Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:01 AM

Friday's Tip Sheet

ATS Rankings | Totals Report | Injuries

Game of the Night: Hornets at 76ers – 7:05 PM EST

Philadelphia (7-5 SU, 5-7 ATS) finally broke through on the road after starting the season at 0-5 away from Wells Fargo Center. The 76ers pulled away from the Pacers on Wednesday as three-point underdogs, 100-94, led by Joel Embiid’s 20-point, 10-rebound performance. Philadelphia’s defense limited Indiana to 39% shooting from the floor, while the 76ers also picked up their first away cover in six tries.

The 76ers welcome in the Hornets (6-5 SU, 7-4 ATS), who are coming off a 3-1 homestand after beating the Heat, Cavaliers, and Hawks by double-digits. Charlotte is riding a three-game UNDER streak, while putting together two of its best defensive performances by allowing a total of 196 points against Cleveland and Atlanta, even though those teams have combined for four wins. The Hornets embark on a three-game road trip, which continues to Detroit on Sunday and Cleveland on Tuesday.

Dating back to January 2017, the 76ers have captured seven consecutive meetings with the Hornets, including a 105-103 triumph in Philadelphia on October 27. The Hornets managed a cover as 6 ½-point underdogs, as Kemba Walker put up 37 points in spite of shooting 11-of-31 from the floor and 3-of-15 from long distance. Both teams converted 38% of its field goal attempts, while the game easily finished UNDER the total of 232.

Luck of the Celtics

Boston (7-4 SU, 4-7 ATS) traveled on Phoenix on Thursday night looking to snap a two-game skid after losing the first two games of its road trip at Indiana and Denver. Things didn’t look good early for the C’s, who trailed the 2-8 Suns by 20 at halftime. However, Boston rallied back to force overtime and eventually knocked off Phoenix, 116-109. The Celtics failed to cover as heavy 9 ½-point road favorites, but were led by Kyrie Irving’s 39 points, while Marcus Morris drilled a three-pointer late in regulation to force overtime.

The Celtics travel to Salt Lake City tonight with no rest in Gordon Hayward’s much-anticipated return to Utah. Hayward missed last season’s matchup with the Jazz (5-6 SU, 5-6 ATS) due to a broken leg suffered in the opening minutes of the first game of the season at Cleveland. Utah finally broke through at home on Wednesday as the Jazz routed the Mavericks, 117-102 for their first win at Vivint Smart Home Arena in five tries this season.

Last season, the road team won each time as the Celtics came back to beat the Jazz in Salt Lake City, 97-94 as 10 ½-point underdogs without Irving, Hayward, and Al Horford. The Celtics own a 2-5 ATS mark away from TD Garden this season, while winning in their only opportunity with no rest in a two-point victory at New York on October 20.

Eight is Enough?

The Timberwolves (4-8 SU, 5-7 ATS) are one of four teams without a road victory in the NBA this season. The other three teams are likely not headed to the playoffs (Cavaliers, Mavericks, Suns), while Minnesota owns the most road defeats with seven. The latest highway debacle came in Wednesday’s 114-110 setback against the Lakers, although Minnesota came through with a slight cover as 5 ½-point underdogs. Each of Minnesota’s last five road games have finished UNDER the total, while the Wolves have now lost three road games by four points each.

The final stop on this five-game road trip for Minnesota takes place in Sacramento to face the surprising Kings (6-5 SU, 7-4 ATS). Sacramento jumped out to a 6-3 record, but the Kings have gone backwards the last two games in losses to two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference (Milwaukee and Toronto). The young duo of Buddy Hield and Willie Cauley-Stein each put up 24 points against the Raptors, but the Kings failed to cover at home for the first time in four tries this season.

Last season, Minnesota won all three matchups with Sacramento, including an 18-point triumph at Golden 1 Center. All three games sailed OVER the total, but the Kings have been a solid UNDER team at home this season by hitting the UNDER in each of the last three at Golden 1 Center.

No Offense, But…

The Pacers (7-5 SU, 6-6 ATS) have struggled to score recently as Indiana failed to reach triple-figures in home losses to Houston and Philadelphia. In fact, the Pacers haven’t busted the 108-point mark in six straight games, while finishing UNDER the total five times in this span. The only positive for Indiana is the Pacers have won four consecutive games away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse as they travel to Miami tonight.

The Heat (5-5 SU, 5-5 ATS) have been the model of inconsistency as Miami is seeking its first three-game winning streak this season. Following a three-game skid, the Heat are coming off back-to-back wins over the Pistons and Spurs, while limiting San Antonio to 33% shooting from the floor in Wednesday’s 95-88 home victory. The Heat and Pacers split four regular season meetings last season, as all four matchups cashed the OVER.

Back on Track

The Pistons (5-5 SU, 4-6 ATS) began the season with a surprising 4-0 start, but eventually dropped five straight games. Two of those defeats came in overtime, but Detroit rebounded with a strong fourth quarter in Wednesday’s 103-96 triumph at Orlando as three-point favorites. Andre Drummond paced the Pistons with 23 points and 19 rebounds, while Blake Griffin posted 20 points to give Detroit its fourth win against a team sitting below the .500 mark.

Detroit faces another such opponent tonight with a trip to Atlanta to face the struggling Hawks (3-8 SU, 4-7 ATS). Atlanta fell to New York on Wednesday, 112-107 as the Knicks outscored the Hawks, 35-18 in the third quarter to erase a three-point halftime deficit. Rookie Trae Young scored in double-figures for the 11th time in 11 games as the former Oklahoma standout scored 15 points, but failed to post a double-double for the fourth straight game.

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

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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