March 1, 2013
By Kevin Rogers
Friday's NBA card is loaded with 12 games to wager on, including a solid pair of nationally televised contests on ESPN. The Heat goes for their 13th consecutive victory as the Grizzlies come to town, while the Thunder and Nuggets lock horns for the third time this season. The night begins in the Nation's Capital with the coldest ATS team trying to pick up a cover in a revenge spot.
Knicks at Wizards - 7:05 PM EST
New York owns an 0-7-1 ATS record the last eight contests, while losing three of its past four games away from Madison Square Garden. The Knicks are fresh off consecutive home victories over the Sixers and Warriors, but the two wins came by a combined 10 points. Mike Woodson's team is both in a revenge situation and look-ahead spot, as the Knicks return home to host the Heat on Sunday afternoon.
This ATS skid began on February 6 with a 106-96 defeat at the Verizon Center as 4 ½-point favorites against the Wizards. Washington torched New York's defense by shooting 53% from the floor and putting up 36 points in the final quarter. Six Wizards scored in double-figures, including Trevor Ariza burning his former squad for 20 points on 5-of-7 shooting from three-point range. The victory snapped a nine-game skid to the Knicks dating back to 2010, while ending a five-game home losing streak in the series.
Since John Wall returned to the lineup on January 12, the Wizards own a sterling 17-6 ATS record, including a 14-3 ATS mark in the underdog role. In fact, Washington has cashed eight straight times when receiving points at the Verizon Center, including outright wins over New York, Oklahoma City, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, and the L.A. Clippers. The Wizards are coming off a one-point home loss to the Pistons, who pulled off a season-sweep of Washington.
Warriors at Celtics - 7:35 PM EST
Boston returns home following a 3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS road swing, which was capped off by an overtime triumph at Utah on Monday. The Celtics actually hit the highway after Friday's game with Golden State, as the Warriors search for a win following back-to-back losses to the Pacers and Knicks. Stephen Curry tallied an NBA-high 54 points in Wednesday's 109-105 setback at New York, but the Warriors did cash as 7 ½-point underdogs.
Golden State played that game without power forward David Lee, who was suspended one game by the league for his role in Tuesday's brawl at Indiana. The Warriors have fallen off since a 6-1 road swing in mid-December, as Mark Jackson's club has won just one of the last 10 times in the away underdog role (2-8 ATS). In the last 12 road games overall, the Warriors have been golden to 'over' backers by cashing 10 times, while giving up at least 100 points on 10 occasions.
Since Rajon Rondo's season-ending knee injury on January 25, the Celtics have figured out a way to win consistently at home without their All-Star point guard. Boston has grabbed seven consecutive victories at TD Garden, including wins over the Clippers, Heat, Lakers, Nuggets, and Bulls. The C's are playing with revenge after getting drubbed in Oakland on December 29 in a 101-83 road loss. Boston has beaten Golden State in eight of the last nine home meetings, but the Warriors have cashed in the last three visits to TD Garden (all as underdogs of 9 ½ points or more).
Grizzlies at Heat - 8:05 PM EST
Miami just keeps on rolling after picking up its 12th consecutive victory after knocking off Sacramento in two overtimes on Tuesday, 141-129. The Heat failed to cover as 15-point favorites, the second straight non-cover as double-digit 'chalk.' The Grizzlies invade South Florida on an eight-game winning streak following a historic rally on Wednesday night.
Memphis trailed Dallas by 25 points in the second quarter, but put together an incredible comeback to stun the Mavericks, 90-84. The defense stepped up in the third quarter by limiting Dallas to just five points, while Memphis found a way to win in spite of shooting 37% from the field. Following a six-game 'over' streak, the Grizzlies are back to business by cashing the 'under' in four straight contests, while holding four straight opponents to 84 points or less.
The Heat has revenge on their minds after getting torched at Memphis in mid-November, 104-86. Dwyane Wade shot just 3-of-15 from the floor for eight points, but the two Grizzlies that lit up the Heat defense that night are now gone as Rudy Gay and Wayne Ellington combined for 46 points. Miami's offense has eclipsed the 100-point mark in eight of the last nine home contests, resulting in eight 'overs.'
Thunder at Nuggets - 10:35 PM EST
Miami and Denver are the hottest home teams in the league, as the Nuggets enter tonight's action owning a 24-3 SU and 18-9 ATS record at the Pepsi Center. Denver is in the midst of a nine-game winning streak at home, as this hot stretch began with an overtime triumph over Oklahoma City on January 20. The Nuggets are currently 20-4 to the 'over' the last 24 contests, including a 12-2 mark at home.
The Thunder cruised to a 119-74 rout against the short-handed Hornets on Wednesday to easily cash as 14 ½-point favorites. OKC completed a three-game sweep of its homestand, with each victory coming by at least 16 points. The Thunder has stumbled recently on the highway by losing five of their last seven games, including defeats at Cleveland, Utah, and Houston in which the defense allowed at least 109 points.
The last time the Nuggets and Thunder hooked up at the Pepsi Center, Denver held off OKC in overtime, 121-118 as seven Nuggets scored in double-figures. Oklahoma City benefited from 40 free throws made on 48 attempts, while the dynamic duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 63 points.
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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