01/23/2012 06:06 PM
Western Conference Notes
January 23, 2012
1) Oklahoma City (13-3 SU, 9-7 ATS)
Betting Notes: The Thunder was expected to do big things this season and haven't disappointed. OKC began the season at 5-0, while also putting together a seven-game winning streak in January. The Thunder angered bettors with a 3-6 ATS start, but bounced back with covers in six of their next seven games. Through six games with no rest, Scott Brooks' club is 2-4 ATS, while putting a 1-3 ATS mark against unrested squads.
Second-Quarter Outlook: Oklahoma City hits the road for a crucial stretch with eight of nine games away from home starting January 27 at Golden State. There will be several tests on the highway when the Thunder battles the Mavs, Clippers, Spurs, and Warriors before Valentine's Day.
2) Denver (12-5 SU, 12-5 ATS)
Betting Notes: The Nuggets got the best end of the Carmelo Anthony deal as Denver is rolling, while New York is slumping. George Karl's team is 5-3 ATS at home, in spite of two straight-up losses as double-digit favorites to the Jazz and Hornets. The Nuggets continue to roll as road underdogs by compiling a 4-1 ATS record, as each of the last three games have been decided by four points or less.
Second-Quarter Outlook: There is a mix of home and road games in the upcoming stretch for the Nuggets, including home contests against the Clippers, Lakers, and Mavs. Denver faces several road blocks away from the Pepsi Center with visits to Memphis, Oklahoma City, Indiana, and Portland.
3) Utah (10-5 SU, 9-6 ATS)
Betting Notes: The Jazz began the season slow with a 1-3 SU/ATS record, but Utah won eight of its next 10 games to come back to life. The domination in Salt Lake is evident (8-2 SU, 7-3 ATS), while both losses are to the Lakers to the Mavs. Utah has played only five road games, including two from January 2 to January 25.
Second-Quarter Outlook: After traveling to Dallas on January 27, the Jazz returns home for three more games, followed by six of the next eight contests on the highway. The two games at EnergySolutions Arena in this stretch are against the Lakers (2/4) and Thunder (2/10).
4) L.A. Clippers (9-5 SU, 8-6 ATS)
Betting Notes: The expectations are sky-high for the other L.A. team this season after picking up Chris Paul from New Orleans. The Clippers have lost consecutive games just once this season, while going 4-1 ATS off a defeat. Vinny Del Negro's club owns a 9-2 SU and 7-3 ATS mark at home, as the Clips are in the midst of playing without Paul.
Second-Quarter Outlook: The Clippers leave Southern California for a six-game road trip from February 4 through February 13, including winnable games at Washington, Cleveland, and Charlotte. Los Angeles will see plenty of home tests in this stretch against Memphis, Oklahoma City, Denver, and San Antonio.
5) Memphis (9-6 SU, 8-7 ATS)
Betting Notes: The Grizzlies fell flat out of the gate with a 3-6 SU/ATS record, while Zach Randolph suffered a knee injury to keep him out for a few months. However, Memphis bounced back with six consecutive wins and five covers in this stretch. Several losses since the start of the season are against quality opponents (Thunder twice, Spurs, Lakers, Bulls, and Jazz). Memphis owns a 6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS record at FedEx Forum, including four straight victories.
Second-Quarter Outlook: The highway will be Memphis' friend coming up with seven of the next nine games coming away from FedEx Forum. The Grizzlies begin a rough stretch from January 30 until February 6 by facing the Spurs twice, Nuggets, Hawks, Thunder, and Celtics.
6) San Antonio (10-7 SU, 8-9 ATS)
Betting Notes: No matter how old the Spurs get, San Antonio still manages to be a force in the Western Conference. Gregg Popovich's team owns a 9-1 SU and 6-4 ATS mark at home, in spite of losing guard Manu Ginobili to a broken hand on January 2. The road has been a different story with a 1-6 SU and 2-5 ATS ledger away from San Antonio, including three straight-up losses in the road favorite role.
Second-Quarter Outlook: The annual "Rodeo Trip" will keep the Spurs away from Texas for nine games from February 6 through February 23. San Antonio can bolster its record with a three-game homestand against Houston, New Orleans, and Oklahoma City to start February, including the Hornets and Thunder coming in with no rest.
7) Dallas (10-7 SU, 11-6 ATS)
Betting Notes: The Mavericks felt the hangover of winning the title last summer with losses in four of the first five games. Dallas rebounded nicely by winning nine of the next 12 games, including six straight at home. Rick Carlisle's club has turned into a solid ATS play as a home favorite (5-1 ATS) and road underdog (4-1 ATS), while going 1-3 ATS in the role of a road favorite.
Second-Quarter Outlook: The Mavs may have a long-term concern on their hands with Dirk Nowitzki's knee injury, as the star forward is out until late January. Dallas plays six of the next seven games at home, including meetings with Oklahoma City, Utah, San Antonio, and Indiana.
