April 2, 2013
By Kevin Rogers
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The Wednesday NBA card showcases 12 contests, including four games that take place on the West Coast. From a pointspread standpoint, the Jazz, Knicks, and Timberwolves are three of the hottest teams covering numbers, as all three clubs are in action on Wednesday. We'll begin with New York playing with no rest at Philips Arena.
Knicks at Hawks - 7:05 PM EST
New York has opened up its lead inside the Atlantic Division over Brooklyn thanks to a nine-game winning streak. The Knicks are on the tail-end of a back-to-back following Tuesday's victory at shorthanded Miami, as Mike Woodson's team faces Atlanta for just the second time this season.
In late January, the Knicks edged the Hawks, 106-104 at Madison Square Garden, but failed to cash as 5 ½-point underdogs. The two squads were tied at the half, as New York outscored Atlanta, 30-22 in the third quarter to open things up. Atlanta rallied late to grab the cover, while the Hawks shot a blistering 60% from the field. Carmelo Anthony knocked down nine treys in the victory, as New York drilled 16 three-pointers in the win.
The Hawks continue their four-game homestand, coming off victories over also-rans Orlando and Cleveland. Atlanta failed to cover in those wins as double-digit favorites, while posting a 2-4 ATS record the last six opportunities in the 'chalk' role. The Knicks are rolling from an ATS standpoint by covering nine of their past 10 contests, including five straight ATS victories away from Madison Square Garden.
Pistons at Celtics - 7:35 PM EST
Boston is actually playing with double-revenge heading into this matchup, as the Pistons destroyed the Celtics twice at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Detroit cashed outright as short home underdogs with triumphs coming by 20 and 15 points, as one of those defeats by the Celtics came with no rest. Boston is rested, but the Celtics aren't playing their best basketball at the moment with losses in seven of the past nine contests.
Paul Pierce missed Monday's 110-100 defeat at Minnesota attending to personal matters, but the Celtics' All-Star forward is expected to be in the lineup on Wednesday. The Celtics have allowed 107 points or more in three straight games, but lost to the Wolves in spite of shooting 52% from the floor. Since the All-Star break, Boston has cashed six of seven games at TD Garden, while putting together a 12-2 record the last 14 home contests.
The Pistons are coming off consecutive covers against the Bulls and Raptors, including a 108-98 triumph at Toronto on Monday as seven-point underdogs. Detroit shot 55% from the field, while receiving 51 points off the bench. Lawrence Frank's team has covered four straight games away from the Palace, as the Pistons have stepped up their defense by allowing 98 points or less in each of the last three road contests.
Wolves at Bucks - 8:05 PM EST
Minnesota doesn't have much to play for at this point, but the Wolves are giving solid efforts every night. Rick Adelman's club has cashed eight of their last 11 games, while picking up home victories over the Celtics and Thunder since last Wednesday. The Wolves make the short trip to Milwaukee, as the Bucks try to make a late push to improve their playoff seeding in the Eastern Conference.
Milwaukee cruised past Charlotte, 131-102 to easily cash as 12 ½-point home favorites, while hitting the 'over' in three straight games. The defense hasn't been great recently, allowing at least 100 points in six consecutive contests, including each of the last four times out at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Since the end of January, the Bucks own a dreadful 3-11 ATS record as a home favorite, while trying to avenge a 95-85 defeat at Minnesota in late November.
Since winning four straight games in December, the Wolves have failed to capture victories in consecutive contests. Minnesota beat Boston on Monday, but the Wolves are a ridiculous 0-15 SU and 2-12-1 ATS in the last 15 games off a win, including four consecutive road losses by double-digits. Five of the last seven away games have finished 'under' the total, including three straight with a total of at least 200.
Nuggets at Jazz - 9:05 PM EST
Denver rebounded from a mini two-game skid by routing Brooklyn on Friday, 109-87 as 6 ½-point favorites. Ty Lawson will miss his fifth game in the last six with a foot injury, as the Nuggets have finished 'under' the total in five consecutive contests. The Nuggets travel over one state to Utah to battle the hottest ATS team in the league.
The Jazz have covered eight straight games, while barely holding onto the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Utah is riding a five-game winning streak following a victory over banged-up Portland, as Tyrone Corbin's offense has eclipsed the 103-point mark in each of the last six trips to the court. The 'over' is profiting in this span, cashing in six of the previous seven games.
The Nuggets are a strong home squad at 33-3, but the road hasn't been as friendly. George Karl's club owns a 17-21 record away from the Pepsi Center, as Denver has cashed in four of the last six opportunities as a road underdog. The home team has won each of the first three meetings, as Utah held off Denver in Salt Lake City back in late November, 105-103, but failed to cover as three-point favorites.
Suns at Clippers - 10:35 PM EST
Los Angeles is seeking its 50th victory on the season, as the Clippers attempt to snap a three-game skid tonight at Staples Center. The Suns are struggling as well, dropping six in a row, but Phoenix has very little to play for at this point in a lost season.
Vinny Del Negro's team continues a four-game homestand following Monday's 109-106 defeat to the surging Pacers, as the Clippers trailed by as many as 24 points prior to a late rally. The Clips own a 2-6 ATS record the last eight games as a favorite, while posting a 3-5 ATS mark the previous eight times in the double-digit 'chalk' role at Staples Center.
The Suns barely cashed as 10 ½-point home underdogs in Saturday's 112-104 home loss to Indiana, as Phoenix has covered just nine times in 28 tries since the start of February. Since winning in overtime at San Antonio in late February, the Suns are 0-5 SU/ATS in the last five trips to the court in the road underdog role. The Clippers have taken two of three season meetings with the Suns, but Phoenix did upend L.A. in the last matchup at home, 93-88 as six-point 'dogs.
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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