Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:01 AM

Wednesday's Tip Sheet

ATS Rankings | Totals Report | Injuries

Game of the Night: Thunder at Warriors – 10:35 PM EST

The defending champion Warriors (12-6 SU, 8-10 ATS) are coming off a road trip to forget in Texas by dropping all three games. Golden State was wiped out at Houston in a Western Conference Finals rematch, followed by a close defeat at Dallas last Saturday. The Warriors fell behind the Spurs on Sunday and could never get over the hump in a 104-92 setback as three-point underdogs to slip to 0-5 ATS the past five contests.

Golden State continues to play without Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, as the Warriors welcome in the Thunder. Oklahoma City (10-6 SU, 10-6 ATS) finishes off a three-game road swing following a 10-point victory at Phoenix and a four-point defeat at Sacramento. In Monday’s setback to the Kings, Russell Westbrook returned to the Thunder lineup after missing six games with an ankle injury and scored 29 points, but OKC lost for only the second time in the last 12 contests.

The Warriors held off the Thunder on opening night at Oracle Arena, 108-100 as 12 ½-point favorites, even though Westbrook did not suit up for Oklahoma City. Golden State opened up as a one-point favorite for tonight’s contest, as the Warriors own an 0-5 ATS mark as a favorite of six points or fewer this season.

He’s Coming Home

On Sunday evening, LeBron James returned to Miami where he helped the Heat win two championships. In his first visit in a Lakers’ (9-7 SU, 6-10 ATS) uniform, James torched the Heat for 51 points in a 113-97 triumph for Los Angeles’ fifth win in six tries. Now, James makes his triumphant return to Cleveland for the first time since leaving the Cavaliers for Lakers in free agency in July.

Yes, it is obvious that Cleveland (2-13 SU, 7-8 ATS) was going to be worse without James, but this bad? Kevin Love has been sidelined since late October with a foot injury, while the only two victories for Cleveland have come against Atlanta and Charlotte at home. The Cavaliers had cashed the UNDER in seven straight games prior to Monday’s 113-102 defeat at Detroit on a 213 ½ total as Cleveland fell to 4-3 ATS as a ‘dog of eight points or more.

The last time James made his first appearance at Quicken Loans Arena in another uniform came in 2010 with the Heat. James scored 38 points to lead Miami to a 118-90 rout of Cleveland on that December night. The Lakers have failed to cash in two opportunities as a favorite of seven points or more this season as Los Angeles opened as a nine-point favorite this evening.

Keep on Buckin’

Milwaukee (12-4 SU, 10-5-1 ATS) is one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference so far, but the Bucks have needed several rallies at home of late. The Bucks wiped out a 20-point deficit to rout the Bulls last Friday, while erasing a 10-point halftime hole against a solid Denver squad in Monday’s 104-98 victory to pull off the season sweep of the Nuggets. Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 29 points and 12 rebounds in spite of missing all six of his three-point attempts. The Bucks improved to 8-1 at their new home, the Fiserv Forum, while covering in seven of those wins.

It’s revenge mode for the Bucks, who were steamrolled at Portland (12-5 SU, 11-6 ATS) on November 6 in a 118-103 road setback. The victory by the Blazers ended a four-game skid to the Bucks dating back to 2016 as Portland looks to hand Milwaukee its second home defeat of the season. The Blazers are playing with no rest after edging the Knicks on Tuesday, 118-114 for their second straight win following a pair of losses to kick off their road trip. Portland owns a perfect 2-0 SU/ATS record on the second of a back-to-back, which includes blowout victories over Houston and Minnesota.

Perfect Ten?

The 76ers (12-7 SU, 8-11 ATS) are the only team remaining in the NBA that has yet to suffer a home defeat. Philadelphia has won all nine games played at Wells Fargo Center, coming off a 119-114 close-shave victory over Phoenix as 11 ½-point favorites on Monday. The 76ers have hit the OVER in each of their last three games, while the team has compiled a 3-1 mark since Jimmy Butler has been in the lineup following his trade from Minnesota.

Philadelphia welcomes in New Orleans as the Pelicans (10-7 SU, 8-9 ATS) look to improve on a 2-6 mark away from Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans start a seven-game stretch against Eastern Conference opponents, including the next three on the road. New Orleans’ roller-coaster season continues as the Pelicans are riding a 6-1 hot streak after losing six straight earlier this month. The Pelicans registered the OVER in all three home victories on their recent homestand, including in a 140-126 comeback triumph against the Spurs on Monday.

Target Practice

The Wolves (7-10 SU, 8-9 ATS) suffered only their second home loss in nine tries at Target Center in Sunday’s 100-87 setback to the Grizzlies. The defeat ended a three-game winning streak, as Minnesota was limited to 39% shooting from the floor and its lowest scoring output at home this season. The Wolves continued their impressive UNDER streak, which moved to 8-1 the last nine games, including three straight at Target Center.

The Nuggets (10-7 SU, 8-9 ATS) invade Minneapolis tonight trying to get on track after losing six of their past seven contests. Denver has dropped three consecutive games away from Pepsi Center, while being listed as an underdog for only the second time this season. Last season, the Nuggets lost three of four matchups with the Wolves, including a pair of overtime defeats at Target Center.

Southwest Showdown

The Grizzlies (11-5 SU, 11-5 ATS) continue their impressive start as they bring a four-game winning streak into San Antonio. Memphis pulled away from Dallas on Monday, 98-88 to improve to 7-1 at FedEx Forum this season, while winning for the sixth time in the past seven games overall. Mike Conley paced the Grizzlies with 28 points, while Marc Gasol posted a double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds for Memphis.

The Spurs (8-8 SU, 8-8 ATS) have struggled to find their footing this season as San Antonio has lost six of its past eight games. San Antonio has performed better at home by owning a 6-2 mark, including recent victories over Golden State and Houston. The Spurs are seeing their lowest total of the season (200 ½), while allowing 95 points or less in three of their past four contests at AT&T Center. San Antonio swept the four-game series from Memphis last season, while winning each of the past six meetings with its division rival.

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

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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