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NBA Tuesday Service Plays 11/3/15

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    Game of the Day: Hawks at Heat

    Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat (-4, 196)

    Safe to say the Miami Heat found their rhythm on both ends of the court after a dreadful first half on Sunday, and will look to put four solid quarters together Tuesday when they host the Atlanta Hawks. The Heat scored 65 points after halftime – Dwyane Wade, Hassan Whiteside and Chris Bosh combining to shoot 13-of-21 from the field – as Miami rallied from a 63-44 deficit at intermission to win 109-89.

    Offense has not been a problem for Miami, which ranks among the top five teams in the NBA in field-goal percentage (47 percent) and free-throw shooting (87.5). Udonis Haslem blasted his teammates during a fiery halftime speech on Sunday, which Wade summarized to the media after the game as, “it was all bleep, bleep, bleep.” Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer had his own reasons to be upset after the Hawks were torched for 37 third-quarter points Sunday at Charlotte before tightening up defensively in a 94-92 victory to sweep a home-and-home from the Hornets. Atlanta also dodged an after-game scare as X-rays on the finger of point guard Jeff Teague, who averages a team-leading 18.3 points to pace five Hawks in double figures, came back negative.

    TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Southeast (Atlanta), Sun Sports (Miami)


    The Heat opened as 3-point home favorites and were quickly bet to -4. The total is still at its opening number of 196.


    Hawks – SG K. Korver (probable Tuesday, ankle), PG J. Teague (probable Tuesday, hand), PF M. Muscala (questionable Tuesday, ankle), SG T. Sefolosha (out Tuesday, leg).

    Heat – PF A. Stoudemire (probable Tuesday, knee).


    Hawks (-8.9) – Heat (-7.5) + home court (-3) = Heat -1.6

    ABOUT THE HAWKS (3-1, 1-2-1 ATS, 2-2 O/U): Kent Bazemore shined in both victories over Charlotte, scoring 39 points in the two games on 13-of-25 shooting. Atlanta clamped down on defense late in both contests but especially Sunday, when the Hawks held the Hornets to 4-of-24 shooting (all four baskets coming from 3-point range) in the fourth quarter. “They all know the third wasn’t our best,” Budenholzer said to reporters in describing Atlanta’s defensive effort in the third quarter, “but they found a way.”

    ABOUT THE HEAT (2-1, 2-1 ATS, 1-2 O/U): The Heat were ripped for 63 first-half points against the Rockets but absolutely controlled the final 24 minutes, hitting nine 3-pointers after the break and finishing the half at 58.5 percent from the field while forcing 11 turnovers. Whiteside, who scored 15 points with 15 rebounds combined in his first two contests, gave Miami 25 points and 15 rebounds. Wade has scored 20 or more points in each of his first three games.


    * Hawks are 6-0-1 ATS in the last seven meetings.

    * Home team is 4-1-1 ATS in the last six meetings.

    * Under is 17-5 in the last 22 meetings in Miami.

    * Under is 9-4 in the last 13 meetings.

    CONSENSUS: The public is siding with the Hawks in this Southeast Division matchup, with 53.94 percent of wagers backing Atlanta.


    Preview: Chicago At Charlotte

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, November 3, 2015

    Where: Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina

    The Chicago Bulls are off to a strong start under new coach Fred Hoiberg, but the offense is still trying to catch up to the defense. The Bulls will try to break out on that end when they visit the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday.

    Chicago squeezed out a 92-87 win over the Orlando Magic on Sunday but shot 37.9 percent from the field as Derrick Rose once again struggled with his shot. “All the games I’ve been playing in, I could care less how I’m playing, it’s all about conditioning,” Rose, who missed most of training camp after suffering an orbital fracture, told reporters. “… I’m trying to get people in positions to be successful.” Rose and the Bulls might not need much more offense against the Hornets, who have yet to score more than 94 points in three straight losses to begin the season. Charlotte squandered a fourth-quarter lead in its home opener against Atlanta on Sunday and ended up falling 94-92.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, CSN Chicago, FSN Southeast (Charlotte)

    ABOUT THE BULLS (3-1): Chicago is trying to open things up a bit on offense under Hoiberg but is waiting for Rose to get his vision back completely after the fracture. Rose complained of blurred vision several times in the first week and was held to single digits in scoring in back-to-back games over the weekend. “It seems like (Hoiberg’s) forcing me into how I naturally play,” Rose said. “Where I’m running downhill, I’m getting into the paint. I’m able to push the ball, one-man fast break if I want to, but it’s all about my conditioning.”

