Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:53 AM

NBA Bubble Bets - Wednesday

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Memphis Grizzlies vs. Utah Jazz – 2:35 PM ET

MEM: 32-36 Straight-Up, 34-33-1 Against the Spread
UT: 42-25 Straight-Up, 31-34-2 Against the Spread

The Grizzlies entered the bubble in Orlando last week as the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs and had work to do to maintain that final spot. However, Memphis’ postseason chances are slipping away following three consecutive losses and suffered a huge blow as second-leading scorer Jaren Jackson, Jr. (17.4 ppg) is lost for the season with a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Jackson sustained the injury in Monday’s 109-99 setback to New Orleans as 4 ½-point underdogs. All three teams the Grizzlies have lost to during the restart are all chasing Memphis for the last playoff position in the West (New Orleans, San Antonio, and Portland). Memphis has yet to cover a game in Orlando, but the Grizzlies are coming off back-to-back UNDERS on 236 totals against the Pelicans and Spurs.

For the exception of a comeback victory over the Pelicans in the restart opener, the Jazz don’t have much to celebrate so far. Utah is still in the mix for the Northwest division title, but the Jazz are coming off consecutive rough performances in losses to the Thunder and Lakers. Oklahoma City dominated Utah from the tip-off in Saturday’s 110-94 setback as the Jazz fell in a 24-point halftime hole. The Jazz jumped out to a better start against the Lakers on Monday as six-point underdogs, but fell apart late in the third quarter in a 116-108 setback.

Utah has slipped to the fifth seed in the Western playoff race and own a slim half-game edge over Oklahoma City heading into Wednesday’s action. The Grizzlies edged the Jazz in the first meeting of the season, 107-106 as 7 ½-point ‘dogs on November 15, but Utah captured the last two matchups by nine and 14 points.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Washington Wizards – 4:05 PM ET

PHI: 40-27 Straight-Up, 28-35-4 Against the Spread
WSH: 24-43 Straight-Up, 32-33-2 Against the Spread

It shouldn’t be a shock that the Wizards are 0-3 in the bubble on the verge of elimination with a decimated roster that’s without leading scorer Bradley Beal. What is shocking is the fact that Philadelphia has failed to cover twice as a heavy favorite and is lucky to be 1-1 through two games.

Starting with Washington, you don’t get extra points (or wins) for trying hard, but the Wizards were dealt a tough hand heading to Orlando with the insurmountable task to reach the eighth playoff spot in the East. The Wizards lost by 13 points to the Suns in the opener, fell by eight to the equally shredded roster of the Nets, and 11 points to Indiana, while not covering in any of the three defeats.

The 76ers are guaranteed to finish no lower than sixth when the playoffs begin later this month. But Philadelphia needs to start establishing themselves away from Wells Fargo Center, where the Sixers posted a league-best 30-2 home mark this season. Philadelphia squandered a 10-point fourth quarter lead in Saturday’s 127-121 setback to Indiana as six-point favorites and were on the ropes on Monday against a desperate San Antonio team.

The Sixers led by 14 points early in the fourth quarter against the suddenly surging Spurs, but San Antonio stormed back to take a two-point edge with 10 seconds remaining. Shake Milton put Philadelphia ahead for good after knocking down a three-pointer in the waning seconds to give the 76ers a 132-130 win, but it failed to cash as 7 ½-point favorites. The 76ers slipped to 1-8 ATS in its last nine games in the favorite role away from home.

Denver Nuggets vs. San Antonio Spurs – 4:05 PM ET

DEN: 44-23 Straight-Up, 30-33-4 Against the Spread
SA: 29-37 Straight-Up, 28-37-1 Against the Spread

The two biggest surprises since the NBA’s restart have been the play of two teams that were “playing out the string.” The Suns shocked the Clippers on a buzzer-beater on Tuesday to improve to 3-0, while the Spurs were on the verge of a 3-0 start before falling short to the 76ers on Monday. San Antonio has managed to cover in all three games as an underdog, including outright victories over Sacramento and Memphis.

The Spurs are two games behind the Grizzlies for the final playoff spot as Monday’s loss to Philadelphia adds some extra sting after taking the lead in the last half-minute of regulation. Gregg Popovich’s squad is seeking a 23rd consecutive playoff appearance, but four of the last five games are against the Nuggets, Jazz twice, and Rockets, all teams who have clinched a postseason berth.

Denver created some breathing room for the Northwest title by knocking off Oklahoma City in overtime on Monday, 121-113 as 5 ½-point underdogs. The Nuggets rebounded from a 20-point blowout loss to the Heat in the bubble opener as Denver continues to play without Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, and Will Barton. Second-year man Michael Porter broke out for a career-high 37 points, while Nikola Jokic put together a triple-double with 30 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists to give the Nuggets only their fourth cover in the past 13 games.

The Nuggets eliminated the Spurs in seven games of the first round of the playoffs last season, but met only once this season before the shutdown. San Antonio built a 14-point halftime advantage at Pepsi Center, but Denver rallied for a 127-120 triumph to barely cash as 6 ½-point favorites on February 10. The leading scorer for the Spurs that night was All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. L.A. Lakers – 6:35 PM ET

OKC: 41-25 Straight-Up, 41-25 Against the Spread
LAL: 51-15 Straight-Up, 36-29-1 Against the Spread

The first task for the Lakers heading to the bubble was to lock up the top seed in the Western Conference. Although LeBron James and the Lakers won’t have home-court advantage due to the bubble, they can cruise the next five games in the seeding portion after securing the number one seed in Monday’s 116-108 victory over Utah as six-point favorites.

