February 2, 2014
By Kevin Rogers
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Blazers at Wizards - 7:05 PM EST
Portland: 34-13 SU, 25-22 ATS
Washington: 23-23 SU, 25-21 ATS
The Wizards found a way to slow down the Thunder on Saturday night and snap Oklahoma City's 10-game winning streak. Washington picked up a 96-81 victory over OKC as five-point underdogs to cover its third straight game against a top-tier Western Conference opponent. However, the Wizards haven't covered consecutive games at the Verizon Center in two months, while posting a 2-8 ATS record the last 10 home contests.
Portland failed to cover in Saturday's 106-103 home victory over Toronto as seven-point favorites, as the Blazers led by as many as 19 points. Terry Stotts' club has struggled against the number of late, cashing just once in the last seven games, while putting together a 3-6 SU/ATS record the past seven road contests. The Blazers have dominated Eastern Conference foes on the highway, going 7-0 SU and 5-2 ATS this season.
Grizzlies at Thunder - 8:05 PM EST
Memphis: 26-20 SU, 22-23-1 ATS
Oklahoma City: 38-11 SU, 29-20 ATS
The Grizzlies keep winning and improving their playoff positioning by the day after grabbing their sixth consecutive victory on Saturday against the Bucks. Memphis didn't cash as 12 ½-point favorites, but the Grizzlies have limited each team during this hot streak to 90 points or less. The 'under' stretch for Memphis is on an unbelievable run, going 9-1 the last 10 games, with the lone 'over' coming against Milwaukee.
This defensive change came about when Marc Gasol returned to the Memphis lineup on January 14 in a 90-87 home victory over Oklahoma City. Following that defeat, the Thunder ran off 10 consecutive wins, but that streak ended in Saturday's loss at Washington. OKC has compiled a 9-2 ATS record since the loss at Memphis, while returning home after playing six of its last seven games on the highway.
Spurs at Pelicans - 8:05 PM EST
San Antonio: 34-13 SU, 22-25 ATS
New Orleans: 20-26 SU, 21-23-2 ATS
The Spurs have hit a rough spot of late, losing three of their past four games, as San Antonio needed a late rally to escape past Sacramento on Saturday. Gregg Popovich's team edged the Kings, 95-93, but couldn't cash as 10 ½-point home favorites, the fourth straight ATS defeat for the Spurs. San Antonio has beaten New Orleans twice this season, including a 101-95 victory in the Big Easy last month, but the Pelicans have covered five straight home meetings.
The Pelicans have looked good recently, winning five of their last seven games, including Saturday's wire-to-wire victory over the Bulls. Since failing to cover six straight contests to start January, New Orleans has cashed in eight of the last 11 games, including a 4-2 ATS record at home. However, the Pelicans have lost three of their last four games off a home victory, while putting together a 5-1-1 mark to the 'under' the past seven home contests.
Clippers at Nuggets - 9:05 PM EST
Los Angeles: 34-16 SU, 29-21 ATS
Denver: 22-23 SU, 21-24 ATS
The Clippers continue to win with Chris Paul out of the lineup, posting an 11-4 record in the 15 games without the All-Star point guard. Los Angeles owns a 5-3 SU/ATS the last eight games away from Staples Center, but has lost four of the past five road contests against Western Conference competition. The offense has topped the 100-point mark in 11 of 15 games without Paul, while scoring below 92 points in all four losses.
The Nuggets are expected to get point guard Ty Lawson back on Monday night after missing the last two games with a shoulder injury. Denver could have used Lawson, as the Nuggets are coming off consecutive home defeats to Charlotte and Toronto. Brian Shaw's club averaged 94 points per game in those losses following 13 straight games scoring at least 100 points. The last time the Nuggets faced the Clippers back in December, Los Angeles dominated Denver, 112-91 as 8 ½-point home favorites.
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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