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TNT Thursday Night – NBA Gambling Preview (Dec 17)

NBA Thursday Betting Action

December 17, 2009

The Miami Heat have not won back to back games twice in over five weeks and they will attempt to do so at home against their in-state and division rival Orlando. That is the first of two games on TNT Thursday night. The nightcap matches Phoenix and Portland.

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Get the latest info on these games at Sportsbook.com.

Miami has played nine games without consecutive victories and prior to that, their longest streak was three in a row from Nov. 4-10. Heat backers have seen enough losing bets they could hang all the “L’s” on a Christmas tree as ornaments and fill it up with 5-11 ATS mark in last 16 games.

Miami (12-11, 11-12 ATS) needs more scoring options besides Dwayne Wade and Michael Beasley is the person who has to elevate his game. Beasley was the No. 2 pick of the 2008 NBA draft yet finished seventh in the rookie of the year voting first season. Beasley has scored at least 20 points seven times this season and Miami is 4-3 when he does.

The Heat tumbled Toronto 115-95 on Tuesday but is just 15-29 ATS off a home win over the last three seasons. Orlando (19-6, 14-10-1 ATS) throttled the very same Raptors last evening 118-99, as Dwight Howard was close to a triple-double with 18 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocked shots. The Magic will come into this contest 20-8 ATS on the road playing back-to-back days since 2007.

Sportsbook.com has Orlando as four-point road favorites, with a total of 201. The Magic lost a controversial 99-98 decision back on Nov.25 to Miami, where Orlando thought the game-winning basket was goaltending. The Magic are 23-9 ATS revenging a home loss.

According to ‘total’ at Sportsbook.com, the pace of the game should suit the Heat. They have a 27-10 ATS home record when the total is between 200 and 204.5 points and they are 9-1 OVER after losing two of their last three games this season. Orlando has averaged 109.5 points per game in last four outings and is 17-5 UNDER after scoring 100 points or more four straight games.

Online Sports Betting at SportsbookAfter this contest, the scene shifts to the Northwest where Portland (15-11, 13-13 ATS) hosts Phoenix (17-8, 14-10-1 ATS). The Blazers have injury problems, with six players having missed 95-88 win over Sacramento. The most noticeable absence is Greg Oden, lost again for the season; however, Portland has gotten used to playing without him. Even the coach missed time, as Nate McMillan is expected to be on the bench for a second straight time after missing four previous contests following surgery for a ruptured Achilles’ tendon. The Trail Blazers are 32-15 ATS in home games after a game where they covered the spread over the last three seasons.

For Phoenix, this marks the end of a voodoo schedule the NBA handed them to start the year. The Suns have played a league-low nine home games and will have four straight and 10 of 12 at US Airways Center after tonight. Before then, Phoenix will try to break December road slump, as they are 0-5 this month, at least having covered the last two games.

“We’ve been playing well at home (9-0, 5-3-1 ATS) and after this Portland game we’ll be home for a while and it would be nice to get a good road win against a good team,” forward Grant Hill said. “We’ve got a good opportunity (Thursday) night.”

The Suns top scoring offense (108.7 points per game) has flamed out in recent road assignments, not breaking the century mark in four consecutive tries.

Phoenix has a rather peculiar trend going tonight. In their last win over San Antonio, they only sunk seven of 13 free throws and they are 12-3 ATS after a game where they made 60 percent or worse from the charity stripe. Portland is a two-point pick at Sportsbook.com with the ‘total’ at 201. At first glance, the ‘total’ would seem to be a negative for Phoenix being this low, yet they are 27-18 ATS on the road when the total is between 200 and 204.5 points. Sportsbook’s odds makers also have a beat on Suns defense, since they are 9-1 UNDER after allowing 100 points or more three straight games this season.

The Blazers almost always are tough to beat at the Rose Garden and they can contain excellent deep shooting teams like the Suns, since they are 14-4 ATS in home games versus good 3-point shooting clubs making 36 percent or more of their attempts. Portland is 32-13 UNDER when the total is 200 to 209.5 over the last three years. Both of these conflicts are on TNT with the first game starting just after 8 Eastern.

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