Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM

Monday's Tip Sheet

ATS Rankings | Totals Report | Injuries

Game of the Night: Blazers at Thunder (-6 ½, 231) – 8:05 PM EST

Portland’s first stop on its back-to-back set in Dallas on Sunday was a success – through three quarters. The Blazers (33-22 SU, 30-25 ATS) led the Mavericks, 92-78, but Portland’s offense dried up in Big D by scoring nine points in the final 12 minutes of a 102-101 defeat. Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 30 points, but Portland fell to 1-5 the last six opportunities on the front-end of a back-to-back set.

Now the road gets tougher on Monday as the Blazers travel to Oklahoma City looking for its first win over the Thunder (36-19 SU, 32-23 ATS) this season. Oklahoma City edged Portland, 111-109 at Moda Center on January 4 as a short underdog, paced by Paul George’s 37 points. The Thunder pulled away from the Blazers on January 22 at Chesapeake Energy Arena, 123-114 to cash as four-point favorites. George torched the Blazers again with 36 points, while Lillard and C.J. McCollum combined for 65 points in the loss for Portland.

OKC has posted a solid 10-1 record the last 11 games, while erasing an insurmountable 26-point deficit in a 117-112 triumph at Houston on Saturday. George continued his incredible season by scoring 45 points, while Russell Westbrook posted his ninth consecutive triple-double with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists. The Thunder have covered in nine of their last 10 wins, while capturing five straight games at Chesapeake Energy Arena since getting upset by the Lakers on January 17.

Portland has put together a 4-4 SU/ATS record with no rest this season, while playing on the second of a back-to-back in its last trip to OKC last month. From a totals perspective, the Blazers had their six-game OVER streak end in Sunday’s loss at Dallas, while the Thunder were on a 12-2 OVER run prior to finishing UNDER the total in the last two contests.

Texas Triple Play

In each of the last two seasons, the Rockets swept the Mavericks by capturing four matchups in 2017 and 2018. However, Dallas (26-29 SU, 34-20-1 ATS) has rebounded this season by knocking off Houston (32-23 SU, 25-29-1 ATS) twice, including a 107-104 comeback victory at American Airlines Center in early December. Incredibly, the Mavericks are only 1-4 against the other three teams in the Southwest division, but Dallas has tripped up the first-place club in the division twice.

The Mavericks trailed the Blazers by 15 points with 10:43 remaining on Sunday, but Dallas’ defense clamped down by allowing only five points the rest of the way. Dallas improved to 20-9 at American Airlines Center, while picking up its 10th home underdog cover in the last 11 opportunities. Since December 22, the Mavericks have covered in eight of 11 chances as a road underdog, but Rick Carlisle’s team has won outright only twice in this span.

The Rockets threw away a 22-point halftime lead in Saturday’s 117-112 setback to the Thunder to end a three-game winning streak. James Harden eclipsed the 40-point mark for the third time in the last four games by torching the Thunder for 42 points, but the Rockets scored 42 points in the second half after putting up 42 points in the second quarter. Since going on an 11-1 run at home from December 1 through January 14, the Rockets have split their last six games at Toyota Center, while going 0-5 ATS in their last five chances as a home favorite.

Off Target

The Timberwolves (25-30 SU, 27-28 ATS) have slipped up recently by dropping six of their last seven games, including losing all three contests on their recent road swing. Minnesota halted a five-game ATS skid by picking up a narrow cover in Friday’s 122-117 setback at New Orleans as six-point underdogs. The Wolves built a 13-point lead after one quarter, but allowed 40 second quarter points to the Pelicans to fall to 8-20 away from Target Center this season.

Minnesota is back at home tonight as the Wolves welcome in the Clippers (31-26 SU, 31-26 ATS). Los Angeles is coming off one of the best comebacks of the season on Saturday, as the Clips erased a 28-point deficit to stun the Celtics, 123-112 as 11 ½-point underdogs. Eight Clippers scored in double-figures, while L.A. converted 31-of-40 free throws to improve to 3-2 on its six-game Grammys road trip.

The Wolves swept the season series from the Clippers in 2017-18, but Los Angeles grabbed the first matchup this season at Staples Center, 120-109 as 5 ½-point favorites in November. However, the Clippers have lost in each of their past three meetings at Target Center, while L.A. seeks consecutive road wins for the third time this season.

Back on Pace

After leading scorer Victor Oladipo was lost for the season, Indiana (37-19 SU, 29-27 ATS) spun out of control and lost four consecutive games. However, the Pacers have gotten back on track of late by winning five straight contests, including each of their first three games on their long homestand. All three victories have come by double-digits against the Lakers, Clippers, and Cavaliers, while limiting each team to less than 94 points.

The Pacers host the Hornets (27-28 SU, 28-27 ATS) this evening, as Charlotte tries to seek some sort of consistency throughout this inconsistent season. Charlotte leads the Southeast division despite owning a losing record, but the Hornets are fresh off a 129-120 triumph at Atlanta on Saturday for only their eighth road win of the season.

The Hornets last won consecutive road games back in October, while getting drubbed at Indiana in its last trip to the Hoosier State in January, 120-95. Indiana has won nine of its past 10 games when listed as a home favorite, while covering seven times in this span.

Cutting Down the Nets

The most surprising team in the Eastern Conference this season resides in Brooklyn as the Nets (29-28 SU, 31-26 ATS) sit in the mix of the playoff race following three straight seasons without a taste of the postseason. However, Brooklyn has lost four of its past five games, including a shocking 19-point home loss to Chicago on Friday as eight-point favorites.

The Nets head north of the border to face the Atlantic-leading Raptors (41-16 SU, 26-31 ATS), who return home after sweeping a three-game road trip. Following an underdog victory at Philadelphia, the Raptors rallied past the Hawks, followed by a close-shave win at New York as 13 ½-point favorites, 104-99 on Saturday. Toronto won in spite of shooting 38% from the floor, while cashing the UNDER for the fifth consecutive game.

Brooklyn has slumped to a 2-5 record the last seven games away from Barclays Center, but the Nets have covered four times in this span. The home team has captured each of the first two meetings this season, as the Raptors steamrolled the Nets at Scotiabank Arena, 122-105 last month as 10-point favorites. The Nets haven’t fared well as double-digit underdogs this season by posting an 0-3 SU/ATS mark, while the Raptors have compiled a 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS record in their last five opportunities as a home favorite of nine points or more.

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

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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