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NBA

Feb 27, 2018

Tuesday's Tip Sheet

ATS Rankings | Totals Report | Injuries

Game of the Night: Wizards at Bucks (-3, 211 ½) – 8:05 PM EST

With all the talk of the Cavaliers, Celtics, and Raptors as the teams that can go deep in the Eastern Conference playoffs, the second tier of potential playoff squads still want to be noticed. Two of them meet in Milwaukee as the Wizards and Bucks hook up for the final time in the regular season. The road team has won all three meetings, including Milwaukee capturing a pair of games at Capital One Arena in D.C. in a two-week span in January as an underdog.

The Wizards (35-25 SU, 29-31 ATS) remain atop the Southeast division following Sunday’s 109-94 blowout of the 76ers to cash easily as 1 ½-point home favorites. Washington built a four-game lead for first place over Miami thanks to 24 points from Bradley Beal and a 23-point effort out of Otto Porter, Jr. as the Wizards improved to 9-3 SU/ATS since John Wall has been sidelined.

The Bucks (33-26 SU, 25-29-5 ATS) squandered a 17-point lead in Sunday’s overtime loss to the Pelicans, 123-121 as 4 ½-point favorites. Khris Middleton paced Milwaukee with 25 points, but the Bucks knocked down only 7-of-25 three-point attempts to fall to 19-11 at home this season. The Bucks have struggled in the role of a home favorite recently by failing to cover in their last four opportunities, but Milwaukee has won four straight games overall coming off a defeat.

Three for Three?

The 76ers (32-26 SU, 32-25-1 ATS) saw their seven-game winning streak go up in smoke in Sunday’s 15-point setback at Washington. Philadelphia is still in a favorable spot to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2012 by sitting in the seventh position in the East entering Tuesday’s action, two games ahead of Miami. The two teams hook up tonight at American Airlines Arena as the 76ers have captured each of the first two meetings with the Heat at home this month.

The Heat (31-29 SU, 30-27-3 ATS) are looking for any kind of spark following a 1-8 run to drop them into the eighth spot in the East. Miami rebounded from a tough overtime loss at New Orleans on Friday by routing Memphis the following night, 115-89 to easily cover as 9 ½-point favorites. In spite of their recent struggles, the Heat have actually cashed in five consecutive games, while hitting the OVER in seven of the past eight contests.

Cavalier Inconsistency

The team that owns the worst home ATS record by far in the NBA continues to be Cleveland. The Cavaliers (35-24 SU, 19-39-1 ATS) are 0-2 at home since the All-Star break following losses to Washington and San Antonio, while yielding 110 points in each of those defeats. The Cavaliers own a remarkably poor 6-22-1 ATS mark at Quicken Loans Arena, which includes an 0-12 ATS ledger when laying double-digits.

Brooklyn (20-41 SU, 34-27 ATS) travels to Cleveland with no rest after pulling away from Chicago on Monday, 104-87 to snap an eight-game skid. The Nets have covered in each of their two matchups with the Cavaliers this season, including a 112-107 upset of Cleveland as 7 ½-point home ‘dogs in late October. Brooklyn is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings with Cleveland, including three covers as double-digit ‘dogs.



Battle for Eighth

In the Western Conference, the Nuggets and Clippers are vying for the final playoff spot as Denver sits in the eighth spot, one game ahead of Los Angeles heading into Tuesday’s action. The two teams meet up at Pepsi Center as the Nuggets (33-27 SU, 28-29-3 ATS) look to rebound off Sunday’s 119-114 setback to the Rockets. Denver continues to play up-and-down games and cash OVERS, hitting its seventh straight OVER on Sunday, while winning seven of its past nine contests in spite of the loss to Houston.

The Clippers (31-27 SU, 33-24-1 ATS) conclude a seven-game road swing after winning four of the first six contests. L.A. held off Phoenix on Friday, 128-117 as 5 ½-point favorites after jumping out to a 19-0 lead in the first quarter. The Clippers have covered four straight games and own a solid 9-2 ATS record in their last 11 contests away from Staples Center. Los Angeles seeks its second win over Denver this season after holding off the Nuggets in mid-January, 109-104, but the Clippers lost both meetings at Pepsi Center last season.

Buzzing Back

One of the biggest disappointments in the first half is trying to turn things around before it’s too late. The Hornets (27-33 SU, 25-31-4 ATS) are riding a four-game winning streak, including three victories after the All-Star break to pull within four games of the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. All three wins since the break have come by double-digits, as Charlotte has topped the 111-point mark each time. The Hornets are playing with double-revenge against the Bulls, as Chicago has knocked off Charlotte twice as an underdog, while winning four straight matchups.

The Bulls (20-40 SU, 31-28-1 ATS) are in full-tank mode, dropping 12 of the last 14 games, coming off Monday’s 17-point setback at Brooklyn. Chicago has struggled to cover numbers as well during the stretch by compiling a 3-11 ATS mark, although the Bulls have not been listed as a double-digit underdog since late December. In the role of a ‘dog of 10 points or more, the Bulls are 7-4 ATS, including three consecutive covers.

Set Ablaze

Things are coming together for Portland (34-26 SU, 29-26-5 ATS), who have won five of six since an 0-3 road swing to begin February. The Blazers are coming off a pair of road victories at Utah and Phoenix as Portland starts a critical three-game homestand. Portland welcomes in a pair of division rivals later this week as Minnesota (Thursday) and Oklahoma City (Saturday) invade the Moda Center, but first the Blazers have to deal with a feisty Kings’ squad.

Sacramento (18-42 SU, 26-31-3 ATS) finished its three-game homestand with a disappointing 0-3 mark, capped off by Monday’s 18-point setback to Minnesota. The Kings have profited on the road recently by covering eight of the last nine away from Golden 1 Center, including four ATS victories as a double-digit underdog. Sacramento has compiled a 3-8 SU record with no rest, but is 5-5-1 ATS on the second of back-to-backs, while trying to grab a season split of its four-game series with Portland.

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

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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