January 21, 2014
By Kevin Rogers
Bulls at Cavaliers - 7:05 PM EST
Chicago: 20-20 SU, 18-22 ATS
Cleveland: 15-26 SU, 18-23 ATS
The Cavaliers returned from a five-game road trip and fell to the Mavericks on Monday, 102-97 as 1 ½-point underdogs. Cleveland rallied from a 22-point halftime deficit to cut the lead down to three points in the fourth quarter, but couldn't get over the hump. Mike Brown's club has had plenty of success as a home 'dog (8-2 ATS), but not so much when laying points at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavs have covered just three of nine times in the role of a road favorite, but Cleveland is 6-3 straight-up in these contests.
The Bulls staved off the Lakers in overtime on Monday to win their eighth game in 10 tries. Chicago has won four of its previous five contests away from the United Center, while limiting four of those opponents to 96 points or less. The home team has won each of the first three meetings this season, including a 97-93 triumph by the Cavaliers as five-point home 'dogs in late November.
Mavericks at Raptors - 7:05 PM EST
Dallas: 25-18 SU, 24-19 ATS
Toronto: 20-20 SU, 23-17 ATS
The Mavs have alternated wins and losses in each of their last five trips to the court, coming off the five-point victory at Cleveland on Monday. Dallas has now won seven of its past nine games away from the American Airlines Center, while covering eight times in this stretch. Rick Carlisle's club is playing with revenge on Wednesday after the Raptors went into Dallas last month and edged the Mavs, 109-108 in overtime as 6 ½-point underdogs.
The Raptors look to get on track following consecutive losses to the Lakers and Bobcats, while falling behind at Charlotte by 30 points before losing, 100-95. Toronto is riding a 6-1 SU/ATS hot stretch at the Air Canada Center since mid-December, but has dropped four of six home contests against Western Conference foes. The Raptors have tightened up their defense at home lately, allowing 94 points or less in four of their last five games at the ACC.
Thunder at Spurs - 8:05 PM EST
Oklahoma City: 32-10 SU, 24-18 ATS
San Antonio: 32-9 SU, 21-20 ATS
The Thunder has had the Spurs' number this season with two victories over the defending Western Conference champions. Oklahoma City heads to the Alamo with no rest following Tuesday's home victory against Portland, while owning a 4-1 ATS record the last five opportunities as an underdog. Since winning eight straight road games from December through early January, the Thunder has dropped three of their past four on the highway, while going 'under' the total in three straight road games.
The Spurs are rolling with wins in seven of their previous eight contests, including Sunday's 110-82 rout of the hapless Bucks as 15-point favorites. Tony Parker sat out that rout with a shin injury, but the Spurs' point guard is expected back in the lineup on Wednesday. San Antonio is riding a 5-1 stretch to the 'under,' while limiting four of those opponents to 95 points or less. In the last meeting between these two Western powers, the Thunder built an 11-point halftime lead en route to a 113-100 triumph as three-point road 'dogs on December 21.
Pacers at Suns - 10:35 PM EST
Indiana: 33-7 SU, 28-12 ATS
Phoenix: 23-17 SU, 26-13-1 ATS
The Pacers are continuing to make the argument that they are the team to beat in the Eastern Conference, as Indiana won its fifth straight game on Monday at Golden State. Frank Vogel's team put together a complete effort in a 102-94 victory over the Warriors to cash outright as 1 ½-point underdogs, while grabbing a 14-point advantage after the first quarter. Indiana continues a five-game Western Conference road swing, as the Pacers have held 16 straight opponents to below 100 points, including a 4-0-1 mark to the 'under' in the past five road contests.
The Suns have hit the skids of late following a fast start, losing five of their past eight contests. Phoenix outlasted Denver on Sunday, 117-103 as 1 ½-point home favorites, but the Suns are just 0-4 SU/ATS the last four games following a defeat. Jeff Hornacek's team is defenseless of late by giving up at least 103 points in six of the last seven contests, while the 'over' has hit five times in this span.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at email@example.com
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