    ABOUT THE HORNETS (0-3): Charlotte attempted a franchise-record 37 3-pointers in Sunday’s loss and is putting up an average of 30.3 in the early going. The offense is changing slightly with Nicolas Batum, Jeremy Lamb and rookie Frank Kaminsky in the mix, but it’s veteran forward Marvin Williams doing the most damage from beyond the arc. Williams went 5-of-8 from 3-point range in Sunday’s loss and has attempted at least five 3-pointers in each of the first three contests.


    1. The teams split four meetings last season, with the Bulls winning once in Charlotte.

    2. The Hornets signed Lamb to a three-year, $21 million contract extension on Monday.

    3. Chicago F Doug McDermott is 7-of-12 from 3-point range in the first four games.

    PREDICTION: Bulls 99, Hornets 91


    Preview: Indiana At Detroit

    When: 7:30 PM ET, Tuesday, November 3, 2015

    Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan

    The Detroit Pistons are off to a 3-0 start and have already knocked off a pair of Eastern Conference playoff contenders in Atlanta and Chicago. The Indiana Pacers, who visit the Pistons on Tuesday, are still looking for their first win as they struggle to adjust to a smaller lineup on both ends of the floor.

    The Pacers are trying to pick up the pace on the offensive end with Paul George moving to the power forward spot and Monta Ellis entering the lineup, and the early results have not been encouraging. “We’re a confident group, we’re not playing the way we want to play,” George told reporters after a 97-76 home loss to the Utah Jazz on Saturday. “We definitely have to change that, but it is early. This team can definitely turn around.” The Pistons will provide a challenge to that small Indiana lineup with center Andre Drummond, who is averaging 18.7 points and 16.3 rebounds and won Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors for the opening week. The Central Division rivals split four meetings last season.

    TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Indiana, FSN Detroit

    ABOUT THE PACERS (0-3): Indiana averaged 101 points in losses to Toronto and Memphis to begin the season but turned the ball over 24 times in the loss to the Jazz while going 4-of-17 from 3-point range. “We have to make sure everybody stays together and understands we have a chance to be a good team,” Vogel said. “We have to work harder to get open and move the basketball.” C.J. Miles went 8-of-14 from 3-point range in the first two games but slumped to 0-of-6 from beyond the arc in the setback.

    ABOUT THE PISTONS (3-0): Detroit is thriving behind the trio of Drummond, Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris, but coach Stan Van Gundy still sees room for improvement on the offensive end. “We want to push the ball in transition more, which we did a little better job of the other night,” Van Gundy told reporters. “I think we’ve got to get the ball into the paint more and we’ve also got to reverse the ball more.” Morris, who was brought in from the Phoenix Suns in the offseason, is leading the team in scoring at an average of 19.3 points and went 10-of-15 from the field in a 98-94 overtime win over the Chicago Bulls on Friday.


    1. Drummond recorded 20 points and 20 rebounds on Friday for the fifth 20-20 game of his career.

    2. The Pacers entered the week last in the NBA in rebounding, pulling down an average of 37.3 boards.

    3. Detroit G Jodie Meeks underwent surgery on his right foot and is expected to miss three to four months.

    PREDICTION: Pistons 96, Pacers 91


    Preview: Orlando At New Orleans

    When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, November 3, 2015

    Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

    The New Orleans Pelicans can feel secure in the knowledge that they won’t have to see Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors for a few months. The Pelicans hope to have some better luck on the defensive end when they host the Orlando Magic on Tuesday.

