Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:53 AM

NBA Bubble Bets - Friday

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Utah Jazz vs. San Antonio Spurs – 1:05 PM ET

UT: 43-25 Straight-Up, 32-34-2 Against the Spread
SA: 29-38 Straight-Up, 28-38-1 Against the Spread

In spite of the fact the Jazz have split four games in the bubble, Utah has looked like one of the shakiest teams so far. The Jazz rallied past the Pelicans in the restart opener, but lost consecutive games to the Thunder and Lakers before holding off the Grizzlies on Tuesday. Utah has covered in both victories and failed to cash in each loss, while hanging onto the fourth seed in the Western Conference barely over Oklahoma City and Houston.

It will be slim pickings for the Jazz on Thursday as starters Donovan Mitchell (24.0 ppg), Rudy Gobert (15.1 ppg), and Mike Conley (14.4 ppg) are all expected to sit out, while the team continues to play without second-leading scorer Bojan Bogdanovic (20.0 ppg). Utah dropped both regular season meetings with San Antonio, but the Spurs were listed as underdogs in each victory (127-120 in Texas and 113-104 in Salt Lake City).

The Spurs began the restart with back-to-back wins over the Kings and Grizzlies as an underdog before dropping a tough two-point defeat to the 76ers on Monday. San Antonio failed to cover for the first time in the bubble in Wednesday’s 132-126 setback to Denver as two-point underdogs. The Nuggets outscored the Spurs, 43-37 in the fourth quarter as San Antonio was led by Rudy Gay’s 24 points off the bench.

Dating back to December 31, the Spurs own a dreadful 1-8 ATS mark in the favorite role, which includes five outright losses. Mitchell is missing only his second game of the season as the Jazz rallied past the Wizards, 127-116 as 6 ½-point road favorites on January 12 in his first DNP (did not play) of the campaign.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies – 4:05 PM ET

OKC: 42-25 Straight-Up, 42-25 Against the Spread
MEM: 32-37 Straight-Up, 34-34-1 Against the Spread

The Lakers are definitely the team to beat in the Western Conference, but the Thunder may have had the recipe to slow Los Angeles down. Oklahoma City held L.A. to 35% shooting from the floor, including a 5-of-37 effort from three-point range in a 105-86 blowout of the Lakers. OKC cashed easily as 5 ½-point underdogs and improved to 18-5 ATS in the last 23 opportunities in the ‘dog role.

The next three games for the Thunder come against teams on the outside looking in for the playoffs (Memphis, Washington, and Phoenix), as OKC will likely finish somewhere between the third and sixth seed in the West. The Thunder has stepped up defensively in the bubble by allowing under 100 points in two of three games, joining the Raptors as the only other team to give up 100 points or fewer twice since the restart.

The Grizzlies entered the bubble as the eighth seed in the Western Conference at 32-33, but have free-fallen with four consecutive losses. Past the four-game skid, Memphis is also without second-leading scorer Jaren Jackson, Jr., who is done for the season with a knee injury. The Grizzlies had a strong start against the Jazz on Wednesday, but got outscored by 15 points in the second quarter and allowed 35 points in the fourth quarter of a 124-115 defeat. Memphis has failed to cover in all four bubble games, becoming the only team yet to pick up an ATS win since the restart.

The race for eighth in the West has tightened up with Memphis holding a one-game edge over Portland and a two-game advantage over Phoenix, who has gone 4-0 in the bubble. The Grizzlies and Thunder split a pair of regular season meetings in Oklahoma City, while Memphis covered each time in the underdog role.

Sacramento Kings vs. Brooklyn Nets – 5:05 PM ET

SAC: 28-39 Straight-Up, 34-31-2 Against the Spread
BKN: 32-36 Straight-Up, 33-35 Against the Spread

Four times was a charm for Sacramento in the bubble, who finally broke through the win column in Thursday’s 140-125 shootout victory over New Orleans. The Kings picked up their second straight cover, this time as four-point underdogs, highlighted by a scorching start with a 49-point first quarter outburst. Sacramento shot 54% from the floor and nailed 16 three-pointers, led by Bogdan Bogandovic’s 35 points and De’Aaron Fox’s 30 points.

The Kings may be kicking themselves for blowing Tuesday’s game against the Mavericks in overtime as Sacramento is two games behind Portland for the ninth playoff spot in the Western Conference with four games to go. Meanwhile, the Nets are inching closer towards a postseason berth in the Eastern Conference in spite of getting blown out by Boston on Wednesday night, 149-115.

Brooklyn pulled off the biggest stunner not only of the restart but of the season as 18 ½-point underdogs against Milwaukee on Tuesday in a 119-116 upset. The Nets did so without three starters, but couldn’t capitalize on that monumental triumph the next night in a 34-point loss to the Celtics as 8 ½-point underdogs. Brooklyn seeks the season sweep of Sacramento after beating the Kings at Barclays Center in November, 116-97 as short two-point favorites.

