Conversely Minnesota, which is kicking off a four-game homestand tonight, has lost two of three since topping the Clippers last week, falling at the Lakers and Suns before rebounding and closing a four-game trek with a 122-110 triumph in Portland on Saturday.
Kevin Love poured in 42 points, one off a career-high, in that one, helping the Timberwolves snap a 16-game skid vs. the Trail Blazers.
"I just played in the moment, didn't really worry about being back at home," Love said.
The Wolves, who are 10-10 at Target Center this season, will finish their residency by hosting Portland, the Lakers and New Orleans.
The 76ers' latest defeat came Sunday in south Philly, a 96-91 setback to the 31-8 Chicago Bulls, who rode Derrick Rose's 35 points and eight assists to the victory.
The Sixers are now 2-7 this season in games decided by five or fewer points after finishing 8-17 in 2010-11.
Perhaps the key to Philadelphia's recent woes has been the absence of center Spencer Hawes (strained left Achilles), who will remain on the sidelines tonight for the Sixers. Philadelphia is 12-2 with the big man in the lineup and just 10-14 without him as it attempts to make due with two rookies in the pivot, Lavoy Allen and Vucevic.
Milwaukee, which is opening up a tough three-game homestand tonight that will also feature visits from Chicago and New York, has dropped three straight and nine of 11 after Saturday's 114-98 setback in Orlando.
"We gave ourselves a chance, but they're better than us," said Bucks coach Scott Skiles.
In any football or basketball game (the main sports that use point spreads) there are two teams playing against each other.
Those teams, though, are rarely exactly evenly matched – meaning that typically one team has a better chance than the other to win the game. If bettors were allowed to bet on who was simply going to win the game, smart ones would obviously bet on the better team (likely winning more than 50% of the time in the process).
If winning were that easy the Las Vegas and online sportsbooks would stop taking any bets! This is where the point spread comes in: the basic function of the point spread is to balance the likelihood of each team “winning” by adjusting the final score by the point spread. After this adjustment is made you get the Against The Spread result (ATS result for short).
Let’s look at Super Bowl XXXIX, New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles. Most people believed the defending champ Patriots to be the better team – so if betting were simply based upon which team would win the game, an uneven majority of people would have wagered on New England. But, by using the point spread, the bookmakers adjusted the terms of the bet, evening the proposition so about half the people believed the Pats to be the smart bet, while the other half considered Philly to be the smart bet.
New England Patriots -7 vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The better team, called the Favorite, is expected to win the game and must “give” or “lay” points to the weaker team. The favorite is listed with a minus sign and the number of points they are favored by (e.g., New England -7)
In the case of our example, New England must not only win the game, but they must win by more than 7 points for Pats bettors to have a winning ATS result. An Eagles bettor wins his bet either if:
There was also the possibility that the final score could land exactly on the spread number (for example, the Pats winning 28-21 when -7), which is called a “push” or “no action” and a refund is then issued to bettors of both teams.
The same game with the same point spread can be considered from the weaker team’s perspective: The Underdog (Philly in the case of our example) is not expected to win the game and online football betting thus receives or “gets” points given by the stronger team. When a game is stated from the underdog’s perspective the team is listed with a plus sign and the number of points they are underdogs by:
Philadelphia Eagles +7 vs. New England Patriots
Keep in mind that Philadelphia +7 and New England -7 is the same point spread on the same game, simply stated differently. The first is from the underdog’s perspective; the later is from the favorite’s.
Not a must, but for some a mathematical approach is insightful. You can determine the ATS winner by either:
Let’s look at the actual result of Super Bowl XXXIX: New England 24 Philadelphia 21
The favorite, New England, won the game but not by more than the point spread they were favored by (7), so the ATS result was a LOSS for Pats bettors.
Looking at it from the underdog’s perspective, Philly did not win the game, but they lost by less than the point spread (7), so the ATS result was a WIN for Eagle bettors.
Mathematically considered, 24 for the favorite Pats minus 7 equals 17, which is less than the 20 the Eagles scored, so the underdog Eagles win the ATS result (or you could figure 20 plus 7 equals 27 for the Eagles, which is more than 24 for the Pats).
Emily’s boyfriend understood the point spread and wagered $100 on the Eagles at +7. The Eagles may not have gotten a Super Bowl ring, but since they won the ATS result Emily’s boyfriend cashed his bet – giving him money to take her out to a nice dinner.
And now hopefully you understand how to read point spreads, putting you one step closer to joining the fun of sports betting.
Chicago, IL - New Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and star linebacker Brian Urlacher shot down reports of a rift, saying they're simply not true.
"There's nothing between us," Cutler said Thursday, when he reported to training camp. "I just want to put that to rest. There never has been anything between us."
Urlacher added: "I never said what I was quoted as saying and that's it. I have a lot of respect for Jay. I think Jay knows that."
Former Bears receiver Bobby Wade caused a stir when he told Minneapolis radio station KFAN-AM that Urlacher used a profanity while questioning Cutler's manhood during a conversation in Las Vegas last weekend. Wade, who now plays for the Vikings, said Urlacher used a profane version of the word "wimp" during the interview that had to be edited out.
go radio station WSCR-AM also reported that Urlacher had to be restrained from confronting Cutler during organized team activities.
"I wouldn't go face-to-face with Brian, anyway," Cutler said. "No, that's never happened. I've hung out with Brian away from the facility numerous times and we've always gotten along."
Urlacher, noting he was limited by a groin injury, denied the reports in an interview with the Chicago Tribune and did it again when he reported to camp.
"I didn't practice this summer, so I don't know how I would fight the guy if I didn't practice," Urlacher said. "We have no problems. I'm excited about football starting. I'm excited to have him as our quarterback."
Why would Wade say that?
"I don't know," Urlacher said. "Maybe he's jealous because we have a good quarterback now."
Cutler said the first he heard of any friction was when he got a call from Urlacher to clear the air. Urlacher, however, said he had already taken several calls from teammates wondering if the reports were true when Cutler phoned.
"He called me and I said, What's up (expletive), what are you doing?'" a grinning Urlacher said, uttering the same word he allegedly used with Wade. "It's so dumb to me that this even got to this point, but it did and then here we are."
better place after going 9-7 and missing the playoffs for the second straight year. They have a franchise quarterback for the first time in decades after acquiring Cutler in an offseason trade with Denver. But there are questions about his attitude following a fallout with Broncos management and new coach Josh McDaniels.
His critics include former Bears coach Mike Ditka and former Indianapolis and Tampa Bay coach Tony Dungy, one of Smith's mentors. Smith, however, said Cutler has been a model teammate so far while denying any animosity with Urlacher.
"There's no issue with Jay and Brian, except Brian and Jay are both excited about being teammates for our club this year," coach Lovie Smith said. "No more than that. We can't spend a whole lot of time on something that isn't true. I have talked to the players. Whenever something comes out, you have to address it, but it's a non-issue."
In some ways, Cutler is getting a second chance in Chicago, an opportunity to repair his reputation.
Smith said another quarterback - Michael Vick - deserves one, although he doesn't see it happening with the Bears, who lack an experienced backup. The former Atlanta Falcons star, who served a 23-month sentence for running a dogfighting ring, said Thursday he is getting close to signing with a pro football team.
"A second chance, like everyone in society who has paid their debt to society," Smith said. "He deserves a second chance. As far as we're concerned, we like this team that we have right now."
Particularly the new quarterback.
"Me and Brian have been on a good relationship since I've been here, and I expect it to continue that way," Cutler said.
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