Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM
Saturday's Tip Sheet
Game of the Night: Pelicans at Rockets – 8:05 PM EST
It’s been an eventful week for New Orleans (43-30 SU, 40-32-1 ATS), who has taken the court five times since last Saturday. The Pelicans are riding a four-game winning streak, while picking up three victories in a three-night span at Smoothie King Center.
Alvin Gentry’s squad knocked off the Mavericks on Tuesday, the Pacers in a make-up game on Wednesday, and outlasted the Lakers on Thursday. In the 128-125 triumph over Los Angeles, the Pelicans converted 48 two-point field goals, while MVP candidate Anthony Davis led the way with 33 points and nine rebounds. Guard Rajon Rondo put together one of his best games since joining New Orleans by scoring 24 points and dishing out 10 assists, while backcourt mate Jrue Holiday posted a 26-point effort on 12-of-16 shooting.
The Rockets (58-14 SU, 37-34-1 ATS) grabbed their seventh straight win on Thursday against the Pistons, but it wasn’t easy. Houston held off Detroit in overtime, 100-96, while the Pistons cashed as 10 ½-point underdogs. Point guard Chris Paul sat out with a hamstring strain, while James Harden struggled to reach the 21-point mark by hitting only 4-of-20 attempts from the floor and registered an 0-for-8 performance from three-point range.
Houston topped New Orleans last Saturday in the Big Easy, 107-101 road victory. The Pelicans covered for the third time in three meetings with the Rockets this season, but couldn’t hold down Harden, who led Houston with 32 points. New Orleans has lost nine of the past 10 meetings at Toyota Center since 2013, while four of the previous five matchups have finished UNDER the total.
All’s Well at Home
The 76ers (41-30 SU, 39-30-2 ATS) have picked up victories in 16 of their last 17 games at Wells Fargo Center since the calendar turned to 2018. Philadelphia is currently on a five-game hot streak after routing Charlotte, Memphis, and Orlando by double-digits each this week. The Sixers led the Magic by 30 points heading into the fourth quarter of Thursday’s 118-98 blowout to easily cash as eight-point favorites. Philadelphia improved to 9-1 the last 10 games in which it has exceeded the 100-point mark, while currently on a 4-1 OVER run.
Minnesota (41-31 SU, 33-37-2 ATS) travels to Philadelphia with no rest following Friday’s 108-104 victory at New York. The Wolves lost 13 of their first 15 road games in 2018, but are 2-1 in their past three away from the Target Center after beating the Knicks. Minnesota has struggled as a road underdog of late by compiling a 2-6 ATS mark, while looking to avenge a six-point home overtime loss to Philadelphia back in mid-December.
Lake Slow Down
The Lakers (31-40 SU, 37-34 ATS) have turned into one of the streakier teams in the league the last two months. Los Angeles has put together three separate winning streaks of at least four games since January, but are riding a four-game skid following Thursday’s 128-125 setback at New Orleans. Luke Walton’s team blew an 11-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, but Kentavious Caldwell-Pope lit up the Pelicans for 28 points on 8-of-11 shooting from downtown.
L.A. is in a rare road favorite role as they Lakers venture to Memphis to take on the reeling Grizzlies (19-53 SU, 29-41-2 ATS). Just when losing 22 of their last 23 games is a new low for the franchise, Memphis topped itself in a 61-point defeat at Charlotte on Thursday. Memphis has lost 17 consecutive road contests and it is highly likely that the Grizzlies will end the season with 23 straight setbacks on the highway as they face Minnesota twice, Utah, Portland, New Orleans, and Oklahoma City.
The Grizzlies have had some luck against the Lakers this season by capturing two of three meetings, including a 123-114 victory at FedEx Forum in mid-January. Los Angeles wasn’t a road favorite until January 31 at Orlando, but the Lakers have covered in each of their last two opportunities as away chalk against the Kings and Hawks.
The Buzz is Back
The Hornets (32-41 SU, 31-38-4 ATS) rallied from a 19-point halftime deficit to stun the Nets on Wednesday, 111-105, as Dwight Howard produced a 32-point, 30-rebound effort for Charlotte. The next night, Kemba Walker dropped 46 points in 28 minutes of a 140-79 demolition of the Grizzlies as eight-point favorites. Since a five-game winning streak in late February, the Hornets have stumbled to a 4-8 mark the last 12 contests, including a 2-6 record on the road.
Charlotte heads to Dallas to face a struggling Mavericks (22-50 SU, 37-34-1 ATS) squad. The Mavs have gone backwards of late by losing four straight, while allowing at least 114 points in each defeat. Dallas managed a backdoor cover as 8 ½-point underdogs on Thursday to Utah, 119-112 by outscoring the Jazz in the fourth quarter, 31-23. The Mavs seek the season sweep of the Hornets after upending Charlotte as a 6 ½-point road underdog in January, 115-110.
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