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NBA Point Spread

NBA Point Spread

Ball Don't Lie
2014-12-04

Its fair to say that San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is taking a victory leap of sorts around the NBA, and its more than earned.

Its not just that Popovichs Spurs routed the Miami Heat in last years NBA Finals; its the way coach Pop went about movements that led to the glow. His system encouraged top line players to take pay cuts. He fought the NBA and wisely sat players, mindful of the 100-some game slog that a championship season demands. His championship teams have ranged from low post killers to defensive-minded stunners to the absolutely gorgeous, international-style basketball that was last seasons winner. Even in a San Antonio defeat on Wednesday night, Brooklyn Nets forward Mirza Teletovic praised San Antonios European-styled system after the game for allowing him to see the floor more clearly on his way toward a season-high 26 points in a Brooklyn win.

He allowed the first internationally-raised basketball coach to serve as head coach of the Spurs earlier this season. He hired the more than qualified Becky Hammon to serve as the first full time female assistant coach in NBA history. Hell make champions out of players as disparate as Stephen Jackson, and Boris Diaw.

Most importantly, to many of his coaching colleagues? He still gets under Phil Jacksons skin.

Jackson referred to Popovichs strengths last spring when discussing his hopes for the New York Knicks, as he attempts to resurrect the long-moribund franchise. Because Phil Jackson is Phil Jackson, though, he had to offer a Phil Jackson-styled qualifier. From Newsday:

"Tim Duncan making the salary he's making after being part of a dynasty -- not a dynasty, I wouldn't call San Antonio a dynasty -- a force, a great force," Jackson said in April. "They haven't been able to win consecutive championships, but they've always been there."

With the Spurs in Brooklyn on Wednesday, local press had to ask Popovich if he had any reaction to Jacksons months-old comments.
From Newsday:

"Oooh, that makes me so mad!" he said before the Spurs played the Nets Wednesday night.

But, Pop said it very sarcastically.

[]

"Just write whatever you want and I'll say I said it," Popovich joked. "Make it good though so you can get a promotion. Juicy. Ugly. Really good."

The dynasty/not a dynasty argument is really daft honestly, who cares? Its true that the Spurs have yet to win two titles in a row, injuries and other very good basketball teams have gotten in the way of such, but five titles spread out over 15 years with one mainstay big man and a backcourt that was around for four of the five is about as amazing as pro basketball gets. For the Spurs to roar back from what should have been an enervating loss in the 2013 Finals to play at their absolute peak some 12 months later might be the most impressive thing Ive ever seen in lo, these many years of covering this league.

Phil Jackson certainly competes, on that level. Winning 54 games with Pete Myers as your shooting guard and Michael Jordan shagging flies ranks up there. As does sustaining three different three-peat winners in spite of fatigue, in-fighting, or championship-level competition on the opposing side of the floor. Call it a coin flip, if you want to be right about things.

To Popovichs credit, however, hes not the one who is engaging these pissing matches. Phil Jackson might not be technically engaging here either, he just cant help speaking candidly, he just cant help being Phil Jackson. Hes just kind of like that, thankfully, and thankfully Gregg Popovich similarly remains true to his thoughts as to what counts, and what doesnt.

Phil Jacksons Knicks, and by extension Phil Jacksons preferred triangle offense, has been rightfully called out on the carpet for their overreliance on long two-point shots. This is more the fault of the players than the offense again, the ideal result from a triangles unfolding is a shot near the rim but Jackson has added to the intrigue by criticizing three-point shots as an NBA staple over the summer.

One of the shots most vocal opponents, through the years, is former Knick and former Jackson teammate Bill Bradley. Bradley has long called for the abolition of the shot, purporting that it reduces ball movement and slows the game to a standstill.

That may have been true around the time of the release of Bradleys last basketball book, but in the modern era the same cant be said. Bradley signed off on as much when he got in touch with the coach of the three-point heavy San Antonio Spurs over the summer to credit him with making the NBA fun again.

From the New York Times:

But stuff happens. The Spurs revolution overthrowing King James was televised. Within days, Joe Torre had weighed in with a congratulatory note. Then Bill Bradley called to tell Popovich that Tim Duncan and friends had reminded him of his old Knicks teams and that they had renewed his love of the N.B.A. game.

You say to yourself, something special must have really happened, Popovich said before heading to Brooklyn for Wednesday nights game against the Nets at Barclays Center, where the Spurs eight-game winning streak was broken. I should know this. I was there; I should have noticed.

[]

Of the call from Bradley, who is six years older than the 65-year-old Popovich, he said: I was speechless. He was a hero.