    New Orleans had the misfortune of facing the defending champions twice in the first three games and lost both while surrendering a total of 93 points to Curry, the reigning league MVP. “I have to find a way to get through to these guys, so that we move the ball more,” first-year Pelicans coach and former Warriors assistant Alvin Gentry told reporters. “We do a great job in practice, we have to be able to translate that from the practice court to the basketball court.” The Magic proved they can run with the top teams in a double-overtime loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday but watched the offense fall off considerably in a 92-87 loss at Chicago on Sunday. Orlando is operating under a new coach as well in veteran Scott Skiles, who is still looking for his first win with the team.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Orlando), FSN New Orleans

    ABOUT THE MAGIC (0-3): Skiles was disappointed in the lack of discipline his young players displayed at times in the 139-136 loss to the Thunder on Friday and can’t be please with Orlando failing to reach 90 points and shooting under 40 percent from the field in the other two contests. Second-year point guard Elfrid Payton is off to a slow start and was limited to four points on 2-of-7 shooting while battling foul trouble at Chicago on Sunday. The Louisiana native has more personal fouls (10) than assists (eight) in the last two games.

    ABOUT THE PELICANS (0-3): Gentry was given plenty of credit for Golden State’s top-ranked offense last season and is trying to turn New Orleans into a team that moves the ball and flows based on what the defense gives it. “Last year we slowed the ball down a lot and called lots of plays,” guard Toney Douglas told reporters. “This year with Coach Gentry there’s more reads. I think he gives us the ability to use our talents a lot to be what we’re capable of, what we’re able to do as guards and bigs, so I think that’s going to be helpful.” So far the Pelicans have been outscored by an average of 16 points.


    1. Magic G Evan Fournier is averaging 20.5 points in the last two games after managing three on 1-of-7 shooting in the opener.

    2. Pelicans C Kendrick Perkins (pectoral injury) is out indefinitely.

    3. New Orleans F Anthony Davis is 4-of-7 from 3-point range in the last two games.

    PREDICTION: Pelicans 105, Magic 96


    Preview: Toronto At Dallas

    When: 8:30 PM ET, Tuesday, November 3, 2015

    Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

    The Toronto Raptors have never opened a season with four consecutive victories and will try to clear that hurdle when they visit the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday. Toronto is 3-0 for only the third time in franchise history as it visits a Dallas squad that is playing at home for the first time this season.

    Both teams feature coaches that became the franchise’s all-time wins leader on Sunday. Rick Carlisle notched his 340th victory as Mavericks coach in Sunday’s 103-93 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers to pass Don Nelson, while Toronto’s Dwane Casey recorded his 157th win in Toronto’s 106-87 win over the Milwaukee Bucks to break Sam Mitchell’s club mark. The Raptors, who went 22-19 on the road last season, are beginning a string where they play four straight and 10 of their next 12 on the road. Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki struggled to 11-of-25 shooting over the first two games before scoring 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting and grabbing nine rebounds against the Lakers.

    TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, Sportsnet One (Toronto), FSN Southwest (Dallas)

    ABOUT THE RAPTORS (3-0): Backup small forward Terrence Ross has scored 37 points in three games – and 29 have come in the fourth quarter. “When he comes into the game, he knows what he’s supposed to do on both ends,” guard DeMar DeRozan told reporters. “Coach gives us freedom offensively to do a lot of things as long we play defense. Once he keeps that in his head and understands the things he can do offensively, can’t do nothing but help him.” Also playing well is center Jonas Valanciunas, who is averaging 15.3 points and 11 rebounds.

    ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (2-1): Small forward Chandler Parsons made his season debut against the Lakers and had two points on 1-of-6 shooting in 12 minutes. Parsons underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee six months ago and it will still be a while before he is fully recovered. “He did well physically,” Carlisle told reporters. “He is champing at the bit to play more, but this is going to be a gradual process and it was a good beginning.”


