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  • Books adjust to Blazers
    March 6, 2018


    Damian Lillard Demands Your Attention


    With two winning streaks on the line, Damian Lillard ensured that it was his team that kept the momentum in hand. Dame launched four triples in the fourth quarter to cap an impressive 39-point night in the Staples Center as he buried the Lakers single handedly. The Blazers are now 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games while riding an impressive seven game run.

    This stretch has catapulted the Blazers in to bet-on status and given them some much needed life blood in a division that is surrounded by lurkers. The Northwest Division is as much a group of death as there is in the NBA. Only four games separate the first place Blazers and the last place Utah Jazz.

    Even with their juicy streak intact, the Portland Trail Blazers are still being sent off as a third-favorite to win the division. It’s hard to argue against the popular bet that is the Oklahoma City Thunder at +175, but shouldn’t they be ranked a bit higher than the Minnesota Timberwolves?

    Northwest Division Odds -
    Oklahoma City Thunder +175
    Minnesota Timberwolves +250
    Portland Trail Blazers +350
    Denver Nuggets +650
    Utah Jazz +800

    Jimmy Butler might come back, but a torn meniscus is no trifling injury. It’s worth mentioning that the Wolves are just 2-3 SU and ATS in their last 5 games since the break. Plus their only two wins and covers have come against the Bulls and Kings. Granted, there’s a lot to adjust to, but the young Wolves needed Jimmy in so many ways and the team just doesn’t have the requisite depth to fill in the gap left by the 20+ point scorer.

    The Wolves, Nuggets and Jazz will all stay in the race but the question remains if the Blazers hold any intrinsic value as a division winner. Let’s keep in mind that this team went 18-8 SU and ATS in the second half last season as they made a courageous push to crash the playoff party as the eighth seed. This year the stakes are much higher and this team knows it.

    Where the team needs a boost is in third-year player Jusef Nurkic, who they acquired from the Nuggets around this time last year. Nurkic got off to a rip roaring start with 16.8 points and 7.9 rebounds in November but has leveled off a bit on the scoring side. He is coming off a February where he notched 13.7 points but upped his board production to 8.6. Considering that the Blazers are a below-average rebounding team, they need their star center to really come through.

    And everything about Nurkic’s recent play suggests that he has it in him. He tore down 16 rebounds last night against the Lakers and is focusing on exactly what he needs to. Nurkick also fits perfectly in to the “island of misfit toys” mentality that the Blazers have seemingly embraced along the way.

    The chip on Damian Lillard’s shoulder is the size of the moon. He forms one of the elite backcourts in the league alongside CJ McCollum, and while everyone routinely focuses on their impressive complimentary skillsets, it’s the rest of the team that creates a point of difference for Portland.

    Next Games (POR): vs. New York (3/6), vs Golden State (3/9), vs Miami (3/12), vs Cleveland (3/15), vs Detroit (3/17)

    Ed Davis is a steal at $6.4 million a year. He rebounds, scores, does the dirty work and is a crafty defender with length and great lateral footwork. The bargain basement bench that the Blazers have with Shabazz Napier, an ever-improving Zach Collins and Davis steadies the scoring barrages offered by Lillard.

    The age-old adage in the NBA is that a team is only as good as its best player, and Damian Lillard is often forgotten in the conversation. When he is on, the Blazers are absolutely there with the best in the west. He hardly ever misses a game. Dame has played in 96-percent of Portland’s games over the past six seasons, while being as a steady in production as a grandfather clock.

    Portland has proven that they are a great second half team, they’re starting to fire on all cylinders and there’s constant pressure in the Northwest Division to produce. No team has been this consistent outside of Houston. Portland knows that the single advantage that they have over everyone else is a rambunctious home court, and they want that third seed badly in a showdown with a division rival. The rest of the Northwest Division is likely to populate the last three playoff spots in the conference.

    What’s most important is that you recognize that Portland is on a streak worth banking on. They have a terrific opportunity to pad their lead atop the division with a five-game homestand that features matchups with Golden State and Cleveland. There are few teams in the league that are “bet and forget” entities in the market. Even Houston has their hands full with Oklahoma City tonight as they try to keep their own streak alive. Portland is an easy take against the Knicks, and then all eyes are o that Friday night ripper against the Warriors.

    Don’t believe in Dame? Think again. He’s averaged 41.5 points in two games against Golden State this season, and they’ll probably be home dogs anyways. Keep your ear close to the rails with Portland. They are screeching in to the playoffs while everyone else is looking elsewhere.

    Comment


    • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7
      GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


      UTA at IND 07:00 PM
      IND +1.5
      O 201.0


      HOU at MIL 08:00 PM
      HOU -5.5
      O 214.5

      MEM at CHI 08:00 PM
      CHI -3.5
      U 211.0

      TOR at DET 08:00 PM
      TOR -5.5
      O 212.5

      NO at SAC 10:00 PM
      NO -5.5
      O 223.5


      CLE at DEN 10:30 PM
      DEN -3.0
      O 229.0

      ORL at LAL 10:30 PM
      LAL -6.5
      O 224.5

      Comment


      • Armadillo: Thursday's six-pack

        Over/under wagers for pitcher’s wins this season:

        17.5 Clayton Kershaw

        16.5 Max Scherzer

        15.5 Chris Sale

        14.5 Luis Severino

        13.5 Kyle Hendricks

        12.5 Johnny Cueto


        **********

        Armadillo: Thursday's List of 13: Wrapping up a winter Wednesday

        13) ACC— Louisville 82, Florida State 74— Louisville’s interim coach David Padgett turned 33 last month; I’m guessing the last five months have been a blur for him, but his Cardinals played a great first half, leading 41-22 before hanging on at the end for their 20th win. Louisville will likely go on probation; has Padgett does enough to earn the full-time coaching gig?

        Boston College upset NC State 91-87; they play Clemson Thursday.

        12) Pac-12— Colorado 97, Arizona State 85— Sun Devils beat Xavier, Kansas before Christmas, were ranked 3rd in country at one point, but they lost five of their last six games, went 8-11 in Pac-12 play, and have zero right to bitch if they get left out of the Field of 68. Their RPI was 65 after this loss to Colorado, which made 13-21 3-pointers in this game.

        Oregon State and Oregon both advanced with overtime wins; Beavers’ three games with Washington this season were decided by total of 8 points.

        11) A-14— UMass upset LaSalle 69-67; Explorers were 1-16 on arc, Minutemen 10-23.

        10) Big X— Oklahoma State 71, Oklahoma 60— Sooners lost eight of their last 10 games, losing their last 10 games away from Norman. Bracketology people still have Oklahoma in the field of 68, but they’re not a very good team right now.

        9) Mountain West— UNLV 97, Air Force 90 OT— Huge sigh of relief from the desert, as Rebels snap a 5-game losing skid and get their 20th win of the season. UNLV-Nevada Thursday; Wolf Pack crushed UNLV 101-75 in Las Vegas last week, but the Rebels won earlier in Reno.

        8) Kansas center Udoka Azubuike won’t play in this week’s Big 12 tournament in Kansas City after he sprained the MCL in his left knee during practice Tuesday.

        7) Los Angeles Rams are having an interesting offseason; they traded MLB Alec Ogletree to the Giants Wednesday for 4th and 6th-round draft picks- the move clears $5M in cap room, which begs the question as to just how much money they’re going to pay Aaron Donald this spring.

        Ogletree was the quarterback of the defense, so it’ll be interesting to see who the new MLB will be and where that $5M in cap space is used. I’m pretty sure the Rams have five picks in the 6th round of the draft— they must think this draft is deep with talented players.