If Gregg Popovich can convince Bill Bradley that a shot from 23 feet away is optimal, then hes done his job here.

Now all Bradley needs to do is convince his ex-teammate that these Spurs are pretty damn dynastic.




Lonely road for Celtics in New York
2013-04-23

Just a few winding turns Apuestas Deportivas Online Bingo Play Slots Online in US Matt Damon betting odds to win Poker Madden Betting Pandemonia up the road on Storrow Drive, the Bruins unveiled a moving tribute to the law enforcement officials who risked their lives to restore order to our neighborhoods.
Meanwhile, 225 miles away, across the state border and deep into sports enemy territory, the Boston Celtics embarked on their playoff run at Madison Square Garden without most of their grieving fan base in tow.
Although the Sons of Doc Rivers wore patches on their uniforms proclaiming "Boston Stands As One," the civic pride that has been wafting over our city felt as though it was a continent away.
The Knicks were respectful, offered the appropriate condolences, then completely manhandled the Celtics during a hideous fourth quarter in which Boston scored just eight points.
And turned the ball over eight times.
Maybe the Celtics were fatigued. Maybe they're just old, like every prognosticator outside the 617 area code has hypothesized. Maybe the Knicks should be credited with a defensive intensity that was both timely and effective. All of the above might be a decent choice.
In any case, Boston collapsed, in unison, in an 85-78 loss that should be filed under the distinct heading "opportunity lost."
That's the only conclusion you can draw when you blow a seven-point lead late in the third quarter and wind up with 20 turnovers.
"Completely unacceptable," said Avery Bradley, in the quiet of his locker room. "We're better than that."
When you force Carmelo Anthony into 13-of-29 shooting and J.R. Smith into a 7-for-19 outing, and play aggressively enough to earn 19 free throws, and then hit every single one of them, you have every right to expect to beat the Knicks.
But you can't when your bench doesn't contribute a single field goal and is outscored 33-4. You can't when you cough up the ball five times in seven possessions during a critical stretch in the fourth quarter.
"Some of them were forced," noted Paul Pierce, "and some of them were just bonehead plays."
It wasn't the feel-good story the Celtics had in mind when they quietly and privately remembered their fellow fallen citizens back home just before tipoff.
"It's been a crazy few days," acknowledged Jason (0-for-5) Terry, whose brutal slump continues in earnest. "(The marathon bombing) is always in the back of your mind, but it had no effect on how we played today."
Give the Knicks their due, both on and off the court. New York arranged for a pregame acknowledgement of Boston's tragedy and invited both Carmelo and Pierce to address the crowd. After Anthony offered his prayers on behalf of his city, Pierce began to speak, and a small smattering of boos interrupted his cadence.
Almost immediately that small kernel of negativity was squelched by the overwhelming number of New Yorkers who applauded Pierce when he announced, "Boston will rise and run again."
There were all sorts of promising early trends for the Celtics. Boston led 29-26 after one, and while that pace would not, on the surface, benefit a defensive-minded team like Boston, which likes to keep its opponent under 100 points, the Celtics had already dished out eight assists and displayed excellent ball movement and hints of transition offense.
By halftime, Jeff Green had scored 20 points (his previous playoff career high was 16) and Bradley had scored 15. Melo, after starting out 4-for-4, proceeded to miss 12 of his next 14 shots.
J.R. Smith had lapsed into one of his let-me-show-you-how-it's-done-all-by-myself stretches, and the Celtics were up seven late in the third quarter.
But Green's chance to establish himself as a front-line, playoff go-to guy faded to black in the second half. Knicks coach Mike Woodson velcroed Anthony to Green and instructed his team to put the clamps on Green's transition attempts.
"Keep him out of the paint," explained Smith. "That's the big thing. Make him shoot contested jumpers."
The formula for beating the Celtics is just that. Because they are indisputably the worst offensive rebounding team on the planet, if you limit them to perimeter shots, they are going to be one-and-done on those chances. And, if they don't go in, Boston is in trouble.
Not pursuing offensive rebounds is one thing. But not closing out on the defensive glass, which Boston failed to do in that critical fourth quarter, was one of the most damning developments of the game.
With the game hanging in the balance, Woodson called upon 40-year-old Jason Kidd and 35-year-old Kenyon Martin (why was it the Celtics didn't want him again?), who siphoned Tyson Chandler's minutes with his high-energy effort that included a key putback in the fourth quarter.
Boston's less-experienced bench simply could not match New York's veteran presence, savvy or toughness.
The game was lost on sequences like the one with 4:50 to play, when Green, standing at the 3-point line, tossed a casual pass across the top of the foul circle that was immediately deflected by Kidd, who dove after it, then fired it up the floor to Raymond Felton on the break.
At the time, it was a four-point game (78-74 Knicks). At the time, Green had coughed up the ball on the previous possession, too, when, driving to the hole, he looked around for help, indecisively continued ... and was called for a walk.
"I have to be more aggressive," Green conceded.
He's not alone. The Celtics need to get Kevin Garnett more than 12 shots. They need to see if Jordan Crawford (0 shots) can pump some life into the second unit. They need to take care of the basketball.
The Knicks were hardly thumping their chests in the wake of the win. As Carmelo admitted, "We haven't really done nothing."
That's not entirely true. Had the Celtics stolen Game 1 on the heels of a truly surreal and sickening week, it would have done two things: generated some serious momentum for a Boston team that is in the unfamiliar role of underdog, and more importantly, ratcheted up the heat on a Knicks team under tremendous pressure to advance beyond its longtime rivals.
That opportunity is lost. Game 2 presents a new chance to gain the split every road team covets.
There will be no flags waving or Jumbotron tributes blaring to spur Boston on in that game, either.
If the Celtics plan to prove they can Stand As One at Madison Square Garden, they're going to have to do it all by themselves.
http://espn.go.com