The Lakers finally covered a game in their third try inside the bubble following a two-point win over the Clippers as a four-point favorite and a surprising 15-point setback to the defending champion Raptors. Anthony Davis torched the Jazz for 42 points and 12 rebounds, while James and Dwight Howard were the only two other Lakers to score in double-figures. Los Angeles cashed its first OVER in three bubble games, while improving to 3-0 this season against Utah.

The Lakers have knocked off the Thunder three times this season as the underdog has cashed in all three matchups. Los Angeles stunned Oklahoma City on the road as nine-point ‘dogs in the most recent meeting on January 11 in a 125-110 victory without James and Davis in the lineup. OKC grabbed ‘dog covers in a pair of close losses in November by five and three points, while all three contests sailed OVER the total.

Oklahoma City drew a pair of division rivals to start its play in Orlando and split against Utah and Denver. The Thunder routed the Jazz last Saturday, 110-94, as OKC held an opponent to below 100 points for the first time since January 9, when they limited Houston to 92 points. OKC couldn’t hold off Denver in Monday’s 121-113 overtime setback as 5 ½-point favorites despite a combined 47 points from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chris Paul.

Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic – 8:05 PM ET

TOR: 48-18 Straight-Up, 37-28-1 Against the Spread
ORL: 32-35 Straight-Up, 33-32-2 Against the Spread

Orlando is creeping closer towards clinching its playoff berth as the Magic are trying to avoid the top-seeded Bucks in the first round. As long as Toronto remains in the second spot, there is the possibility of the Raptors and Magic hooking up in the opening round of the playoffs for a second straight season. The Raptors overcame a series opening loss to the Magic to win four straight games on its way to the franchise’s first NBA championship.

The Magic head into Wednesday’s action with no rest after a 120-109 defeat to the Pacers in a game Orlando trailed by 21 points after only one quarter. Orlando’s two bubble wins are over Brooklyn and Sacramento, but the Magic stepped up in class against the Pacers and move up another few notches against a Raptors’ team that has already defeated the Heat and Lakers to begin the restart.

Toronto put the clamps down on the Lakers in Saturday’s 107-92 rout as 2 ½-point underdogs thanks to outscoring Los Angeles, 66-48 in the second half. The Raptors held off the Heat on Monday, 107-103 as 2 ½-point favorites, while marking a second straight UNDER on a 221 ½ total. Toronto benefited from 33 made free throws, including a perfect 13-of-13 from Fred VanVleet, who finished with 36 points.

Teams with no rest inside the bubble own a 3-2 SU/ATS record as the Pacers and Heat each picked up underdog wins on Tuesday in this situation. The no rest scenario has not been kind to the Magic this season, who have lost in nine of 10 opportunities on the second end of a back-to-back, while covering only three times.

Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics – 9:05 PM ET

BKN: 31-35 Straight-Up, 32-34 Against the Spread
BOS: 44-22 Straight-Up, 38-24-4 Against the Spread

The biggest upset of the NBA season took place in August, which has never been uttered in the history of the league. Brooklyn shocked Milwaukee as 19-point underdogs on Tuesday afternoon, 119-116, while cashing on the money-line at hefty 15/1 odds. The Nets knocked down 21 three-pointers (on 57 attempts) and scored 73 first-half points against the likely top seed in the Eastern Conference. To be fair, none of Milwaukee’s starters played more than 20 minutes, but Brooklyn improved to 2-1 SU/ATS in the bubble and helped its case for a playoff spot.

The Celtics couldn’t take advantage of Miami playing without star Jimmy Butler in Tuesday’s 112-106 setback as five-point favorites. Boston fell behind by 12 points at halftime and couldn’t recover in its first loss to Miami this season in three meetings. Following an exciting four-point win over Portland on Sunday, the Celtics shot only 44% from the floor, while Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown combined to shoot 0-of-10 from three-point range.

Celtics’ guard Kemba Walker is expected to sit out on the second end of the back-to-back after a 15-point performance against the Heat. Brooklyn did not fare well with no rest this season by compiling a 2-7 SU and 3-6 ATS mark, while Boston went 5-4 SU and 6-3 ATS on the second leg of a back-to-back set. The Nets took two of three meetings from the Celtics this season, including a tremendous 51-point effort from Caris LaVert in a March 3 overtime triumph at TD Garden as Brooklyn erased a 17-point fourth quarter deficit.

NBA Betting Results
Reseeding Action

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under - O/U

Take Note

  • Underdogs posted a 5-1 SU & 6-0 ATS mark on Tuesday
  • The 'under' went 3-3 for the second straight day, including the two highest totals between Dallas/Sacramento (236.5) and Houston/Portland (244.5)
  • Nets (+19, ML +1500) were the biggest underdogs to win outright on Tuesday
  • The only favorite to win was the Mavericks (-5.5), but Dallas failed to cover in overtime against Sacramento
2020 NBA Reseeding - Betting Results
Span Favorites-Dogs (SU) Favorites-Dogs (ATS) Over-Under (O/U)
Yesterday 1-5 0-6 3-3
Overall 16-13-2 13-16-2 16-15

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