Sunday's Late Action
April 27, 2014
By Kevin Rogers
The favorites finally bounced back on Saturday night following a 6-0 run against the spread, as both home teams on Sunday night are laying points. The Nets and Blazers failed to cover in the home favorite role on Friday night, while Portland lost outright in overtime to Houston. Both home clubs seek a 3-1 series lead on Sunday, starting with the Nets at Barclays Center.
Raptors at Nets (-4, 192) – 7:00 PM EST – TNT
Brooklyn leads series, 2-1
The Nets nearly squandered a 15-point lead in the final five minutes of Friday’s 102-98 victory over the Raptors. Brooklyn failed to cover as five-point home favorites, despite going up 93-78 with five minutes remaining in regulation, as the Raptors trimmed the deficit to 97-96 with 34 seconds. Joe Johnson scored 29 points, including knocking down key free throws in the final seconds to give the Nets a 2-1 edge.
DeMar DeRozan put up 30 points for the second consecutive game for Toronto, while his backcourt mate Kyle Lowry has combined to score 29 points in the past two contests. Toronto’s biggest issue in Game 3 was the lack of production from its starting frontcourt, as Amir Johnson, Terrence Ross, and Jonas Valanciunas combined to put up just 22 points. On the flip side, Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce scored 47 points on Friday, including 11-of-11 from the foul line.
Underdogs have put together a 2-0-1 ATS record in the first three games of this series, while the ‘dogs are 4-2-1 ATS through the first seven matchups between these Atlantic Division rivals. In five of the seven meetings, the ‘over’ has cashed, including each of the last two games in this series.
The Raptors have been very profitable this season off a road loss, posting a 9-3 SU and 10-2 ATS record in this situation. However, that does include a defeat in Game 1 for Toronto after it lost the regular season finale at New York. In the last 19 home games for the Nets since the start of February, Brooklyn has won 17 times, while covering 13 times in this stretch. Jason Kidd’s team is riding an 0-4 ATS streak the Barclays Center, while last cashing against the Pistons back on April 4.
Rockets at Blazers (-2, 214) – 9:35 PM EST – TNT
Portland leads series, 2-1
The Rockets had opportunities to win each of the first two games at home, but came up short. With its season on the line, Houston dug deep and picked up an overtime triumph thanks to a big three-point shot by Troy Daniels for a 121-116 victory as 2 ½-point underdogs. Daniels, a former standout at VCU, drilled a trio of three-pointers for the Rockets, while James Harden scored 37 points despite missing 22 shots from the floor.
LaMarcus Aldridge ripped up the Rockets in each of the first two games of this series with a 46 and 43-point effort, respectively. However, the Portland All-Star forward was limited to 23 points, while Damian Lillard paced the Blazers with a team-high 30 points. The ‘over’ cashed for the third time in this series, while the ‘over’ has amazingly hit in all seven meetings between the Rockets and Blazers this season.
In five of the seven matchups this season, the underdog has taken the money, including all three times in this round. Houston has lost five of its last seven games away from the Toyota Center, while putting together a 1-7 ATS record in the past eight tries in the road underdog role. In the last 11 away games for the Rockets, the ‘over’ has hit eight times, while Houston has allowed at least 100 points ten times in this span.
Portland hasn’t been a team to back at the Moda Center in the last six home games, going 1-5 ATS. Since the All-Star break, the Blazers have eclipsed the 100-point mark in 16 of 17 home contests, while seven of the past 10 home games have gone ‘over’’ the total. Terry Stotts’ team has not lost consecutive games at the Moda Center this season, while compiling a 7-3 SU and 4-6 ATS record off a home defeat.
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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