2015 Kentucky Derby Odds
2015-04-15

Kentucky Derby week is one of the most thrilling times of the year. This race is known as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" for its approximate time length.



Check 2015 KY Derby Schedule May 1 and 24 at Sportsbook.com



Odds to Win 2015 Kentucky Derby


March Madness Bracket
2015-02-15

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NBA: LA Lakers vs. Milwaukee Bucks betting preview
2010-11-17

All good things must come to an end, and the Lakers’ perfect start was no exception as they suffered back-to-back losses before heading to the Midwest for a three-game stint. The oddsmakers at Sportsbook.com don’t expect the Lakers to drop another one as they are currently 3.5-point favorites tonight as they visit Milwaukee.
The reigning champs fell short by six in Denver last Thursday and went down Sunday at home 121-116 against Phoenix, which shot an incredible 22-of-40 from three-point land. The 22 three-pointers were the second-highest total in NBA history. Despite outrebounding (62-38) and outscoring (68-28) Phoenix in the paint, L.A. was unable to stop the Suns’ phenomenal outside shooting.
Kobe Bryant was one rebound away from a triple-double, and Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom both had more than 20 points and 10 boards. If the Lakers take this offense on the road, they will have no problem beating Milwaukee Tuesday night. Bryant is 21-4 in his career against the Bucks, averaging 23.9 PPG against them. Look for L.A. to bounce back in these next three road games, all of which are against teams at .500 or below.
Milwaukee is on a three-game win streak and was afforded two days of rest after a 79-72 win against the Warriors in the Bradley Center. John Salmons led the team with 26 points on 9-of-17 shooting and Brandon Jennings had his third double-double on the season with 19 points and career-high 11 boards. This matchup against the Lakers will be the Bucks’ fourth straight game against a top-10 scoring team. Milwaukee held its last three opponents to an average of 19.8 points below each team’s scoring average on the season. The Bucks, who are allowing a league-low 89.4 points per game, will need to play tight defense against the league’s top-scoring Lakers (112.5 PPG) if they want any chance to get a win against the defending champs.
The Lakers have won the past five games SU in the series, but the NBA betting public has cashed on the other side as Milwaukee is 7-1 ATS in the past eight meetings with the Lakers.
However, this NBA betting trend found at Sportsbook.com indicates that the Lakers will cover the point spread.
Play On - Road favorites (LA LAKERS) - after being beaten by the spread by 24 or more points total in their last three games against opponent after going under the total by 54 or more points total in their last ten games. (38-14 since 1996.) (73.1%, +22.6 units. Rating = 2*).
For additional basketball betting trends or to bet on any of the games on tonight’s NBA betting board, head over to Sportsbook.com now.


NBA: The King to be overthrown?
2010-05-13

LeBron James is supposed to be the best player in the NBA and probably is, but he hasn’t been close to being the best player in the second round playoff series between the Cavaliers and Celtics. With his pending free agency looming this summer, the possibility exists that tonight’s Game 6 in the series could be his last game with Cleveland. Oddsmakers at Sportsbook.com have made his team a 1-point underdog, meaning the chances are better than not that it will be at least his last game of this season.

King James showed a side of personality not seen often after he gave a lame effort like his teammates in Game 5 debacle. After losing 120-88 as seven-point home favorites, James had this to say about his 15-point showing.

