Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM
Friday's Tip Sheet
Game of the Night: Bucks at Heat (-1 ½, 198 ½) – 8:05 PM EST
The crazy NBA trade deadline came to a conclusion on Thursday afternoon with the Cavaliers wheeling and dealing for nearly a roster overhaul. One of the veterans that Cleveland parted with was Dwyane Wade, who makes his triumphant return to Miami following 13 seasons with the Heat to go along with three championships. Wade is expected to take the court on Friday as the Heat try to rebound from a five-game losing streak.
Miami (29-26 SU, 25-27-3 ATS) has slipped to second place in the Southeast division behind surging Washington as the Heat’s defense has let them down recently. Following a five-game stretch of allowing less than 100 points, Miami has given up 111, 111, and 109 points the past three trips to the court, resulting in three consecutive OVERS. The latest setback came against Houston on Wednesday, 109-101 as 4 ½-point underdogs, even though both Josh Richardson and Goran Dragic posted 30-point efforts.
Milwaukee (30-23 SU, 23-25-2 ATS) seeks its first victory in three tries against Miami this season after losing twice in a four-day span to the Heat last month. The Bucks have won seven of eight games since firing head coach Jason Kidd, including a sweep of the struggling Empire State squads with road blowouts of the Nets and Knicks this week. Milwaukee is riding an eight-game UNDER streak, while yielding below 100 points six times in this stretch.
Motor City Reunion
The Pistons (27-26 SU, 26-25-2 ATS) haven’t lost since acquiring Blake Griffin from the Clippers last month, going 5-0. In Griffin’s four games in the lineup, the All-Star forward has averaged 21.5 ppg, while Detroit has eclipsed the 111-point mark in three straight games. The only negative has been their lack of covering big numbers, as the Pistons are 0-3 ATS as a favorite of 4 ½ points or more, although their only ATS win came in a blowout of Portland on Monday as 2 ½-point favorites.
Griffin will face off against Los Angeles (27-25 SU, 28-23-1 ATS) for the first time as the Clippers embark on a seven-game road trip. The Clips have heated up of late by winning four of their last five games, including a pair of home victories over the Bulls and Mavericks. Surprisingly, Doc Rivers’ squad has performed well on the highway since late December by compiling a 5-1 SU/ATS mark, including victories at Golden State and New Orleans. The Clippers are playing with revenge after falling to the Pistons at home in late October, 95-87.
Cav Plenty (Of New Faces)
A house cleaning took place on Thursday in Cleveland as the Cavaliers (31-22 SU, 15-37-1 ATS) parted ways with six players, most notably disgruntled guard Isaiah Thomas. The diminutive guard was dealt to the Lakers along with Channing Frye, while Wade, Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose, and Iman Shumpert were also sent packing. The final game with the old contingent saw LeBron James drill a jumper at the buzzer to lift the Cavaliers past the Timberwolves, 140-138 in overtime on Wednesday.
The Cavaliers travel to Atlanta tonight as the appetizer prior to Sunday’s showdown with the Celtics in Boston. Cleveland is riding a horrific 0-12 ATS run away from Quicken Loans Arena, while winning only once in this span, coming at Orlando on January 6. The Hawks (17-38 SU, 28-25-2 ATS) have covered in each of the first three meetings with the Cavaliers this season, including a 117-115 upset of Cleveland in November. Following a 6-0 ATS run as a home underdog, the Hawks are 1-3 ATS in their past four when receiving points at Philips Arena.
The Butler is Back
Minnesota (34-23 SU, 28-27-2 ATS) sits atop the Northwest division and part of that success is due to the offseason acquisition of guard Jimmy Butler from Chicago. Butler leads the Wolves by averaging 22.3 ppg, one of five Minnesota players putting up double-digits each game. The Wolves head to the United Center in Chicago as Butler plays his first game against his old team as Minnesota tries to snap a five-game skid away from the Target Center.
Chicago (18-35 SU, 29-23-1 ATS) has spiraled out of control recently by losing seven straight games, while dropping all three contests on their west coast swing. Extending back to late December, the Bulls have yielded at least 105 points in nine consecutive home outings, although Chicago has hit the UNDER in three straight home games. Facing the Western Conference has been no picnic either for Fred Hoiberg’s team, who is 1-8 the past nine matchups against the West, while covering three times.
The Celtics (40-16 SU, 34-20-2 ATS) became the first Eastern Conference squad to reach the 40-win mark in Thursday’s 110-104 overtime triumph at Washington. Boston ended a five-game skid at Capital One Arena as Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with 28 points, while drilling three free throws late in regulation to force overtime. Boston knocked out Washington in the second round of last season’s playoffs, while the Celtics take on the re-tooled Cavaliers on Sunday afternoon at TD Garden in a rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals.
In the middle of these two playoff rematches, the Celtics welcome in the Pacers (30-25 SU, 29-26 ATS), who have been off since Monday’s home loss to the Wizards. Indiana’s contest against New Orleans on Wednesday was postponed due to a leak at Smoothie King Center, as the Pacers look to improve on a 5-1 record in their last six opportunities off a loss. Indiana has dropped five consecutive matchups with Boston, including a pair of home defeats to the Celtics this season. The Pacers have struggled of late away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse by losing four of their past five on the highway with the lone victory coming at San Antonio.
-- The 76ers have won seven straight games at Wells Fargo Center as Philadelphia hosts New Orleans. The Pelicans have lost three consecutive games only once this season, as New Orleans is 7-1 SU/ATS off back-to-back defeats. In their first matchup in December, the Pelicans outlasted the 76ers, 131-124, but the last three matchups in Philadelphia have finished UNDER the total.
-- The Rockets return home following a four-game sweep of their road trip, as Houston seeks its seventh straight win as Denver invades the Toyota Center. Houston has failed to cover in its past three home victories as heavy favorites, while Denver has won its previous three games, even though the Nuggets have dropped six consecutive road contests.
-- Charlotte looks to rebound following an overtime setback at Portland on Thursday as the Hornets wrap up their road swing at Utah. The Hornets try to avoid their first three-game skid since mid-December, but it won’t be easy as the Jazz look to extend their winning streak to eight after a perfect 4-0 road swing. Utah fell to Charlotte last month, 99-88, but the Jazz have not lost to the Hornets/Bobcats franchise in the past 10 meetings at home.
-- Portland ended a three-game skid in Thursday’s home victory over Charlotte as the Blazers have a quick turnaround with a visit to Sacramento. The Blazers and Kings have split a pair of matchups this season with the home team winning each time, while Sacramento tries to improve on a 1-6 record off a home victory after knocking off Chicago on Monday.
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