        6) Missouri’s star recruit Michael Porter Jr was supposed to be America’s best freshman, but he played 2:00 in the season opener, then left with a back injury, hasn’t played since. He returns today in St Louis for the SEC tournament; how will his presence change the Tigers’ chemistry?

        5) Big East— St John’s 88, Georgetown 77— Hoyas beat St John’s twice during the season, but Red Storm shot 67% inside arc in this game and move on to play top-seeded Xavier Thursday. Hoyas lost their last five games; they took 32 3’s, only 30 2-point shots in this game.

        4) C-USA— Tex-San Antonio 71, UTEP 58— Roadrunners went 11-7 in C-USA this year, after going 26-61 the previous five years; they’re 9-2 in last 11 games and play Marshall today.

        3) SEC— South Carolina 85, Ole Miss 84— Gamecocks made 12-21 on arc, only 19-34 on foul line. Ole Miss buried a 3 from deep in left corner to cover the spread at the buzzer.

        2) Sun Belt— Texas State 73, Coastal Carolina 66— Bobcats snapped a 9-game losing skid with win here; six of those nine losses were by 4 or fewer points or in OT.

        1) For me, today and tomorrow are just as much fun as the first round of the NCAA tournament; dozens of games all over the country, teams either positioning for seeding next week, or trying to shock the world and get in the field of 68.

        Today is 14 or 15 hours of great action; enjoy!!!

        Comment


        • NBA
          Armadillo's Write-Up

          Thursday, March 8


          Hornets won eight of last nine games with Brooklyn; six of last eight serried games stayed under total. Nets covered five of their last six visits to Charlotte. Brooklyn lost nine of its last 10 games but covered four of their last five; they’re 9-3 in last 12 games as road underdogs. Three of their last four games went over. Charlotte lost its last four games; they covered last five games as the home favorite. Over is 4-2-1 in their last seven games.

          Home side won last eight Miami/Philly games; 76ers are 2-2-1 vs spread in their last five visits to South Beach. Four of last six series games went over total. Sixers won three of last four games; they’re 1-5 in last six games as road favorites. Four of last six Philly games stayed under total. Miami won four of its last six games; they’re 3-5 as home underdogs this season. Seven of last nine Heat games went over.

          Celtics won last three games with Minnesota; home side won nine of last ten series games. Celtics are 1-4 vs spread in last five visits to the Twin Cities. Four of last six series games went over the total. Boston won five of its last six games; they’re 11-7 as road favorites. Over is 6-1-1 in last eight series games. Timberwolves are 4-6 in their last ten games; they’re 2-1 as home dogs this season. Over is 8-2 in their last 10 games. Minnesota hasn’t played since Friday.

          Suns won three of last four games with Oklahoma City; they’re 2-2 vs spread in last four visits here. Six of last nine series games went over total. Phoenix lost nine of its last ten games; they are 3-5 vs spread in last eight games as road underdogs. Under is 4-2 in their last six road tilts. Thunder split their last six games; they’re 5-8 in last 13 games as home favorites. Three of last four OKC games went over.

          Warriors won last seven games with San Antonio, covering last five; six of last seven series games went over. Spurs are 2-2 vs spread in last four visits to Oakland. San Antonio lost six of its last eight games; they’re 8-6 as road underdogs this season. Eight of their last ten games went over total. Golden State won its last six games, but is 0-3 vs spread in last three; they’re 4-2 vs spread in last six home games. Four of last five Warrior games stayed under.




          NBA

          Thursday, March 8


          ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Trend Report
          ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          BROOKLYN @ CHARLOTTE
          Brooklyn is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Charlotte
          Brooklyn is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Charlotte
          Charlotte is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Brooklyn
          Charlotte is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games when playing Brooklyn

          PHILADELPHIA @ MIAMI
          Philadelphia is 10-3 SU in its last 13 games
          The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Philadelphia's last 6 games
          Miami is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Philadelphia
          Miami is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home

          PHOENIX @ OKLAHOMA CITY
          The total has gone OVER in 11 of Phoenix's last 13 games when playing on the road against Oklahoma City
          The total has gone OVER in 11 of Phoenix's last 16 games when playing Oklahoma City
          Oklahoma City is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Phoenix
          The total has gone OVER in 11 of Oklahoma City's last 13 games when playing at home against Phoenix

          BOSTON @ MINNESOTA
          Boston is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
          Boston is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games
          The total has gone OVER in 5 of Minnesota's last 5 games at home
          Minnesota is 15-1 SU in its last 16 games at home

          SAN ANTONIO @ GOLDEN STATE
          The total has gone OVER in 5 of San Antonio's last 5 games when playing on the road against Golden State
          The total has gone OVER in 6 of San Antonio's last 7 games on the road
          Golden State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
          Golden State is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing San Antonio


          ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          NBA
          Long Sheet

          Thursday, March 8


          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          BROOKLYN (20 - 45) at CHARLOTTE (28 - 37) - 3/8/2018, 7:05 PM
          Top Trends for this game.
          CHARLOTTE is 66-42 ATS (+19.8 Units) in home games in March games since 1996.
          BROOKLYN is 37-27 ATS (+7.3 Units) in all games this season.
          BROOKLYN is 31-20 ATS (+9.0 Units) as an underdog this season.
          BROOKLYN is 11-3 ATS (+7.7 Units) against Southeast division opponents this season.
          BROOKLYN is 18-9 ATS (+8.1 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game this season.
          CHARLOTTE is 26-35 ATS (-12.5 Units) in all games this season.
          CHARLOTTE is 7-22 ATS (-17.2 Units) against Atlantic division opponents over the last 2 seasons.

          Head-to-Head Series History
          BROOKLYN is 6-2 against the spread versus CHARLOTTE over the last 3 seasons
          CHARLOTTE is 8-1 straight up against BROOKLYN over the last 3 seasons
          6 of 9 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          PHILADELPHIA (35 - 28) at MIAMI (34 - 31) - 3/8/2018, 7:35 PM
          Top Trends for this game.
          MIAMI is 82-62 ATS (+13.8 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
          MIAMI is 51-32 ATS (+15.8 Units) as an underdog over the last 2 seasons.
          MIAMI is 30-16 ATS (+12.4 Units) in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons.
          MIAMI is 19-5 ATS (+13.5 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season over the last 2 seasons.
          PHILADELPHIA is 36-27 ATS (+6.3 Units) in all games this season.
          PHILADELPHIA is 31-19 ATS (+10.1 Units) in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons.
          PHILADELPHIA is 57-39 ATS (+14.1 Units) revenging a loss vs opponent over the last 2 seasons.
          PHILADELPHIA is 43-30 ATS (+10.0 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
          MIAMI is 0-8 ATS (-8.8 Units) in home games versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game this season.

          Head-to-Head Series History
          PHILADELPHIA is 6-4 against the spread versus MIAMI over the last 3 seasons
          MIAMI is 6-4 straight up against PHILADELPHIA over the last 3 seasons
          5 of 10 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          BOSTON (45 - 20) at MINNESOTA (38 - 28) - 3/8/2018, 8:05 PM
          Top Trends for this game.
          MINNESOTA is 32-18 ATS (+12.2 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season over the last 3 seasons.
          BOSTON is 38-24 ATS (+11.6 Units) in all games this season.
          BOSTON is 21-9 ATS (+11.1 Units) in road games this season.
          BOSTON is 44-31 ATS (+9.9 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
          BOSTON is 20-11 ATS (+7.9 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game this season.
          MINNESOTA is 364-428 ATS (-106.8 Units) in the second half of the season since 1996.
          MINNESOTA is 21-33 ATS (-15.3 Units) in non-conference games over the last 2 seasons.

