Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:53 PM
NBA Bubble Bets - Sunday
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Toronto Raptors – 2:35 PM ET
MEM: 33-37 Straight-Up, 35-34-1 Against the Spread
TOR: 49-19 Straight-Up, 38-29-1 Against the Spread
Entering Friday’s action, the Grizzlies had yet to win a game in the bubble and the Raptors had yet to lose a game. Both those trends came to a screeching halt in similar fashion as Memphis ripped Oklahoma City, 121-92, while Toronto was steamrolled by Boston, 122-100.
Starting with the Grizzlies, who were in desperate need of a win to keep hold of the eighth spot in the Western Conference. Memphis dropped its first four contests since the NBA’s restart and were facing a fifth consecutive defeat after falling into 12-point hole against OKC after one quarter. However, the Grizzlies took over in the final three quarters by outscoring the Thunder, 96-55 to pull out the victory as three-point underdogs. Not only did the Grizzlies finally win a game, they also broke through with an ATS victory for the first time since March 7.
Toronto is still in control of the second seed in the Eastern Conference in spite of the 22-point setback to Boston on Friday. The Celtics built a 109-69 lead in the fourth quarter in by far Toronto’s worst defensive performance inside the bubble. The Raptors had not allowed more than 103 points in any of their first three victories, but the Celtics beat Toronto for the third time this season behind 49% shooting from the floor.
The Grizzlies own a slim half-game lead over the Blazers and one-game edge over the Spurs for the eighth playoff spot in the West heading into Sunday. Memphis struggled against Toronto in its last meeting north of the border in mid-January as the Raptors routed the Grizzlies, 119-90 as 10 ½-point favorites for their eighth straight win in the series.
San Antonio Spurs vs. New Orleans Pelicans – 3:05 PM ET
SA: 30-38 Straight-Up, 28-39-1 Against the Spread
NO: 30-39 Straight-Up, 35-32-2 Against the Spread
A pivotal game for the ninth spot in the Western Conference playoff race takes place on Sunday in Orlando. The Spurs have posted a 3-2 record in the bubble to creep within two games of Memphis for eighth in the West and sit only a half-game behind the Blazers for ninth. The Pelicans have won two of three since dropping their first two in the bubble, but still have to jump San Antonio and Portland for an opportunity to participate in the play-in series against Memphis.
San Antonio picked up a pair of crucial victories in the underdog role against Sacramento and Memphis to begin the restart. However, the Spurs couldn’t finish off a rally in a two-point setback to the 76ers followed by a six-point loss to the Nuggets. San Antonio rebounded on Friday against an undermanned Utah squad in a 119-111 triumph, while capping off its third consecutive OVER.
The Pelicans let a golden opportunity to pick up ground on the Grizzlies slip through their fingers on Thursday in a 140-125 defeat to the Kings as four-point favorites. New Orleans bounced back with no rest on Friday to rally past Washington, 118-107 to pick up the cover as eight-point favorites. Rookie sensation Zion Williamson didn’t suit up on the second end of the back-to-back, but guard Jrue Holiday picked up the slack by leading New Orleans with 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the floor.
In the lone matchup this season, the Spurs topped the Pelicans in New Orleans, 121-117 as 3 ½-point underdogs in Williamson’s pro debut. The former Duke standout posted 22 points, including knocking down all four three-point attempts, but couldn’t overcome a 12-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Portland Trail Blazers – 6:35 PM ET
PHI: 42-27 Straight-Up, 29-36-4 Against the Spread
POR: 32-38 Straight-Up, 30-37-3 Against the Spread
There has been plenty of conversation that the Blazers may square off with the Lakers in the 1/8 matchup in the Western Conference. However, Portland took a step back from that goal in Saturday’s 122-117 loss to the Clippers as four-point favorites, falling 1 ½ games behind Memphis for the eighth spot. Kawhi Leonard didn’t suit up for the Clippers on Saturday, but L.A.’s defense clamped down in the second half by allowing Portland to score 42 second half points.
