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by Matt Fargo

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Matt Fargo takes a look at the upcoming NBA schedule and pulls out important matchups, injuries, news, notes and betting trends from around the league.

The Mavericks host Orlando on Friday and after going 104-19 at home over the previous three seasons, Dallas remains the only winless team at home at 0-3. The Mavericks have lost all three games by an average of 12 PPG but they have come against teams that are 18-5 and all of whom lead their respective divisions. They donít catch a break against Orlando who is 5-3 but Dallas has swept the season series the last two years. Dallas has won the last 10 meetings at home but Orlando is 6-2 ATS the last eight meetings.

Chicago is banged up and things are not looking good toward the future. On Saturday, the Bulls host Indiana which is their final game before their annual November lengthy road trip because of the circus coming to town. The Bulls will play seven straight road games in a span of 13 days before heading back home in December. You would think the final home game would spark some motivation but the Bulls are just 3-5 SU and 4-4 ATS in this final game including a 30-point loss last season against Toronto.

Portland was happy to see Greg Oden back on Wednesday even though he played just 16 minutes, scoring three points and hauling down two boards. He will become more of a factor the healthier he gets and they will need him with a tough stretch coming up. The Blazers are feeling good about being 5-3 but 10 of their next 14 games are on the road including a game at New Orleans on Friday. The home team is 7-0 SU and ATS the last seven meetings and the Hornets will be hungry after three losses in four games.

Washington finally got into the win column with an impressive win over Utah on Wednesday despite getting outshot 43.4% to 40.8%. The Wizards had dropped their first five games of the season as the defense allowed 108.8 PPG. They gave up only 87 points to the Jazz and now have a home and home against Miami on Friday and Tuesday. The Heat have not hit triple digits in their last four games and Washington is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings including a sweep of Miami last season.

The Lakers are on a mission as they are now 7-0 and 6-1 against the number. They have a big test at home on Friday against the Pistons, a team that has given them fits over the years. Detroit defeated the Lakers in the 2003-04 NBA Finals and since then, Detroit is 6-2 against Los Angeles. They split the season series last year with the Lakers covering both. This starts a stretch of seven home games in the next eight contests for the Lakers who could jump ahead with a big lead in the Western Conference standings.

Every NBA team has covered at least two games through Wednesday with the exception of the Spurs and Clippers who meet on Monday in Los Angeles so something will have to give. The Clippers are just 1-7 as the offense has yet to get off the ground, averaging only 88.3 PPG, second worst in the NBA. The Spurs are an early season disappointment but injuries have taken their toll. A come-from-behind win against the Knicks looked as though as it might provide a spark but San Antonio lost in Milwaukee the following night.

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