          Head-to-Head Series History
          BOSTON is 4-1 against the spread versus MINNESOTA over the last 3 seasons
          BOSTON is 4-1 straight up against MINNESOTA over the last 3 seasons
          3 of 5 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          PHOENIX (19 - 47) at OKLAHOMA CITY (37 - 29) - 3/8/2018, 8:05 PM
          Top Trends for this game.
          PHOENIX is 38-25 ATS (+10.5 Units) after allowing 115 points or more over the last 2 seasons.
          PHOENIX is 53-36 ATS (+13.4 Units) after a loss by 10 points or more over the last 3 seasons.
          OKLAHOMA CITY is 25-40 ATS (-19.0 Units) in all games this season.
          OKLAHOMA CITY is 17-32 ATS (-18.2 Units) when the total is greater than or equal to 220 over the last 3 seasons.
          OKLAHOMA CITY is 19-35 ATS (-19.5 Units) as a favorite this season.

          Head-to-Head Series History
          PHOENIX is 5-4 against the spread versus OKLAHOMA CITY over the last 3 seasons
          OKLAHOMA CITY is 6-3 straight up against PHOENIX over the last 3 seasons
          6 of 9 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          SAN ANTONIO (37 - 27) at GOLDEN STATE (50 - 14) - 3/8/2018, 10:35 PM
          Top Trends for this game.
          GOLDEN STATE is 37-22 ATS (+12.8 Units) against Southwest division opponents over the last 3 seasons.
          SAN ANTONIO is 1035-908 ATS (+36.2 Units) in all games since 1996.
          SAN ANTONIO is 186-145 ATS (+26.5 Units) in March games since 1996.
          GOLDEN STATE is 7-16 ATS (-10.6 Units) after a non-conference game this season.

          Head-to-Head Series History
          GOLDEN STATE is 9-4 against the spread versus SAN ANTONIO over the last 3 seasons
          GOLDEN STATE is 10-3 straight up against SAN ANTONIO over the last 3 seasons
          8 of 13 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

          Comment


          • NBA
            Dunkel

            Thursday, March 8



            Brooklyn @ Charlotte

            Game 651-652
            March 8, 2018 @ 7:05 pm

            Dunkel Rating:
            Brooklyn
            114.526
            Charlotte
            119.033
            Dunkel Team:
            Dunkel Line:
            Dunkel Total:
            Charlotte
            by 4 1/2
            212
            Vegas Team:
            Vegas Line:
            Vegas Total:
            Charlotte
            by 7 1/2
            218
            Dunkel Pick:
            Brooklyn
            (+7 1/2); Under

            Philadelphia @ Miami


            Game 653-654
            March 8, 2018 @ 7:35 pm

            Dunkel Rating:
            Philadelphia
            120.224
            Miami
            119.845
            Dunkel Team:
            Dunkel Line:
            Dunkel Total:
            Philadelphia
            by 2 1/2
            204
            Vegas Team:
            Vegas Line:
            Vegas Total:
            Philadelphia
            Pick
            209
            Dunkel Pick:
            Philadelphia
            Under

            Boston @ Minnesota


            Game 655-656
            March 8, 2018 @ 8:05 pm

            Dunkel Rating:
            Boston
            124.325
            Minnesota
            119.867
            Dunkel Team:
            Dunkel Line:
            Dunkel Total:
            Boston
            by 4 1/2
            218
            Vegas Team:
            Vegas Line:
            Vegas Total:
            Boston
            by 2
            214
            Dunkel Pick:
            Boston
            (-2); Over

            Phoenix @ Oklahoma City


            Game 657-658
            March 8, 2018 @ 8:05 pm

            Dunkel Rating:
            Phoenix
            107.834
            Oklahoma City
            120.769
            Dunkel Team:
            Dunkel Line:
            Dunkel Total:
            Oklahoma City
            by 13
            233
            Vegas Team:
            Vegas Line:
            Vegas Total:
            Oklahoma City
            by 10
            228
            Dunkel Pick:
            Oklahoma City
            (-10); Over

            San Antonio @ Golden State


            Game 659-660
            March 8, 2018 @ 10:35 pm

            Dunkel Rating:
            San Antonio
            119.512
            Golden State
            127.634
            Dunkel Team:
            Dunkel Line:
            Dunkel Total:
            Golden State
            by 8
            226
            Vegas Team:
            Vegas Line:
            Vegas Total:
            Golden State
            by 12
            220 1/2
            Dunkel Pick:
            San Antonio
            (+12); Over

            Comment


            • B]Inside the Paint - Thursday
              March 8, 2018
              [/B]

              (Straight Up – SU, Against the Spread – ATS)

              San Antonio (37-27 SU, 32-30-2 ATS at Golden State (50-14 SU, 28-35-1 ATS)

              Opening Odds: Warriors -12, Total 222


              It’s rare to see the Spurs listed as double-digit underdogs but certainly not uncommon in this series. Golden State has given 10-plus points to San Antonio in five of their previous eight meetings and the Warriors have gone 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS during this span.

              Those results include two double-digit wins posted by the Warriors this season, the most recent coming on Feb. 10 from Oracle Arena as Golden State posted a 122-105 win over San Antonio.

              If you’re handicapping this game on form, it’s hard to make an argument for the Spurs. While they snapped a four-game losing streak at home on Monday, San Antonio (-12 ½) looked anything but impressive as it squeaked past an inferior Memphis squad with a 100-98 win.

              The upcoming schedule for San Antonio is brutal and reaching 50 wins in an 82-game regular season for the 19th consecutive season looks doubtful. The club needs to win 13 of its final 18 games and that’s asking a lot, especially for a team that has dropped eight of its last 11. Plus, they haven’t been able to find success on the road (14-19 SU, 15-17-1 ATS) and that’s been a staple of San Antonio.

              Along with the streak, the team could miss the postseason as well and the last time that happened was in the 1996-97 season when they finished 20-62. It was also the same season Gregg Popovich took over the coaching duties for Bob Hill.

              The Spurs are still waiting on the return of Kawhi Leonard, who could make it back by the end of March. Veteran Pau Gasol (shoulder) was injured in Monday’s win and has been ruled ‘out’ for tonight.

              Since the All-Star break, Golden State has coasted to a 6-0 record but it’s only managed to go 2-4 ATS while laying double digits in five of the contests. Overall, the Warriors have gone 29-5 SU and 16-17-1 ATS when listed as 10-point favorites or higher and one of the wins and covers came against San Antonio.

              For those of you believing San Antonio can get right tonight and pull off a shocker on the road, make a note that the oddsmakers have had a solid pulse on the Spurs. When listed as underdogs this season, San Antonio has gone 5-14 SU and 9-9-1 ATS. It has covered two straight in this role and that includes a 110-94 victory at Cleveland on Feb. 25. Coincidentally, two of its five wins as ‘dogs have come against the Cavaliers but they’re 0-4 versus other contenders in the Rockets and Warriors.

              TNT will provide national coverage of this game at 10:35 p.m. ET.

              South Florida Rematch


              For the second time in just over a week, the 76ers (35-28 SU, 35-27-1 ATS) and Heat (34-31 SU, 32-28-5 ATS) will meet at American Airlines Arena. The teams played on Feb. 27 and the Heat captured a 102-101 victory on a Dwyane Wade with 5.9 second left. The veteran scored 15 of Miami's final 17 points, finished with a season-high 27. The 76ers had a chance to win but a wide-open 3-pointer from JJ Redick didn’t connect.

