Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM

Tuesday's Tip Sheet

ATS Rankings | Totals Report | Injuries

Game of the Night: Warriors at Thunder (-4 ½, 221) – 8:05 PM EST

Only three playoff spots have been clinched in the Western Conference heading into Tuesday’s action. Houston, Golden State, and Portland have locked up postseason berths, while teams sitting at 4-8 are separated by two games. Oklahoma City begins tonight as the fifth seed, only one half-game behind San Antonio for home-court advantage in the opening round.

The Thunder (45-33 SU, 32-45-1 ATS) ended a three-game losing streak in Sunday’s 109-104 victory at New Orleans to avenge a pair of losses to the Pelicans from earlier this season. Paul George led the Thunder with 27 points, but did so on 9-of-24 shooting, while OKC knocked down nine three-pointers on 31 attempts. The victory also halted an 0-4-1 ATS slide, while the UNDER improved to 5-1 the past six games for the Thunder.

The Warriors (56-21 SU, 32-44-1 ATS) hit the road for a two-game set that concludes at Indiana on Thursday. Golden State has won two straight since a three-game skid, albeit beating Sacramento and Phoenix on a back-to-back set. Klay Thompson returned to the Warriors’ lineup on Sunday and poured in 23 points, while Kevin Durant scored a game-high 29 points to go along with 11 rebounds. The Warriors failed to cover as 14-point favorites, dropping to 3-6 ATS the previous nine contests.

The Thunder captured the first two matchups with the Warriors this season by 17 and 20 points. However, Steve Kerr’s squad picked up revenge in the last meeting at Oracle Arena in late February, 112-80 to cash easily as 10-point favorites. The Warriors outscored the Thunder, 60-35 in the second half, while limiting OKC to 33% shooting from the floor. Golden State has struggled as an underdog this season by posting an 0-4 SU/ATS record, as all four of those games came in March.

It’s a Rap?

The Raptors (55-21 SU, 40-36 ATS) are sneaking closer towards the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and the coveted spot for home-court advantage. Toronto owns a two-game edge over Boston for not only the top seed, but also the Atlantic division title. The Raptors look to rebound following Saturday’s 110-99 defeat at Boston, as Toronto fell to a surprising 0-8 ATS the last eight games (all as a favorite).

Toronto is flipped to a short underdog tonight at Cleveland (47-30 SU, 29-47-1 ATS), trying to avenge a 132-129 setback to the Cavaliers on March 21. The Cavaliers allowed 79 first half points to the Raptors, but erased a 15-point halftime deficit thanks to LeBron James scoring 35 points and dishing out 17 assists. Cleveland is still the worst ATS team in the league, but the Cavs have picked things up in that department recently by covering seven of their last eight games.

All Bucked Up

Milwaukee (41-36 SU, 32-40-5 ATS) still has the inside track on a playoff position in the Eastern Conference, but the Bucks will kick themselves if they receive an unfavorable draw in the opening round. On Sunday night, the Bucks not only built a 12-point lead after the first quarter at Denver, but led by 17 points with 6:30 remaining in regulation. Denver outscored Milwaukee, 8-0 in the final minute to force overtime and eventually stun the Bucks, 128-125.

It’s back home for the Bucks following the 2-2 road swing out west as the Celtics (53-23 SU, 47-27-2 ATS) invade Milwaukee. Since losing the opening matchup with the Bucks in late October, the Celtics have captured the past two meetings with Milwaukee, but the teams haven’t met since December. Boston is riding a six-game winning streak following Saturday’s home underdog victory over Toronto, as Brad Stevens’ team owns a terrific 11-2 ATS record in their past 13 opportunities as an underdog.

Don’t Forget About Us

The landscape of the Western Conference playoffs is changing on a nightly basis as the Spurs (45-32 SU, 41-34-2 ATS) have jumped into the fourth position following back-to-back home wins over the Thunder and Rockets. San Antonio has taken care of its business at home by winning nine straight games at AT&T Center, but the Spurs need to clean up their act on the highway. Gregg Popovich’s club has lost nine of its past 10 road contests, including recent setbacks at Washington and Milwaukee.

The Spurs venture to Los Angeles for a pair of games the next two nights at Staples Center. The first matchup comes against the Clippers (41-36 SU, 41-35-1 ATS), who were dealt a huge blow for a playoff spot in Sunday’s home defeat to the Pacers. L.A. sits two games behind New Orleans for the final postseason position in the West, while Denver is sandwiched between the two. The Clippers are playing with double-revenge against the Spurs after dropping a pair of games at San Antonio earlier this season.

Momentum Swing

Both the Pacers and Nuggets are starting to hit their stride heading into April as Indiana finishes off its four-game road swing at Pepsi Center. Indiana (46-31 SU, 44-33 ATS) rallied at Los Angeles to beat the Clippers on Sunday, 111-104 to pick up its fifth consecutive victory. The Pacers have clinched a playoff berth and are one game back of Cleveland for the top spot in the Central division.

Denver (42-35 SU, 35-39-3 ATS) managed a second straight dramatic overtime victory by stunning Milwaukee on Sunday, 128-125. Nikola Jokic registered 35 points and 13 rebounds, while guard Jamal Murray hit three free throws at the end of regulation to force overtime and finished the night with 27 points. Denver looks to avenge a 126-116 overtime loss at Indiana earlier this season as the Nuggets threw away an early 19-point advantage.

Down the Stretch

The Rockets (62-15 SU, 40-36-1 ATS) had their 11-game winning streak come to a halt in Sunday’s 100-83 setback at San Antonio. Chris Paul sat out with a lingering hip injury, but is expected to return to the lineup tonight after missing five of the past six games. The Rockets have fared well as single-digit home favorites by cashing in nine of the past 12 opportunities, while winning 18 consecutive games at Toyota Center since early January.

The Wizards (42-35 SU, 35-41-1 ATS) travel to Texas as Washington looks to hold onto a slim one-game edge over Miami in the Southeast. Scott Brooks’ team is already in the playoffs, but suffered an ugly 113-94 loss at Chicago on Sunday as 7 ½-point road favorites to fall to 1-4 in the last five games away from Capital One Arena. The Wizards seek the season sweep of the Rockets after blowing out Houston in D.C., 121-103 as 1 ½-point underdogs in late December.

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

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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