Damian Lillard torched the Nuggets for 45 points on Thursday, including knocking down 11 three-pointers. However, the Blazers’ All-Star guard scored half that total on Saturday with 22 points on 2-of-10 shooting from three-point range, while missing a pair of go-ahead free throws down one point in the final minute. C.J. McCollum and Carmelo Anthony combined to score 50 points for Portland, but the Blazers slipped to 3-2 inside the bubble.
The 76ers will be without Ben Simmons for the remainder of the seeding round and at least the beginning of the playoffs with a knee injury. Philadelphia has quietly won three straight games since losing its bubble opener to Indiana, capped off by Friday’s 108-101 victory over Orlando as five-point favorites. The Sixers have limited the Wizards and Magic each to 42% shooting from the floor in the last two wins, but Philadelphia remains one half-game behind Indiana for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Philadelphia and Portland met only once this season way back on November 2 at Moda Center. The Sixers edged the Blazers, 129-128, while overcoming an 11-point fourth quarter deficit and did so with leading scorer Joel Embiid sidelined.
Houston Rockets vs. Sacramento Kings – 8:05 PM ET
HOU: 43-25 Straight-Up, 32-36 Against the Spread
SAC: 29-40 Straight-Up, 35-32-2 Against the Spread
The Rockets have jumped all the way to the fourth seed in the Western Conference after winning three of their first four games in the bubble. After an eight-point defeat to the Blazers, the Rockets cruised past the Lakers, 113-97 on Thursday night to easily cash as 3 ½-point favorites. LeBron James sat out for the Lakers, but Russell Westbrook was sidelined for Houston as the 2017 MVP is expected to rest once again on Sunday with a quadricep injury.
James Harden shredded the Lakers with 39 points, while Ben McLemore filled in for Westbrook by scoring 20 points, as both Rockets’ guards drilled five three-pointers apiece. Houston held an opponent to less than 100 points for the first time since December 28 against Brooklyn in a 108-98 win, snapped a 35-game streak of giving up 100 points or more.
Sacramento has won only once in the bubble in five tries, while dropping a 119-106 decision to Brooklyn on Friday as 5 ½-point favorites. The Kings couldn’t capitalize off their lone victory the day before against the Pelicans in which they dropped 140 points, as Brooklyn held Sacramento to 43% shooting from the floor. Sacramento has covered in two of three opportunities in the underdog role, but has faced only one team with a winning record so far (Dallas).
The Kings and Rockets split a pair of matchups this season as Sacramento stunned Houston at Toyota Center in early December, 119-118 as 12-point underdogs. The Rockets rebounded at Golden 1 Center two weeks later in a 113-104 victory as six-point favorites to improve to 5-1 SU/ATS the last six meetings with the Kings.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Clippers – 9:05 PM ET
BKN: 33-36 Straight-Up, 34-35 Against the Spread
LAC: 47-22 Straight-Up, 39-30 Against the Spread
The Clippers wrap up the night after outlasting the Blazers on Saturday, 122-117 without Kawhi Leonard in the lineup. Leonard sat out on the front end of a back-to-back and is expected to play this evening. The rest of the Clippers’ lineup picked up the slack without last year’s NBA Finals MVP with six players scoring in double-figures, led by Paul George’s 21 points. The Clippers improved to 4-1 ATS inside the bubble, while topping the 122-point mark for the third time.
The Nets are headed to the playoffs, but don’t know their seeding yet as they will face either the Bucks or Raptors in the opening round. Brooklyn has put together a respectable 3-2 record in the bubble in spite of a decimated roster and pulled off the biggest upset of the season last week by knocking off Milwaukee as 18 ½-point underdogs. The Nets are fresh off a 119-106 triumph over the Kings as 5 ½-point underdogs, highlighted by 17 made three-pointers including six players hitting two treys apiece.
Brooklyn is listed as a double-digit underdog for the second time in bubble as teams receiving 10 points or more since the restart are 2-0 ATS. The Clippers own a 6-4 SU and 4-6 ATS mark with no rest this season and are facing the Nets for the first time since March 2019 when L.A. edged Brooklyn, 119-116 as 5 ½-point favorites.
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