"I spoil a lot of people with my play," James said. "When you have a bad game here or there, you've had three bad games in a seven-year career, then it's easy to point that out. So you got to be better.

I put a lot of pressure on myself to be out there and be the best player on the court, and when I'm not I feel bad for myself because I'm not going out there and doing the things I can do. But I don't hang my head low or make any excuses about anything that may be going on, because that's not the type of player or person I am."

It’s a bit presumptuous for James to say he’s had three lousy games in his career, but what basketball fans and those rooting for the Cavaliers want to know, where is the burning desire?

Is the elbow a much bigger issue? Does he find the lack proficiency from his teammates appalling? Does he not trust his coach in being knowledgeable to lead this club? Has he mentally checked out thinking about playing somewhere else?

Cleveland is 24-7-1 ATS off a defeat by 10 or more points, but this was one for the record books. No NBA with a regular season win percentage of .700 or higher had ever lost a home playoff game by 30 or more points. (Thanks Elias Sports)

Yes, Boston has had a few nice wrinkles to limit James, but does the game’s best player settle for idle dribbles and pass to teammate or use his brute force like in the past and blow to the cup and score or find Cavs teammate standing by himself with wide open look at the bucket with collapsing defense? Interesting to note Cleveland is 2-9 ATS in last 11 outings against teams with winning record.

Boston has outplayed and outhustled its younger opponent and is 7-3 ATS in the postseason. The Celtics don’t want to take any chances.

"We cannot come back here," Kevin Garnett said. "We have to think this is our Game 7 coming up and we cannot afford to have the best team in the league have a Game 7 on their floor. Just not possible."

Sportsbook.com has Boston as one-point favorites, as they go for their second three game winning streak in the playoffs. The C’s are 2-10 ATS off a road win by 10 points or more this season and 17-4 UNDER after a huge blowout victory by 30 or more. Cleveland has its back against the proverbial wall and is 2-5 ATS in last seven as road underdogs and is 16-5 OVER revenging a home massacre loss of 20 points or more.

The biggest deciding factor is LeBron’s mental state. This contest is being played with one day between games and James is shooting 36.1 percent on his meager total of 47 shot attempts, including 0-13 beyond the arc in this East semi-final with less than 48 hours between contests. In the two games Cleveland has won and covered, James is shooting 56.5 percent on 46 shots with two or more days in between outings. The Cavs are 0-6 ATS with one day of rest since April 11.

Game 6 is on ESPN at 8:00 Eastern and if Cleveland can force one more game, they will have two days off between conflicts.

The StatFox Power Line shows Boston by 6.


NBA: Home teams seek 2-0 edge in NBA Playoffs
2010-04-19

Cleveland and Denver opened impressively on their own home courts in winning and covering Game 1 of the new playoff season. Each club will look to take a decided edge on Monday night, before packing for the road for the next two contests. This doubleheader is on TNT starting at 8 Eastern Monday. The Cavaliers are a 10.5-point favorite over Chicago and the Nuggets are laying 7-points to the injury-riddled Jazz at Sportsbook.com.

Play like a champion

The Cavaliers closed as 12-point point home favorites against Chicago and almost frittered away a 22-point lead before closing the deal. The Bulls got within seven points in the fourth quarter, before being visibility spent and falling 99-83.

Cleveland appeared bored after building a humongous lead, yet is quite confident in their abilities, this year more than ever.

“We," LeBron James said, "have the look of a champion."

He might be right and the oddsmakers certainly think so making them the betting choice for futures wager to be NBA champions. The Cavs remade roster is back at full strength with Shaquille O'Neal, Antawn Jamison and Anthony Parker. Cleveland looked bigger, stronger and had more options coming off the bench than Chicago and is 14-3 ATS off a home win by 10 points or more this season.

The Bulls can take heart they outscored the Cavaliers by a point after the first 12 minutes and realistically had no reason to believe they could sweep Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena.

“We can't wait to play," Derrick Rose said after scoring 28 points and handing out 10 assists. "I know I can't. This is something I live for. I think about it every minute of the day, playing against the best team in the NBA."

The loss ended Chicago’s brief three game winning streak, however they are 13-5 ATS after playing two consecutive road games this season.

Sportsbook.com took into consideration the Bulls will have turnaround revenge and opened them as Game 2 underdogs of 10.5-points, with total of 191 and they are 7-1 ATS off a loss since Mar. 12. Chicago is 18-8 UNDER revenging same season loss this year.

