December 17, 2013
By Kevin Rogers
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Blazers at Cavaliers - 7:05 PM EST
Portland: 21-4 SU, 18-7 ATS
Cleveland: 9-14 SU, 9-14 ATS
The Blazers continue their hot start after rallying past the Pistons in overtime on Sunday night, 111-109. Damian Lillard's jumper with one-tenth of a second left gave Portland its 11th road win in 13 tries, but the Blazers failed to cover as 3 ½-point favorites. Rip City has torn apart the Eastern Conference this season, posting a 10-0 SU and 8-2 ATS record, including six wins on the highway.
The Cavaliers are one of the hotter teams against the number recently by covering five of the past six games. Cleveland split a pair of games in the Sunshine State over the weekend, while cashing as 12 ½-point underdogs in a 114-107 defeat at Miami. The Cavs have fared well in the role of a home 'dog of late, beating the Bulls, Nuggets, and Clippers, while holding each of those teams to 93 points or less.
Kings at Bobcats - 7:05 PM EST
Sacramento: 7-15 SU, 8-13-1 ATS
Charlotte: 10-14 SU, 14-9-1 ATS
The Kings begin their first major road trip of the season with the next four games coming against Southeast Division opponents. Sacramento plays its third contest since Rudy Gay was inserted in the lineup, coming off a home underdog victory over Houston on Sunday, 106-91. The Kings snapped a five-game 'over' streak with the 'under' against the Rockets on a high total of 214. Interestingly enough, Sacramento is playing its first road game against an Eastern Conference team this season, while going 1-2 SU/ATS versus the East at home.
The Bobcats have dropped three straight games since an impressive home victory over the Warriors last week. Charlotte has allowed less than 100 points in 16 of the past 17 contests, while the 'under' is 7-1 in the last eight games at Time Warner Cable Arena. The Bobcats own a 1-5 record against Western Conference foes, while losing outright as home favorites to the Lakers and Suns.
Lakers at Grizzlies - 8:05 PM EST
Los Angeles: 11-13 SU, 13-10-1 ATS
Memphis: 10-13 SU, 7-15-1 ATS
The Lakers built an early 10-point lead last night at Atlanta, but the Hawks steamrolled Los Angeles in the second half of a 114-100 victory at Philips Arena. Kobe Bryant was limited to eight points on 4-of-14 shooting, as the Lakers fell to 1-4 SU/ATS with the superstar back in the lineup after offseason surgery on his Achilles tendon. The Lakers have struggled within the Western Conference on the road, posting a 2-5 SU/ATS record, with all five losses coming by double-digits.
The Grizzlies have been a major disappointment at FedEx Forum this season, putting up a 5-9 SU and 3-11 ATS record at home. Memphis hasn't won or covered a game in the home underdog role, going 0-5 SU/ATS, including a defeat to Minnesota on Sunday, 101-93. Mike Conley suffered a thigh contusion in the loss to the Wolves, as the Grizzlies' point guard is questionable for tonight's game. The Grizzlies defeated the Lakers at Staples Center during a 4-0 road trip last month in an 89-86 triumph.
Thunder at Nuggets - 9:05 PM EST
Oklahoma City: 19-4 SU, 13-10 ATS
Denver: 14-9 SU, 12-11 ATS
The Thunder staved off the Magic on Sunday to pick up their 12th home win in 12 tries, but failed to cash as 13-point favorites in a 101-98 victory. The ATS loss snapped a five-game cover streak for OKC, as the Thunder heads to the Pepsi Center tonight for a division showdown with the Nuggets. Oklahoma City held off Denver in the first meeting this season, 115-113 in mid-November, but the Nuggets grabbed the money as nine-point road underdogs.
The Nuggets continue a four-game homestand after holding off the Pelicans on Sunday, 102-93 as 7 ½-point favorites. Six of Denver's last seven games have finished 'under' the total, as the Nuggets haven't eclipsed the 103-point mark in the past six contests. The Nuggets slipped past the Thunder twice last season at the Pepsi Center, winning each matchup by a combined five points in the role of an underdog.
Pelicans at Warriors - 10:35 PM EST
New Orleans: 11-11 SU, 9-12-1 ATS
Golden State: 13-12 SU, 10-13-2 ATS
The Pelicans have definitely experienced a roller-coaster ride this season, as New Orleans looks to forge above .500 tonight with a win at Golden State. The last time these teams met in the Big Easy, the Warriors left town with a 102-101 triumph in late November, in spite of six Pelicans finishing in double-figures. New Orleans fell to 5-3 ATS the last eight games after Sunday's setback at Denver, as the Pelicans have swept a three-game road trip this season, while also losing all three games on an away swing earlier this season, proving the coin-toss theory with this club.
The Warriors have stumbled of late, coming off consecutive losses to the Rockets and Suns. Golden State has failed to cash in each of the last four games overall, with the lone straight-up win in this stretch coming against Dallas in which the Warriors rallied from a late 10-point deficit. Mark Jackson's club isn't play its best basketball at home with a 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS ledger the last five games at Oracle Arena, but the Warriors have beaten New Orleans five straight times.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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