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Wednesday, Feb 8
by Larry Ness - 02/08/2006
While last night's NBA card featured just four games, it made some NEWS! The Pistons lost 99-98 in Atlanta, giving them their first losing streak of the season. The Clippers won 85-82 in New York for the team's ninth win in 10 games, while the Knicks dropped their sixth straight and 12th in their last 13.
The Mavs won their 12th consecutive game (a league-best this season), by beating the Lakers in Dallas, 102-87. Dallas held Kobe to just 24 points on 5-of-22 shooting, quite an improvement over the 62 points (in just three quarters!) he scored against Dallas in the teams' last meeting. Speaking of defense, the Mavs have held all 12 opponents to less than 100 points in their winning streak.
My free play for Wednesday is the Mil Bucks over the Orl Magic in the NBA at 8:05 ET. Don't miss my 20* Western Conf 1st-Half GOY in the NBA tonight. I won my Eastern Conf 1st-Half GOY on Jan 21 (Nets 103-83 over the Celtics!) and have won three straight NBA releases at the site. In college hoops, I'm not only featuring my 20* SEC Game of the Year but I'm releasing my BIGGEST three-game CBB report to-date! Get my Triple 10* Game of the Month Report, featuring my Underdog, Favorite and Revenge Games of the Month. If you want QUANTITY and QUALITY, this is it!
Tonight's schedule features 12 games, with ESPN2 televising Chicago at Denver at 9:30 ET. One could ask why, as the Bulls are just 20-27 and the Nuggets 26-24? Denver, on an eight-game pointspread losing streak, is favored by 5 1/2 points with a total of 203 1/2.
In a great matchup, the Clippers are in Detroit to take on the Pistons, who haven't lost three straight since March 2005. Detroit is 21-2 at home but just 11-12 ATS. The Clippers have lost 15 of their last 19 versus the Pistons but enter on a 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS current run. Detroit is favored by 7 1/2 points with a total of 187.
The struggling Knicks (1-12 SU and 3-10 ATS in their last 13), visit the Meadowlands to take on the Nets, winners of 11 straight home games (8-3 ATS). The Nets have averaged 103.2 PPG in their winning streak. While the Knicks are just 4-18 on the road this year, they are 11-11 ATS. New Jersey is favored by 10 1/2 points with a total of 191.
The Suns host the Grizzlies in Phoenix, having lost both games to Memphis this year, after beating them 4-0 in last year's playoffs (averaged 113.8 PPG). Memphis is the league's top defensive team at 87.4 PPG but has scored 90 points or more in just three of its last 13 games (3-10 SU and 5-8 ATS). Phoenix is the league's top-scoring team (106.7 PPG) and has scored 100 points or more in its last 11 games. Phoenix is favored by 7 1/2 points with a total of 195 1/2.
Tuesday's college hoops saw No. 2 Duke blow a 17-point second half lead at Chapel Hill but then use a late comeback of its own to win, 87-83. Duke (10-0 in the ACC), remains one of SEVEN schools still unbeaten in conference play.
The Citadel beat Savannah St last night (80-73), ending a 13-game losing streak. However, it wasn't a conference game, so the Bulldogs (0-10 in the Southern Conf) remain one of FIVE schools still winless in league play. Tonight's college basketball 'board' contains 42 games.
As always, the ESPN networks are full of games tonight. No. 24 Indiana is at Wisconsin (7:00 ET) on ESPN, followed by No. 1 U Conn hosting Syracuse at 9:00 ET. Wisconsin is favored by five points with a total of 135 1/2, while the Huskies are favored by 12 points over the Orange (total of 150 ), who have lost five consecutive games ATS (a slide which began against U Conn on Jan 16 in an 88-80 loss in Syracuse).
ESPNU also has a doubleheader, leading off with No. 16 NC State at Miami-Florida (7:00 ET) and followed by No. 20 Oklahoma at Oklahoma St (9:00 ET). Miami is favored by two points with a total of 130 in the first game and Oklahoma, off a 59-58 loss at Kansas on Sunday, is favored by two points at Stillwater with a total of 128 1/2.
ESPN2 has No. 17 Boston College at Wake Forest (BC is favored by two with a total of 151) and ESPN Classic has Rutgers at Notre Dame (ND is favored by 6 1/2 points with a total of 143), with both games starting at 7:30 ET.
Some games of interest not on TV, are No. 8 George Washington hosting Dayton at 7:30 ET, 18-3 Bucknell hosting American at 7:00 ET, South Florida hosting Seton Hall at 7:00 ET and Texas State at Lamar (8:00 ET). George Washington is tied with Memphis and Gonzaga for the nation's longest current winning streak at 10, plus is one of the seven remaining schools still unbeaten in conference play (8-0 in the A-10). The Colonials are favored 13 1/2 points with a total of 141 1/2.
Bucknell, at 9-0 in the Patriot League is another of those conference unbeatens, while Texas State (0-8 in the Southland) is one of the five remaining winless schools. South Florida of the Big East (0-8), is also looking for its first conference win tonight, when it hosts Seton Hall. The Pirates (14-6) are playing well, having won five straight and are favored by 3 1/2 points (total of 123) over a Bulls' team which has lost 10 straight.
Due to some unexpected travel plans, my Super Bowl recap Part 2 will appear along with Part 3 in Thursday's notes. Ness Notes is available Monday through Friday by 1:00 ET. Saturday and Sunday notes are available by 9:00 ET.