    1. The Raptors are 4-15 when playing at Dallas.

    2. Mavericks PG Deron Williams is one 3-pointer shy of reaching 1,000 for his career.

    3. Toronto PG Kyle Lowry has nine steals in three games while averaging 17.3 points and 7.3 assists.

    PREDICTION: Mavericks 110, Raptors 101


    Preview: Memphis At Sacramento

    When: 10:00 PM ET, Tuesday, November 3, 2015

    Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, California

    The Sacramento Kings will be without All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins when they host the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday. Cousins will miss at least two games after straining his right Achilles’ tendon during Saturday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

    The severity of Cousins’ injury was discovered in an MRI exam and club vice president Vlade Divac allowed that Cousins could end up missing more time if the injury doesn’t respond to treatment. “It’s a long season and things happen like that,” Divac told reporters. “So it’s better to make sure he’s 100 percent recovered instead of pushing him to aggravate things.” Memphis opened a five-game road trip on Monday by being demolished 119-69 by the Golden State Warriors for the worst defeat in franchise history. “I hate losing, and losing like this is even worse,” center Marc Gasol told reporters. “It hurts. It should hurt your feelings. It hurt mine definitely. But we’ve got to believe in what we’re doing, and hopefully we’ll figure it out.”

    TV: 10 p.m. ET, FSN Southeast (Memphis), CSN California (Sacramento)

    ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (2-2): Memphis shot just 27.1 percent from the field in the debacle against Golden State and was outscored 72-27 over the second and third quarters. The Grizzlies were 3-of-23 from 3-point range, outrebounded 65-44 and just flat-out uncompetitive against the squad that knocked them out of last season’s playoffs in the second round. “Just a bad game overall,” said power forward Zach Randolph, who scored just four points on 2-of-9 shooting. “(Golden State) is a championship team, but they’re not 40, 50 points better than us. We know that.”

    ABOUT THE KINGS (1-2): Point guard Rajon Rondo has a lot to prove after a miserable 2014-15 season and he has produced 21 points and eight assists in each of the past two games. Rondo turned down a $55 million contract extension from the Boston Celtics last season and wore out his welcome in Dallas after being traded to the Mavericks and is playing for Sacramento on a one-year, $11 million deal. “This kid is a great student of the game,” Kings coach George Karl told reporters. “He loves it. He has a passion for the game. He’s a leader. I kid him all the time. He can be a positive or a negative leader, but his voice is heard and respected by the players.”


    1. The Grizzlies won three of four meetings last season, including a split of two games in Sacramento.

    2. Memphis SG Courtney Lee was 2-of-11 and missed all five 3-pointers Monday — making him 12-of-38 from the field and 2-of-16 from 3-point range on the season.

    3. Sacramento SF Rudy Gay averaged 24.3 points in four games last season against his former Memphis teammates.

    PREDICTION: Kings 97, Grizzlies 93


    Preview: Denver At L.A. Lakers

    When: 10:30 PM ET, Tuesday, November 3, 2015

    Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

    Kobe Bryant steps on the floor on the 19th anniversary of his NBA debut when the Los Angeles Lakers host the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. Bryant was scoreless in six minutes off the bench in his first career game in 1996 and is trying to find his shot as well as end the Lakers’ 0-3 start.

    Bryant was just 3-of-15 shooting and struggled to 15 points in Sunday’s 103-93 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Bryant is averaging 17.3 points but is shooting just 31.4 percent from the field, including 20.7 percent from 3-point range. “I just can’t make a shot,” Bryant told reporters after Sunday’s loss. “I’m getting the shots I want. I’m just not making them.” The Nuggets have lost two straight games and were crushed 117-93 by the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.

    TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBATV, Altitude (Denver), TWC SportsNet (Los Angeles)

    ABOUT THE NUGGETS (1-2): Denver could be without starting center Joffrey Lauvergne if the lower back strain he suffered against Oklahoma City doesn’t respond to treatment. Lauvergne is averaging 10.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in three games – scoring in double digits in each contest – while starting in place of injured Jusuf Nurkic (knee). Backup Nikola Jokic (6.7 points, 4.3 rebounds) also injured his back in the same contest and also will be observed closely.