8) Houston (9-7 SU, 9-7 ATS)
Betting Notes: The Rockets were set to dismantle their team in the preseason, but Houston overcame a 3-7 start to win six straight contests. Kevin McHale's team has helped backers with a 7-2 ATS record the last nine games, including a 6-2 ATS mark at the Toyota Center.
Second-Quarter Outlook: Houston plays five of six games at home, all against teams sitting below .500 (Milwaukee, Washington, New York, Minnesota, and Phoenix). The Rockets hit the road for six games starting on February 4, all against Western Conference foes.
9) Portland (9-7 SU, 8-7-1 ATS)
Betting Notes: The Blazers started the season on fire with seven victories in the first nine games, but went backwards losses in five of the next seven contests. Home is where the heart is for Portland, who is 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS at the Rose Garden. However, Nate McMillan's squad owns a 3-6 ATS ledger on the highway, including a 1-3 ATS record as a road underdog.
Second-Quarter Outlook: Portland returns home from a disastrous 2-4 SU/ATS road swing to play seven of the next 10 games at the Rose Garden. The Blazers should clean up with home contests against Sacramento, Phoenix, and Charlotte, while taking on the Nuggets, Thunder, and Rockets in three straight at home from February 4 through February 8.
10) L.A. Lakers (10-8 SU, 7-11 ATS)
Betting Notes: It's hard to imagine nearly one month into the season that the Lakers would sit in this spot right now. The Lakers overcame a pair of losses to start the season by winning nine of 11 games. Los Angeles stubbed its toe with losses in four of the previous five contests, while failing to cover in six straight games. Mike Brown's team has disappointed in the role of a road underdog by compiling an 0-5 SU/ATS record.
Second-Quarter Outlook: Eight of the next ten games take place away from Staples Center, including an East Coast swing to Philadelphia, Boston, and New York. The Lakers will play with rest in 10 of the next 13 games after starting the season with 10 games in 15 days.
11) Minnesota (7-9 SU, 10-6 ATS)
Betting Notes: The young Wolves covered each of their first five games this season, including outright wins over Dallas and San Antonio. Minnesota lost four of its next five, but picked up victories and covers in four of its following six. Playing in the underdog role has turned into a nice profit with a 7-3 ATS mark when receiving points.
Second-Quarter Outlook: Minnesota takes the court at the Target Center for six of the next nine games, including tough contests against the Spurs, Lakers, and Pacers. The Wolves will face the Rockets four times in the next three weeks, as Minnesota has played only two divisional games so far.
12) Phoenix (6-9 SU, 7-8 ATS)
Betting Notes: The Suns split their first eight games of the season, while covering five times in that stretch. Phoenix cooled off with five straight defeats, but picked up a pair of quality road underdog victories at New York and Boston.
Second-Quarter Outlook: There will be plenty of back-and-forth travel for the Suns coming up with no more than two consecutive games on the road or at home through February 9. Phoenix will be tested in the Valley with matchups against Memphis, Dallas, and Houston over the next two weeks.
13) Sacramento (6-11 SU, 6-11 ATS)
Betting Notes: The Kings have dealt with plenty of drama through the first month, including the firing of head coach Paul Westphal following a 2-5 start. Sacramento has won back-to-back games just once so far, while going 2-8 ATS as a road underdog. The Kings have eclipsed the 100-point mark in just two games, while being listed as a favorite just once in a win over the Hornets.
Second-Quarter Outlook: Sacramento plays just five of its next 15 games at home prior to the All-Star break, including a six-game road trip starting February 14 at Chicago.
14) Golden State (5-10 SU, 7-8 ATS)
Betting Notes: The Warriors stunned the Bulls and Knicks during a fast 2-1 start, but fell back to Earth with losses in seven of the next eight games. Golden State was without guard Stephen Curry for nine games with an ankle injury, as he returned in last Friday's loss to Indiana. The Warriors are profiting in the role of a road underdog with a 4-2 ATS mark.
Second-Quarter Outlook: Golden State is in the midst of a 10-of-12 games at Oracle Arena, including taking on four teams that will play with no rest (Portland twice, Utah, Oklahoma City).
15) New Orleans (3-13 SU, 7-9 ATS)
Betting Notes: It's no surprise the Hornets are sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference after the losses of Chris Paul and David West in the offseason. New Orleans won its first two games over Phoenix and Boston, but proceeded to lose 13 of the next 14 contests. Another big loss was leading scorer Eric Gordon, who suffered a bruised knee in the season opener at Phoenix. The Hornets own a 2-6 ATS record in the role of a home underdog, while losing each game by at least six points.
Second-Quarter Outlook: It doesn't get easier for New Orleans, who heads to Oklahoma City on Wednesday, followed by games against Orlando, Atlanta, and Miami the next seven days. The Hornets get a reprieve with a four-game homestand starting February 6 against the Kings, but New Orleans may not win more than 15 games this season.
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: