Friday's Tip Sheet
February 20, 2014
By Kevin Rogers
Pelicans at Bobcats - 7:05 PM EST
New Orleans: 23-30 SU, 23-27-3 ATS
Charlotte: 25-30 SU, 31-22-2 ATS
The Bobcats are quietly playing well of late and making a push towards the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. Charlotte pulled off a home-and-home sweep of Detroit, winning both games by double-digits, including Wednesday's 116-98 rout as 2 ½-point favorites. The Bobcats have covered seven of their past nine games, including each of the last three at Time Warner Cable Arena. Steve Clifford's club is playing with revenge on Friday, as the Bobcats were run out by the Pelicans back in November, 105-84.
The Pelicans fell apart late in Wednesday's home setback to the Knicks, the third loss in the last four games. New Orleans has held its own of late on the highway, winning four of its past seven road contests, including outright underdog victories at Detroit, Cleveland, and Memphis. Monty Williams' team has fared well on the road off a home loss this season, posting a 4-2 SU/ATS record in this situation.
Cavaliers at Raptors - 7:05 PM EST
Cleveland: 22-33 SU, 25-30 ATS
Toronto: 29-25 SU, 32-21-1 ATS
All of the sudden, the Cavaliers have turned the corner, winning and covering six consecutive games following a six-game skid. Cleveland has beaten only one above .500 team in this stretch (Memphis), but the Cavs are taking care of their business on the road with three straight victories on the highway. Mike Brown's club picked up wins on back-to-back nights against the 76ers and Magic, while limiting each of their last five opponents to 99 points or less.
The Raptors saw their three-game winning streak evaporate in Wednesday's two-point setback to the Bulls. Since winning six in a row at home, Toronto is just 4-3 SU and 3-3-1 ATS the last seven games at the Air Canada Center, which includes losses to the Clippers and Lakers. Toronto and Cleveland are meeting for the first time this season, as the two teams split four matchups last season, while the 'under' cashed three times.
Clippers at Grizzlies - 8:05 PM EST
Los Angeles: 37-19 SU, 31-25 ATS
Memphis: 30-23 SU, 24-28-1 ATS
The Clippers embark on a three-game road trip that starts at FedEx Forum in a rematch of last season's first round playoff series with the Grizzlies. After dropping the first two games, Memphis roared back to win four straight and ultimately advance to the Western Conference Finals. This season, the road team has claimed each of the first two meetings, with the Clippers dominating the Grizzlies, 101-81 on December 5 as short away favorites.
Los Angeles will try to rebound after getting chased by San Antonio in Tuesday's 113-103 home defeat, the fifth 'over' in the last six games for the Clippers. Doc Rivers' defense has been ripped up of late, allowing at least 105 points in five of the past six contests, while losing each of their previous two road games at Denver and Golden State. Memphis is riding a three-game hot streak after holding off New York on Tuesday, 98-93, but the Grizzlies are just 2-5 ATS the last seven contests. In the role of a home underdog, the Grizzlies own a 2-6 ATS mark, with the only straight-up victory coming against the Rockets last month.
Spurs at Suns - 9:05 PM EST
San Antonio: 40-15 SU, 27-28 ATS
Phoenix: 32-21 SU, 35-17 ATS
The Spurs wrap up their annual Rodeo Road Trip, which spans nearly three weeks every February. San Antonio hasn't disappointing, putting together a 6-2 ATS and 5-3 SU record on this nine-game swing, which includes impressive victories over the Clippers and Blazers in the underdog role. Tony Parker remains out for the Spurs, while Tim Duncan will return as the veteran forward missed Wednesday's win at Portland.
The Suns continue to be one of the huge surprises in the NBA this season, but Phoenix still hasn't figured out how to beat San Antonio. In two meetings this season, the Suns have lost by a combined 10 points, including a 108-101 home setback in mid-December, the fourth consecutive home loss to the Spurs since 2012. Jeff Hornacek's team has split their last six games at U.S. Airways Center, but the Suns have won seven of their past 10 home contests against Western Conference competition.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.
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