Winning teams

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Same song, different verse. Winning teams continue to win while losing teams continue to struggle more than a quarter of the way into the NBA season.

Through this past Sunday, four teams were riding winning streaks of at least 8 games, headed by Dallas. The Mavericks had won 12 straight heading into Monday night’s home game against Milwaukee.

On Wednesday, well rested Boston puts its 10-game win streak on the line when they face the Knicks in New York. The Celtics will have been rested since Saturday when they held Charlotte to just 62 points in a 31-point win.

The game against the Knicks will mean the end of one lengthy win streak as New York enters having won their last 8. It’s New York’s longest win streak in 16 seasons and coincides with Amare Stoudemire’s franchise record setting streak of eight straight games scoring 30 or more points.

One other team also starts the week on an 8-game win streak – Miami. The Heat are finally getting hot. Perhaps it was their 28-point win in their big game in Cleveland that further propelled this talented but underachieving team to extend that streak. All eight wins have been by double digits. At 17-8, the Heat are second in the East, trailing only Boston (19-4).

In contrast to the success of the above quartet, a trio of teams begins the week on losing streaks of more than 5. Of those three, Golden State is playing the best, losing just six straight. New Jersey has lost 7, Cleveland 8.

The Atlantic division is the home of the two teams with the best point spread records in the NBA. The Knicks are tops at 16-7-2 ATS. Division rival Philadelphia is just 8-15 straight up but 15-7-1 ATS. San Antonio is also 15-7-1 ATS, while Dallas is 14-7-2.

Of the four teams, Philadelphia may represent the best value in the short run as their ATS mark is in sharp contrast with their actual results. Historically the public is more apt to bet on winning teams and against losers

Here’s a look at three games to be played this weekend.

Heat at Knicks (Fri): The Knicks have benefited from a very favorable early season schedule but were tested on Wednesday on this court by Boston in a rematch of an opening week road loss in Boston. N.Y. will likely come as very small underdogs and feed off of the electricity that will envelop “The Garden.”  KNICKS.

76ers at Magic (Sat): Orlando’s 16-8 straight record is nearly the reverse of their 8-14-2 ATS mark. The Magic should be solid favorites here as they catch Philly off a Friday night home game against the Lakers. Orlando would have been off since Tuesday. That should provide a few extra points of value with the underdogs. SIXERS.

Suns at Thunder (Sun): Oklahoma City has overcome a sluggish 5-4 start to stand at 17-8 and tied with Utah atop the Northwest division. Phoenix starts the week languishing at 11-12. The Thunders’ duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook may be the league’s best one-two tandem. THUNDER.

last week                     season                         PCT

2-1                                 8-8-1                             50.0

 

About the Author

Andy Iskoe

Owner and author of “The Logical Approach,” Andy Iskoe has been a long time GT columnist, contributing weekly in-season columns on baseball, pro basketball and pro football.

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