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Atlantic Division Preview (Feb. 10)

The Atlantic Division will be busy Sunday with four of its five representatives taking to the hardwood. Only Philadelphia – who host the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday – will be idle.

All four active teams will take on Western Conference opponents, with three of that conference’s best teams (San Antonio, the Clippers, and Denver) arriving on the Atlantic coast.

BettingSports.com brings you the rundown of what to expect one week ahead of All-Star weekend.

Los Angeles Clippers at New York Knicks

A win over the Clippers on Sunday could see Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks close some ground on Eastern Conference leaders, Miami.

Winners of five straight at home, New York (32-16, 19-6 home) will continue its bid to catch Miami at the top of the Eastern Conference on Sunday afternoon (1:00 PM ET). While the Heat hosts the Lakers in Sunday’s night’s marquee matchup, the Knicks will look to take down the other Los Angeles side.

The Clippers (35-17, 15-12 road) were embarrassed by Miami on Friday night, falling to a 111-89 defeat despite the return of Chris Paul. Vinny Del Negro’s side has now lost four of the last five, and nine of the last 12.

As well as posting a solid home record, the Knicks have had success against Western Conference opposition, compiling a 12-5 inter-conference record.

The two sides will meet for the first time this season on Sunday. A second matchup is scheduled for Mar. 17.

New York opens as the favorite, with the spread at three. The Knicks are 26-22-0 ATS this season, while the Clippers are 28-24-0 ATS. However, the Knicks’ ATS record at home (15-10-0) trumps the Clippers’ road ATS record (12-15-0).

The total opened at 197. Los Angeles (28-24-0) has favored the over, while New York (23-23-2) has split the over and under evenly.

San Antonio Spurs at Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn (29-21, 18-9 home) is the only Atlantic Division side entering play on Sunday following a loss. The Nets lost 89-74 in Washington on Friday night, marking a fifth loss in eight games.

Western Conference-leading San Antonio (39-12, 17-10 road) began a nine-game ‘Rodeo Road Trip’ with a win over Minnesota on Wednesday, before the team came up short against Detroit on Friday night. Without Tim Duncan, the Spurs fell 119-109 to the Pistons, snapping an 11-game winning streak in the process.

Both sides will look to return to winning ways on Sunday night (8:00 PM ET).

San Antonio handed Brooklyn a humiliating 104-73 loss back on Dec. 31, in the Alamo City.

Bookmakers are yet to release lines on this one as they wait to hear whether Tim Duncan – currently listed as day to day – will take to the hardwood. Keep an eye on the BettingSports.com NBA odds page for up-to-date odds.

San Antonio (28-22-2 ATS) has fared better against the spread this season than Brooklyn (22-26-2 ATS), and has been better on the road (15-12-0 ATS) than Brooklyn has at home (11-14-1 ATS).

Both teams have favored the under this season, with San Antonio compiling a 23-27-1 record and Brooklyn putting together a 21-29-0 record. The smart money will be on the under then.

Denver Nuggets at Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics will look to win a seventh straight game on Sunday, but the red-hot Denver Nuggets - winners of nine straight - will have other ideas.

A pair of winning streaks will be on the line Sunday evening (6:00 PM ET) as Boston (26-23, 18-9 home) hosts Denver (33-18, 11-15 road).

The hometown Celtics have won six straight, coinciding with All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo being lost for the rest of the season to injury. Meanwhile, the Nuggets have won nine straight – the NBA’s longest active winning streak – and 15 of the last 17.

Something will have to give on Sunday as the two meet at TD Garden in downtown Boston.

The Celtics handed the Lakers a 116-95 loss on Thursday, and will be rested having been idle since. The Nuggets defeated Cleveland 111-103 on Saturday, but is 4-5 in the second half of back-to-backs this season. Boston has won 12 of 14 against the Nuggets in Bean Town.

Boston is a narrow favorite, with the spread at two points. Denver (31-20-0 ATS) has a superior record against the spread than Boston (21-25-3 ATS) to go along with the better straight up record. Denver has also gone 9-7-0 ATS when considered the underdog, compared to Boston’s 13-15-1 record as a favorite.

The total is 199. Boston has split its games evenly between over and under (24-24-1) while Denver has favored the over (30-21-0). Only Golden State has seen the total go over in more games (32) than George Karl’s team.

New Orleans Hornets at Toronto Raptors

Finally, Toronto (18-32, 12-13 home) welcomes New Orleans (17-33, 9-18 road) to the Air Canada Center on Sunday evening (6:00 PM ET).

The Raptors handed Indiana a home loss – only its fourth – on Friday, edging out the Pacers 100-98 in overtime. The side will now look to build some momentum against the worst team in the Western Conference.

New Orleans has won two straight, including a 111-100 win in Atlanta on Friday night. The Hornets may have a poor record this season, but the team has gone 8-10 against Eastern Conference opponents, which makes the Raptors susceptible to a defeat.

Toronto is favored at home, with the spread at three points, but New Orleans (28-22-0 ATS) is one of the better teams in the league at covering the spread. Monty Williams’ side has gone 18-9-0 ATS on the road and 24-17-0 ATS as an underdog. Toronto will need to be wary.

The total opened at 197. Both sides have favored the over this season, with New Orleans (27-23-0) favoring it a little more than Toronto (26-24-0).

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