              Similar to Thursday’s odds, the 76ers opened as short road favorites (-1) but closed as the underdog (+1) to Miami. Philadelphia built an early lead in the game and led by as many as 10 points in the fourth quarter before Wade took over. As much as people believe D-Wade has reenergized the Heat, he was a minus-16 in the victory.

              Wade had a chance to be a hero again this past Tuesday but his floater bounced out and Miami dropped a 117-113 loss at Washington. The club is now 5-5 since he was acquired from that Cavs and that includes a 2-4 record against teams above .500.

              The issue with Philadelphia lately has been its inconsistent play on the road. Including the aforementioned loss at Miami, the 76ers are 4-8 in their last 12 away games. They just ran Charlotte 128-114 out of the building on Tuesday but the defense clearly has had numerous lapses. In the last 12 away games, they’ve given up 100-plus to 10 teams and six have posted 109 or more.

              This will be the fourth and final meeting between the pair this regular season and the first three games were decided by six points or less with Philadelphia taking two of them. Similar to the three previous encounters, this matchup should have a playoff feel to it. Knowing the 76ers hold a two-game lead over the Heat for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference and they have two extra games to play, the sense of urgency clearly lies with Miami to avoid losing the head-to-head tiebreaker.

              The ‘under’ has gone 2-1 but all of the results were tight and could’ve gone the other way. Right after the All-Star break, I dug up the seasonal total trend on the 76ers as road favorites and it continues to cash. When listed as a road favorite, Philadelphia has watched the ‘over’ go 11-1 in its last 12 spots.

              Fearless Predictions

              Brooklyn +6 ½ over Charlotte


              The Hornets opened the second-half with four straight wins, which began with a 111-96 dominating win over Brooklyn as eight-point favorites. The line is a tad lower for the rematch and while the Hornets (0-4 SU, 0-4 ATS) are in poor form, the Nets have covered four of their last five games despite going 1-4 SU and the offense has showed some flashes again. Even though Charlotte has been solid as a bully at home and the Nets live by the outside shot, I’m going to side with the ‘dog in the rematch.

              Minnesota +2 over Boston

              Tough to go against Boston, who is 16-4 SU and 13-7 ATS as a road favorite this season and three of the four losses were a tad surprising (Lakers, Knicks, Bulls). However, the Timberwolves have been a tough out at home (25-7 SU, 16-15-1 ATS) this season and they’ve gone 3-1 this season as home ‘dogs. While those stats are solid, I’m backing Minnesota on a seasonal trend. They enter this game off back-to-back losses and along with Golden State, they are the only two teams in the league not to lose three straight this season. In the previous eight instances, the Wolves have gone 8-0 while averaging 114.2 points per game and that number could have me leaning ‘over’ in Minnesota’s team total (107) as well.

              Under Phoenix-Oklahoma City 228


              This is a quick rematch as the Thunder rallied for a 124-116 road win over the Suns last Friday and the ‘over’ (227 ½) connected. Despite the shootout, we’re staring at a similar total and I’m expecting a drop-off. Oklahoma City’s defense hasn’t been great lately due to injuries but it has been better at home this season and that’s helped the ‘under’ go 17-15 at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Make a note that OKC has had four totals listed in the 220s at home this season and the ‘under’ has gone 3-1 in those games.

              Comment


              • March NBA Record:

                DATE W-L-T % UNITS RECORD

                03/08/2018 4-6-0 40.00% -13.00
                03/07/2018 4-10-0 28.57% -35.00
                03/06/2018 7-7-1 50.00% -3.50
                03/05/2018 7-7-0 50.00% -3.50
                03/04/2018 5-9-0 35.71% -24.50
                03/03/2018 10-4-0 71.43% +28.00
                03/02/2018 9-10-0 47.37% -10.00
                03/01/2018 6-2-0 83.00% +19.00

                Totals............,52 - 55.......48.59%......-42.00



                *********************


                SCHEDULE FOR FRIDAY MARCH 9, 2018

                Time (ET) Away Home Site
                7:00 PM Atlanta Hawks Indiana Pacers Bankers Life Fieldhouse
                7:00 PM Chicago Bulls Detroit Pistons Little Caesars Arena
                7:30 PM Houston Rockets Toronto Raptors Air Canada Centre
                8:00 PM New York Knicks Milwaukee Bucks BMO Harris Bradley Center
                8:00 PM Utah Jazz Memphis Grizzlies FedExForum
                8:00 PM Washington Wizards New Orleans Pelicans Smoothie King Center
                9:00 PM Los Angeles Lakers Denver Nuggets Pepsi Center
                10:00 PM Golden State Warriors Portland Trail Blazers Moda Center at the Rose Quarter
                10:00 PM Orlando Magic Sacramento Kings Golden 1 Center
                10:30 PM Cleveland Cavaliers Los Angeles Clippers Staples Center

                Comment


                • NBA
                  Dunkel

                  Friday, March 9



                  Atlanta @ Indiana

                  Game 801-802
                  March 9, 2018 @ 7:05 pm

                  Dunkel Rating:
                  Atlanta
                  114.562
                  Indiana
                  119.671
                  Dunkel Team:
                  Dunkel Line:
                  Dunkel Total:
                  Indiana
                  by 5
                  214
                  Vegas Team:
                  Vegas Line:
                  Vegas Total:
                  Indiana
                  by 8 1/2
                  207 1/2
                  Dunkel Pick:
                  Atlanta
                  (+8 1/2); Over

                  Chicago @ Detroit


                  Game 803-804
                  March 9, 2018 @ 7:05 pm

                  Dunkel Rating:
                  Chicago
                  112.745
                  Detroit
                  117.317
                  Dunkel Team:
                  Dunkel Line:
                  Dunkel Total:
                  Detroit
                  by 4 1/2
                  219
                  Vegas Team:
                  Vegas Line:
                  Vegas Total:
                  Detroit
                  by 8
                  212 1/2
                  Dunkel Pick:
                  Chicago
                  (+8); Over

                  Houston @ Toronto


                  Game 805-806
                  March 9, 2018 @ 7:35 pm

                  Dunkel Rating:
                  Houston
                  128.452
                  Toronto
                  123.974
                  Dunkel Team:
                  Dunkel Line:
                  Dunkel Total:
                  Houston
                  by 4 1/2
                  216
                  Vegas Team:
                  Vegas Line:
                  Vegas Total:
                  Houston
                  by 1
                  221
                  Dunkel Pick:
                  Houston
                  (-1); Under

                  New York @ Milwaukee


                  Game 807-808
                  March 9, 2018 @ 8:05 pm

                  Dunkel Rating:
                  New York
                  109.231
                  Milwaukee
                  121.769
                  Dunkel Team:
                  Dunkel Line:
                  Dunkel Total:
                  Milwaukee
                  by 12 1/2
                  209
                  Vegas Team:
                  Vegas Line:
                  Vegas Total:
                  Milwaukee
                  by 9 1/2
                  213 1/2
                  Dunkel Pick:
                  Milwaukee
                  (-9 1/2); Under

                  Utah @ Memphis


                  Game 809-810
                  March 9, 2018 @ 8:05 pm

                  Dunkel Rating:
                  Utah
                  117.195
                  Memphis
                  111.024
                  Dunkel Team:
                  Dunkel Line:
                  Dunkel Total:
                  Utah
                  by 6
                  192
                  Vegas Team:
                  Vegas Line:
                  Vegas Total:
                  Utah
                  by 9
                  198 1/2
                  Dunkel Pick:
                  Memphis
                  (+9); Under