    ABOUT THE LAKERS (0-3): Los Angeles lost its first five games last season and is hoping promising forward Julius Randle will help prevent that from occurring again this season. The 20-year-old Randle posted his second double-double of the season with 22 points, 15 rebounds and four steals against the Mavericks and also impressed Dallas legend Dirk Nowitzki. “He’s going to be tough in this league,” Nowitzki said afterward. “He puts the ball on the floor like no other power forward in this league. He’s strong, athletic and can finish. He’s a tough matchup for a lot of fours in this league, so his future is very bright.”


    1. The Nuggets went 3-1 against the Lakers last season and also boast a four-game winning streak in Los Angeles.

    2. Los Angeles SF Brandon Bass (corneal abrasion in his left eye) is questionable.

    3. Denver PF Kenneth Faried (back) played just 14 minutes against Oklahoma City and is listed as probable versus the Lakers.

    PREDICTION: Nuggets 123, Lakers 118


    StatFox Super Situations™ – FoxSheets

    Play Under – Home teams where the total is greater than or equal to 200 after going under the total by more than 12 points in two consecutive games, first half of the season
    59-26 since 1997. ( 69.4% | 30.4 units )

    Play On – Any team vs the money line (LA LAKERS) after allowing 100 points or more 2 straight games against opponent after a blowout loss by 20 points or more
    95-58 over the last 5 seasons. ( 62.1% | 41.7 units )
    1-0 this year. ( 100.0% | 1.0 units )

    Play Against – All teams where the 1rst half line is +1.5 to -1.5 (TORONTO) marginal winning team from last season who won between 51% and 60% of their games, after 3 or more consecutive wins
    29-8 since 1997. ( 78.4% | 20.2 units )


    NBA Tuesday’s Tip Sheet
    By Kevin Rogers

    Bulls (-3 ½, 193) at Hornets – 7:05 PM EST

    Chicago has jumped out to a 2-1 record with both of its victories coming against winless clubs Brooklyn and Orlando. Following a road overtime setback at Detroit on Friday, the Bulls held off the Magic on Sunday, 92-87, but Chicago failed to cover as eight-point home favorites. Derrick Rose struggled from the floor by shooting 2-of-10 for six points, the second straight game the Bulls’ guard has failed to reach double-digits. The Bulls split four meetings with the Hornets last season, while seven of the past 10 matchups have gone ‘under’ the total.

    The Hornets were expected to get back to the postseason after missing the playoffs last season, but Charlotte has stumbled to an 0-3 start. All three losses have come within the Southeast division, including consecutive defeats to the Hawks by a combined five points. The offense has struggled to come around through the first week, failing to bust the 94-point mark in three losses, while shooting below 41% from the floor in each game. The Hornets closed out last season with an impressive 6-3 ATS record in their final nine games as a home underdog, while pushing as two-point ‘dogs in Sunday’s loss to Atlanta.

    Hawks at Heat (-4, 195) – 7:35 PM EST

    Atlanta overcame an opening night loss to Detroit to win three consecutive games and move into first place of the Southeast division. The Hawks swept a home-and-home set with the Hornets, capped off by a 94-92 road victory on Sunday, limiting Charlotte to 4-of-24 shooting from the field in the final quarter. Mike Budenholtzer’s club is listed as an underdog for the first time this season, going 3-6 ATS in their last nine opportunities as a road ‘dog last season. The Hawks pulled off a four-game season sweep of the Heat last season, while winning six straight in the series since 2014.

    The Heat erased a 21-point deficit to shock the Rockets on Sunday, 109-89, as Miami held Houston to 26 second half points. Miami cashed in both opportunities as a home favorite so far this season, with its lone loss coming at Cleveland last Friday. Hassan Whiteside took advantage of Houston resting Dwight Howard by putting up his first double-double of the season with 25 points and 15 rebounds on Sunday. In the lone game Whiteside faced the Hawks last season, the Heat center tied a career-high by pulling down 24 rebounds in a 94-92 home setback.

