Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM

Wednesday's Tip Sheet

ATS Rankings | Totals Report | Injuries

Game of the Night: Celtics at Raptors (-7 ½, 206) – 8:00 PM EST

The top spot in the Atlantic division (along with the number one seed in the Eastern Conference) is still up for grabs heading into the final week of the season. The Raptors (55-22 SU, 40-37 ATS) are not doing a good job of closing out, as Toronto has dropped five of its past eight games, while failing to cover in nine consecutive contests.

Toronto is coming off a pair of road losses at Boston and Cleveland, as the Raptors have fallen twice at Quicken Loans Arena in the last two weeks. The most recent setback came in Tuesday’s 112-106 defeat as 1 ½-point underdogs to the Cavs, as guard Kyle Lowry was limited to five points on 2-of-11 shooting from the floor. Dwane Casey’s team dropped to 2-4 against Boston and Cleveland this season as both victories came at Air Canada Center.

The Celtics (53-24 SU, 48-27-2 ATS) are also playing with no rest following Tuesday’s 106-102 defeat at Milwaukee to snap a six-game winning streak. Boston barely covered as 4 ½-point underdogs, while Al Horford led the Celtics with 24 points in the defeat. Since the All-Star break, Brad Stevens’ club owns a 13-5 SU and 14-4 ATS mark, including five consecutive covers in the ‘dog role.

This series has been owned by the home team recently with the home squad compiling a 9-1 mark the last 10 meetings dating back to January 2016. The Celtics haven’t won at Air Canada Center since April 2015, a victory which came by one point, as Toronto is riding a five-game home winning streak against Boston, while covering each time.

Steamrolling Sixers

Toronto may not be playing its best basketball at the moment, but Philadelphia has certainly turned the corner of late. The 76ers (47-30 SU, 45-30-2 ATS) have won 11 straight games, while covering in each of the last nine opportunities. The most recent victory occurred in Tuesday’s 121-95 blowout of Brooklyn, while cashing their fourth consecutive UNDER. Philadelphia has also pulled out five straight road victories, although none of the teams it beat during this stretch are currently above the .500 mark.

The Sixers will draw another below .500 squad this evening with a trip to Detroit to face the surging Pistons (37-40 SU, 38-37-2 ATS). Although Detroit is barely breathing for a playoff spot in the East, the Pistons are closing strong by winning five straight and seven of their past eight games with the lone loss coming in overtime at Houston. Stan Van Gundy’s team is riding an 8-0 ATS run the last eight games, while posting a 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS mark in their past six contests at Little Caesars Arena.

Road Woes

The good news for the Spurs (45-33 SU, 41-35-2 ATS) is they didn’t have to travel for tonight’s contest in Los Angeles. The bad news is, San Antonio suffered its 10th loss in the past 11 road games following Tuesday’s 113-110 setback to the Clippers at Staples Center. The Spurs squandered a 14-point lead after the first quarter and allowed the Clippers to outscore them, 41-27 in the final quarter. Don’t put the blame on LaMarcus Aldridge, as the Spurs’ forward scored 35 points in 13-of-21 shooting, but the Clippers were aided by hitting 34-of-43 free throws.

The second leg of the L.A. trip takes place against the Lakers (33-44 SU, 40-37 ATS), who managed a cover as 11-point underdogs in Tuesday’s 117-110 defeat at Utah. The loss was the third in a row for the Lakers, who play their final five games at Staples Center to close the season. Surprisingly, the Lakers have defeated the Spurs twice this season, including a 116-112 triumph at AT&T Center as six-point underdogs last month.

Scratching the Surface

It’s been a nightmare season for the Grizzlies (21-56 SU, 33-42-2 ATS), who fired their head coach in November and lost star guard Mike Conley to an injury early on. Memphis has actually been a decent team to back down the stretch by covering four straight games. The latest ATS victory came in Sunday’s 113-98 loss at Portland, but Memphis picked up the cover as 16-point underdogs, its third straight ATS win when receiving at least 10 points.

The Grizzlies travel to New Orleans to face a Pelicans’ (43-34 SU, 40-36-1 ATS) squad in desperate need of a win. The Pelicans are going backwards at the wrong time by losing four straight, all to teams that will be in the playoffs (Houston, Portland, Cleveland, Oklahoma City). The offense has dried up as well by scoring 104 points or fewer in each of those defeats, which is seven points lower than their season average.

The Pelicans have yet to be listed as a double-digit favorite this season, while posting a 1-4 ATS mark when laying at least nine points. Memphis has captured two of three meetings this season, while the Grizzlies own a perfect 3-0 ATS mark against the Pelicans.

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

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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