NBA: Thursday NBA Betting Action



2010-02-09

It happens to most quality teams, nonetheless Miami and San Antonio drew the short straws having to play nationally televised cable games on the road after playing the night before away from home. The Heat were outscored by five points in the final 12 minutes at Boston, which proved to be the losing margin for them in a 107-102 defeat. The Spurs opened their annual Rodeo Trip with a 115-113 thriller in Sacramento. Both have little time to recoup at noted difficult places to win on Thursday night. According to Sportsbook.com, Miami is a 9.5-point dog at Cleveland, while San Antonio is favored at Portland by 2.

Wade vs James –Round 3

Miami (24-25 SU & ATS) has lost its first two games this season to Cleveland, both at home and travels to Quicken Loans Arena for the first time this campaign. The Cavaliers (39-11, 26-23-1 ATS) have the superior team as the records prove, but the matchup, though not head-to-head, of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James brings out the best of both players and teams. In the prior contests, each player has scored over 30 points, with Wade holding a slight edge 68 to 66 in total points scored.

Cleveland is a decided favorite at 9.5-points with a total of 187.5. Miami is 5-2 off a straight up loss and in the midst of playing eight of nine away from home. “This is a tough road trip we are on. We have to focus game to game,” said Wade last night. The Heat are 2-7 and 3-6 ATS playing without rest this season, losing by an unseemly 12 points per game.

If Miami is starting to feel the heat of playing a number of games away from home, Cleveland is just scorching. The Cavaliers have won nine in a row and has covered five straight spreads, three by double digits. Since slipping past Miami four games ago, the Cavs average margin of victory has been 19 per game. Cleveland is 38-18-1 ATS off a win by double digits and has covered last five outings with a day of rest. This is the opener on TNT starting at 8:00 Eastern, with Cleveland 8-1 and 6-3 ATS in previous nine get-togethers.

Deep breath and move on

The San Antonio Spurs have not been of recent vintage this season, with a 28-19 record (23-23-1 ATS), despite having played 29 home games, the most in the NBA. With the rodeo in San Antonio, that means the Spurs head out of town and the schedule starts to balance itself. San Antonio played its first of eight consecutive road games in Sac-Town last night and escaped with a two-point victory, thanks to the exploits of backup point guard George Hill. The second year player has taken over for an injured Tony Parker, scoring 23 points and dishing out a career high nine assists, drawing the praise of his head coach.
“George is probably the most improved player in the whole league,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “From his rookie year last year to this year he’s starting to get confident and played well at both ends of the floor. He’s going to be a really fine player for us.” The Spurs will need similar performance or better at Portland (29-22, 28-22-1 ATS) tonight since they are 4-9 ATS as visitors against teams with winning home record.

The Trailblazers have been dealing with injury issues of their own, with Greg Oden again done for the season and Brandon Roy having missed eight straight contests with strained right hamstring. Portland is 3-5 (4-4 ATS) during this stretch without Roy; however his replacement Jerryd Bayless has been better than adequate, averaging 14.6 PPG and shooting nearly 50 percent. The Blazers have not been their usual dominant selves at the Rose Garden with a 17-9 SU record and .500 against the spread. After being whipped by Utah 118-105 Wednesday, Portland is 6-1 ATS of late off a SU loss and 6-0 ATS after surrendering 100 or more points.
The Blazers have won three of last four at home against San Antonio, beating the oddsmakers number each time. The point spread has Tim Duncan’s club opening as two-point favorites, which does not correlate to rest for each team. The Spurs are 3-5 SU and ATS with zero days off, while Portland is 8-3 SU and ATS in exact same situation and 12-3 ATS dating back to last season. The tipoff will be at approximately 10:35 Eastern.

The StatFox Power Lines for these games show Cleveland by 13, Portland by 4

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