Orlando Magic vs. Philadelphia 76ers – 6:35 PM ET

ORL: 32-37 Straight-Up, 33-34-2 Against the Spread
PHI: 41-27 Straight-Up, 28-36-4 Against the Spread

The Magic will likely be in the playoffs soon thanks to the Wizards not winning a game yet. Orlando leads Washington by 6 ½ games and needs at least a 4 ½ game edge to avoid a play-in series for the eighth seed in the East. Following a fast 2-0 start in the bubble, the Magic have dropped a pair of double-digit decisions to the Pacers and Raptors, who are a combined 6-1 since the restart.

Magic forward Aaron Gordon is listed as doubtful for Friday’s matchup with a hamstring injury sustained in Wednesday’s 109-99 defeat to Toronto. Orlando sunk into a 20-point halftime deficit, one night after trailing Indiana by 19 points at the half. In Orlando’s two wins, they were outscored in the second half, while in the two losses, the Magic outscored their opponents by 10 points apiece.

Philadelphia is 0-3 ATS in the bubble despite winning its last two games against San Antonio and Washington. The 76ers suffered a potentially huge blow in Wednesday’s 107-98 win over the Wizards as Ben Simmons left the game with a partially dislocated knee. Simmons is listed as day-to-day and with Philadelphia locked into a playoff spot, there probably isn’t any rush to bring the former top pick back during the reseeding round.

Orlando stifled Philadelphia in a pair of home wins this season by limiting the 76ers to 97 points in each victory. Since the start of the 2018-19 season, the Magic have covered five of the last six meetings with the Sixers, while four of the past five matchups have finished UNDER the total.

Washington Wizards vs. New Orleans Pelicans – 8:05 PM ET

WSH: 24-44 Straight-Up, 33-33-2 Against the Spread
NO: 29-38 Straight-Up, 34-31-2 Against the Spread

The Wizards are basically the only team playing out the string in Orlando following an 0-4 start. Washington cashed as a 10 ½-point underdog in Wednesday’s 107-98 loss to Philadelphia, marking the first time the Wizards covered a game in the bubble but also the first time they were held below 100 points during the restart.

Washington is riding a three-game UNDER streak following an OVER in the opener against Phoenix, as the Wizards shot 42% from the floor and 7-of-21 from three-point range against Philadelphia. The Wizards have lost nine of their last 10 games away from D.C. dating back to late February and last won a road game in the underdog role on February 12 at New York.

The Pelicans have dropped three of four games in the bubble, including a rough defensive effort in Thursday’s 140-125 defeat to Sacramento as four-point favorites. New Orleans lost in spite of shooting 57% from the floor and hitting 14 three-pointers, but also allowed the Kings to score at least 40 points in two separate quarters.

New Orleans actually cashed its first OVER in the bubble on Thursday following three consecutive UNDERS. The Pelicans try to improve on a 1-2 ATS record in the favorite role, while owning a 5-4 SU and 7-2 ATS mark this season with no rest. New Orleans and Washington have yet to play this season, as the two teams split a pair of home matchups during the 2018-19 campaign.

Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors – 9:05 PM ET

BOS: 45-23 Straight-Up, 39-25-4 Against the Spread
TOR: 49-18 Straight-Up, 38-28-1 Against the Spread

There is a strong possibility these two Atlantic division rivals can hook up in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Toronto is pretty much locked into the second seed in the East, owning a 4 ½-game edge over Boston, who itself has a 3 ½-game advantage over Miami for the third seed.

The Raptors are showing that last year’s championship run wasn’t a fluke as Toronto has posted a perfect 3-0 SU/ATS record in the bubble, including a dominating effort in the opener against the West’s top seed Lakers. Toronto jumped out to a commanding 20-point halftime lead in Wednesday’s 109-99 victory over Orlando, led by Fred VanVleet’s 21-point, 10-assist performance to help the Raptors cover as 7 ½-point favorites.

The Celtics rebounded from an ugly loss to the short-handed Heat by routing the Nets, 149-115 as 8 ½-point favorites on Wednesday. Boston played without rest but that didn’t matter much to the Celtics, who scored 34 points or more in every quarter, while all five starters posted double-figures in points led by Jaylen Brown’s 21 points.

The two Eastern powers are playing for the fourth time this season as the Celtics captured the first two meetings in the favorite role, including a 118-102 triumph in Toronto on Christmas. The Raptors broke through with a 113-97 road victory at TD Garden on December 28 as seven-point underdogs, ending a seven-game streak in the series in which the favorite won and covered.

NBA Betting Results
Reseeding Action

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

2020 NBA Reseeding - Betting Results
Span Favorites-Dogs (SU) Favorites-Dogs (ATS) Over-Under (O/U)
Yesterday 4-2 4-2 4-2
Overall 24-11-2 21-14-2 20-17

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