Wednesday’s Tip SheetGame of the Night: Timberwolves (-4, 221) at Cavaliers – 8:00 PM EST
The latest chapter in Cleveland’s recent meltdown was written in Tuesday’s 116-98 setback at Orlando. The Cavaliers (30-22 SU, 14-37-1 ATS) built a 16-point halftime edge, but were outscored 65-31 in the second half by the Magic, while Cleveland was limited to nine points in the final quarter. Following last night’s loss, the Cavs fell to 2-13 ATS in the last 15 games and a staggering 0-12 ATS in the past 12 contests away from Quicken Loans Arena.
Cleveland doesn’t have time to worry about Tuesday’s horrible second half performance as the Cavaliers host the well-rested Timberwolves (34-22 SU, 28-26-2 ATS). Minnesota has been off since routing New Orleans on Saturday, 118-107 to pull off the four-game season sweep of the Pelicans. Jimmy Butler led the Wolves with 30 points as Minnesota improved to 12-0 in its previous 12 contests at Target Center, while covering for the 11th time in the last 15 tries in the favorite role.
Minnesota faced Cleveland last month at home and demolished the Cavaliers from the opening tip. The Wolves grabbed a 32-18 advantage after one quarter and cruised to a 127-99 blowout of the Cavaliers as short home ‘dogs. Minnesota limited LeBron James to 10 points, while the Wolves scorched the Cavs by shooting 52% from the floor.
The Cavaliers have lost eight consecutive nationally televised games since Christmas, as tonight’s contest is airing on ESPN. Cleveland has slightly profited this season in the underdog role by going 5-4 ATS, but has lost in each of its last two opportunities as a home ‘dog to Houston and Golden State.
Not so Hot
The Heat (29-25 SU, 25-26-3 ATS) have cooled off significantly stringing together seven straight wins in January. Miami has dropped its past four games with three of those defeats coming by four points or less. The most recent setback came in Monday’s 111-109 home loss to Orlando, the second defeat this month as a home favorite of at least 8 ½ points. The Heat are flipped to the home underdog role against Houston as Miami looks to avenge a 99-90 loss at Toyota Center on January 22 as 11-point ‘dogs.
The Rockets (39-13 SU, 25-26-1 ATS) travel to south Florida with no rest after picking up their fifth straight win last night, 123-113 at Brooklyn. Although Houston failed to cash as 11-point favorites, James Harden paced the Rockets with 36 points and Chris Paul chipped in 25 as they moved within one game of Golden State for the best record in the league. Mike D’Antoni’s team has struggled to cover on the second of a back-to-back set this season by compiling a 1-5 ATS record, which includes a pair of double-digit losses on the road.
Hitting a High Note
Although they still sit in last place of the competitive Northwest division, the Jazz (25-28 SU, 29-24 ATS) are playing their best basketball of the season. Utah moved its winning streak to six following Monday’s 133-109 blowout of New Orleans as the Jazz have now eclipsed the 120-point mark in four consecutive games. Quin Snyder’s club shot lights out from long distance, hitting 8-of-9 three-pointers to begin the game and ultimately knocking down 14-of-21 treys. The Jazz have won seven of their last nine road contests, including a 3-1 SU/ATS mark as a favorite.
The next test for Utah is a struggling Memphis (18-35 SU, 23-28-2 ATS) squad, who finished its road swing at 0-4 after an ugly 108-82 loss at Atlanta on Tuesday. The Grizzlies covered in the first two losses at Indiana and Detroit, but couldn’t muster more than 86 points in their last two setbacks at Toronto and Atlanta. Memphis is facing Utah for the first time this season after capturing three of four matchups last season, while the Grizzlies have put together a 5-5 ATS mark in their last 10 opportunities as a home underdog.
Blaking a Difference
There were question marks regarding the Pistons (26-26 SU, 26-24-2 ATS) taking on Blake Griffin’s large contract in a trade from the Clippers in late January. However, Detroit hasn’t lost since acquiring the All-Star forward by going 4-0, including a 3-0 mark with Griffin in the lineup. The latest victory came in Monday’s 111-91 blowout of the struggling Blazers, the first cover as a favorite since the trade in three opportunities.
Detroit welcomes in Brooklyn (19-36 SU, 32-23 ATS), as the Nets tripped up the Pistons last month at Little Caesars Arena, 101-100 as six-point underdogs. That victory was the last one on the road for Brooklyn as the Nets are riding a four-game skid away from Barclays Center, while allowing at least 109 points in each of their past four on the highway. Brooklyn owns a 4-4 ATS record on the road with no rest as all four covers have come as an underdog of 9 ½ points or more.
Indiana (30-25 SU, 29-26 ATS) was down a few key parts in Monday’s 111-102 home loss to Washington as leading scorer Victor Oladipo and fellow guard Darren Collison were sidelined. Collison is out for two-to-three weeks with a knee injury, while Oladipo hopes to return to the lineup tonight. The Pacers have done a solid job of bouncing back off a loss by going 5-1 since the start of January in this situation. Indiana travels to New Orleans looking to avenge a 117-112 home defeat to the Pelicans suffered in November.
The Pelicans (28-25 SU, 26-26-1 ATS) have lost four of their last five games, while allowing 133 points in a 24-point home loss to the Jazz on Monday. New Orleans has yielded at least 112 points in five of the past six games, while hitting the OVER in six of the last eight home contests. The Pelicans have been a solid team to back off consecutive losses this season by compiling a 7-1 SU/ATS record in this situation.
San Antonio (34-21 SU, 28-25-2 ATS) hits the road for six games as the Spurs won’t return to the AT&T Center until February 28. Playing at home has normally been an automatic win, but the Spurs lost three times on their recent five-game homestand, including back-to-back losses to the Rockets and Jazz. San Antonio will try to turn around its luck at Phoenix, as the Spurs seek the four-game season sweep of the Suns, while the UNDER has hit in the first three matchups.
Phoenix (18-37 SU, 26-27-2 ATS) stumbles home following a 112-93 road loss to the Lakers last night, the eighth defeat in the past nine games. Leading scorer Devin Booker is listed as doubtful with a hip injury, but the Suns have profited as a double-digit underdog by compiling an 11-6 ATS mark when receiving at least 10 points.
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