                  Washington @ New Orleans


                  Game 811-812
                  March 9, 2018 @ 8:05 pm

                  Dunkel Rating:
                  Washington
                  00.000
                  New Orleans
                  00.000
                  Dunkel Team:
                  Dunkel Line:
                  Dunkel Total:
                  Washington

                  Vegas Team:
                  Vegas Line:
                  Vegas Total:
                  Washington

                  Dunkel Pick:
                  Washington
                  ( );

                  LA Lakers @ Denver

                  Game 813-814
                  March 9, 2018 @ 9:05 pm

                  Dunkel Rating:
                  LA Lakers
                  116.403
                  Denver
                  124.529
                  Dunkel Team:
                  Dunkel Line:
                  Dunkel Total:
                  Denver
                  by 8
                  236
                  Vegas Team:
                  Vegas Line:
                  Vegas Total:
                  Denver
                  by 6 1/2
                  229 1/2
                  Dunkel Pick:
                  Denver
                  (-6 1/2); Over

                  Golden State @ Portland


                  Game 815-816
                  March 9, 2018 @ 10:05 pm

                  Dunkel Rating:
                  Golden State
                  128.756
                  Portland
                  121.385
                  Dunkel Team:
                  Dunkel Line:
                  Dunkel Total:
                  Golden State
                  by 7 1/2
                  234
                  Vegas Team:
                  Vegas Line:
                  Vegas Total:
                  Golden State
                  by 4
                  227 1/2
                  Dunkel Pick:
                  Golden State
                  (-4); Over

                  Orlando @ Sacramento


                  Game 817-818
                  March 9, 2018 @ 10:05 pm

                  Dunkel Rating:
                  Orlando
                  00.000
                  Sacramento
                  00.000
                  Dunkel Team:
                  Dunkel Line:
                  Dunkel Total:
                  Orlando

                  Vegas Team:
                  Vegas Line:
                  Vegas Total:
                  Orlando

                  Dunkel Pick:
                  Orlando
                  ( );

                  Cleveland @ LA Clippers

                  Game 819-820
                  March 9, 2018 @ 10:35 pm

                  Dunkel Rating:
                  Cleveland
                  119.125
                  LA Clippers
                  122.679
                  Dunkel Team:
                  Dunkel Line:
                  Dunkel Total:
                  LA Clippers
                  by 3 1/2
                  225
                  Vegas Team:
                  Vegas Line:
                  Vegas Total:
                  LA Clippers
                  by 1
                  231
                  Dunkel Pick:
                  LA Clippers
                  (-1); Under

                  Comment


                  • NBA
                    Armadillo's Write-Up

                    Friday, March 9


                    Pacers won four of last five games with Atlanta; last eight series games stayed under total. Hawks are 1-4 vs spread in last five visits to Indiana. Atlanta lost six of its last eight games; they’re 5-6 in last 11 games as road underdogs. Seven of their last eight games went under the total. Pacers won seven of their last ten games; they’re 9-2 in last 11 games as home favorites. Seven of their last eight games stayed under.

                    Home side won last five Chicago-Detroit games; Bulls are 1-3 vs spread in last four visits to the Motor City. Four of last six series games stayed under. Chicago lost six of its last eight games; they’re 0-7 in last seven tries as road underdogs. Over is 5-3 in their last eight games. Detroit lost seven of its last eight games; they’re 3-7 in last ten games as home favorites. Under is 5-2-3 in their last ten games.

                    Houston won its last 16 games; they covered nine of last ten road games. Under is 5-3 in their last eight games. Houston-Toronto split their last ten games; Rockets are 2-3 vs spread in their last five visits to Canada. Last five series games went over. Raptors won their last six games; they’re 2-0 vs spread as road underdogs this season. Four of their last five games stayed under the total.

                    Knicks lost six of last eight games with Milwaukee; they’re 3-2 vs spread in last five visits to Wisconsin. Five of last six series games stayed under the total. New York lost nine of its last ten games; they’re 2-7 in last nine games as road underdogs. Five of their last seven games went over the total. Bucks lost six of their last seven games; they’re 0-6 in last six games as home favorites. Five of their last six games stayed under.

                    Grizzlies won four of last six games with Utah; six of last eight series games stayed under. Jazz is 2-3 vs spread in last five visits to Memphis. Utah won its last four games; they’re 4-2 vs spread in last five games as road favorites. Seven of their last eight games stayed under. Grizzlies lost their last 15 games; they’re 2-5 in last seven games as home underdogs. Four of their last five games stayed under.

                    Pelicans star Davis (ankle) is doubtful for this game. Wizards won nine of last 10 games (8-2 vs spread) with New Orleans; they covered their last four visits to Bourbon Street. Washington lost three of its last four games; they covered seven of last eight games as road underdogs. Five of their last six games stayed under. New Orleans won its last ten games (9-1 vs spread); they’re 2-5 in last seven games as home favorites. Over is 8-2 in their last 10 games.

                    Lakers lost seven of last ten games with Denver; they’re 1-4 vs spread in last five visits to Denver. Nine of last ten series games went over. Los Angeles won won six of its last seven games; they’re 4-0 vs spread in last four games as road underdogs. Over is 7-2-1 in their last ten games. Denver lost four of its last six games; they’re 2-5 in last seven games as home favorites. Eight of their last ten games went over.

                    Curry hurt his ankle last nite, is out here; Golden State won nine of last ten games vs Portland, but Blazers are 5-3 vs spread in last eight series games, 3-2 in last five played here. Three of last four series games went over. Warriors won their last seven games; they’re 2-7 vs spread in last nine road games. Their last four games stayed under. Trailblazers won their last eight games; they’re 3-2 as home underdogs. Under is 6-1 in last seven Portland games.

                    Kings are 6-4 in last ten games with Orlando; four of last five series games stayed under total. Magic is 2-2 vs spread in last four visits here. Orlando lost eight of its last ten games; they’re 3-2 vs spread in last five road games. Five of last six Magic games stayed under. Sacramento lost seven of its last nine games; they covered three of last four home games. Kings’ last three games stayed under.

                    Clippers lost five of last seven games with Cleveland; under is 7-3 in last ten series games. Cavaliers are 2-2 vs spread in last four series games in Staples Center. Cleveland split its last six games; they’re 7-3 as road underdogs this season. Six of their last eight games stayed under the total. Clippers won six of their last nine games; they’re 2-6 in last eight games as home favorites. Seven of their last eight games went over.

