Game of the day: Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks
Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks (-5, 187)
THE STORY: Jeremy Lin and Carmelo Anthony finally got on the court together on Monday. The results weren’t so great. The New York Knicks have some hope for the future with Lin directing the offense, but they still need some work on the defensive end. Lin was torched by Deron Williams in the loss to New Jersey on Monday. The Atlanta Hawks are having the opposite problem, with the offense consistently unable to keep pace. The stumbling Hawks have dropped seven of 10 this month while putting up 86.2 points.
ABOUT THE HAWKS (19-13): Atlanta could use the All-Star break to get its shooting back together. The Hawks have gone over 90 points twice in the last 10 games and have been held under 80 in dropping each of the last two. Atlanta came back from a 20-point deficit in Chicago on Monday to cut the lead to five but then went the final 3:24 without a point in the 90-79 setback. Joe Johnson was injured late on Monday and will miss the final two games before the break. No one on the team needs a rest more than the All-Star guard, who is shooting 17.2 percent (5 for 29) from 3-point range in the last five games.
ABOUT THE KNICKS (16-17): New York dropped below .500 again with the 100-92 loss to the Nets and have a trip to Miami looming on Thursday. The star has dimmed around “Linsanity” a bit with losses in two of the last three but the early returns with Anthony are good. The All-Star forward returned to the lineup and had no trouble deferring and distributing, finishing with six assists. The Knicks are also attempting to integrate Baron Davis and J.R. Smith into the rotation.
- New York is 7-2 against the spread in its last nine home games.
- The under is 9-3 in Atlanta's last 12.
- New York is 8-3 against the spread in the last 11 meetings between the two teams.
1. The teams split four meetings last season, with New York taking the final two.
2. Knicks G Iman Shumpert (knee) sat out Monday and is day-to-day.
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By Kevin Rogers
The Wednesday NBA card is a full one with 13 games to bet on, including a handful of intriguing matchups in the Western Conference. The Lakers head to Dallas for a showdown with the Mavericks, while the Clippers look to snap a two-game skid against the struggling Nuggets. We'll start in Oklahoma City as the red-hot Thunder battles the beat-up Celtics.
Celtics at Thunder
Boston attempts to get back on track after dropping four straight games as the Celtics make the trip to Oklahoma City. During this four-game skid, each loss by Boston has come by nine points or more, including Monday's 89-73 setback at Dallas as 9½-point underdogs. The Thunder has won five of its previous six contests, but Oklahoma City failed to cover in home victories over New Orleans and Denver.
Oklahoma City is tied with San Antonio for the best home record in the league at 13-1, while winning 10 consecutive games at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Thunder hosts the Lakers on Thursday night, so this may be a look-ahead spot against a Celtics' team that is without point guard Rajon Rondo (suspension). Kevin Garnett is listed as 'questionable' due to personal reasons, as the Celtics' veteran forward missed the last two losses against the Pistons and Mavericks.
The Thunder has struggled to cover large numbers as of late by posting a 1-5 ATS record the previous six games as six-point 'chalk' or more. Boston is in the same boat with a 2-8 ATS mark the last 10 contests, while the Celtics have scored 88 points or less in five of the past six games. Oklahoma City beat Boston, 97-88 as 2½-point road favorites on January 16, as the Celtics were held to 39% shooting from the floor.
Hawks at Knicks
Atlanta wraps up a five-game road trip as the Hawks head to Madison Square Garden to take on the Knicks. New York failed to get over the .500 mark in Monday's home setback to New Jersey as nine-point favorites, 100-92. Carmelo Anthony scored only 11 points in his return after missing seven games due to a groin injury. The Knicks finish their five-game homestand, as New York travels to Miami on Thursday to take on the Eastern Conference-leading Heat.
This road swing for Atlanta has turned disastrous with Larry Drew's team losing three of the first four games, including Monday's blowout defeat at Chicago, 90-79 as 10½-point 'dogs. The lone win for the Hawks on this trip came at Phoenix, but Atlanta followed up that victory with a clunker at Portland, falling to the Blazers, 97-77. The Hawks will be without leading scorer Joe Johnson on Wednesday, who suffered a knee injury and is listed as 'doubtful.'
The Knicks fell to 7-2 SU and 6-3 ATS since Jeremy Lin's insertion in the starting lineup in Monday's loss to the Nets. New York has managed to cash the 'under' in six of the last nine games, while allowing only New Jersey to eclipse the 100-point mark. The Hawks are making their first visit to MSG this season after splitting the four meetings last season, including a victory in New York last November.
Lakers at Mavericks
Dallas humiliated Los Angeles in a four-game sweep inside the Western Conference semifinals last May, as the two rivals meet up at the American Airlines Center on Wednesday. The Lakers are coming off a fantastic defensive effort in Monday's 103-92 triumph over the Blazers, as Portland was held to just seven points in the first quarter. Now, L.A. has to improve on its road woes against a Dallas team that has won seven of its past eight games.
