the second end of a back-to-back this season, cashing in just four of 12 opportunities.
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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