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NBA Odds: Friday, November 27 2015 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews

With the NBA going dark on Thanksgiving, it’s a good time to catch up on updated futures odds around The Association heading into a busy Black Friday schedule. The site has a prop on whether the Warriors will break the Bulls’ record of 72 regular-season wins. That Golden State will win 72 or fewer is -700 and 73 or more +450. I still don’t think it happens. Obviously the Warriors are title favorites at +175 with Cleveland next at +275. The preseason Western Conference-favored Spurs are now +500 to win it all. Steph Curry is the heavy -150 favorite to win a second straight MVP; LeBron James is +600 along with Russell Westbrook. And for Rookie of the Year, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns leads the way at +100.

Cavaliers at Hornets (+4, 203)

Cleveland had a three-game winning streak end Wednesday with a 103-99 loss in Toronto; it was the Cavs’ third straight road loss. James had 24 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Mo Williams returned after missing two games but fellow point guard Matthew Dellavedova sat out. Charlotte won a fourth straight Wednesday, 101-87 over Washington. The Hornets closed on a 25-2 run. First meeting of the season and the Cavaliers swept three games last year. Charlotte never topped 90 points.

Key trends: Charlotte is 6-2 against the spread in the past eight meetings. The “over/under” has gone under in six of the past seven.

Early lean: Hornets and under.

Bucks at Magic (-3.5, 197.5)

This is the first of an NBA TV doubleheader and will have live betting at the sportsbooks. I’d be shocked if Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd is at this game. He slapped a ball out of the referee’s hands during Wednesday’s 11-point home loss to the Kings. Kidd was ejected — he had to be restrained by players from the ref — and that has to result in a suspension. Orlando ended a two-game skid with a nine-point home win over the Knicks on Wednesday. Victor Oladipo was demoted to a reserve role and responded with a season-high 24 points. These teams split four meetings last season.

Key trends: The Bucks are 2-5 ATS in the past seven meetings in Orlando. The under is 4-1 in the past five overall.

Early lean: Magic and under.

Wizards at Celtics (-4, 207.5)

Washington led in Charlotte 85-76 with five minutes left on Wednesday but then allowed the Hornets to score 25 straight points in a 101-87 loss. The Wizards, who look disinterested, dropped games on back-to-back nights after winning three straight. Boston ended a two-game skid with an 84-80 home win over the Sixers on Wednesday. The C’s were down five late. The Celtics beat the visiting Wizards 118-98 on Nov. 6. Boston closed the first quarter on a 24-9 run and Washington never recovered.

Key trends: Washington is 1-8 ATS in its past nine vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 5-1 in the past six meetings in Boston.

Early lean: Celtics and over.

Heat at Knicks (+1, 188.5)

New York opens a four-game homestand here off back-to-back losses in Florida. The Knicks shot only 37.3 percent in Wednesday’s nine-point defeat in Orlando. New York’s bench was 3-for-20 from the field and scored only 12 points. Miami’s three-game winning streak ended in a 104-81 loss in Detroit on Wednesday. Dwyane Wade scored two points on 1-for-9 shooting — the fewest points he has ever scored in at least 20 minutes of action. Luol Deng missed his first game of the season due to an illness, but he should play here. Miami beat the visiting Knicks 95-78 on Monday as New York shot only 32.2 percent and scored a season low in points.

Key trends: The Heat are 7-0 ATS in the past seven meetings. The under is 10-1 in the past 11 in New York.

Early lean: Heat and under.

Bulls at Pacers (-2.5, 200.5)

Chicago concludes a four-game trip and is off a 93-88 win in Portland on Tuesday, the Bulls’ first there since 2007. Derrick Rose returned from a two-game injury absence (ankle) and had 17 points and six assists. Indiana set a franchise record with 19 3-pointers in a 123-106 win at Washington on Tuesday. Paul George scored a season-high 40 points and hit seven 3-pointers; teammate C.J. Miles had 32 points and eight from long range. Indiana was 19-for-26 from beyond the arc and that 73.1 percent is the best percentage in league history for a team that had a minimum 25 attempts. Indiana has won five of the past six regular-season home meetings in this series, but Chicago beat the visiting Pacers 96-95 on Nov. 16 — Indiana’s last loss — when Jimmy Butler played good defense on George as he attempted the winning jumper.

Key trends: The home team is 8-2 ATS in the past 10 meetings. The under is 4-0 in the past four.

Early lean: Pacers and under.

76ers at Rockets (-12, 201.5)

We should see history in this game as the 76ers bring an NBA record-tying 26-game losing streak into Houston. For the second straight game Wednesday they had a late lead but blew it, this time in Boston. The Sixers became the first team in NBA history to start 0-16 in consecutive seasons. They are two losses shy of matching the worst start ever. Philly played Boston without an injured Nik Stauskas (bruised knee). Houston lost a third straight Wednesday, 102-93 at home to Memphis despite 40 points from James Harden. Ty Lawson played just three minutes with fellow point guard Patrick Beverley returning from a five-game injury absence. Something is wrong on that team. Houston swept Philly last season. The Rockets averaged 96.0 points and the Sixers 90.0. Harden averaged 35.0 points and shot 31-of-34 from the line in the two games.

