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NBA Betting Roadmap, Week 16

   by Al McMordie - 02/08/2016

With the NFL's Super Bowl now in the rear view mirror, the NBA takes center stage on the American sports landscape. This week, though, will be an abbreviated one, with just 58 games on the schedule, as the league heads into the All-Star break. And there are few, if any, marquee match-ups in the coming days. The best of the lot is the Miami/San Antonio tilt on Tuesday, though the game between Kobe Bryant's Lakers and Le Bron James' Cavaliers also merits attention. Let's take a look at some of the goings-on around the NBA, so we can fatten our wallets.

Spread Watch

The Denver Nuggets are on a 7-game pointspread win streak. And it's the fifth time this season that a team has accomplished that feat. The first four times all resulted in an ATS loss, which is not surprising, as teams on exactly a 7-game ATS win streak are a money-burning 45.5% ATS since 1990. This week, the Nuggets will play at Brooklyn, on Monday night, and then play at Detroit, on Wednesday, before going on holiday. Denver's been installed as a road favorite at Brooklyn, which I feel is too high a tariff for a team which has won just 10 road games this season. Indeed, this will be just the second time all season the Nuggets have been a road favorite. The first time was at Philly, in early December, and the Nuggets pushed the 3-point spread, in a 108-105 victory. Even worse for the Nuggets: they're 0-3 SU/ATS the last three meetings, and have covered just 14 of the last 40 games between these two teams (6-14 ATS on the road). I look for Denver's ATS win streak to come to a halt on Monday.

Totals Watch

San Antonio has the league's best defense, but has been playing without its defensive stalwart, Tim Duncan, for the last seven games. When it was announced that Duncan would miss the much-anticipated game at Golden State, on January 25, because of a sore knee, some assumed coach Gregg Popovich was trying to cloak his intention to test out some unusual lineups against the Warriors. Of course, nothing worked that night, and the Spurs gave up a season-high 120 points. Since then, the Spurs have gone 'under' the total in just one of their six games. Not having Duncan on the floor clearly hurts. Going into the game at Golden State, the Spurs had given up just 89.7 ppg. But with Duncan sidelined over the last two weeks, the Spurs have surrendered 102.4 ppg. It's possible that Duncan may return prior to the All-Star break, as he's resumed participating in 3-on-3 scrimmages with the team. However, if Popovich chooses to keep him in street clothes, then Wednesday's game against the Magic has all the earmarks of another high-scoring contest, as 12 of the last 17 between these two teams have flown 'Over' the number.

Injury Watch

Manu Ginobili suffered a cringeworthy injury last Wednesday vs. New Orleans. With just over two minutes remaining, the Pelicans' Ryan Anderson kneed Ginobili in the groin. Normally, players are able to shake off such contact. But Manu absorbed such force, a surgical procedure was required the following day to relieve swelling in his testicles. Ginobili has been terrific this season (19.31 PER), so his absence over the next six weeks will no doubt be felt by his team. This season, San Antonio is 28-14-1 ATS with him on the court, but a pedestrian 4-4 ATS with him not in the lineup. Both of San Antonio's opponents this week (Miami, Orlando) have been playing decent basketball. The Heat have covered six of eight, while the Magic have covered four of five. And both have played well this season as home underdogs (Miami 2-1 ATS; Orlando 9-4 ATS). Though San Antonio has generally played well (75-34 SU; 57-48 ATS) on its "Rodeo Road Trip" -- its annual trek which coincides with the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo -- I would be surprised if it was able to start its trip with two SU/ATS wins, without Ginobili in the lineup.

Schedule Watch

This season, not only is Golden State destroying teams on the court (46-4 SU; 31-18-1 ATS), but it also seems to be having an effect on its opponents before they even play. And that's because teams are severely under-performing in the game immediately prior to playing the Warriors -- perhaps because they're looking ahead to the match-up against the NBA Champions. This year, teams are a dismal 16-34 ATS in this situation. On Monday, the Suns could fall victim to this scheduling spot, as they'll host the Thunder prior to welcoming the Warriors to Talking Stick Resort Arena two days later. With OKC in an ornery mood following a loss at Golden State this past Saturday (OKC's 128-86 ATS in the regular season off a loss since Nov. 22, 2008), it could get ugly for Phoenix. Good luck, as always...Al McMordie. Don't miss any of my Hoops Winners at BigAl.com, as I am 97-59 his last 156 in Basketball. Join today to get all of my award-winning selections.

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