Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:01 AM
Friday's Tip Sheet
ATS Rankings | Totals Report | Injuries
Game of the Night: Raptors at Celtics – 7:05 PM EST
Both these Eastern Conference powers have seen their struggles of late as they meet for the second time this season on Friday night. Toronto (12-3 SU, 8-7 ATS) still leads the Atlantic division through one month, but the Raptors have lost more games in the last four days than they had in the first three weeks of the season.
The Raptors were blown out on Monday by New Orleans in a 16-point home defeat, but tried to turn things around against the Pistons on Wednesday. Toronto jumped out to a commanding 19-point third quarter advantage, but Detroit rallied back and stunned the Raptors with a buzzer-beater in a 106-104 upset as 9 ½-point underdogs. Kawhi Leonard led Toronto with 26 points, but also committed a costly turnover on the possession prior to Detroit’s game-winner.
The Celtics (8-6 SU. 5-9 ATS) picked up their first cover in six opportunities after posting an 0-5 ATS mark on their recent road swing. Boston rallied from an early deficit to blow out Chicago on Wednesday, 111-82 as 12 ½-point home favorites, highlighted by a 32-11 second quarter run. All five Celtics’ starters finished in double-figures, led by Jaylen Brown’s 18 points, while Boston limited Chicago to 39% shooting from the field.
In the first matchup this season in Toronto on October 19, the Raptors knocked off the Celtics, 113-101 as three-point favorites. Boston led by seven after one quarter, but the Raptors outscored the Celtics in each of the final three quarters as Leonard posted a 31-point, 10-rebound effort in the win. The home team has won each of the past eight meetings between these division foes, including three consecutive victories by Boston at TD Garden.
Sounds of Silence
If any team was happy that Wednesday was over, it was the Jazz. Utah (7-7 SU, 7-7 ATS) entered Dallas seeking its third victory over the Mavericks this season and left the American Airlines Center on the wrong side of a 50-point defeat. The Mavs wiped out the Jazz, 118-68, as Utah was limited to 22 second half points. Utah continues a five-game road trip in Philadelphia tonight, while traveling to Boston tomorrow for a difficult back-to-back set.
The 76ers (9-7 SU, 6-10 ATS) squandered a 16-point fourth quarter lead in Wednesday’s meltdown loss at Orlando. The Magic ran off 21 consecutive points to stun the Sixers in the debut of Jimmy Butler, who scored 14 points as Philadelphia dropped to 2-7 on the road. The 76ers head back home where they own a perfect 7-0 record at Wells Fargo Center, but Philadelphia owns a 4-3 ATS mark in those games.
Utah captured eight consecutive meetings with Philadelphia from 2014 through 2016, but the 76ers grabbed both matchups last season, including a 21-point blowout at Wells Fargo Center.
Right on Target
The Timberwolves (6-9 SU, 7-8 ATS) are glad to be off the road for a while, where they are winless in eight tries. Minnesota has posted a solid 6-1 mark at the Target Center this season, coming off back-to-back wins over Brooklyn and New Orleans. In Wednesday’s victory over the Pelicans, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins combined for 48 points, while Jeff Teague dished out 14 assists as Minnesota picked up its third outright win as a home underdog this season.
Minnesota welcomes in Portland, as the Blazers (10-4 SU, 10-4 ATS) are looking to avoid consecutive losses for the first this season. Portland built an early double-digit lead at Los Angeles on Wednesday, but the Blazers couldn’t slow down LeBron James and the Lakers in a 126-117 setback to end a four-game winning streak. In the first matchup with Minnesota this season, the Blazers rolled the short-handed Wolves (playing without Butler, Teague, and Derrick Rose), 111-81 at the Moda Center for third straight win over Minnesota since January.
Guess who owns the top record in the Southwest division 13 games into the season? It’s not the Rockets and it’s not the Spurs. Instead, it’s the Grizzlies (8-5 SU, 8-5 ATS), who own a 5-1 record at FedEx Forum, while coming off their most impressive win of the young season by stunning the Bucks as 9 ½-point road underdogs, 116-113 on Wednesday. Memphis handed Milwaukee its first home loss of the season, while Marc Gasol drilled six three-pointers and scored 29 points in the win.
The Kings (8-6 SU, 9-5 ATS) embark on a quick two-game road trip that continues to Houston on Saturday. Sacramento is seeking its second victory over Memphis this season after rallying past the Grizzlies at Golden 1 Center last month, 97-92. The Kings are coming off four straight UNDERS on their homestand, capped off by a 104-99 triumph over San Antonio. Sacramento has been a tremendous OVER team away from home this season by hitting the OVER in six of seven away contests.
Milwaukee (10-4 SU, 8-5-1 ATS) opened a new arena this season and started with a bang by winning its first six games at Fiserv Forum. The first defeat came in Wednesday’s three-point setback to the Grizzlies as the Bucks had won each of their first six home games by double-digits. Giannis Antetokounmpo paced the Bucks with 31 points, but Milwaukee allowed 68 second half points (also scored 68 points), while sailing OVER the total for the seventh time in eight games.
The Bucks are heavy favorites against the Bulls (4-11 SU, 8-7 ATS), who have failed to cover in three straight games following a 5-0 ATS run. Chicago has struggled to hang as a double-digit underdog this season by posting an 0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS record, coming off a blowout loss at Boston on Wednesday. Last season, the Bulls shocked the Bucks in two visits to Milwaukee, while the road team has won each of the past seven matchups.
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