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Friday's Tip Sheet
Game of the Night: Wolves at Thunder – 8:05 PM EST

Twenty games into the season and Oklahoma City (8-12 SU, 8-12 ATS) sits in last place of the Northwest division. The Thunder has dropped five of their past six games, including Wednesday’s 121-108 setback at Orlando as six-point favorites. OKC has lost eight consecutive road contests, but has won four of its past five games at Chesapeake Energy Arena. As a single-digit favorite recently, the Thunder crashed to a 1-8 ATS record in November with the only cover coming against the Clippers on November 10.

Minnesota (13-9 SU, 9-11-2 ATS) has been up and down recently by alternating wins and losses in its last six games. The Wolves routed the Pelicans, 120-102 on Wednesday as six-point road underdogs, highlighted by seven players in double-figures. Minnesota converted 58% of its shots, led by Andrew Wiggins’ 28 points, while the Wolves outrebounded the Pelicans, 44-28. Since losing as 10-point underdogs at Phoenix in mid-November, Minnesota has won three of its past four games away from Target Center.

The Wolves have captured each of the first two meetings with the Thunder by a combined five points. Wiggins drilled a three-pointer at the buzzer to knock off Oklahoma City in the first matchup on October 22 by a 115-113 count as four-point road underdogs. Minnesota rallied past OKC in the second meeting at Target Center, 119-116 five days later as both games easily sailed OVER the total.

Memphis Bleak

The Grizzlies (7-13 SU, 6-13-1 ATS) started the season at 7-4, but nine losses later and Memphis has fired its head coach and franchise point guard Mike Conley is sidelined indefinitely with an Achilles injury. The latest defeat in this cold stretch came to the Spurs on Wednesday, 104-95, but Memphis picked up a push as nine-point underdogs. However, the Grizzlies’ stagnant offense was held to below 95 points for the sixth consecutive game, while going 5-1 to the UNDER in this span.

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San Antonio (14-7 SU, 10-10-1 ATS) improved to 10-2 at home this season with Wednesday’s victory over Memphis, but the Spurs have slumped to a 4-5 record on the road. Gregg Popovich’s team owns a 7-2 mark to the UNDER away from AT&T Center, while scoring less than 100 points in seven of those contests. On the flip side, each of the past five meetings between these Southwest division rivals have sailed OVER the total.

Heading East

The Warriors (16-6 SU, 9-13 ATS) started a six-game road trip in nearby Los Angeles as the defending champions pulled out a hard-fought 127-123 overtime victory. Golden State failed to cash as 13-point favorites for the second straight game, while dropping to 2-7 ATS the last nine contests. Steve Kerr’s squad seeks a season sweep of Orlando after knocking off the Magic at home on November 13 by 10 points, 110-100, while failing to cash as 12-point favorites.

Orlando (9-13 SU, 10-11-1 ATS) snapped a nine-game skid in Wednesday’s impressive 121-108 home underdog triumph against Oklahoma City. The Magic finished OVER the total for the fifth straight game, while yielding at least 105 points for the ninth time in the past 10 contests. Since December 2013, the Magic has dropped nine straight meetings with the Warriors, including each of the past four at home by double-digits.

Duel in D.C.

The Wizards (11-10 SU, 11-10 ATS) own the worst record of any division leader in the NBA, but Washington will take it if it means sitting atop the Southeast. Washington has dropped three of its past four games, including a 118-113 setback at Philadelphia on Wednesday, even though the Wizards cashed as seven-point underdogs. Scott Brooks’ squad hosts Central division leader Detroit, as the Wizards have lost each of their past two games at Capital One Arena.

The Pistons (14-6 SU, 14-5-1 ATS) have heated up of late by picking up three straight wins, including a 131-107 home blowout of the Suns on Wednesday. Prior to that easy victory, Detroit compiled a pair of impressive road victories at Oklahoma City and Boston as an underdog, while putting together a 4-1 ATS mark in its past five games away from Little Caesars Arena. The Pistons struggled with the Wizards last season by losing three of four matchups, including both meetings in Washington.

Home Cooking

The Raptors (13-7 SU, 12-8 ATS) have been nearly automatic at Air Canada Center this season by winning seven of eight home games. Toronto looks to capitalize off Wednesday’s 126-113 home victory over Charlotte as the Raptors attempt to avenge a 107-104 setback at Indiana last Friday. The Raptors squandered a 10-point halftime lead, while Toronto connected on only 9-of-30 attempts from three-point range.

The Pacers (12-10 SU, 13-9 ATS) have dropped two of three since a five-game winning streak as the two defeats came to two of the league’s elite teams, Boston and Houston. Nate McMillan’s squad dropped a pair of games to the Rockets in November by over 20 points, while falling apart in the second half of a 118-97 setback on Wednesday as 11 ½-point underdogs. Indiana had its four-game road winning streak end in the loss at Houston, but the Pacers own a solid 7-3 ATS mark in the past 10 contests.

Head-to-Head Matchups

-- For years, the Heat owned the Bobcats/Hornets franchise. However, Charlotte has evened the playing field recently after taking Miami to seven games in the opening round of the 2016 playoffs, while splitting four meetings last season. Charlotte has been terrible on the road by compiling a 1-9 record, as the Hornets look to beat a Heat squad that has covered in only one of nine opportunities at home this season.

-- The Bulls return home with no rest following a one-point loss in the final seconds at Denver on Thursday. Chicago hosts Sacramento as the Bulls have captured each of the past five meetings with the Kings since February 2015. The Bulls fell to 0-11 against the Western Conference after losing to the Nuggets, while Sacramento invades the Windy City owning a dreadful 2-9 road record.

-- Utah swept the season series from New Orleans last season as the two Western Conference foes meet in Salt Lake City. The Pelicans dropped their second straight in Wednesday’s blowout loss to the Wolves, but New Orleans is 3-0 SU/ATS this season off back-to-back losses.

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at rogers@vegasinsider.com

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

  
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