Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:53 AM
NBA Bubble Bets - Tuesday
Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs – 2:05 PM ET
HOU: 44-25 Straight-Up, 33-36 Against the Spread
SA: 31-38 Straight-Up, 29-39-1 Against the Spread
The Rockets are staring at the fourth seed in the Western Conference playoffs after moving up two slots since the restart. The Spurs have put together a terrific effort in the bubble to creep within one game of the Grizzlies for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.
San Antonio has won four of its first six games in the bubble, capped off by an important 122-113 victory over New Orleans on Sunday as four-point underdogs. That win knocked the Pelicans out of playoff contention and kept the Spurs alive for the potential play-in series, but the Blazers and Suns are also in the mix.
The Rockets have lost only once in the bubble, which came to the Trail Blazers last Tuesday night, 110-102 as 3 ½-point favorites. Houston has rebounded nicely with consecutive blowout wins over the Lakers and Kings, while doing so with star guard Russell Westbrook sidelined with a quadricep injury. Austin Rivers took over against Sacramento on Sunday with 41 points off the bench as the Rockets overcame an early 13-point deficit to roll the Kings, 129-112 to easily cash as 3 ½-point favorites.
Westbrook is expected back in the lineup on Tuesday, but James Harden will sit out his first game of the restart with Houston starting a back-to-back set. The two regular season matchups between these Lone Star State rivals were each decided by two points apiece. The Spurs rallied past the Rockets in overtime, 135-133 as seven-point home ‘dogs on December 3, while Houston edged San Antonio as 10-point home favorites, 109-107 on December 16.
Phoenix Suns vs. Philadelphia 76ers – 4:35 PM ET
PHX: 31-39 Straight-Up, 35-35-1 Against the Spread
PHI: 42-28 Straight-Up, 29-37-4 Against the Spread
Exactly like everybody predicted prior to the restart of the NBA season that the Phoenix Suns will be the lone undefeated team after six games. The Suns, who were looking like they would be playing out the string in Orlando, have heated up and made a furious run towards a potential playoff spot by winning six consecutive games and more importantly, covering all six times.
Phoenix plays without rest this afternoon after blasting an undermanned Oklahoma City squad, 128-101 as 7 ½-point favorites on Monday. Devin Booker caught fire for Phoenix by scoring 35 points, including knocking down all 14 of his free throw attempts to help the Suns move to 3-0 ATS as a favorite in the bubble.
Philadelphia is already in the playoffs, but the Sixers are the walking wounded right now with Ben Simmons sidelined indefinitely and Joel Embiid is out with an ankle injury. The 76ers had their three-game winning streak snapped in Sunday’s 124-121 setback to the Trail Blazers. Philadelphia erased an early 16-point deficit to take a fourth quarter lead, but couldn’t finish off Portland as Embiid was injured in the first quarter.
The 76ers fell to 1-4 ATS inside the bubble, while allowing at least 124 points for the third time since the restart. These teams hooked up in Phoenix back in early November as the Suns held off the 76ers, 114-109 as one-point favorites. Embiid didn’t suit up in the last meeting for the Sixers, while Booker torched Philadelphia for 40 points on 15-of-19 shooting from the floor.
Boston Celtics vs. Memphis Grizzlies – 5:05 PM ET
BOS: 47-23 Straight-Up, 40-26-4 Against the Spread
MEM: 33-38 Straight-Up, 35-35-1 Against the Spread
The Grizzlies have been furiously fighting off the handful of teams that want to steal the eighth spot in the Western Conference from them. Memphis has slumped to a 1-5 start the first six games with Boston and Milwaukee left on the schedule, which is no easy task for the young Grizzlies.
After Memphis routed Oklahoma City last Friday for its only bubble win, the Grizzlies dropped a 108-99 decision to the Raptors on Sunday as 6 ½-point underdogs. Memphis led Toronto after one quarter, 25-20, but the Raptors outscored the Grizzlies, 68-46 over the next two quarters to take control. Rookie of the Year frontrunner Ja Morant scored 17 points and dished out 10 assists for the Grizzlies, who fell to 1-4 ATS in the underdog role since the restart.
The Celtics are locked into the third playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after winning three consecutive games. Boston held off Orlando in overtime, 122-119, but the Celtics failed to cash as 8 ½-point favorites. Gordon Hayward (31 points) and Jayson Tatum (29 points) paced the Celtics, who had nearly had a letdown after back-to-back blowouts over the Nets and Raptors.
Boston cruised past Memphis in the only meeting this season at TD Garden in late January, 119-95 to cash as seven-point favorites. The Celtics limited Morant to two points in 24 minutes of action, while Boston knocked down 14 three-pointers and shot 51% from the field.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Dallas Mavericks – 6:35 PM ET
POR: 33-39 Straight-Up, 31-38-3 Against the Spread
DAL: 42-30 Straight-Up, 37-33-3 Against the Spread
The Blazers own a 4-2 record in the bubble and are thought of as the biggest threats to give the top-seeded Lakers problems in the first round of the playoffs. However, Portland still needs to finish at least ninth for a shot at the play-in series as the Blazers face a pair of teams with nothing to play for. The Mavericks and Nets are both locked into the seventh seed in their respective conferences, while Dallas comes in off no rest after beating Utah on Monday.
Dallas started 1-3 in the bubble before surprising Milwaukee as six-point underdogs in overtime on Sunday, 136-132. Luca Doncic put up one of the top games in his short career by scoring 36 points, pulling down 14 rebounds, and dishing out 19 assists for Dallas. The Mavs outscored the Jazz, 34-14 in the fourth quarter of Monday’s 122-114 triumph over a slumping Utah squad to cash outright as six-point ‘dogs.
Portland outlasted Philadelphia on Sunday, 124-121 behind Damian Lillard’s 51 points to barely cover as 2 ½-point favorites. Lillard atoned for missing two key free throws late in Saturday’s setback to the Clippers by putting up his second game of 45 points or more in three tries. The Blazers are 5-1 to the OVER in the bubble with the lone UNDER coming on their highest total, a 244 ½ spot against the Rockets in a 110-102 win last Tuesday.
Dallas is 7-5 SU and 6-5-1 ATS this season without rest as Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis are both questionable on the second end of this back-to-back. The Blazers captured the first meeting in Dallas in late October, 121-119 as three-point ‘dogs, but the Mavericks won the last two matchups by eight points apiece in a week span in late January.
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Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under - O/U
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