The NBA season is two weeks old and no unbeaten teams remain. Only one team, New Jersey, has yet to break their maiden and from early appearances this will be a very long season for the 0-7 Nets.
Of the four teams to have lost just once, Phoenix is the biggest surprise. Their most impressive win was Friday night’s win at Boston which was the Celtics’ only loss to date. The Suns have a talented roster led by Amare Stoudemire, Steve Nash and Jason Richardson with a fine supporting cast. If Nash and Stoudemire can remain healthy the Suns could well be an unanticipated challenger to the Los Angeles Lakers in both the Pacific Division and the very strong Western Conference.
The Lakers are one of the other three one-loss teams, joining Boston and Miami in that group. Miami’s start is somewhat of a surprise although their most significant early win has come against a solid Denver squad.
Here’s a look at some of the numbers that have shaped the first two weeks of the young season.
Through nearly the first 100 games of the season home teams are 53-44 Against the Spread (ATS) with both home favorites (36-31) and home underdogs (15-13) showing the slimmest of profits. Home teams have won both pick ‘em games.
Straight up, home teams are winning nearly 63 percent of the games (61-36).
UNDERs hold a solid edge versus OVERs with just 41 games going OVER the Total while 56 have stayed UNDER. This is following a similar pattern to last season in which UNDERs outnumbered OVERs early in the season. By season’s end, including the Playoffs, the number of OVERs and UNDERs were separated remarkably by just a single game.
Here’s a look at a trio of games to be played over the weekend.
L. A. Lakers at Denver (Friday) – Both teams are off to solid starts with Denver looking to become a legitimate contender for the Western title. They catch the Lakers off of a Thursday night game against Phoenix which could have been a physically tiring up-tempo game. The Lakers have been without Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum and their status for this game is uncertain. Still, this is a favorable spot for the Nuggets and even as favorites should be able to wear down the Lakers in the second half.
New Orleans at Atlanta (Saturday) – Both teams are off of games against tough foes on Friday night with New Orleans hosting Portland while Atlanta was at Boston. The Hornets have not played well in the early going and star Chris Paul seems to be very frustrated. Atlanta has shown improvement in each of the past four seasons and has already won at Portland and blown out Denver on this court last weekend. ATLANTA.
Dallas at Detroit (Sunday) – Detroit is this season’s "Over the Hill" gang and father time appears to have caught up to the Pistons. Dallas is a Playoff quality team but more on the level of a second tier team in the West. The Mavericks are off to a 4-2 start with the highlight being a double digit win at the Lakers over the opening weekend. Detroit’s age has shown in their losses in the second of back-to-back games in both such situations this season. They are in that spot again after playing at Washington Saturday night while Dallas last played on Friday at Minnesota. DALLAS.
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Andy Iskoe
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