Key trends: The Rockets are 0-7 ATS in their past seven vs. the East. The under is 5-0 in Philly’s past five vs. the West.

Early lean: Sixers cover. Go under.

Hawks at Grizzlies (TBA)

Memphis won a second straight without star forward Zach Randolph on Wednesday with a nine-point win in Houston. The Grizzlies are 9-0 this season when leading at the half. Randolph has missed four straight with a sore right knee, so consider him questionable here. Atlanta lost 99-95 in Minnesota on Wednesday. Both Kent Bazemore and Tiago Splitter sat out with injuries, and it’s not looking great for them here. The teams split last season, each winning a low-scoring game at home.

Key trends: The home team is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The under is 5-2 in the previous seven.

Early lean: Wait on Randolph (not so much Hawks guys) but go under.

Pistons at Thunder (-8, 207)

Detroit ended a two-game losing streak with an impressive 104-81 home win over Miami on Wednesday. Andre Drummond had 18 points and 20 rebounds, his fourth 20-board game of the season. He just missed a fourth 20-20 game this season. No other player has even one. Oklahoma City looks like it might start rolling with Kevin Durant back as it won a third straight Wednesday, beating the Nets 110-99. Durant had 30 points and Westbrook 27 points and 13 assists. Detroit and OKC split in 2014-15, each winning on the road. The Pistons snapped a 10-game losing streak against the Thunder with their 96-89 overtime win at OKC.

Key trends: The Pistons are 1-5 ATS in their past six on the road. The under is 5-0 in OKC’s past five after a win.

Early lean: Thunder and over.

Spurs at Nuggets (TBA)

San Antonio won a third straight Wednesday, 88-83 at home over the Mavericks in a surprisingly low-scoring game. The Spurs never trailed but needed a Kawhi Leonard 3-pointer with 15.1 seconds left to ice it. He had 26 points. LaMarcus Aldridge had 18 points and seven rebounds in his return from a two-game absence due to a left ankle sprain. Denver lost 111-94 at home to the Clippers on Thursday, the Nuggets’ fourth loss in a row. Forward Kenneth Faried missed a second straight with a sprained ankle and is questionable for Friday. The Spurs beat the visiting Nuggets 109-98 in the first meeting Nov. 18. Tony Parker had 25 points as San Antonio never trailed.

Key trends: The Spurs are 8-3 ATS in their past 11 vs. teams with a losing record. The over is 4-0 in the past four meetings.

Early lean: Over regardless of total. Guessing the TBA is for Faried, although be aware the Spurs are at home on Saturday night, so some guys could rest here.

Warriors at Suns (TBA)

Second game of the NBA TV doubleheader and also should have live betting. Is this the night? I think there’s a pretty reasonable chance that Phoenix ends Golden State’s record 16-0 start. I would imagine the Warriors, as good as they are, might be a tad flat off setting the record by slaughtering the Lakers on Tuesday. Phoenix enters on a three-game skid after a 120-114 home loss to New Orleans on Wednesday. Center Tyson Chandler was held out due to an upper respiratory infection, his first missed game of the season. The Suns need him here to pull the upset. Golden State has won three straight and 11 of the past 14 vs. Phoenix. But the Suns handed the Warriors their first loss last year.

Key trends: The home team is 8-3 ATS in the past 11 meetings. The over is 5-1 in Phoenix’s past six after a loss.

Early lean: Presume the TBA for Chandler and the Warriors’ Andrew Bogut, who missed practice Wednesday after tweaking his back. I actually think the Suns do win, so take any points you get — and it should be a good amount. Should be very high-scoring as well.

Timberwolves at Kings (TBA)

Minnesota upset the visiting Hawks 99-95 on Wednesday (called that one) to sweep the season series. Ricky Rubio sat out with an ankle injury, and Zach LaVine stepped up and had 18 points, six assists and five rebounds. Rubio doesn’t think his ankle injury is major and hopes that after a day off he would be ready to play against Sacramento. The Kings pulled a 129-118 upset in Milwaukee on Wednesday despite playing without DeMarcus Cousins (back). Rudy Gay stepped up with 36 points. The Kings had lost all five previous games that Cousins missed this season. The injury isn’t serious, so Cousins might play Friday. Sacramento was 3-0 vs. Minnesota last year, all high scoring. Five of the teams’ last eight contests have been decided by three points or fewer.

Key trends: The Wolves are 4-1 ATS in the past five in Sacramento. The over is 4-0 in the previous four meetings.

Early lean: Kings if Cousins plays. Over regardless.

Pelicans at Clippers (-7.5. 209.5)

New Orleans won a season-high third in a row Wednesday with a 120-114 victory in Phoenix. Anthony Davis had 26 points and 17 rebounds. The Pelicans trailed by as many as 17 in their first road win of the year. The team was hoping Tyreke Evans would make his season debut, but his right knee was still sore. The struggling Clippers fell under .500 with an 11-point home loss to Utah despite 40 points from Blake Griffin. Wesley Johnson, Paul Pierce and Lance Stephenson combined for as many points as I did. L.A. won two of three meetings last season, including both at home. The Clips have taken eight of the past 10 in the series overall.

Key trends: The home team is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. The under is 6-0 in L.A.’s past six after a double-digit loss at home.

Early lean: Pelicans cover, go over.