Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM

Friday's Tip Sheet

ATS Rankings | Totals Report | Injuries

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

One of the more remarkable streaks in the NBA right now is Houston’s ownership of Denver. The Rockets (29-21 SU, 23-26-1 ATS) have won nine consecutive meetings in the series dating back to the 2016-17 season, including a pair of victories this season. Both wins came by double-digits, as the Rockets cruised past the Nuggets at Toyota Center on January 7 as one-point favorites, 125-113.

The Rockets haven’t lost consecutive games since early December, as Houston is riding a 7-0 SU and 5-2 ATS stretch off a defeat coming off Tuesday’s 121-116 setback to New Orleans. James Harden paced the Rockets with 37 points and 11 rebounds, but Houston dropped to 1-6 ATS the last seven games, including an 0-5 ATS mark in the favorite role.

The Nuggets (35-15 SU, 27-23 ATS) are in a tough scheduling spot as they return to Pepsi Center for one game following road victories at Memphis and New Orleans. Denver heads back on the highway starting Saturday at Minnesota to begin a four-game away swing, as the Nuggets failed to cover in both wins over the Grizzlies and Pelicans. The Nuggets held both opponents to below 100 points, but Denver was outscored in the fourth quarter at New Orleans, 24-19 to prevent them from cashing as nine-point favorites.

Denver has played the last three games without second-leading scorer Jamal Murray (18.5 ppg), who is listed as questionable on Friday. The Nuggets have won 22 of 26 home contests, including a 16-1 mark the last 17 games at Pepsi Center with the lone blemish coming against the Warriors on January 15. Denver is currently on an 8-1 OVER run at home, while scoring at least 124 points in each of the past four home victories.

Lightning Striking Again

Denver sits atop the Northwest division, but its lead over Oklahoma City is down to three games after the Thunder (32-18 SU, 26-23 ATS) have ripped off six consecutive wins. OKC didn’t suffer a letdown on Tuesday at Orlando, two days after defeating Milwaukee at home. Paul George exploded for 31 first half points as the Thunder pulled away from the Magic, 126-117 to cash as three-point favorites. George finished with 37 points, while Russell Westbrook shot an efficient 7-of-12 from the floor to close with 23 points, 14 rebounds, and 14 assists.

Oklahoma City remains in the Sunshine State on Friday as the Thunder travel south to Miami to face the inconsistent Heat (24-25 SU, 26-23 ATS). Miami played its third straight awful team on Wednesday after beating Cleveland and New York on the road, but the Heat were tripped up by the under-manned Bulls, 105-89. The Heat took care of the Bulls twice at the United Center earlier this season, but Chicago shot 51% from the floor in a 105-89 upset as 10-point underdogs.

The Thunder have claimed each of the past five meetings with the Heat, including a 22-point blowout at American Airlines Arena last April. OKC improved to 4-4 ATS the last eight games as a road favorite after winning at Orlando, while Miami has covered in six straight games in the role of a home underdog since late November.

New Era in New York

If you thought the Knicks (10-40 SU, 22-27-1 ATS) were packing it in this season and looking ahead to 2019-2020, you’re right. New York dealt injured star Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas on Thursday in a seven-player deal that also included Tim Hardaway, Jr. headed to the Mavericks, while DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and Dennis Smith, Jr. were dealt to the Knicks. The Knicks attempt to snap a 10-game losing streak, while seeking its first victory at Madison Square Garden since December 1 against Milwaukee.

New York has been limited to under 100 points in four straight games, while cashing the UNDER in nine of 11 contests during this skid. Since that overtime triumph over the Bucks in early December, the Knicks have posted a humiliating 2-24 record the last 26 games, while covering only nine times during this stretch.

The Knicks welcome in the Celtics (32-19 SU, 26-25 ATS), who have won seven of their last eight games, coming off Wednesday’s 126-94 blowout of the Hornets. Kyrie Irving sat out for Boston, but Jaylen Brown posted a double-double off the bench for the Celtics by scoring 24 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. The Celtics own a 6-4 ATS mark as a double-digit favorite this season, while the 13-point number tonight is their highest chalk road number of the season.

Boston seeks the season series win after capturing two of the first three meetings, including a 128-100 blowout of New York at TD Garden in November. Two of three matchups have sailed OVER the total, but the Celtics have cashed the UNDER in three straight road contests.

All Scratched Up

If it wasn’t for the Knicks’ struggles, the Grizzlies (20-32 SU, 22-30 ATS) would be the coldest team in basketball. Memphis has lost 16 of its past 18 games, including a 99-97 overtime setback at Minnesota on Wednesday. The Grizzlies picked up their third consecutive cover, their longest ATS hot streak since cashing five straight games in November.

Memphis heads to Charlotte to face a Hornets’ (24-26 SU, 25-25 ATS) squad that has alternated wins and losses in each of its past six games. The Hornets are coming off a 32-point setback at Boston on Wednesday, as Charlotte begins a three-game homestand tonight, where they own a solid 18-7 record. Scoring is the key for Charlotte, who is 6-1 the last seven games when eclipsing the 100-point mark, while losing its past six contests when scoring 99 points or less.

These two teams are meeting for the second time in less than 10 days as the Hornets outlasted the Grizzlies in Memphis, 118-107 as 1 ½-point underdogs on January 23. The Hornets have won four straight matchups with Memphis, including a 140-79 thrashing of the Grizzlies last season in Charlotte, led by Kemba Walker’s 46 points.

Road Weary

The Hawks (16-34 SU, 22-28 ATS) have limped to the back-end of their seven-game road trip, fresh off a 135-113 setback at Sacramento on Wednesday. Atlanta hit its third straight OVER, as the Hawks have topped the 111-point mark in five consecutive games away from State Farm Arena. The Hawks travel to Salt Lake City to face Utah, as Atlanta has posted a solid 5-1 ATS mark in its past six road games as an underdog of 9 ½ points or more.

The Jazz (29-23 SU, 25-25-2 ATS) are in a sticky spot tonight after getting rolled by the Blazers on Wednesday in a 132-105 defeat. Utah hosts Atlanta, followed by a playoff rematch with Houston at home on Saturday. The Jazz have won eight of their last nine games at Vivint Smart Home Arena, but Utah is 0-2-1 ATS in its last three opportunities as a double-digit home favorite. Atlanta shocked Utah with a season sweep last season, including a 99-94 upset of the Jazz as 14-point road underdogs.

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

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