    Pacers at Pistons (-5 ½, 201 ½) – 7:35 PM EST

    Indiana is the lone Eastern Conference team that has yet to cover a game, as the Pacers look to break through the win column at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Frank Vogel’s team is 0-3 following home losses to the Grizzlies and Jazz, while dropping a 21-point decision to Utah on Saturday night. Monta Ellis has yet to bust out for the Pacers, averaging 10 points per game, while being held to single-digits twice. The Pacers and Pistons split four matchups last season, as both meetings in Detroit sailed ‘over’ the total.

    The Pistons are one of the early surprises through three games, pulling off impressive victories over the Hawks and Bulls during a 3-0 start. Detroit has been off since Friday night after beating Chicago in overtime, 98-94, while holding its third straight opponent to 94 points or fewer. Stan Van Gundy’s club heads out of town for a six-game Western Conference road swing starting Friday at Phoenix, so it will be interesting to see how sharp this team is with plenty of time off.

    Raptors (-1 ½, 204 ½) at Mavericks – 8:05 PM EST

    Toronto continues to look like the best team in the Atlantic division after a quick 3-0 start, which includes victories over Indiana, Boston, and Milwaukee. The Raptors have topped the 106-point mark in all three wins, as the dynamic duo of DeMar Derozan and Kyle Lowry are combining for 38 points per game, while center Jonas Valanciunas is averaging a double-double (15.3 ppg and 11 rpg). Toronto struggled against Dallas last season, losing both meetings, including a 99-92 setback in Texas as Lowry and Derozan combined to shoot 11-of-36 from the field.

    The Mavericks have turned some heads early with a 2-1 record out of the gate prior to playing at home. Dallas wrapped up its three-game road swing with a 103-93 triumph at Los Angeles, covering as four-point favorites against the winless Lakers. Newly acquired Deron Williams has played well in both Mavericks’ victories, averaging 11.5 points per game, as Dallas has allowed fewer than 95 points in each win. The Mavs won eight of 15 home contests against Eastern Conference foes last season, while cashing the ‘over’ in 10 of their last 12 games at American Airlines Center.

    Grizzlies (-5, 197 ½) at Kings – 10:05 PM EST

    Memphis didn’t start its five-game road trip in ideal style, dropping a 50-point decision to Golden State on Monday, 119-69 as nine-point underdogs. The Grizzlies actually led by one after the first quarter, but were outscored, 72-27 in the next two periods, while Memphis was held to 27% shooting from the floor. Dave Joerger’s team fell to 2-2 straight-up and 1-3 ATS with the loss, but the Grizzlies fared well in their only opportunity with no rest, beating the Pacers, 112-103 as three-point road favorites on October 29.

    The Kings will be without top scorer DeMarcus Cousins tonight, who suffered an Achilles strain in Saturday’s loss to the Clippers. Sacramento has cashed the ‘over’ three times so far in three games, while allowing at least 111 points each time. George Karl’s club failed to cover in their only opportunity as a home underdog, losing to the Clippers on opening night, 111-104 as 5 ½-point underdogs. The Kings lost three of four meetings with the Grizzlies last season, while seven of the past eight matchups have finished ‘under’ the total.

    Total Notes

    Chris David offered up his quick total handicap below on a handful of games for Tuesday’s seven-game slate.

    Chicago at Charlotte: The Hornets haven’t looked great offensively (93.3 PPG) thus far but have still been competitive in their three losses. Charlotte has been taking a ton of 3-pointers this season, just not connecting from downtown. If those shots start to fall, an ‘over’ is very doable but I’d like to see more free throws from Charlotte, who is only averaging 19 attempts per game. The Bulls have shooters too, but they haven’t been hitting lately either. The total for Tuesday is hovering around 193, which is the highest number this pair have seen since 2009. The two head-to-head meetings last season in Charlotte both went ‘over’ the number.

