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NBA Hot and Cold Bets

   by Matt Fargo - 01/13/2009

The NBA is now in full swing and our eight-month marathon of the pro basketball season is close to half over. Matt Fargo will be looking into Hot and Cold NBA bets throughout the season and he takes a look at four games that you will want to pay attention to.

NBA Hot Bets

Friday – Detroit Pistons at Oklahoma City Thunder 8:00 PM ET

Oklahoma City is a perfect example of how bad teams do not necessarily mean they lose money. Since Scott Brooks took over as head coach, the Thunder have been a different team even though it may not show in the win column as they are a league worst 6-33 but a fourth best 25-14 against the number. Overall, the Thunder have been covering machines of late, going on ATS runs of 7-1, 13-2, 13-3 and 20-6 over their last 26 games. Oklahoma City is 18-7 ATS as an underdog of seven or more points and we could very well see a number that big here. The Pistons have been playing very well with a 12-4 record over their last 16 games after a 4-7 run had some people asking whether or not the Billups for Iverson trade was going to flop. The Pistons have seemed to have found that groove and the problem with that is the public and the linesmakers are aware and thus, we see an overvalued team. Plus, this is the third game in four nights and they host New Orleans on Saturday.

Saturday – Orlando Magic at Denver Nuggets 9:00 PM ET

The Magic are starting to make people wonder who the best team in the Eastern Conference really is. The Celtics had that claim early on before the Cavaliers put together a huge run but now the Magic are putting their hat in the ring. The thing is, Orlando has been quietly consistent this season The Magic have lost only six games since a 0-2 start and they own six different winning streaks of four games or more. They are 25-12-1 ATS which is second best in the league and they have been phenomenal on the road, going 14-5 straight up and 13-5-1 ATS. This is a pretty important stretch for Denver with Carmelo Anthony being out for three weeks as this is the seventh straight home game and part of a 10-game stretch with nine games at the Pepsi Center. The problem for Denver is its play against the really good teams as it is 5-9 against those ranked within the top 10. This includes a 7-7 record against the number which is definitely better but still does not bring lots of confidence to back.

NBA Cold Bets

Wednesday – Loa Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs 8:30 PM ET

This is the first meeting of the season between the Lakers and Spurs and the first meeting since Los Angeles ended the defending World Champions season last year. The Lakers won the Conference Finals four games to one and this could be payback time for the Spurs. After a slow start, the Spurs have caught fire, going 22-7 over their last 29 games. They are coming off a loss against Orlando on Sunday and have had three days to get ready for this big rematch. The Lakers have been one of the streakiest teams this season in terms of wins and losses against the number. Los Angeles started 6-1 ATS then went on a 5-15 run that included 10 straight losses before winning its next five. They have now dropped four straight and they bring in a 2-7 ATS run on the road into this one. The lone positive cover stats for the Lakers are that they are 2-0 ATS as an underdog this season and 5-3 ATS in the second game of a back-to-back set.

Thursday – Portland Trailblazers at New Jersey Nets 7:30 PM ET

The Nets are hanging tough in the weak Eastern Conference but this team is a pretty bad .500 team. Since a 9-3 run in mid-November and early-December, the Nets have gone 8-11 in their last 19 games and have been the true word of inconsistent. Three of those eight wins came in overtime, while another came by just a single point. Only nine teams in the NBA have a negative scoring margin at home and the Nets are the only team with that claim sitting in a playoff spot. That is nothing to be proud of. New Jersey is 9-12 at home and 8-13 against the number in those 21 games. Portland comes in at 23-14 and it is starting to pick things up following a rough stretch in December and January where it went 6-8. Facing the Eastern Conference has been a positive situation as the Blazers are 12-2 straight up and 8-6 against the number. The Nets have played the 29th ranked schedule and are 1-4 against the top ten while Portland has played the 6th ranked schedule and is 12-2 against team ranked outside the top 16.

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