Cleveland knows how to turn up the defensive intensity and is 13-5 ATS after two or more Under’s this season and continues to rule the first round with 13-3 ATS mark. The Cavs are 10-2 SU and ATS at home vs. Da Bulls in this battle of Great Lakes cities and is 9-1 UNDER after a cover as a double digit favorite this season.




NBA: Celtics Favored to start Western Swing
2010-02-17

In the first game after the 2009 All-Star break, the Boston Celtics lost Kevin Garnett to a knee injury. A year later, they may still be feeling the effects. After an injury-plagued first half of the season and quiet All-Star game, Garnett and the sputtering Celtics still hope to reestablish themselves as title contenders during the season’s second half, which begins with Tuesday night’s visit to the Sacramento Kings. The road team is a hefty 5.5-point favorite at Sportsbook.com. Get more on this contest on the GAME MATCHUP page.

It was during a 90-85 loss at Utah last Feb. 19 that Garnett was initially injured, causing the 2004 MVP to miss all but four remaining games and the playoffs. Garnett missed nine contests from Dec. 30-Jan. 20 with another knee problem, and he’s been held without a double-double in 10 games since returning, averaging 12.4 points and 6.4 rebounds.

He started but played just 13 minutes in the All-Star game, totaling four points and three rebounds, and seemed miffed by questions about his health before Sunday’s game. “I’ll speak one time about my health. It’s great,” Garnett said.

The Celtics (32-18, 19-30-1 ATS) are 5-5 since his return and 9-13 since Christmas as their lead in the Atlantic Division has slipped to four games over Toronto. They’re already two losses shy of their total from last season and two over the total from their 2007-08 championship campaign. Since Dec. 27, Boston is burying backers with 6-15-1 ATS mark.

“Our expectations are to try to win a championship and be consistent, and that’s something we haven’t been able to do over the last month or so,” Paul Pierce said. “But we’re a veteran team, we stick together, and we’ll turn this thing around.”
Boston will start by trying to avoid a third straight defeat. After a 96-89 home loss to Orlando on Feb. 7, the Celtics went into the break with a 93-85 defeat at New Orleans on Wednesday, with Garnett totaling seven points and shooting 2 of 9 from the field. “Our starters struggled,” Boston coach Doc Rivers said. “Kevin struggled in the second half and Paul forced too much due to the struggling of the team.” This is the first of four games west of the Mississippi River and the C’s are 10-7 against Western Conference clubs with a repulsive 4-12-1 ATS record.

While Pierce won the 3-point shooting contest on Saturday night, he’d love to share some of his outside touch with teammate Ray Allen, who missed the loss at New Orleans due to back spasms after shooting 38.9 percent from the field and 26.8 percent from 3-point range in his previous 10 games. Allen has been mentioned in trade rumors ahead of Thursday’s deadline. If traded, he would have played his last home game with the Celtics, who also face the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland and Denver on this trip.

Sacramento (18-34, 25-25-2 ATS) is the weakest opponent on the trip after it lost 18 of 22 (7-14-1 ATS) going into the break to effectively end its playoff chances. But the young Kings won their last two games (both as road underdogs) and will be trying for their first three-game winning streak since they won four straight from Nov. 25-Dec. 2. Kevin Martin scored 26 points and Beno Udrih added 22 off the bench as Sacramento won 103-97 at Detroit on Wednesday, prompting coach Paul Westphal to lament the timing of All-Star weekend.

“We’re learning and getting good performances from different people,” Westphal said. “I hate to see the break coming right now.” The Kings are 19-34 ATS in home games after playing a game as an underdog.

The Kings have also been involved in some trade rumors, mostly involving Martin as rookie guard Tyreke Evans continues to emerge. Evans leads all rookies with 20.3 points per game. He’s never faced the Celtics, who’ve held Sacramento to an average of 77.5 points in four straight wins (3-1 ATS) since they acquired Garnett and Allen. Boston’s last visit to Arco Arena resulted in the biggest home loss in Kings history, a 108-63 defeat on Dec. 28, 2008.

Sportsbook.com opened with Boston as six-point favorites with total of 199.5, but they are 2-10 ATS off an upset loss as a favorite and 8-0 UNDER after leading their last two games by 10 or more points at the half. Sacramento returns to action 17-35 ATS in non-conference clashes, losing by more than nine points per game and is 16-7 OVER after they’ve covered the spread this season.

This contest is viewable in local markets starting at 10 Eastern and the Celtics are 17-9 on the road with .500 spread record. The StatFox Power Line shows Boston by 1, well shy of Sportsbook.com’s betting line.