    Atlanta at Miami: This number opened 197 and quickly dropped to 196. I don’t disagree with the move because Atlanta has been hit or miss offensively. They lit up the Knicks but struggled against teams with size in the middle, which the Heat have. Miami is averaging 101.7 PPG and that’s actually impressive considering they’re ranked 27th in shots per game. However, the Heat lead the league in 3-point shooting and are second in free throw percentage. Last year, the ‘over/under’ went 2-2 in the four regular season affairs but make a note that Atlanta put up 114 and 112 in the first two when it was clicking on all cylinders. In the next two, they averaged 96 PPG. I believe we see the latter on Tuesday in this key divisional matchup.

    Indiana at Detroit: Oddsmakers sent out 199 and the number got bumped to 201 ½ quickly. Even though the Pacers’ defense hasn’t been great thus far, the Pistons don’t have a lot of depth. The ‘over’ is 8-2 in this series and three of the four games last season easily jumped ‘over’ Tuesday’s total.

    Orlando at New Orleans: This total (205) seems too high but the Pelicans are allowing 119 PPG through three games and Orlando (106.3 PPG) isn’t much better defensively. Both the Magic (98.7 attempts) and Pelicans (91.3) have played fast this season but if the shots don’t fall, which has been the case with Orlando twice, it doesn’t matter how much tempo you have.

    Denver at L.A. Lakers: This game has the highest total (208) on the board. I’d normally lean ‘over’ in most cases but I haven’t seen anything from either offense that makes me believe both can put up 100-plus. Los Angeles is shooting 40 percent and Denver is at 39 percent from the field, plus they both struggle from 3-point land. Still, the way the Lakers have been play defensively (115.7 PPG) can put a scare into any ‘under’ bet. Denver is 3-0 to the ‘under’ this season and the only time they cracked triple digits is when they hit 13-of-27 bombs in its opener at Houston.


    Spurs’ offensive growing pains profitable for NBA total bettors

    After the season’s first week, there are very few surprises. Of the five teams sitting at 3-0 (Raptors, Pistons, Thunder, Clippers, Warriors), only Detroit raises an eyebrow. And, of the eight teams at 0-3 (Nets, Pacers, Bucks, Magic, Bobcats, Lakers, Rockets, Pelicans), the Rockets are the only winless surprise on the first Monday of the season.

    “Big” Al McMordie take a closer look at some of the storylines and betting trends developing early in the season.

    Spread watch

    The Miami Heat started the preseason 0-2 ATS. However, they finished on a 5-0-1 ATS kick. And they’ve burst out of the gate in the regular season with a 2-1 SU and ATS record, which includes double-digit home wins over the Bobcats and Rockets (with a road loss to Cleveland in between). The win against Houston was especially impressive. Miami was down 63-44 at halftime, but outscored Houston by 39 in the second half. Miami’s offense is strong, with an unadjusted rating of 106.6 (fourth).

    This week, the Heat play four games (Hawks, Timberwolves, Pacers, Raptors), including two undefeated ATS opponents (Raptors, Timberwolves), and one team (Pacers) which has yet to cover the spread. The Indiana-Miami game will be televised by ESPN, so it should draw a lot of betting interest. Miami was 0-4 ATS last season vs. the Pacers, so something will have to give Friday.

    Total Watch

    After not going Over in any of their six preseason games (0-5-1 O/U), the San Antonio Spurs have played two of three games Under the total in the regular season. The Spurs’ defensive Net Rating ranks second (behind Utah), if unadjusted for schedule strength (it would be No. 1 adjusted for schedule). San Antonio is still trying to get comfortable in new offensive sets with LaMarcus Aldridge in the mix. One of the biggest changes is the offense utilizing more post-up plays, to take advantage of the strengths of Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard.

    This new emphasis has reduced the number of drives that look to kick the ball out to open 3-point shooters. As a result, the Spurs are averaging just 18.6 3-point attempts per game (22.5 last season), and shooting just 33.9 percent compared to 36.7 percent last year. For the season, the Spurs’ Offensive Rating ranks 17th (after ranking seventh last year), and their pace of play ranks 15th. This should improve as the team gets acclimated to its new offense, but the Spurs could struggle to score efficiently in the short term.

