The Miami Heat could get superstar Dwyane Wade back on Friday when they host the New York Knicks. This is part of a huge 13-game docket.
There’s also a key game out west with Oklahoma City visiting Golden State. Note that we mentioned a betting trend last week with Western Conference home teams at 70-45-1 against the spread (60.9 percent).
Since then, that number has gone the other way at 12-15 ATS (44.4 percent).
New York Knicks at Miami Heat
8:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
New York (7-11 straight up, 4-14 ATS) coach Mike D’Antoni is on the hot seat already. The Knicks are 1-7 SU and ATS in their last eight games, losing at Cleveland on Wednesday (91-81 as 4-point favorites). D’Antoni is known as an offensive guru, but team scoring ranks just 16th (94.5 PPG) and Carmelo Anthony (31.3 percent shooting last five games) is in a major fog.
The unlikely savior could be free agent addition Baron Davis. He’s been out all year with a back injury, but is expected to be the point guard starter when he returns. That’s unlikely to be against Miami as he’s listed as doubtful.
Miami (13-5 SU, 8-10 ATS) has a much bigger injury situation with Wade (ankle). He’s been out the last six games and is questionable for Friday. The Heat are 8-1 SU and 6-3 ATS without Wade, but failing to cover their last three versus lightweights Detroit (101-98 win), Cleveland (92-85 win) and Milwaukee (91-82 loss).
Coach Erik Spoelstra’s team has been out of sync when Wade has played (5-4 SU and 2-7 ATS), but his presence this time around should be a big boost to the starting lineup. The bench will also look very strong with Shane Battier going back to his normal role.
This is the first meeting between the teams this year. The ‘under’ went 3-0-1 last year and is 8-1 in New York’s road games this season, scoring 93.7 PPG.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors
10:30 p.m. (ET) on NBA-TV
Oklahoma City (15-3 SU, 10-8 ATS) has the best record in basketball and sits only behind Miami and Chicago in NBA Championship future odds. Having its top-6 guys all 27 or younger has really helped in the condensed season.
The Thunder have had a real easy schedule of late. Their last four opponents of New Orleans, Detroit, New Jersey and Washington have a combined 16-58 SU record. They went 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS in those contests, losing the first one at Washington (105-102) on January 18. The schedule gets much tougher with games at the Clippers and Dallas next.
Golden State (6-11 SU, 8-9 ATS) has played three games (all home) since Stephen Curry returned from his ankle injury. The first two were close losses to Indiana (94-91) and Memphis (91-90), followed by a Portland win (101-93) on Wednesday.
Curry had 32 points last game on 12-of-19 shooting. That was a big improvement on the first two (13-of-33, 15 PPG). He and backcourt mate Monta Ellis (21.9 PPG) need to make sure other teammates get involved if they hope to beat an elite team like Oklahoma City.
Golden State is 4-0 ATS in the last four games against the Thunder, winning the last two at home. This is the first meeting this season.
Key injuries in two more Friday games
Chicago (16-4 SU, 12-8 ATS) hosts Milwaukee (7-10 SU and ATS) in a Central Division battle. The Bulls are 1-1 SU and ATS since losing Luol Deng (wrist). They lost 95-90 as 8½-point favorites to rival Indiana on Wednesday, despite replacement Ronnie Brewer scoring 20 points.
Milwaukee is 3-0 SU and ATS in its last three away, beating Houston (105-99), Miami (91-82) and the Knicks (100-86). The Bucks are looking for revenge after going 0-4 SU and ATS versus Chicago last year. They’ll be without center Andrew Bogut (ankle) who was hurt on Wednesday.
Dallas (11-8 SU, 12-7 ATS) welcomes suddenly respectable Utah (10-6 SU, 9-7 ATS) after just playing each other on January 19. The Mavericks won 94-91 as 2½-point road ‘dogs and have now won and covered 5-straight against the Jazz.
Dirk Nowitzki (knee) was shut down after the Utah game and Dallas is 2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS in his absence. Lamar Odom is the new starter, but he continues to struggle.
The Jazz had leading scorer and rebounder Al Jefferson (ankle) as a surprise scratch on Wednesday. They lost in overtime (111-106) to Toronto, despite being 10½-point home favorites. He’s questionable Friday.