Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM

Friday's Tip Sheet

ATS Rankings | Totals Report | Injuries

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

The two teams sitting behind the Nuggets for the top spot in the Northwest division hook up at Moda Center for the first time this season. Portland (22-16 SU, 19-19 ATS) swept the four-game regular season series in 2017-18 from Oklahoma City, as three of the victories came by eight points or less. Dating back to April 2016, Portland has captured eight of the previous nine matchups with OKC, including a perfect 5-0 mark at home.

The Thunder (24-13 SU, 21-16 ATS) rallied past the Lakers on Wednesday at Staples Center, 107-100 to cash as five-point favorites. Paul George burned his hometown team by scoring 37 points for OKC, in spite of hitting only 2-of-11 three-point attempts. Russell Westbrook shot a putrid 3-of-20 from the floor, but still managed to score 14 points, while pulling down 16 rebounds, and dishing out 10 assists. Oklahoma City improved to 4-2 ATS in its last six road contests, while picking up only its third cover in the past nine opportunities as an away favorite.

The Blazers squandered a 14-point halftime lead on Tuesday at Sacramento as the Kings rallied back to force overtime. However, Portland held off Sacramento in the extra time, 113-108, as Jusuf Nurkic posted an incredible 24-point, 23-rebound performance. The Blazers’ backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum managed to connect on only 1-of-14 three-point attempts, but Portland improved to 7-3 in its last 10 games overall.

South Least

Not one of the five teams in the Southeast division owns a winning record currently as two playoff squads from last season meet up in Miami. The Heat (18-18 SU, 21-15 ATS) can climb into first place with a victory over the Wizards (15-23 SU, 14-24 ATS), as the road team has won each of the first two matchups this season. The OVER has hit each time, as the Wizards outlasted the Heat at American Airlines Arena on November 10 as 3 ½-point underdogs, 116-110.

Washington is coming off back-to-back wins over Charlotte and Atlanta at home following a 2-9 stretch, led by Bradley Beal’s 24 points in a 114-98 triumph over the Hawks on Wednesday. Since winning at Atlanta on December 5, the Wizards are riding a dreadful 0-7 SU/ATS streak in the last seven games away from Capital One Arena. Washington has struggled mightily in the road underdog role this season by posting a 2-12 SU/ATS record, but one of those victories came at Miami in November.

Miami is riding a 7-2 run the last nine games, which includes victories over Houston, Milwaukee, and Memphis. The Heat routed the Cavaliers twice over the last week, including a 117-92 blowout at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday. Miami is in the midst of five consecutive OVERS, including three straight OVERS at American Airlines Arena.

Another Bucks Blowout?

Milwaukee is halfway done with a six-game homestand as the Bucks (26-10 SU, 20-14-2 ATS) are coming off three straight blowouts by double-digits. After knocking off the Knicks on Christmas Day at Madison Square Garden, Milwaukee cruised past New York at Fiserv Forum on December 27 as 14 ½-point favorites, 112-96. The Bucks took care of the Nets two days late by 14, followed by a 121-98 rout of Detroit to easily cash as 10-point favorites.

The Bucks seek their ninth win in 10 tries as Milwaukee hosts Atlanta. The Hawks (11-26 SU, 16-21 ATS) will face old coach Mike Budenholzer for the first time since he parted ways with Atlanta following a five-year stint. Atlanta had won five of seven games from December 18 through December 29, but the Hawks are coming off back-to-back road losses at Indiana and Washington. Although the Hawks failed to cash against the Wizards, Atlanta owns a 5-2 ATS mark in the past seven games as an underdog.

Maverick Money

Dallas (18-19 SU, 23-14 ATS) finished 2018 with only two road victories in 18 tries, but is 1-0 away from American Airlines Center in 2019. The Mavericks destroyed the Hornets on Wednesday as 1 ½-point underdogs, 122-84, paced by a 42-point first quarter outburst. Four Dallas starters finished in double-figures as not one Maverick scored more than 18 points, but the Mavs were able to drill 18 three-pointers to grab their sixth cover in the last seven games.

The Celtics (22-15 SU, 19-18 ATS) picked up their third consecutive home victory in Wednesday’s 115-102 triumph over the Wolves to cash as six-point favorites. Boston played without point guard Kyrie Irving, who sat out due to an eye injury, but the Celtics were boosted by Gordon Hayward’s 35 points off the bench on an efficient 14-of-18 shooting from the floor. The Celtics eclipsed the OVER for the 10th time in 11 games, including their fourth straight OVER at TD Garden.

Boston is playing with revenge after losing at Dallas in late November, 113-104 as 2 ½-point favorites. The victory by Dallas snapped a four-game skid against Boston dating back to November 2016, while neither team has busted the 100-point mark in the last two matchups at TD Garden. Unfortunately, Irving will not suit up once again as Boston owns a 2-1 SU/ATS record without the All-Star guard this season.

Sun Setting

Following a 7-0 ATS run through most of December, the Suns (9-30 SU, 17-22 ATS) have gone backwards of late by compiling an 0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS record on their current homestand. Granted, all four teams will likely be in the playoffs (Oklahoma City, Denver, Golden State, and Philadelphia), but the lone cover came thanks to a furious fourth quarter rally in four-point loss to the Nuggets last Saturday. The Suns fell behind the 76ers by 23 points at halftime on Wednesday, but stormed back with 78 second half points in a 132-127 setback as 3 ½-point underdogs.

The Clippers (21-16 SU, 21-16 ATS) invade the Valley for the second time in less than a month as Los Angeles outlasted Phoenix on December 10 as 9 ½-point favorites, 123-119. L.A. has captured 10 consecutive matchups with Phoenix since the start of the 2016-17 season, including five victories at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Clippers are coming off consecutive home losses to the Spurs and 76ers, but L.A. has won only two of its last seven games away from Staples Center since the start of 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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