Friday's Tip Sheet
March 6, 2014
By Kevin Rogers
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Grizzlies at Bulls – 7:05 PM EST
Memphis: 34-26 SU, 27-31-2 ATS
Chicago: 34-27 SU, 32-29 ATS
The Grizzlies are coming off probably their flattest performance of the season on Wednesday, falling at Brooklyn, 103-94. The nine-point loss doesn’t seem that embarrassing on the surface, but Memphis trailed, 21-2 to start the game and played from behind all night, as Zach Randolph missed the defeat with the flu. In spite of that setback, the Grizzlies have won 24 of their past 35 contests since a five-game skid in mid-December, while cashing 11 of their last 15 away from FedEx Forum.
The Bulls continue to make a push in the Eastern Conference, trying to grab the third seed, as Chicago knocked off Detroit on Wednesday, 105-94 to cash as four-point road favorites. Tom Thibodeau’s club has won five of their past six games, while riding a five-game hot streak at the United Center since the start of February. Chicago took care of Memphis as five-point road underdogs on December 30 with a 95-91 triumph, snapping a three-game skid to the Grizzlies which dated back to 2012.
Kings at Raptors – 7:05 PM EST
Sacramento: 22-39 SU, 27-32-2 ATS
Toronto: 33-26 SU, 35-23-1 ATS
The Kings continue a seven-game road swing following Wednesday’s blowout of Milwaukee, 116-102 to cash as 3 ½-point favorites. Sacramento seeks just its second winning streak of three games this season, while posting a 7-14 SU and 9-12 ATS record off a victory. Mike Malone’s team has won four straight meetings against the Raptors, including a 109-101 home triumph last month. However, Sacramento has won just twice in 14 tries this season on the road against teams off a win, while covering four times in this situation.
The Raptors have been off since Sunday’s home underdog victory over the Warriors, as Toronto improved to 5-2 SU and 4-3 ATS since the All-Star break. At home, the Raptors haven’t been as strong as other playoff teams (17-12), while owning a dreadful 2-6 SU/ATS record at the Air Canada Center against teams off consecutive wins. Defensively, Toronto has limited seven of its past eight opponents to less than 100 points, resulting in six ‘unders.’
Blazers at Mavericks – 8:35 PM EST
Portland: 42-19 SU, 33-28 ATS
Dallas: 36-26 SU, 34-28 ATS
The Blazers have stepped up their defense since the All-Star break, allowing less than 100 points to six of their last seven foes, while cashing six consecutive ‘unders.’ The most recent stellar defensive showing came in Wednesday’s 102-78 blowout of the struggling Hawks, the sixth win in the past seven games for Portland. The Blazers embark on a five-game road trip that includes visits to Houston, Memphis, and San Antonio following Friday’s matchup at Dallas. In two meetings this season, the road team has won each time, including a 127-111 rout by the Blazers as two-point road favorites on January 18.
The Mavericks fell behind early and never recovered in Wednesday’s 115-110 defeat at Denver, allowing 41 points in the opening quarter. Dallas lost to Denver for the third time this season, while losing its third straight overall since a four-game winning streak. Rick Carlisle’s club has compiled a terrific 9-2 ATS record as a favorite of 3 ½ points or less, which includes a 2-0 SU/ATS mark at the American Airlines Center.
Pacers at Rockets – 9:35 PM EST
Indiana: 46-15 SU, 33-27-1 ATS
Houston: 42-19 SU, 32-27-2 ATS
The Pacers are still the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but Indiana is coming off consecutive losses to Golden State and Charlotte earlier this week. Frank Vogel’s team fell in the final seconds to the Warriors, but the Central Division leaders were limited to just eight points in the opening quarter of Wednesday’s 109-87 setback to the Bobcats as 4 ½-point favorites. Indiana has won five of its past seven on the road with at least one day of rest, while annihilating Houston at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in December, 114-81.
The Rockets are breathing down the necks of the Spurs in the Southwest Division, thanks to winning 13 of their past 15 games. Houston is rolling at the Toyota Center by going 9-1 SU and 6-4 ATS since falling at home to Oklahoma City in mid-January, which includes wins over Miami, Phoenix, San Antonio, and Portland. In the last four games at home, the Rockets are playing their typical run-and-gun style, cashing the ‘over’ four times, while putting up at least 106 points in five consecutive home contests.
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