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NBA Odds: Wednesday, March 9 2016 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews

The amazing Golden State Warriors shrugged off that shocking loss at the Lakers with a win over the Magic on Monday night to set an NBA record with their 45th straight home win, breaking a tie with the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls. It’s very easy to see the Warriors going 41-0 at home this season. Can’t see them losing there Wednesday night against Utah, which is 10-21 away from home. The best chances would seem to be March 23 against the Clippers, April 1 against the Celtics and April 7 against the Spurs. Also, the Warriors have not lost back-to-back games this season and improved to 6-0 this season following a loss. No team in NBA history has made it through an entire season without losing consecutive games.

Pelicans at Hornets (-7.5, 208)

New Orleans has again lost injury-plagued guard Eric Gordon, probably for the season to a fractured right ring finger. Gordon recently missed 16 games after undergoing surgery to repair a fracture to the same finger. Gordon likely has played his final game in a New Orleans uniform as he will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and some team will overpay him despite how brittle the guy is. This starts a five-game road trip for the Pelicans. Charlotte won a fourth straight Monday, 108-103 over Minnesota. Kemba Walker had 34 points. New Orleans won the first meeting with Charlotte 109-107 on Jan. 15. Nic Batum’s tying 24-footer at the buzzer fell short. Ryan Anderson led the Pelicans with 32 points. They have lost their past four trips to Charlotte, however.

Key trends: The Pelicans are 2-6 against the spread in their past eight after a win. The home team is 5-1-1 ATS in the past seven meetings. The “over/under” is 6-1 in the past seven meetings.

Early lean: Hornets and over.

Rockets at 76ers (TBA)

Houston won in Toronto 113-107 on Sunday behind 40 points and 14 assists from James Harden. Dwight Howard had 21 points and 11 rebounds. It was Houston’s first win at Toronto since the 2006-07 season. Philly dropped a 12th straight Sunday, 103-98 in Miami. Philadelphia was again without Jahlil Okafor (bruised shin), Nerlens Noel (bruised knee) and Nik Stauskas (illness). Houston beat visiting Philly 116-114 on Nov. 21 behind 50 points from Harden. The Rockets have won four straight in the series overall.

Key trends: Houston is 1-5 ATS in the past six meetings. The over is 5-2 in the past seven.

Early lean: TBA for all those Sixers. I could actually see inconsistent Houston nearly losing this game off the big win in Toronto.

Grizzlies at Celtics (TBA)

First of an ESPN doubleheader and should have live betting at sportsbooks. Memphis pulled a huge surprise in Cleveland on Monday, 106-103 despite playing without Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Chris Andersen, Matt Barnes. Conley and Andersen also will miss this game, but Randolph and Barnes were simply rested in the second of a back-to-back. Boston’s five-game winning streak ended in a 120-103 loss at Cleveland on Saturday. The Celtics led by as many as 18 points. Memphis beat Boston 101-98 on Jan. 10. Randolph led the Grizzlies with 25 points and 13 rebounds off of the bench. Isaiah Thomas had 35 for Boston. The Celtics won the home meeting with the Grizz last season. It’s possible Boston gets back injured center Kelly Olynyk for this one.

Key trends: Memphis is 9-1 ATS in its past 10 vs. the East. The over is 14-4 in the past eight meetings.

Early lean: No Conley for sure, so Boston should win comfortably.

Heat at Bucks (+3, 203.5)

Miami has won five straight and completed a home-and-home sweep of Philadelphia on Sunday. Hassan Whiteside had 14 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks. The Heat climbed a season-high 11 games over .500 and matched last season’s win total with 19 games remaining. Milwaukee lost a second straight Monday, 100-90 in Chicago. Jerryd Bayless scored 20 points for Milwaukee, which has dropped five of seven. Michael Carter-Williams missed a fifth straight game and will have season-ending hip surgery on Thursday. This is the final meeting between these teams. They’ve split the first two, each winning on the road.

Key trends: The Heat are 5-2 ATS in their past seven in Milwaukee. The under is 6-1-1 in the past eight there.

Early lean: Heat and under.

Pistons at Mavericks (-2.5, 206)

Detroit ended a two-game slide with a 123-103 home win over Portland on Sunday. Reggie Jackson had 30 points. This starts a four-game road trip. Dallas lost a third straight Monday, 109-90 at home to the Clippers. Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points to lead the Mavericks, who missed 17 consecutive 3-pointers. The Mavs haven’t lost four in a row this season. First meeting of season. Detroit snapped a six-game road losing streak to the Mavs with its 108-95 win on Jan. 7 of last year.

Key trends: The favorite is 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings. The over is 4-1 in the past five.

Early lean: Mavericks and over.

Knicks at Suns (+3, 209)

New York was in Denver on Tuesday. Kristaps Porzingis planned to play in that one after missing the team’s previous game with a leg injury. Phoenix actually won a second in a row Sunday, 109-100 in Memphis. Did the Suns players not get the tanking memo? The Knicks beat the Suns 102-84 at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 29. Carmelo Anthony had 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. The Suns swept the Knicks in 2014-15 and had won three straight in the series before the first meeting this season.

Key trends: The favorite is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings. The under is 6-0 in the previous six.

Early lean: Suns and over.

Clippers at Thunder (-4.5, 217)

Second ESPN game. Los Angeles won 109-90 in Dallas on Monday. DeAndre Jordan had 23 points and 20 rebounds amidst all the boos in Big D, the city he spurned at the last minute this summer. The Clips were down two at the half but outscored the Mavs 33-16 in the third. Oklahoma City ended a two-game slide with a 104-96 win in Milwaukee on Sunday. Kevin Durant had 32 points and 12 boards and Russell Westbrook his 10th triple-double of the season. OKC is 10-0 in those games. These teams have split two meetings in Los Angeles. The Clippers won there last Wednesday 103-98, rallying from a 22-point deficit.

Key trends: The underdog is 8-1 ATS in the past nine meetings. The under is 6-2 in the past eight.

Early lean: Thunder and under.

Cavaliers at Kings (TBA)

Cleveland clearly overlooked short-handed Memphis on Monday as the Cavs were shocked at home 106-103 to end their three-game winning streak. LeBron James had 28 points and passed Hall of Famer John Havlicek into 13th place on the NBA’s career scoring list. After the game, James had some choice words for his teammates. Sacramento lost 115-112 in New Orleans on Monday, blowing a 17-point second-half lead. DeMarcus Cousins had 40 points and 16 rebounds. Cleveland beat Sacramento 120-100 on Feb. 8. James had his first triple-double of the season with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. The Kings have won three straight at home in the series.

Key trends: The home team is 5-0-1 ATS in the past six meetings. The over is 12-5 in the Kings’ past 17 overall.

Early lean: TBA for a few banged-up Kings. I expect Cavs to win easily after being called out by LeBron.

Jazz at Warriors (-13, 210)

Utah hosted Atlanta on Tuesday. Golden State beat the Magic 119-113 on Monday to set that home mark. Steph Curry had 41 points and became the first NBA player to make 300 3-pointers in a season. He and Klay Thompson were a combined 12-for-24 from long range after going 1-for-18 combined in Sunday’s stunning loss to the Lakers. The Warriors overcame 24 turnovers vs. Orlando, tied for their most this season. Andre Iguodala sat out for a second straight game. Golden State is 2-0 vs. Utah this season and has won five straight at home in the series.

Key trends: The home team is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings. The over is 4-1 in Utah’s past five in the second of a back-to-back.

Early lean: Jazz and under.