Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM

Friday's Tip Sheet

ATS Rankings | Totals Report | Injuries

Game of the Night: Timberwolves at Rockets (-8 ½, 226) – 8:05 PM EST

Two teams that will be headed to the Western Conference playoffs hook up in Houston to begin the second half of the season. The Rockets (44-13 SU, 28-28-1 ATS) closed the first half on a 10-game winning streak, which includes a 126-108 victory at Minnesota on February 13 to cash as 3 ½-point road favorites. Houston continues to dominate at the Toyota Center by winning nine straight home games with the last loss coming to Golden State on January 4.

The Timberwolves (36-25 SU, 28-31-2 ATS) ended the first half by failing to cover in their last five contests, including as 10-point favorites in a 119-111 home victory over the Lakers last Thursday. Minnesota’s road woes have been well-documented, as the Wolves have dropped 10 of their past 11 games away from Target Center, while covering only twice in this span. Since the calendar flipped to 2018, Minnesota owns one road victory, which came against the Clippers in a 126-118 win as 2 ½-point underdogs on January 22.

The Wolves are currently riding a six-game OVER streak, while drilling the OVER in five of the past seven road contests. Minnesota has had its struggles with Houston over the years by posting a 1-12 record since the start of the 2014-15 season, including an 0-2 mark this season. However, the Wolves have covered in five of their past six visits to the Toyota Center.

Boston Blues

The Celtics (40-19 SU, 34-23-2 ATS) were rolling atop the Eastern Conference through the first three months of the season. However, a recent three-game home skid, coupled with Toronto’s seven-game winning streak has resulted in Boston falling back to second place in the Atlantic division. The Celtics lost all three games on their homestand to the Pacers, Cavaliers, and Clippers, while allowing 121 points to Cleveland and 129 points to Los Angeles.

Boston begins a two-game road swing on Friday that starts in Detroit (28-29 SU, 26-29-2 ATS), as the two teams have split a pair of meetings this season. The Pistons have been ice-cold against the number by failing to cover in five straight games, while snapping a three-game skid in a 104-98 home victory over the Hawks last Wednesday. Detroit has yet to be listed as an underdog with Blake Griffin in the lineup, while the Pistons own a dreadful 3-14 ATS record the past 17 games.

Avoid Buck-to-Buck Losses

Milwaukee (32-25 SU, 24-28-5 ATS) closed the first half with an atrocious defensive performance in a 134-123 home setback to Denver. The Bucks not only allowed the Nuggets to shoot 55% from the floor, but also yielded 24 three-pointers. Milwaukee has done a nice job of bouncing back from a defeat since late December by compiling an 8-2 mark off a loss, while winning four of its past six games away from BMO Harris Bradley Center.

The Bucks are playing with double-revenge after losing twice to the Raptors in a five-day span last month. Toronto (41-16 SU, 32-25 ATS) is riding a seven-game winning streak, while covering six times in that stretch to take over first place in the Atlantic division. The Raptors are currently on a 9-1 run at Air Canada Center, but Dwane Casey’s team owns a 5-5 ATS record in this span with all five ATS losses coming as a favorite of six points or more.

Dazzling Jazz

One month ago, Utah (30-28 SU, 31-27 ATS) was blown out at Atlanta as 2 ½-point favorites to slip to 19-28. The Jazz seemed on their way to the draft lottery, but 11 victories later and they are right back in the playoff conversation. Quin Snyder’s club is riding an 11-game winning streak, which included seven victories on the highway. One of those road wins in this stretch came at Portland in a 115-96 triumph as four-point underdogs on February 11, led by rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell’s 27 points.

The Jazz seek their third win over the Blazers (32-26 SU, 28-25-5 ATS) this season as the two teams meet up in Salt Lake City. Portland closed the first half with victories in three of its final four contests, including a 123-117 win over Golden State as six-point underdogs. However, the Blazers have lost six straight games in the role of a road underdog, while allowing at least 111 points in five of those defeats.

You Again?

In a rare instance, one teams is playing in consecutive matchups at the same venue in the regular season. The Nuggets (32-26 SU, 28-27-3 ATS) outlasted the Spurs last Thursday, 117-109 as seven-point favorites to pick up its first win over San Antonio in three tries this season.

San Antonio heads back to the Pepsi Center again to face a Denver squad that has won six of its past seven games. The Nuggets finished the first half with a lights-out shooting performance in a 134-123 triumph at Milwaukee to hit the OVER for the fifth straight game.

The Spurs (35-24 SU, 30-27-2 ATS) went into the break on a sour note by losing five of six games, while eclipsing the OVER in each of the past five contests. San Antonio has lost six straight games as a road ‘dog, while the last victory in the role of an away ‘dog came back on December 20 at Portland.

Waving the Wand

Following a 27-point comeback in a 118-113 victory at New York last Thursday, the Wizards (34-24 SU, 28-30 ATS) rallied from a double-digit deficit to beat the Cavaliers last night, 110-103 as six-point underdogs. Washington improved to 8-2 since John Wall has been sidelined, while owning a perfect 5-0 SU/ATS record in the role of a favorite. The Wizards welcome in the Hornets, looking to avenge an embarrassing 133-109 loss at Charlotte last month. In that defeat, Charlotte lit up Washington for 77 first half points, while the Hornets knocked down 15 three-pointers.

Charlotte (25-33 SU, 23-31-4 ATS) plays with no rest after pulling away from Brooklyn on Thursday, 111-96 as eight-point favorites. The Hornets halted a six-game ATS skid with the cover, but Charlotte looks to end an 0-5 ATS slump on the road. Charlotte has seen its struggles in D.C. over the years by dropping five straight meetings at Capital One Arena, while making its first visit to Washington this season.

Back on Track?

The Cavaliers (34-23 SU, 18-38-1 ATS) had their four-game winning streak end to Washington on Thursday in a seven-point defeat. LeBron James scored 32 points on 13-of-18 shooting in the loss, but the Cavs fell to 5-19-1 ATS in the role of a home favorite this season. Cleveland turns around quickly with a visit to Memphis as the Cavaliers are 9-1 to the UNDER on the second of a back-to-back set this season.

The Grizzlies (18-38 SU, 24-30-2 ATS) suffered seven straight losses to close out the first half, including owning a 1-4 ATS mark in the final five games. Memphis has compiled a 6-6 ATS record since the start of December in the role of a home underdog, while losing four straight when receiving points at FedEx Forum. The Grizzlies picked up a cover as 11 ½-point ‘dogs at Cleveland in early December in a 116-111 defeat, the third ATS win in the last four meetings with the Cavaliers.

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

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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