    The Spurs will play at New York Monday, before visiting the Wizards Wednesday, and Charlotte, at home, Saturday. Like San Antonio, the Bobcats have played two of three regular season games Under the total (following a preseason, in which five of their eight games went Under). The Spurs and Bobcats have gone 5-13-2 O/U their last 20 meetings.

    Injury Impact

    Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins exited Saturday’s loss to the Clippers in the second quarter because of a sore right Achilles’ tendon. Cousins underwent an MRI which revealed a strain in his tendon, and he’s listed as day-to-day. Cousins is one of the league’s Top 10 players. Last season, his PER of 25.29 ranked ninth in the NBA. And his PER this season (25.35) is in line with 2014-15. Cousins missed 23 games last year, and the Kings went just 6-17 SU and 8-14-1 ATS in his absence (compared to 23-36 SU and 25-33-1 ATS with him).

    This season, the Kings are 1-2, but their record is somewhat deceptive, as it includes two single-digit losses to the Clippers, who rank No. 1 in Net Rating, adjusted for schedule strength. In the Kings’ other game, they blew out the Lakers, 132-114. Without adjusting for schedule strength, the Kings would rank 17th in the league in Net Rating (which measures a team’s efficiency). However, if you factor schedule, the Kings’ Net Rating rockets to second overall.

    This week, Sacramento hosts Memphis Tuesday, play at Phoenix Wednesday, before returning home to play Houston and Golden State Friday and Saturday. The Grizzlies, in particular, are the worst team in the league for Sacramento to face without Cousins. Memphis has the best center (other than Cousins) in Marc Gasol and its frontline tandem of Gasol and Zach Randolph ranks as one of the best. Cousins missed two games versus Memphis last season and his Kings lost both games SU/ATS (97-85 at home/97-83 at Memphis). But with Cousins in the lineup, Sacramento was 2-0 ATS vs. the Grizzlies.


    After playing rookie D’Angelo Russell as an off-guard against Minnesota, coach Byron Scott decided to start him at point guard in the Lakers’ second game at Sacramento. Unfortunately for L.A., the results weren’t any better. Los Angeles was blown out 132-114. And then, in Game 3, L.A. also lost by double-digits at home vs. Dallas. The Lakers are now 0-3 SU/ATS and have lost nine straight regular season games (both SU and ATS), dating back to last season.

    In his first three games, Russell has averaged as many turnovers as assists and he’s shooting just 36.7 percent from the floor (26.7 percent from distance). The scuttlebutt around the league is that this wasn’t Scott’s decision, but rather came from management – which is under pressure to not only deliver a winner, but also develop star talent for its fan base.

    This week, L.A. will play three winnable games. Russell will match up against fellow rookie Emmanuel Mudiay, as the Lakers host the Nuggets Tuesday. Then, this weekend, Los Angeles will visit the Knicks (Friday) and Nets (Sunday). The Lakers-Nuggets game will be on NBA TV, and Denver is 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS its last 10 versus Los Angeles.



    7:00 PM ET
    1 Star
    Chicago @ Charlotte
    #701 Take Chicago -3



    Basketball Crusher
    Denver Nuggets -1
    over LA Lakers
    (System Record: 3-0, won last game)
    Overall Record: 3-4

    Atlanta Hawks +4 over Miami Heat

    Indiana Pacers + Detroit Pistons – OVER 205

    Dallas Mavericks +1.5 over Toronto Raptors



    Miami Heat – Atlanta Hawks
    Over 194
    Odd: 1,84

    Los Angeles Lakers – Denver Nuggets
    Denver Nuggets
    Odd: 1,93



    100* Bulls -3.5

    100* Hawks +4

    100* Over 203 – Raptors/Mavs



    Risked 3 units to win 2.8 UNDER 202 -107 vs Detroit Pistons

    Risked 3 units to win 2.86 New Orleans Pelicans -3 -105 vs Orlando Magic

    Risked 3 units to win 2.91 Dallas Mavericks +1.5 -103 vs Toronto Raptors

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