Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:01 PM
Wednesday's Tip Sheet
ATS Rankings | Totals Report | Injuries
Game of the Night: Jazz at Rockets – 8:05 PM EST
Although it is a long season, both Houston and Utah have started slow by owning 1-2 records heading into Wednesday’s matchup at the Toyota Center. The Jazz have won their only road game at Sacramento, but dropped a pair of home contests to the Warriors and Grizzlies. In last Friday’s setback to the defending champions, Utah squandered a 16-point third quarter lead in a 124-123 loss, but managed to cover as 2 ½-point underdogs. However, Memphis shut down Utah in Monday’s 92-84 home defeat as hefty 10 ½-point favorites, while Donovan Mitchell scored 14 points in spite of shooting 6-of-17 from the floor.
The Rockets were blitzed by the high-scoring Pelicans in the season opener, 131-112, as Houston trailed by as many as 29 points in the third quarter. Houston traveled to Los Angeles for a pair of games against the Lakers and Clippers, splitting the two. The opener against the Lakers proved to be an entertaining game that featured Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo scuffling and getting ejected, resulting in Paul serving a two-game suspension. The Rockets defeated the Lakers, 124-115 as 3 ½-point favorites, but were tripped up the next night by the Clippers without CP3 in a three-point setback.
Paul will be serving the second game of his suspension on Wednesday, as he will be denied an encore performance against Utah in which he scored 41 points in the second round series clincher this past spring. Houston eliminated Utah in five games, while finishing 8-1 against the Jazz in nine matchups last season.
Is Tonight the Night?
The Lakers (0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS) have yet to pick up a victory in the LeBron James era, losing to the Blazers, Rockets, and Spurs. Those are three playoff teams from a year ago, but Los Angeles wasn’t expected to wait until its fourth game to pick up its first victory. The Lakers travel to Phoenix as a short favorite, trying to rebound from a tough overtime loss to the Spurs on Monday.
In spite of erasing an eight-point deficit with 70 seconds left in regulation, the Lakers couldn’t hold onto a late five-point lead in overtime as James missed a pair of game-clinching free throws in a 143-142 defeat. Rondo continues his three-game suspension following his dust-up with the Rockets last Saturday night, as second-year guard span style="font-weight: bold;">Lonzo Ball scored 14 points and dished out six assists in the San Antonio loss.
The Suns (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS) crushed the Mavericks in the season opener, but lost back-to-back road contests at Denver and Golden State. Not surprisingly, Phoenix closed as double-digit underdogs in both away games and lost by over 20 points each time, but cashed the UNDER each time. Although the Lakers have made sweeping changes to their roster, they still have owned the Suns recently by winning three of four matchups last season.
Buck it Up
The Central division is wide-open this season as the Bucks and Pacers are expected to fight it out for the top spot. Milwaukee (3-0 SU, 1-1-1 ATS) has jumped out to a strong start, including a 17-point home blowout of Indiana last weekend. The Bucks have outrebounded all three opponents, while All-Star Giannis Anetetokounmpo put up 31 points and 15 rebounds in a 124-113 victory over the Knicks on Monday.
Milwaukee welcomes in Philadelphia (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS), as the 76ers play with no rest following Tuesday’s 133-132 overtime loss at Detroit. Joel Embiid led Philadelphia with 33 points, as Ben Simmons sat out due to a back injury. Simmons is questionable for tonight’s contest as the Sixers and Bucks split four meetings last season with the home team winning each time.
The Pacers (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) have dominated in both home contests this season by pounding the Grizzlies and Nets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana hasn’t fared as well away from the Hoosier State by losing double-digit decisions at Milwaukee and Minnesota. The Pacers led the Wolves by one going into the fourth quarter on Monday, but Minnesota outscored Indiana, 29-18 to win 101-91.
Indiana travels to San Antonio (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS) as the Spurs return home after splitting a pair of road contests against the Blazers and Lakers. span style="font-weight: bold;">LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan combined for 69 points in Monday’s overtime triumph at Los Angeles, as the Spurs have hit the OVER in all three games this season. The Pacers swept the Spurs last season as both contests easily finished UNDER the total.
The Wizards (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS) finally reached the win column in Monday’s 125-124 overtime triumph at Portland as five-point underdogs. Washington fell short in home losses to Miami and Toronto before the win two days ago as the Wizards continue their five-game road swing at Golden State tonight. The Wizards have lost four straight visits to Oracle Arena, while dropping seven of the past eight meetings with Golden State since 2015.
The Warriors (3-1 SU, 1-3 ATS) covered for the first time this season in Monday’s 123-103 blowout of Phoenix as 12 ½-point favorites. Golden State went through a pair of close-shaves in a one-point win at Utah and a two-point defeat at Denver this past weekend. The defending champions hit the road out east for three games starting Friday at New York as Golden State tries to improve on a 3-9 ATS mark in October the last two seasons.
Fighting for Five
The Raptors (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS) are looking to become the first team to reach five wins on the young season. All three of Toronto’s home wins have come by 12 points or more, including Monday’s 127-106 rout of Charlotte. The Raptors are scoring in bunches by putting up 113 points or more in all four wins, as offseason acquisition Kawhi Leonard is averaging 25.7 points per game. Toronto has knocked down 42 three-pointers in three games at Air Canada Center, while going 4-0 to the OVER.
Minnesota (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS) heads north of the border trying for its first road win of the season. The Wolves rallied past the Pacers on Monday, while limiting Indiana to 91 points after getting burned for 140 points by Dallas last Saturday. Minnesota has covered in five of the last six meetings with Toronto, including twice as an underdog last season.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.