Mavs, Lakers and Heat, Knicks On Sunday
By: Ryan Mercier
Saturday, April 14, 2012
With each team coming off of a blowout victory over one of the bottom two squads in the league, the Miami Heat (41-17 straight up, 28-30 against the spread) will head to Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Knicks (31-28 SU and ATS).
This will be the first game of a Sunday doubleheader on ABC with the tipoff set for 1:00 p.m. (ET).
Miami is seen as a struggling team right now. While 6-4 SU in their last 10 overall is not terrible, it’s more of how they lost and who they lost to that is the problem. All four losses were to playoff teams in Chicago, Boston (twice), and Memphis by a combined 52 points. Those were all failed attempts ATS, too, with three outings as a favorite.
The Knicks are on an 8-3 run SU and ATS in their last 11 overall. Interim head coach Mike Woodson has certainly sparked the team, but Carmelo Anthony has really been the story as he has averaged nearly 30 points per game in that stretch.
Dwyane Wade should return to the lineup on Sunday and that could be a double dose of bad news for NY. Rookie Iman Shumpert is questionable with an ankle injury and his defense would be sorely missed.
Kobe Bryant is doubtful (shin) for the second contest on ABC as the L.A. Lakers (38-22 SU, 25-35 ATS) host the Dallas Mavericks (34-26 SU, 30-30 ATS) at 3:30 p.m. (ET).
Talk about some revenge. After getting swept by the eventual champion Mavs in the playoffs last season, L.A. looks to sweep this year’s season series on Sunday.
The Lakers are 2-1 ATS playing Mavericks this season with the last two decisions going ‘over’ the total. They are also 2-1 SU and ATS in this stretch without Kobe and all three have gone ‘under.’
Dallas has just six games remaining and while they are the No. 6 seed in the West, any stumbles along the way could actually force them out of the postseason. Those looking to back the Mavs in this spot will be happy to know they are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 meetings in L.A. and the Lakers are an astounding 1-10 ATS in their last 11 home games.
Also in the murky playoff scramble in the West, the Houston Rockets (32-27 SU, 31-28 ATS) and Denver Nuggets (32-27 SU, 30-29 ATS) will duke it out on back-to-back nights. As the current No. 7 and No. 8 seeds, respectively, they’ll first square off in Denver this Sunday and then play in Houston on Monday.
The road team is 2-0 SU and ATS in this season series and the Nuggets are 18-11 ATS on the road for the year.
Houston has a 4-game winning streak on the road both SU and ATS but followed that up with two home losses to Phoenix and Utah, crucial games in the West.
Finally, two other big games are on the horizon for Monday on NBA TV. At 7:00 p.m. (ET), the Philadelphia 76ers (31-28 SU, 29-29-1 ATS) will take on the Orlando Magic (34-25 SU, 30-29 ATS). Orlando figures to be without Dwight Howard (back) for an indefinite amount of time.
Then, the Oklahoma City Thunder (43-16 SU, 33-26 ATS) and L.A. Clippers (36-23 SU, 31-28 ATS) will be in a rematch of Wednesday’s 100-98 thriller won by the Clips. Tipoff is set for 10:30 p.m. (ET).