Saturday's Tip Sheet
March 16, 2019
By Kevin Rogers
ATS Rankings | Totals Report | Injuries
Game of the Night: Warriors at Thunder – 8:30 PM EST
There is no shortage of intrigue when these two Western Conference rivals get together. Golden State (46-21 SU, 27-39-1 ATS) has split the first two meetings with Oklahoma City (42-27 SU, 36-33 ATS) at Oracle Arena, while the two teams are even at 3-3 in six matchups since the start of the 2017-18 season.
Obviously, the storyline when these teams hook up is Kevin Durant facing his former team, but the Warriors’ All-Star is back in Oklahoma City for the first time since last April when Golden State left Chesapeake Energy Arena with a 111-107 victory. Fast-forward to this season where the Warriors hoisted another championship banner in the opener and held off the Thunder, 108-100 as 12 ½-point favorites. OKC played without Durant’s frenemy Russell Westbrook, who sat out the first two games of the season following offseason knee surgery.
The Thunder grabbed revenge in the next matchup in Oakland on November 21 in a 123-95 blowout of the two-time defending champions. Golden State was without its star Stephen Curry, as OKC jumped out to a 14-point halftime lead and outscored the Warriors, 36-16 in the fourth quarter. Westbrook struggled from the floor (5-for-15), but compiled a triple-double, while Dennis Schroder provided a huge spark off the bench with 32 points.
Golden State continues a tough four-game road swing against Western Conference foes as the Warriors avoided a season sweep by beating Houston on Wednesday, 106-104 as four-point underdogs. The Warriors have alternated wins and losses in the past six games, while managing the victory with Durant sidelined. The duo of Curry and Klay Thompson combined to score 54 points, while DeMarcus Cousins posted 27 points as the trio was the only three Warriors to register double-figure scoring.
Oklahoma City squandered an 18-point lead in Thursday’s 108-106 defeat at Indiana. Paul George torched his former team for 36 points, but the Thunder was limited to 18 points in the fourth quarter to fall to 2-6 in the past eight road contests. OKC has seen the UNDER in cash in four consecutive games, while not topping the 110-point mark during this stretch.
Both these Western powers have struggled to cover numbers recently as the Warriors own a 4-13 ATS record in the past 17 games, while the Thunder have compiled a 3-10 ATS mark the last 13 contests.
Blazers at Spurs – 8:35 PM EST
Portland (41-26 SU, 38-29 ATS) concludes a difficult three-game road trip on Saturday looking for a perfect 3-0 mark. After pulling away from the Clippers on Tuesday in a 21-point rout at Staples Center, the Blazers outscored the Pelicans on Friday, 66-53 in the second half of a 122-110 triumph. Portland grabbed the cover as hefty nine-point favorites, while receiving 47 points from the backcourt duo of C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard.
The toughest task for the Blazers will be to knock off the Spurs (39-29 SU, 37-30-1 ATS), who have lost only seven times in 33 tries at AT&T Center. San Antonio will also be playing with no rest after routing New York, 109-83 to avenge a road defeat to the Knicks last month. The Spurs rebounded nicely from the disastrous Rodeo Trip which saw them go 1-7 as San Antonio has run off seven straight victories.
This is the final regular season meeting between these Western squads as the home team has captured the first three contests. The OVER cashed all three times as the Blazers won the most recent matchup at the Moda Center, 127-118 last month. San Antonio dropped 131 points on Portland in the past hookup at AT&T Center in December, led by DeMar DeRozan’s 36 points, while LaMarcus Aldridge added 29 points.
Pacers at Nuggets – 9:05 PM EST
No team will endure a tougher eight-game stretch this season than Indiana (44-25 SU, 35-34 ATS) is currently in the midst of. The Pacers rallied to shock the Thunder on Thursday, 108-106 on a tip-in by Wesley Matthews in the final seconds to improve to 27-9 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Now, Indiana starts a four-game road trip that begins in Denver, followed by a back-to-back set against the Blazers and Clippers, then closes out at Golden State. In case you’re wondering, the next three games after this brutal trip are against the Nuggets at home and visits to Oklahoma City and Boston.
The Nuggets (45-22 SU, 36-31 ATS) bounced back from a 17-point defeat at Golden State to knock off Minnesota and Dallas at home. Although they failed to cover as 11 ½-point favorites on Thursday, the Nuggets still managed their 29th home win of the season on a Nikola Jokic buzzer-beater to edge the Mavericks, 100-99. The Nuggets remain one game behind the Warriors for the top seed in the Western Conference and home-court advantage throughout the first three rounds.
Denver is riding an incredible 9-1 UNDER run since the All-Star break, including five UNDERS at Pepsi Center. The Pacers have dropped eight consecutive visits to Pepsi Center since 2009, but each of the past three losses in Denver have come by three points each. Indiana will be looking to snap a four-game road skid, while suffering double-digits defeats most recently at Milwaukee and Philadelphia.
Nets at Jazz – 9:05 PM EST
Both these squads enter Saturday’s action as the seventh seed in their respective conferences with less than a month remaining in the regular season. Brooklyn (36-34 SU, 37-33 ATS) saw its four-game winning streak come to an abrupt halt on Wednesday at Oklahoma City in a 108-96 setback. The Nets built a 10-point halftime lead, but were outscored, 66-44 in the second half as Brooklyn failed to cash seven-point underdogs.
The Jazz (39-29 SU, 35-31-2 ATS) are on their way to their fourth consecutive season with at least 40 wins, as Utah hasn’t reached this milestone since 2007-10. Utah cruised past Minnesota on Friday, 120-100 to cash as nine-point home favorites, led by Donovan Mitchell’s 24 points. The Jazz have won nine of 12 home games against Eastern Conference foes, including eight of the past 10 games overall against teams from the East.
Utah won at Barclays Center in late November, 101-91 as 3 ½-point favorites to grab its fourth win in the past five matchups. The Nets have cashed in six of their last nine games in the role of a road underdog, while riding a six-game UNDER streak in the past six games overall.
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