Knicks, Sixers surging at NBA odds window

By: Joe Freda | Saturday, February 5, 2011
Amare Stoudemire

Led by Amare Stoudemire, the Knicks are 30-17-2 versus the spread.

The Philadelphia 76ers have a league-best 31-17-1 spread record in their first 49 games.  Doug Collins’ crew has surged atop the NBA’s cashing squads thanks to a 7-2 ATS mark in its first nine games since Jan. 19.

Philadelphia has a challenging four-game stretch over six days coming up, which includes matchups against some other hot ATS foes.  Elton Brand and Co. travel to meet the New York Knicks (Feb. 6) and Atlanta Hawks (Feb. 8), followed by returning home to face the Orlando Magic (Feb. 9) and San Antonio Spurs (Feb. 11).

New York is right behind the 76ers with a 30-17-2 spread record in its first 49 contests, including a 5-2-1 ATS run in its first eight games since Jan. 21.  Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire (26 PPG) will start in this month’s All-Star Game, making the 28-year-old a six-time choice for the marquee matchup.

San Antonio has the league’s third-best spread mark, going 30-18-2 in its first 50 battles.  Gregg Popovich’s squad has cashed half of its tickets in road games, collecting at 15-7-1 ATS in its first 23 contests away from home.

The Memphis Grizzlies and Chicago Bulls round out the league’s top five ATS teams, with spread records of 31-19-1 and 28-18-2 in their first 50 and 48 games, respectively.

Memphis has managed to cash at 4-1 ATS in its first five duels without the depth of guard O.J. Mayo (12.2 PPG), who began serving a 10-game suspension on Jan. 28.  The 23-year-old remains one of the team’s top three-point shooters, connecting at 36 percent.

Chicago has stayed afloat at the betting windows despite several key injuries throughout the year.  Bulls leading shooter Carlos Boozer (54.4 percent) missed the season’s first month, while top rebounder Joakim Noah (11.7 RPG) has been out since Dec. 18 with a thumb injury.  Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is targeting Noah to return on Feb. 23, according to

Wizards, Cavs top the league’s coldest clubs

The Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers are draining bankrolls with the league’s worst spread records.  Washington is 18-31 ATS in its first 49 games, while the Cavs have an 18-31-1 spread mark in their first 50 matchups.

Washington has struggled on both ends of the floor, putting up a meager 96.8 PPG while allowing foes to connect a sizable 47.1 percent of their field buckets.  The Wizards’ departure of three-time All-Star Gilbert Arenas since Dec. 18 has resulted in a 9-16 ATS slide during the 25-game stretch.

Cleveland has found itself in rebuilding mode, while trying to fill gaps caused by injuries.  Cavs guard Mo Williams (7.1 APG) has missed 10 games since Jan. 19 due to a hip strain, with an indefinite return date.  Williams’ mate Anderson Varejao (9.7 RPG) has been out for 15 games with an ankle injury and is expected to miss the rest of the season.

The Sacramento Kings follow Washington and Cleveland with a 19-27-1 spread record in their first 47 duels.  Paul Westphal’s club has failed to enjoy its home-court edge of yesteryear, going 9-16-1 ATS in its first 26 dates at Arco Arena.

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