Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:06 AM

Friday's Tip Sheet

Game of the Night: Wizards at Pistons – 8:05 PM EST

Both these squads are sitting in the top eight of the Eastern Conference heading into Friday’s action. However, each team is looking to bust out of a funk as Washington has lost two straight, while Detroit is looking to snap a three-game skid.

The Wizards (25-20 SU, 19-26 ATS) were smoked in the first half at Charlotte on Wednesday by allowing 77 points in a 133-109 setback to the Hornets. Washington has been horrific against the number recently by failing to cover in seven consecutive games, while Scott Brooks’ team owns a 1-6 ATS mark in its last seven road contests.

The Pistons (22-21 SU, 24-17-2 ATS) are sitting slightly above the 76ers for the final playoff spot in the East, but Detroit has slipped to a 2-6 record in January. The latest setback came in Wednesday’s 96-91 loss at Toronto, but the Pistons managed a cover as 8 ½-point underdogs. Detroit has struggled as a home favorite of late by covering in only one of its last five opportunities when laying points at Little Caesars Arena.

Washington has owned Detroit over the years by winning eight of the past 10 meetings since February 2015, including a pair of victories at Capital One Arena this season. The Wizards have split the last four visits to Detroit, as three of those matchups were decided by four points or less.

30 for 30

Both the Spurs and Raptors enter Friday’s contest at Air Canada Center with 30 wins apiece. Toronto (30-13 SU, 24-19 ATS) improved to 16-3 at home after holding off Detroit on Wednesday, halting a two-game skid. The Raptors couldn’t cash tickets as an 8 ½-point favorite, as Dwane Casey’s team fell to 0-4 ATS the last four opportunities when laying points. However, Toronto’s defense has stepped up at home of late by limiting seven of its past nine opponents to less than 100 points at the ACC.

San Antonio (30-16 SU, 24-20-2 ATS) has alternated wins and losses in each of its past 11 games, coming off a 100-95 road triumph at Brooklyn on Wednesday to barely cash as 4 ½-point favorites. The Spurs embark on a long stretch without last season’s MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard, who remains sidelined with a quad injury. San Antonio has cashed the UNDER in four consecutive games, while looking to beat Toronto for the fifth straight time since April 2016.

Scratching Away

It’s a lost season for the Grizzlies (15-28 SU, 17-24-2 ATS), who have been without point guard Mike Conley, Jr. since November 13. However, Memphis has played better recently by winning three of its past four and posting a 7-2 ATS record the last nine games. The Grizzlies are fresh off a pair of home victories over the Lakers and Knicks, while knocking off New York on Wednesday, 105-99 without center Marc Gasol, who sat due to an illness.

Memphis hosts Sacramento (13-31 SU, 17-24-3 ATS), who begins a six-game road swing following Wednesday’s 15-point home loss to Utah. The Kings are sliding fast by dropping six consecutive contests, but Sacramento has compiled a 6-5 ATS record in its last 11 away games, including a cover as 12-point underdogs in a 95-88 loss at Oklahoma City on Monday. Memphis ripped Sacramento in their previous matchup at Golden 1 Center on New Year’s Eve, 114-96, while the Grizzlies are 4-1 SU/ATS the last five home meetings with the Kings.

Salty Taste

The Jazz (18-26 SU, 22-22 ATS) are coming off only their fifth road victory of the season in Wednesday’s 120-115 win at Sacramento as four-point favorites. Utah hit the 120-point mark for the first time since scoring 126 points against the Clippers on November 30, while improving to 5-15 the last 20 games. The Jazz have dropped three straight games in the role of a home favorite, while getting limited to 98 points or less in each of those defeats.

The Knicks (20-25 SU, 23-22 ATS) travel to Salt Lake City trying to improve on a dreadful 5-16 record away from Madison Square Garden. New York won its first matchup with Utah in mid-November, 106-101, but has dropped its last three visits to Vivint Smart Home Arena since 2015. The Knicks are riding a five-game OVER streak, including cashing the OVER in five of the past six road contests.

Home Disadvantage

Since knocking off Orlando and Minnesota to begin 2018, the Nets (16-29 SU, 27-18 ATS) have lost five straight games at Barclays Center. Brooklyn has covered four consecutive home contests earlier this month, but have failed to cash in recent losses to Detroit, New York, and San Antonio. The Nets host the Heat before hitting the road for five games starting Sunday in Detroit. Brooklyn ripped Miami in its past matchup at American Airlines Arena in late December, 111-87 as six-point ‘dogs, but have lost eight straight home meetings with the Heat since 2014.

The Heat (26-28 SU, 20-22-2 ATS) remain atop the Southeast division following Wednesday’s 106-101 triumph at Milwaukee as 4 ½-point underdogs. Miami has won eight of its past nine games, while posting an impressive 5-1 SU/ATS last six road contests, including victories at Toronto and Boston. The Heat are in the midst of a five-game away swing, as Erik Spoelstra’s club has eclipsed the OVER in four of the past five contests away from South Florida.

Digging for Gold

The Nuggets (23-22 SU, 20-23-2 ATS) have slumped to a 2-5 record the last seven games, coming off Wednesday’s 109-104 setback to the Clippers. Denver failed to cash as 4 ½-point underdogs, while blowing a double-digit lead as the Nuggets dropped to 2-7 with no rest. The Nuggets return to the Pepsi Center to host the Suns, as Denver has won the past seven matchups with Phoenix, including a 134-111 home win on January 3.

Phoenix (16-29 SU, 21-22-2 ATS) lost its third consecutive game on Tuesday at Portland, 118-111, but the Suns cashed as 11-point underdogs thanks to outscoring the Blazers, 39-26 in the fourth quarter. The Suns are 0-7 ATS in the last seven meetings with the Nuggets, while the past five matchups have eclipsed the OVER.

Setting the Pace

Indiana (24-20 SU, 25-19 ATS) continues its four-game road swing in Los Angeles to face the Lakers for the first time this season. The Pacers head to Staples Center with no rest following Thursday’s 14-point setback at Portland, as Nate McMillan’s squad has lost six of nine games in the second of a back-to-back set. Much of Indiana’s success can be attributed to having leading scorer Victor Oladipo in the lineup, as the Pacers have won five of their last seven games since the guard returned following a bout with knee soreness.

The Lakers (15-29 SU, 21-23 ATS) will likely be without guard Lonzo Ball once again, who missed Wednesday’s loss at Oklahoma City with a knee sprain. Los Angeles fell to 0-8 this season without the rookie from UCLA, while fellow backcourt mate Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is out with an Achilles strain. The Lakers had won four straight prior to consecutive losses to the Grizzlies and Thunder, but L.A. is riding a three-game winning streak at Staples Center.

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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