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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:00 PM

Friday's Tip Sheet

ATS Rankings | Totals Report | Injuries

Game of the Night: Thunder at Nuggets – 10:05 PM EST

The top two teams in the Northwest division hook up at the Pepsi Center with first place on the line. Oklahoma City (17-9 SU, 15-11 ATS) has dropped two of its past three games since a 10-2 run, coming off Wednesday’s 118-112 setback at New Orleans as 2 ½-point favorites. Paul George continued a solid season for the Thunder by scoring 25 points and pulling down 11 rebounds, but OKC couldn’t slow down Anthony Davis, who led the Pelicans with 44 points.

The Nuggets (18-9 SU, 16-11 ATS) started their four-game homestand on a positive note by holding off the Grizzlies, 105-99 on Monday. Nikola Jokic posted a 27-point, 11-rebound effort for Denver, while former Iowa State standout Monte Morris scored 20 points off the bench, including knocking down 4-of-5 three-point attempts. Denver improved to 10-3 at Pepsi Center, while bouncing back after dropping the final two games of its road trip at Charlotte and Atlanta.

In the first matchup this season in Oklahoma City on November 24, the Nuggets jumped out to a 21-point halftime lead and didn’t look back in a 105-98 victory. Denver cashed as six-point underdogs, while holding Thunder guard Russell Westbrook to 6-of-23 shooting, including 1-of-12 from three-point range. Since the start of last season, the Nuggets have captured four of five meetings from the Thunder, as the lone OKC win came by one point last December.

Toronto Trio?

The Raptors (23-7 SU, 15-15 ATS) have looked dominant on the first two games of their west coast swing by picking up convincing victories over the Clippers and Warriors, both without Kawhi Leonard. In Wednesday’s 113-93 blowout of Golden State as 7 ½-point underdogs, Leonard sat out with a hip contusion, but Kyle Lowry led the way for Toronto with 23 points and 12 assists. Not only did the Raptors pull off the season sweep of the Warriors, but Toronto also improved to 7-0 this season on the road against Western Conference opponents.

Toronto travels to Portland to face a Blazers’ (15-13 SU, 13-15 ATS) squad coming off consecutive road losses at Houston and Memphis. The Blazers led the Grizzlies by 11 points after one quarter on Wednesday, but Portland’s offense fell apart in the final three quarters of a 92-83 setback as three-point underdogs. C.J. McCollum scored nearly half of Portland’s points with 40, but his backcourt mate Damian Lillard was limited to 14 points on 4-of-18 shooting.

Portland is riding a five-game UNDER streak, while knocking off Phoenix and Minnesota in its last two home contests. The Raptors have swept the Blazers in each of the past three seasons, including a 99-85 triumph at the Moda Center last October as four-point underdogs.

NoCal Showdown

The Warriors (19-10 SU, 13-16 ATS) haven’t lost this season coming off a home defeat, winning in both tries. Granted, it’s a small sample size, but Golden State saw its four-game winning streak end in a 20-point loss to Toronto on Wednesday. The 93-point output was Golden State’s lowest at Oracle Arena this season, while Stephen Curry was limited to 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting.

Golden State makes the short trip to Sacramento for its second matchup with the Kings (15-12 SU, 17-10 ATS) this season. The Warriors squeezed past the Kings at Oracle Arena last month, 117-116, but Sacramento covered as 6 ½-point underdogs for their fourth consecutive cover at Golden State. However, the Kings dropped both meetings with the Warriors at Golden 1 Center last season by double-digits each, as both matchups went UNDER the total.

The Kings continue to shoot the ball well as they won for the fourth time in the past five trips to the court in Wednesday’s 141-130 home victory over Minnesota. Sacramento drilled 19 three-pointers and shot 58% from the floor, as three Kings knocked down at least four treys. The Kings are currently on a 4-1 OVER run at home, but have allowed at least 130 points in three of the past four at Golden 1 Center.

Back for Seconds

The 76ers and Pacers are both sitting in second place in their respective divisions as they meet up for the second time this season. Philadelphia (19-10 SU, 13-16 ATS) downed Indiana (18-10 SU, 15-13 ATS) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 100-94 as three-point underdogs on November 7 for its first road of the season. Now, the 76ers look to bounce back from only their second home loss of the season, which came in Wednesday’s 127-124 setback to the Nets as 5 ½-point favorites.

Jimmy Butler missed that defeat due to a groin injury and is questionable for tonight’s matchup. In spite of Wednesday’s loss, Philadelphia owns a 14-2 mark at Wells Fargo Center, while covering four of the past five at home. The Pacers are riding a five-game winning streak, as Indiana crushed Central leader Milwaukee, 113-97 as short underdogs on Wednesday. Victor Oladipo returned after an 11-game absence and scored 12 points for Indiana, who has now hit the UNDER in eight straight contests.

Heat Check

After a tough three-point loss to the Lakers on Monday, the Heat (11-16 SU, 13-14 ATS) didn’t show up in Wednesday’s 111-84 setback at Utah. Physically Miami was there, but it was hard to believe as the Jazz jumped out to a 40-15 lead after one quarter. The Heat have lost three consecutive games three times this season as Miami tries to avoid another skid of this magnitude with a trip to Memphis.

The Grizzlies (16-11 SU, 16-11 ATS) bounced back from a two-game skid by rallying past the Blazers, 92-83 on Wednesday. Memphis has scored less than 100 points in five of the past six games, resulting in five UNDERS. The Grizzlies dropped both matchups with the Heat last season, including a 25-point setback at FedEx Forum last December.

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

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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