                    Comment


                    • NBA

                      Friday, March 9


                      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Trend Report
                      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      CHICAGO @ DETROIT
                      The total has gone OVER in 12 of Chicago's last 18 games on the road
                      The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Chicago's last 6 games when playing on the road against Detroit
                      The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Detroit's last 6 games at home
                      Detroit is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against Chicago

                      ATLANTA @ INDIANA
                      The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Atlanta's last 8 games when playing Indiana
                      The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Atlanta's last 6 games on the road
                      The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Indiana's last 5 games
                      The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Indiana's last 8 games when playing Atlanta

                      HOUSTON @ TORONTO
                      Houston is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
                      Houston is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
                      Toronto is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
                      The total has gone OVER in 5 of Toronto's last 5 games when playing Houston

                      UTAH @ MEMPHIS
                      Utah is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
                      The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Utah's last 5 games when playing on the road against Memphis
                      The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Memphis's last 5 games when playing at home against Utah
                      Memphis is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Utah

                      NEW YORK @ MILWAUKEE
                      The total has gone UNDER in 5 of New York's last 6 games when playing Milwaukee
                      The total has gone OVER in 5 of New York's last 7 games
                      The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Milwaukee's last 6 games
                      The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Milwaukee's last 6 games when playing New York

                      WASHINGTON @ NEW ORLEANS
                      Washington is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against New Orleans
                      Washington is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing New Orleans
                      The total has gone OVER in 5 of New Orleans's last 5 games at home
                      New Orleans is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games

                      LA LAKERS @ DENVER
                      LA Lakers is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
                      The total has gone OVER in 9 of LA Lakers's last 10 games when playing Denver
                      The total has gone OVER in 9 of Denver's last 10 games when playing LA Lakers
                      The total has gone OVER in 10 of Denver's last 12 games

                      GOLDEN STATE @ PORTLAND
                      Golden State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
                      Golden State is 11-1 SU in its last 12 games when playing Portland
                      Portland is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
                      Portland is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games

                      ORLANDO @ SACRAMENTO
                      The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Orlando's last 6 games
                      Orlando is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 games on the road
                      The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Sacramento's last 5 games when playing Orlando
                      Sacramento is 15-7 SU in its last 22 games when playing at home against Orlando

                      CLEVELAND @ LA CLIPPERS
                      Cleveland is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
                      Cleveland is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
                      The total has gone OVER in 7 of LA Clippers's last 8 games
                      The total has gone UNDER in 7 of LA Clippers's last 10 games when playing Cleveland

                      Comment


                      • NBA
                        Long Sheet

                        Friday, March 9


                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        ATLANTA (20 - 45) at INDIANA (37 - 28) - 3/9/2018, 7:05 PM
                        Top Trends for this game.
                        INDIANA is 219-165 ATS (+37.5 Units) on Friday nights since 1996.
                        INDIANA is 37-22 ATS (+12.8 Units) in home games revenging a loss vs opponent over the last 3 seasons.

                        Head-to-Head Series History
                        INDIANA is 6-4 against the spread versus ATLANTA over the last 3 seasons
                        INDIANA is 6-4 straight up against ATLANTA over the last 3 seasons
                        8 of 10 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        CHICAGO (22 - 42) at DETROIT (29 - 36) - 3/9/2018, 7:05 PM
                        Top Trends for this game.
                        DETROIT is 12-21 ATS (-11.1 Units) as a favorite this season.
                        DETROIT is 3-13 ATS (-11.3 Units) in the second half of the season this season.
                        DETROIT is 6-18 ATS (-13.8 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record this season.
                        DETROIT is 0-8 ATS (-8.8 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record - 2nd half of the season this season.
                        DETROIT is 1-11 ATS (-11.1 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 106+ points/game - 2nd half of the season this season.

                        Head-to-Head Series History
                        DETROIT is 5-4 against the spread versus CHICAGO over the last 3 seasons
                        DETROIT is 5-4 straight up against CHICAGO over the last 3 seasons
                        5 of 9 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        HOUSTON (51 - 13) at TORONTO (47 - 17) - 3/9/2018, 7:35 PM
                        Top Trends for this game.
                        HOUSTON is 1-8 ATS (-7.8 Units) against Atlantic division opponents this season.
                        TORONTO is 84-70 ATS (+7.0 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
                        TORONTO is 31-19 ATS (+10.1 Units) after scoring 115 points or more over the last 2 seasons.
                        HOUSTON is 22-11 ATS (+9.9 Units) in road games this season.
                        HOUSTON is 32-18 ATS (+12.2 Units) in a road game where the total is greater than or equal to 220 over the last 3 seasons.
                        HOUSTON is 9-1 ATS (+7.9 Units) in road games in the second half of the season this season.
                        HOUSTON is 17-7 ATS (+9.3 Units) after a non-conference game this season.
                        HOUSTON is 19-7 ATS (+11.3 Units) in road games revenging a loss vs opponent over the last 2 seasons.
                        HOUSTON is 12-4 ATS (+7.6 Units) in road games after 3 or more consecutive wins this season.
                        HOUSTON is 13-3 ATS (+9.7 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season this season.
                        HOUSTON is 19-7 ATS (+11.3 Units) in road games versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game over the last 2 seasons.
                        TORONTO is 191-240 ATS (-73.0 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season since 1996.

                        Head-to-Head Series History
                        HOUSTON is 3-2 against the spread versus TORONTO over the last 3 seasons
                        HOUSTON is 3-2 straight up against TORONTO over the last 3 seasons
                        5 of 5 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        NEW YORK (24 - 41) at MILWAUKEE (34 - 31) - 3/9/2018, 8:05 PM
                        Top Trends for this game.
                        NEW YORK is 13-22 ATS (-11.2 Units) in road games this season.
                        NEW YORK is 2-11 ATS (-10.1 Units) in the second half of the season this season.
                        NEW YORK is 10-21 ATS (-13.1 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
                        NEW YORK is 2-11 ATS (-10.1 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season this season.
                        NEW YORK is 222-174 ATS (+30.6 Units) revenging a home loss vs opponent since 1996.
                        MILWAUKEE is 66-82 ATS (-24.2 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
                        MILWAUKEE is 11-20 ATS (-11.0 Units) in home games this season.
                        MILWAUKEE is 368-447 ATS (-123.7 Units) in the second half of the season since 1996.
                        MILWAUKEE is 10-22 ATS (-14.2 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a losing record over the last 2 seasons.
                        MILWAUKEE is 86-116 ATS (-41.6 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a losing record - 2nd half of the season since 1996.

                        Head-to-Head Series History
                        NEW YORK is 5-4 against the spread versus MILWAUKEE over the last 3 seasons
                        MILWAUKEE is 6-3 straight up against NEW YORK over the last 3 seasons
                        6 of 9 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        UTAH (35 - 30) at MEMPHIS (18 - 46) - 3/9/2018, 8:05 PM
                        Top Trends for this game.
                        MEMPHIS is 7-15 ATS (-9.5 Units) after 3 or more consecutive losses this season.

                        Head-to-Head Series History
                        MEMPHIS is 5-3 against the spread versus UTAH over the last 3 seasons
                        MEMPHIS is 4-4 straight up against UTAH over the last 3 seasons
                        6 of 8 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        WASHINGTON (37 - 28) at NEW ORLEANS (38 - 26) - 3/9/2018, 8:05 PM
                        There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

                        Head-to-Head Series History
                        WASHINGTON is 5-0 against the spread versus NEW ORLEANS over the last 3 seasons
                        WASHINGTON is 4-1 straight up against NEW ORLEANS over the last 3 seasons
                        3 of 5 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        LA LAKERS (29 - 35) at DENVER (35 - 30) - 3/9/2018, 9:05 PM
                        Top Trends for this game.
                        LA LAKERS are 141-180 ATS (-57.0 Units) in March games since 1996.
                        LA LAKERS are 11-3 ATS (+7.7 Units) in a road game where the total is greater than or equal to 220 this season.

