Monday's Tip Sheet
January 7, 2018
By Kevin Rogers
Game of the Night: Nuggets at Warriors – 10:30 PM EST
Golden State (32-8 SU, 19-21 ATS) is catching fire once again, or Stephen Curry is just heating up at the right time. The two-time league Most Valuable Player has bounced back from an ankle injury to average 36.0 ppg in the past four contests, including an incredible 45-point effort in Saturday’s 121-105 victory over the Clippers as eight-point favorites. Curry knocked down eight three-pointers as the Warriors continue to play without Kevin Durant, who has missed the last two games with a calf injury.
Denver (21-18 SU, 19-19-1 ATS) had its modest two-game winning streak snapped in Saturday’s 106-98 setback at Sacramento as nine-point favorites. The high-flying Nuggets were held to below 100 points in consecutive games for the first time since the first two contests of the season. Denver had covered four straight games away from Pepsi Center prior to Saturday’s loss, while cashing the UNDER for the sixth time in the past nine games.
The road team has won each of the first two meetings between the Nuggets and Warriors this season. Golden State led Denver by five points at the half of their first matchup in November, but the Warriors outscored the Nuggets in the third quarter, 43-21 to pull away in a 127-108 triumph as nine-point away favorites. Denver picked up revenge at Oracle Arena prior to Christmas in a 96-81 upset as 8 ½-point underdogs, while holding the Warriors to 3-of-27 shooting from three-point range.
Stop the Bleeding?
The Rockets (27-11 SU, 17-20-1 ATS) have dropped seven of their past nine games, including Saturday’s 108-101 defeat at Detroit as 6 ½-point favorites. Houston has lost two of three games since James Harden was sidelined with a hamstring injury, while putting together a dreadful 1-8 ATS record in the last nine trips to the court. The Rockets have been a solid UNDER look on the highway recently by going 4-0-1 to the UNDER in the past five games away from Toyota Center.
Houston continues its road swing through the Midwest by facing Chicago (14-26 SU, 23-16-1 ATS), who is coming off an ugly 125-86 loss at Indiana on Saturday. An 11-point second quarter sank the Bulls, who rallied the night before to knock off the Mavericks as Chicago fell to 2-7 this season with no rest. Following a 13-1 ATS run, Fred Hoiberg’s team has compiled a 1-3 ATS record the last four games, while allowing at least 124 points during each of the past four contests.
Howl at the Moon
The Timberwolves (25-16 SU, 18-21-2 ATS) are looking to make a move in the Western Conference this season and are doing just that by winning eight of their last 11 games. Minnesota crushed New Orleans for the third time this season on Saturday, 116-98 as 1 ½-point home favorites, as Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Jimmy Butler all posted at least 20 points. The Wolves have stepped up their defense of late by cashing their sixth consecutive UNDER, while limiting their fifth straight opponent to below 100 points.
Minnesota welcomes in Cleveland (26-13 SU, 12-26-1 ATS), as the Cavaliers held off the Magic on Saturday, 131-127 as nine-point road favorites. The Magic outscored the Cavs by 16 points for the backdoor cover, but LeBron James continued his fantastic season by coming within one assist of a triple-double (33 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists). Cleveland continues a five-game trip, as the Cavs have slid to a 1-7 ATS mark in their last eight contests away from Quicken Loans Arena.
The Pelicans (19-19 SU, 20-17-1 ATS) fell back to .500 after an 18-point setback at Minnesota on Saturday. New Orleans trailed by 21 at halftime and couldn’t recover as the Pelicans had their three-game road winning streak snapped. The Pelicans host the Pistons, as New Orleans owns a solid 5-2 record this season at home against Eastern Conference foes, while beating Detroit eight straight times in the Big Easy.
Detroit (21-17 SU, 21-15-2 ATS) rallied past Houston on Saturday to rebound from a 36-point defeat at Philadelphia the night before. The Pistons have stumbled to a 2-8 record in their last 10 games away from Little Caesars Arena, including four consecutive road setbacks. If Detroit can break the 100-point mark, it will be successful as the Pistons are 6-1 the last seven times they have broken the triple-digit ledger, while the Pelicans have allowed at least 105 points in nine straight home contests.
The Bucks and Pacers are hooking up for the second time in a six-day span, this time in Indianapolis. Milwaukee cruised past Indiana at BMO Harris Bradley Center last Wednesday, 122-101 as 7 ½-point favorites, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 31 points and 10 rebounds as the Bucks shot a scorching 58% from the floor. The Bucks (21-17 SU, 17-16-5 ATS) improved to 4-5 against division opponents, while coming off a 110-103 triumph at Washington on Saturday.
Indiana (20-19 SU, 21-18 ATS) received a much-needed boost from leading scorer Victor Oladipo on Saturday, as the guard returned to the lineup following a four-game absence with a sore right knee. Oladipo posted a 23-point effort in a 125-86 blowout of the Bulls, ending Indiana’s five-game losing streak, which included the 21-point setback at Milwaukee last week. The Pacers have struggled to cover numbers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse of late by going 2-5 ATS in the last seven home contests.
-- Toronto doesn’t normally lose to Brooklyn, as the Raptors seek their 10th straight win over the Nets dating back to 2016. The Raptors have won four straight games, while topping the 124-point mark in each of their past three victories. Toronto heads to Barclays Center as the Nets have covered five consecutive games following a two-point home loss to Boston on Saturday.
-- The Spurs have won 11 consecutive meetings with the Kings since 2014 as San Antonio travels to Sacramento. San Antonio owns a 5-4 record with no rest following Sunday’s loss at Portland, but has compiled a 2-7 ATS mark on the second of a back-to-back. Sacramento snapped a three-game skid in Saturday’s home underdog victory over Denver, but the Kings have won back-to-back games only twice this season.
-- The Hawks remain at Staples Center after Sunday’s setback against the Lakers as Atlanta hooks up with the Clippers. L.A. ripped Atlanta earlier this season at Philips Arena, 116-103, but the Clippers are currently riding a two-game skid following home defeats to the Thunder and Warriors.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.
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