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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:59 PM

Wednesday's Tip Sheet

ATS Rankings | Totals Report | Injuries

Game of the Night: Rockets (-1, 229 ½) at Clippers – 10:35 PM EST

All eight playoff spots in the Western Conference have been spoken for, but seeding for these positions are still up in the air heading into the final week of the season. The Rockets (50-28 SU, 37-38-3 ATS) reached the 50-win mark for the third straight season following last night’s 130-105 blowout of the Kings to pull off the season sweep of Sacramento. James Harden led Houston with 36 points and 10 assists, while knocking down seven three-pointers to push the Rockets temporarily into the third seed in the Western Conference ahead of Portland.

The Clippers (47-31 SU, 45-32-1 ATS) are fighting for the fifth seed in the Western Conference, but sit one half-game behind the Jazz heading into Wednesday’s action. Los Angeles continues a four-game homestand after knocking off Cleveland and Memphis easily by double-digits apiece. The Clippers won both those games on a back-to-back set, capped off by Sunday’s 113-96 win over the Grizzlies as 10-point favorites. Danilo Gallinari paced the Clippers with 27 points and 15 rebounds, as Los Angeles connected on 34-of-38 free throws.

Since losing at Utah to close out February, the Clippers have won 13 of 15 games, including an 8-1 mark at Staples Center with the lone loss coming to Portland on March 12. The last time Houston visited Staples Center on February 21, the Rockets squandered a 19-point lead in a five-point loss to the Lakers. The Rockets have caught fire ever since by winning 17 of the past 20 games, but won’t be able to have home-court advantage against the Warriors potentially in the Western Conference Finals this season.

The Clippers have captured each of the first two matchups with the Rockets this season, although both wins came back in October. Los Angeles edged Houston, 115-112 at Staples on October 21 as Chris Paul was sidelined against his former team. The game finished OVER the total of 221 after the final three matchups between these teams went UNDER last season. The Clippers claimed the second meeting at Toyota Center five days later as 3 ½-point underdogs, 133-113, but Harden sat out for Houston as the Rockets will finally have their full compliment of players this time around.

Pacers at Pistons (-3 ½, 205 ½) – 7:05 PM EST

It’s Round Two between these Central division rivals as Indiana (46-32 SU, 39-39 ATS) rallied past Detroit (39-38 SU, 40-34-3 ATS) on Monday, 111-102 to snap a three-game losing streak. The Pacers overcame an early double-digit deficit, while seven players finished in double-figures, led by Bojan Bogdanovic and Thaddeus Young scored 19 points apiece.

The Pistons continue to play without leading scorer Blake Griffin, who is sidelined with knee tendinitis, as Detroit looks to secure a playoff spot by sitting in the sixth position. Detroit was dealt its fourth straight road loss on Monday, but the Pistons have been unbeatable at Little Caesar’s Arena of late by running off 11 consecutive home victories.

Indiana has lost in its past three visits to the Motor City since the start of the 2017-18 season, while the Pacers have dropped 10 straight games away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The last time Indiana won away from the Hoosier State came at Washington on February 23, while covering only twice during this 10-game road skid.

Raptors (-1 ½, 226) at Nets – 7:35 PM EST

Toronto (55-23 SU, 35-43 ATS) will likely settle for the second seed in the Eastern Conference as the Raptors are three games behind the Bucks with four games remaining. In the “If the playoffs started today” hypothetical, the Raptors would take on the Nets (39-39 SU, 42-36 ATS) in the 2/7 matchup. That wouldn’t disappoint Toronto at all, as the Raptors have captured nine of the past 10 meetings with their division rivals, but the Nets have covered in two matchups this season as a heavy underdog.

The Raptors are coming off their fourth straight victory since consecutive home losses to the Thunder and Hornets as Toronto pulled away from Orlando on Monday, 121-109 as 6 ½-point favorites. Toronto outscored Orlando, 33-16 in the second quarter to overcome an early 11-point deficit as Danny Green drilled seven three-pointers and scored 29 points.

The Nets will have to work for a playoff spot over the final week of the season as Brooklyn still has to face Milwaukee and Indiana on the road, followed by hosting Miami next Wednesday. Brooklyn has dropped three of four games, including Monday’s 131-121 setback to Milwaukee to snap a four-game winning streak at Barclays Center.

Celtics (-1, 212 ½) at Heat – 7:35 PM EST

Boston (46-32 SU, 36-41-1 ATS) jumped out to a 22-4 lead over Miami on Monday, but needed every last point to hold off the Heat, 110-105 at TD Garden. Although the Celtics failed to cash as seven-point favorites, Boston remained tied with Indiana for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Celtics have slumped to a 2-9 ATS record the last 11 games, while posting an 0-7 ATS mark the past seven contests at home.

Now, Boston travels to Miami to face the Heat (38-39 SU, 42-34-1 ATS), as the Celtics were crushed in their last visit to American Airlines Arena in early January, 115-99. Miami has covered all three meetings with Boston this season and is 7-1 ATS in the past eight matchups since December 2016. The Heat have won six straight games after a loss with the streak starting in late February on the Dwyane Wade miracle three-pointer at the buzzer to stun the Warriors.

The Heat are currently on a 7-3 run at the AAA, but two of those losses have come to upper-tier Eastern Conference foes Milwaukee and Toronto. The Celtics have not been reliable as a short favorite by posting a 4-9 ATS record as chalk of 2 ½ points or less, but Boston has won six of its last nine games in the role of a road favorite.

Spurs at Nuggets (-5, 213) – 9:05 PM EST

There is a strong possibility that San Antonio and Denver can meet up in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs. The Nuggets (51-26 SU, 39-38 ATS) are currently the second seed in the West and may have to settle for that position after losing a critical game at Golden State on Tuesday, 116-102 as 8 ½-point underdogs. Denver has lost three of four, while hoping not to fold down the stretch with Houston sitting 1 ½ games back of the second spot in the West.

The Spurs (45-33 SU, 41-35-2 ATS) travel to Denver with no rest following Tuesday’s 117-111 victory over Atlanta. San Antonio fell to 0-4 ATS the last four games, although the last three ATS defeats came when laying 10 points or more. This series has been owned by the home team since January 2017 as the Nuggets have won the last three matchups at Pepsi Center. After San Antonio beat Denver at home in late December by eight points, the past two meetings have been decided by a total of four points.

The Nuggets are riding an 8-1 run to the UNDER the last nine games at Pepsi Center, while Denver has not allowed more than 100 points in four straight home contests. However, the Spurs are 9-3 to the OVER with no rest this season, while putting together a 4-8 SU and 6-5-1 ATS mark on the second of a back-to-back set.

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

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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