                        Head-to-Head Series History
                        DENVER is 6-3 against the spread versus LA LAKERS over the last 3 seasons
                        DENVER is 6-3 straight up against LA LAKERS over the last 3 seasons
                        8 of 9 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        GOLDEN STATE (51 - 14) at PORTLAND (39 - 26) - 3/9/2018, 10:05 PM
                        Top Trends for this game.
                        PORTLAND is 34-25 ATS (+6.5 Units) in all games this season.
                        PORTLAND is 16-4 ATS (+11.6 Units) in March games over the last 2 seasons.
                        PORTLAND is 12-2 ATS (+9.8 Units) in home games after 3 or more consecutive unders over the last 3 seasons.
                        PORTLAND is 144-110 ATS (+23.0 Units) in home games after allowing 90 points or less since 1996.
                        PORTLAND is 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 106+ points/game - 2nd half of the season this season.
                        PORTLAND is 18-8 ATS (+9.2 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game - 2nd half of the season over the last 2 seasons.

                        Head-to-Head Series History
                        GOLDEN STATE is 11-8 against the spread versus PORTLAND over the last 3 seasons
                        GOLDEN STATE is 16-3 straight up against PORTLAND over the last 3 seasons
                        14 of 19 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        ORLANDO (20 - 45) at SACRAMENTO (20 - 45) - 3/9/2018, 10:05 PM
                        There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

                        Head-to-Head Series History
                        SACRAMENTO is 3-2 against the spread versus ORLANDO over the last 3 seasons
                        SACRAMENTO is 3-2 straight up against ORLANDO over the last 3 seasons
                        4 of 5 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        CLEVELAND (38 - 26) at LA CLIPPERS (34 - 29) - 3/9/2018, 10:35 PM
                        Top Trends for this game.
                        CLEVELAND is 21-42 ATS (-25.2 Units) in all games this season.
                        CLEVELAND is 9-20 ATS (-13.0 Units) when the total is greater than or equal to 220 this season.
                        CLEVELAND is 8-18 ATS (-11.8 Units) in a road game where the total is greater than or equal to 220 over the last 2 seasons.
                        CLEVELAND is 5-16 ATS (-12.6 Units) against Pacific division opponents over the last 2 seasons.
                        CLEVELAND is 21-35 ATS (-17.5 Units) after a non-conference game over the last 2 seasons.
                        CLEVELAND is 7-16 ATS (-10.6 Units) in non-conference games this season.
                        CLEVELAND is 7-19 ATS (-13.9 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 106+ points/game this season.
                        CLEVELAND is 8-18 ATS (-11.8 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game this season.
                        LA CLIPPERS are 8-1 ATS (+6.9 Units) on Friday nights this season.
                        LA CLIPPERS are 20-8 ATS (+11.2 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 106+ points/game this season.
                        CLEVELAND is 18-8 ATS (+9.2 Units) on Friday nights over the last 2 seasons.
                        LA CLIPPERS are 165-208 ATS (-63.8 Units) in home games in the second half of the season since 1996.
                        LA CLIPPERS are 215-270 ATS (-82.0 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season since 1996.

                        Head-to-Head Series History
                        LA CLIPPERS is 3-2 against the spread versus CLEVELAND over the last 3 seasons
                        CLEVELAND is 3-2 straight up against LA CLIPPERS over the last 3 seasons
                        3 of 5 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

                        Comment


                        • Friday's Essentials
                          March 9, 2018


                          Game of the Night - Golden State at Portland, NBC Sports-Bay Area, 10:05 ET

                          The Rockets and Pelicans take winning streaks that have reached double-digits into tonight’s NBA action, while the teams with the next two most successful runs will square off against one another in Portland.

                          Stephen Curry won’t play, taking a little of the shine off the matchup, but the Warriors have more than enough to keep the Trail Blazers’ winning streak from reaching nine games. Steve Kerr even quipped after Thursday’s 110-107 comeback win over San Antonio that his team will have to manufacture offense without the two-time MVP, but he’s well aware of how loaded his roster is, well-equipped enough that they should survive Curry’s absence.

                          Look for caution to prevail following Curry’s fourth ankle sprain of the season, a tweak that wasn’t considered to be too serious but still kept him out for the remainder of the night after he rolled it 2:23 seconds into the game. He ended up not flying to Portland with the team and won’t join them in Minnesota, where the Warriors will play a nationally televised game on Sunday.

                          Everyone was in a good enough mood to joke about Curry’s latest misstep since they were able to rally from a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit in a 110-107 win over San Antonio to pick up their seventh straight win, going ahead on a Draymond Green putback with 1:33 left. The Warriors have won 10 of 11 games and are currently on their second-longest win streak of the season, trailing only an 11-game run that spanned from Nov. 29 through Dec. 22.

                          Portland is on its longest winning streak of the season, beginning this stretch with a 123-117 home win over these Warriors back on Feb. 14. Damian Lillard scored 44 points to overcome Kevin Durant dropping a 50-burger. The Blazers’ lone All-Star called it the best performance and best win of the season. Utah, Oklahoma City and Minnesota have all been victims on Portland’s run, but the sentiment likely still stands since Golden State hasn’t lost since and has a road record of 25-7.

                          Lillard, an Oakland native who has always taken his game up a few notches against his hometown team, is averaging 34.1 points over his last 11 games, scoring 35 or more points seven times.

                          Without Curry, Kerr has typically started Patrick McCaw, who is currently unavailable due to a wrist injury. Andre Iguodala, another option, is questionable with an arm injury, so Quinn Cook, Nick Young or Shaun Livingston are the most likely options to join Klay Thompson in the backcourt. I’d expect it to be Cook, who played 21:32 last night, his second-longest outing of the season. The Warriors are 7-0 in games he’s played at least 10 minutes.

                          Thompson shot just 6-for-15 in the Feb. 14 loss in Portland but will play a much more significant role against the guard combination of Lillard and C.J. McCollum. He’s dealing with a hip issue but is listed as probable. David West joins Iguodala in being questionable with an arm injury, while Jordan Bell joins McCaw in having been ruled out.

                          Durant had 37 points and 11 boards while Green added a triple-double against the Spurs, so they’ll be critical to avoiding a second straight loss to a Trail Blazers squad that they had defeated in 12 consecutive regular-season meetings prior to the Valentine’s Day loss.

                          Golden State is 11-4 in games Curry has missed this season. The under has prevailed in four straight games for both teams but is 1-1 in their meetings this season. The Warriors haven’t lost the season series to Portland since 2003. Oddsmakers moved Golden State from a 4-point favorite to 1/1.5 after due to Curry being sidelined.

                          Summit meeting in Canada

                          The teams with the top records in their respective conferences squard off in March. It's a huge game, too. The fact neither the Warriors or Cavs are involved has to be considered a major upset.

                          Instead, we get the Rockets putting their 17-game winning streak on the line in Toronto, where they've been installed as a 2-point favorite. This would seem to be the biggest obstacle separating the Rockets from smashing a franchise-record 22-game winning streak set a decade ago.

                          The Rockets wrap up four-game road stint in Dallas on Sunday, then return home for games against the Spurs and Clippers before playing a road back-to-back against the Pelicans and Timberwolves on March 17-18. Of those games, they would only possibly not be favored in Minnesota, but would likely see a spread similar to this one where they're favored by a bucket.

                          Houston is 8-3 against the spread over its last 11 and owns the NBA's top road record, currently 26-7. Toronto owns the league's best home record, having won 27 of 32 at the Air Canada Centre. DeMar DeRozan is playing his best basketball and comes off a 42-point night to pull off a win in Detroit.

                          Chris Paul didn't play in Toronto's 129-113 win in Houston on Nov. 14 but he'll be in the mix here. Ryan Anderson remains sidelined by a hip injury, but Clint Capela (calf) and Joe Johnson (illness) will both be available.