The Lakers are just 2-4 SU and 1-5 ATS the last six games away from Staples Center, including Friday's blowout loss at Phoenix in which the Purple and Gold trailed by 23 points at the half. Mike Brown's club has eclipsed the 100-point mark in only one of 16 road contests, while scoring a season-low 73 points in a January 16 home triumph over the Mavs.
Dallas is riding a four-game home winning streak, while coming off Monday's rout of the shorthanded Celtics. The Mavericks' defense has stiffened up over the last 12 games by limiting 11 opponents to less than 100 points, but that resulted in just a 7-5 ledger to the 'under.' Rick Carlisle's squad has taken four of the last five home meetings from the Lakers, including three victories last season (including playoffs).
Nuggets at Clippers
Denver has fallen on hard times following a 14-5 start as the Nuggets head to Southern California to take on the Clippers. Los Angeles looks to put a halt to a two-game skid after Monday's loss at Golden State, as the Clippers are playing their final game before the All-Star break.
The Nuggets own a 4-10 record the last 14 games, as George Karl's team snapped a three-game skid in Monday's overtime triumph over the Wolves. Denver is 4-2 ATS the last six contests, including a 3-1 ATS mark as an underdog. The Nuggets dominated the Clippers in their last meeting, 112-91, as Denver overcame an early 13-point deficit to cash short road 'dogs.
The Clippers blew a late lead in Saturday's overtime setback to the Spurs, while falling short as 2½-point favorites at Golden State on Monday. Los Angeles has compiled an 8-2 SU/ATS record off a loss this season, including a 5-1 SU/ATS ledger at Staples Center. Vinny Del Negro's club is 7-4 ATS as a home favorite, while holding eight of 11 opponents to less than 100 points.
Pick 'n' roll: Wednesday's Best NBA Bets
Boston Celtics at Oklahoma City Thunder (N/A)
The Oklahoma City Thunder have won 10 consecutive home games and the Boston Celtics have lost six of seven games to fall below .500.
Oklahoma City’s homecourt success is the franchise’s best streak since the team won 12 straight during the 1997-98 season when known as the Seattle SuperSonics. Boston scored just 73 points in Monday’s loss to Dallas.
Forward Kevin Garnett is expected back after missing the past two games for personal reasons, but Rajon Rondo still has one game left on his suspension.
That leaves Paul Pierce to shoulder the offensive load. He scored 20 point in Boston’s loss to the Mavericks and leads the team averaging 17.3 points per night on the year.
He’ll need a lot more than that to keep this one close.
Utah Jazz at Minnesota Timberwolves (-4, 197)
It wasn’t so much that the Timberwolves lost to Denver in overtime Monday night, but the way they lost.
Down three points with seconds remaining in the extra session, Martell Webster stole an inbounds pass and broke toward the hoop. But instead of pulling up for a trey that could tie the game, he went in for a dunk.
"If I had to do it over again, yeah, I'd probably pull up for a jump shot," Webster said. "But what was going through my mind was go to the rim and possibly get fouled. The contingency to that shot was get a bucket, get a foul, they miss free throws and we get another shot. It didn't work out that way."
Minnesota ended up taking a 103-101 loss after Corey Brewer hit a free throw. It was a comedy of errors for those that had the Timberwolves, who covered as 3.5-point underdogs.
We like the under here.
Ice picks: Wednesday's Best NHL Bets
Washington Capitals at Ottawa Senators (-155, 5.5)
At this point in the year, you have to start questioning how much the Washington Capitals really care.
While injuries have played a significant role in their disappointing season, there was no excuse for Monday’s 5-0 loss to the lowly Hurricanes.
Alex Ovechkin looked uninterested, the Caps lacked any sort of a forecheck, and turned pucks throughout the evening in all three zones.
“Embarrassing effort, right from the start,” Troy Brouwer told reporters after the game. “We weren’t ready to play, gave up chances, gave the puck away, didn’t get the puck in deep. Just all-around embarrassing.”
One thing the Senators will give you is an honest effort. This is a lot of chalk for us, but we just can’t get behind the Caps right now.
Boston Bruins at St. Louis Blues (-130, 5)
If you haven’t been keeping close tabs on the Blues, you might be surprised to realize they have just three regulation losses on home ice this year.
They struggle offensively, so getting the last change at home to line up specific matchups has been key to their success.
"When you have one line going, it's too easy for the other team to shut your offense down," Andy McDonald told reporters. "So we really need contributions from our top six forwards. That's going to be the key for us going forward.
"We've got great goaltending, team defense we're really strong. It's just going to be whether or not we can get that depth scoring we need -- our top six and then the third line chipping in here and there for us.”
Expect the Blues to look for some more offensive punch as the trade deadline nears, but for Wednesday’s game, they’ll lean on matchups and responsible defensive play against the Bruins.
That means goals should be hard to come by.
Mighty hit with Wofford (-1) Tuesday.
Wednesday it’s Syracuse. The deficit is 75 sirignanos.
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