                          Injury Report

                          The Pacers list Victor Oladipo as probable despite an elbow injury that has hindered him the past few weeks. Indiana will also get back starting point guard Darren Collison from a knee injury that has sidelined him the last few weeks.

                          Chicago now has a full deck to play with since the NBA stopped them from sitting Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday when they're perfectly healthy. Only Paul Zipser remains out from the deep Bulls roster. Starting Pistons small forward Stanley Johnson is listed as questionable with a back injury that kept him out Wednesday.


                          New York won't have shooting guard Courtney Lee for its visit to Milwaukee. The Lakers are still without Brandon Ingram (hip), for their date in Denver and probably won't have him until next week at the earliest.

                          Orlando has ruled out shooting guard Evan Fournier due to a knee issue and forward Aaron Gordon due to a concussion. Don't jump on the Kings blindly based on solely that. Sacramento may not have center Willie Cauley-Stein and rookie point guard De'Aaron Fox, their top defenders, due to back issues.

                          Comment


                          • Hoop Trends - Friday
                            March 9, 2018


                            ATS TREND OF THE DAY:

                            -- The Lakers are 14-0 ATS (10.68 ppg) on the road off a win in which their opponent shot over 50% from the field.

                            OU TREND OF THE DAY:

                            -- The Nuggets are 11-0 OU (20.55 ppg) at home off a loss as a home favorite in which their opponent shot over 50% from the field.

                            PLAYER TREND OF THE DAY:

                            -- The Raptors are 0-12-2 OU (-9.96 ppg) as a dog off a win as a favorite in which Kyle Lowry had at least 10 assists.

                            CHOICE TREND:

                            -- The Hawks are 10-0 ATS (5.15 ppg) with rest coming off a 10+ point loss in which they led after the third quarter.

                            ACTIVE TRENDS:

                            -- The Wizards are 0-12 ATS (-11.96 ppg) coming off a win as a home favorite that went to overtime.

                            -- The Trailblazers are 8-0-1 ATS (9.06 ppg) as a dog off a win in which Damian Lillard was the high scorer.

                            Comment


                            • FRIDAY, MARCH 9
                              GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


                              ATL at IND 07:00 PM
                              ATL +8.5
                              U 211.5

                              CHI at DET 07:00 PM
                              CHI +7.5
                              U 215.0

                              HOU at TOR 07:30 PM
                              TOR +3.0
                              U 220.0


                              WAS at NO 08:00 PM
                              NO +2.5
                              U 219.0

                              UTA at MEM 08:00 PM
                              UTA -9.5
                              U 197.5

                              NY at MIL 08:00 PM
                              MIL -9.5
                              U 214.5

                              LAL at DEN 09:00 PM
                              LAL +7.0
                              O 229.5


                              GS at POR 10:00 PM
                              GS +1.0
                              O 218.0

                              ORL at SAC 10:00 PM
                              SAC -3.0
                              U 205.5

                              CLE at LAC 10:30 PM
                              LAC +1.5
                              U 229.5

                              Comment


                              • Raptors end Rockets' 17-game win streak with 108-105 victory
                                March 10, 2018


                                TORONTO (AP) Kyle Lowry scored 30 points, DeMar DeRozan had 23 and the Toronto Raptors beat Houston 108-105 on Friday night, snapping the Rockets' 17-game winning streak.

                                James Harden scored 40 points but the Rockets lost for the first time since Jan. 27 at New Orleans.

                                Jonas Valanciunas had 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Raptors won their seventh straight in a matchup between the respective conference leaders.

                                The Rockets shot 9 for 27 from 3-point range, matching their fewest made 3-pointers of the season.

                                WIZARDS 116, PELICANS 97

                                NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Otto Porter Jr. scored 19 points and Washington cruised past New Orleans, which couldn't overcome the absence of All-Star Anthony Davis and had its 10-game winning streak snapped.

                                Markieff Morris scored 17 and Bradley Beal added 16 for the Wizards, who led by as many as 27 points en route to their second straight victory.

                                Without the 6-foot-10 Davis' ability to affect opponents' shots or prolong Pelicans possession with offensive rebounds, New Orleans looked overmatched on the boards. Washington outrebounded New Orleans 49-38, and converted 10 offensive rebounds into 18 second-chance points.

                                Darius Miller scored 20 points and Cheick Diallo a season-high 14 for the Pelicans, who'll hope to have Davis back for their next game against Utah.

                                BUCKS 120, KNICKS 112

                                MILWAUKEE (AP) - Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 13 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, outmuscling New York in the lane to help Milwaukee hold on.

                                Khris Middleton had a game-high 30 points for the Bucks, who got a head-start on their fourth-quarter surge when Antetokounmpo rejected Emmanuel Mudiay's attempted layup before the third-quarter buzzer to preserve a 91-89 lead.

                                The Bucks took control with a 19-7 run over a six-plus minute stretch of the fourth to build a 16-point lead that withstood a late run by the Knicks. Antetokounmpo wheeled his way past defenders to get to the foul line, while Middleton provided balance from the perimeter after his 3 with 5:03 left gave Milwaukee a 112-96 advantage.

                                New York, which finished a winless four-game road trip, has lost 14 of its last 15 games.

                                NUGGETS 125, LAKERS 116

                                DENVER (AP) - Paul Millsap scored 21 points and hit a key 3-pointer in the final minutes, and Denver beat Los Angeles.

                                Jamal Murray had 22 points and Nikola Jokic also scored 21 to help the Nuggets end a three-game home losing streak and stay in the thick of the playoff race.

                                Millsap missed 44 games with a left wrist injury before returning Feb. 27 against the Clippers. Friday was his sixth game back and his best performance, which included six rebounds and three blocked shots.

                                Brook Lopez led Los Angeles with 29 points. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 17 points and nine rebounds, and Lonzo Ball had 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. The Lakers had their four-game road winning streak snapped.

                                PISTONS 99, BULLS 83

                                DETROIT (AP) - Blake Griffin had 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and Detroit ended a four-game losing streak.

                                The Pistons (30-36) had lost 10 of 12 to fall five games out of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Reggie Bullock added 21 points while Andre Drummond had 17 rebounds.

                                Chicago (22-43) had won two of three after a five-game losing streak. Cameron Payne led the Bulls with 17 points, while Kris Dunn was the only other player to reach double figures with 13.

                                PACERS 112, HAWKS 87

                                INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Bojan Bogdanovic scored 21 points, Cory Joseph scored 10 of his 18 points in the opening quarter, and Indiana was never seriously threatened in a rout of Atlanta.

                                Joseph, starting for point guard Darren Collison, hit two of the team's five 3-pointers to help build a 34-15 lead after 12 minutes.

                                Collison came off the bench and scored 17 points in 21 minutes. Victor Oladipo and Myles turner also scored 17 apiece for Indiana, which has won 12 of 15 home games since the start of the new year.

                                The Pacers (38-28) led by as many as 21 in the second quarter and went ahead by 31 points in the third quarter. They finished 14 of 27 from 3-point range.

                                Rookie reserve guard Tyler Dorsey scored all of his career-high 18 points in the second half for the Hawks, who dropped to a league-worst 5-27 on the road.

                                JAZZ 95, GRIZZLIES 78

                                MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Jae Crowder scored a season-high 22 points and Utah won its fifth straight with a victory over Memphis, which has lost 16 in a row.

                                Joe Ingles added 16 points for Utah, while Ricky Rubio had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

                                Dillon Brooks led Memphis with 18 points, and Ben McLemore finished with 14. Jarell Martin contributed 13, while making only five of his 15 shots as Memphis shot 37 percent for the game.

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