Wednesday’s Tip Sheet
By Kevin Rogers
Warriors at Hornets – 7:05 PM EST
Will the champs reach 20 straight wins to start the season? That is the question heading into tonight’s matchup in Charlotte as Golden State (19-0 SU, 13-6 ATS) looks to remain undefeated after squeezing past Utah on Monday, 106-103 as 7 ½-point road favorites. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 26 points, as Golden State has topped the 100-point mark in all 19 victories. The Warriors are riding a five-game ‘over’ streak away from Oracle Arena, while covering in seven of nine road victories.
Charlotte (10-7 SU, 9-7-1 ATS) has overcome an 0-3 start with a 10-4 run the last 14 games, while winning eight of its last nine times at Time Warner Cable Arena. The only two losses suffered at home came to a pair of teams that played in the Eastern Conference Finals last season, the Hawks and Cavaliers, dropping those two contests by a combined seven points. Steve Clifford’s squad concludes a seven-game homestand, posting a 5-1 SU and 3-3 ATS record, while limiting four of the past five opponents to 95 points or less. However, the Hornets will be without their big man Al Jefferson, who is sidelined for two to three weeks with a strained calf.
Suns at Pistons – 7:35 PM EST
Both these teams are hovering around the .500 mark, as Phoenix (8-10 SU, 9-9 ATS) tries rebound from last night’s 94-91 setback at Brooklyn as 3 ½-point favorites. The Suns have dropped five of six, while looking to avenge a 100-92 home defeat to the Pistons last month. Detroit has covered seven straight meetings with Phoenix, while three of the past four matchups at the Palace of Auburn Hills have been decided by two points or less. Jeff Hornacek’s club has struggled early on against the Eastern Conference, putting together a 1-3 SU/ATS record, while scoring 97 points or less in all three losses.
The Pistons (9-9 SU, 9-9 ATS) jumped out to a 5-1 start, but have struggled to find consistency over the last three weeks, limping to a 4-8 record the past 12 trips to the court. Home is where the heart is for Stan Van Gundy’s squad, who dominated the unrested Rockets on Sunday, 116-105 as four-point favorites, the fifth win in five tries at the Palace. For the exception of the shootout against defenseless Houston, the Pistons have cashed the ‘under’ at home recently, hitting in five of seven games in Auburn Hills.
Raptors at Hawks – 8:05 PM EST
Two division winners from last season meet up in Atlanta as the Raptors (11-7 SU, 12-6 ATS) beat the Hawks in three of four opportunities. One of the key components from Atlanta’s squad has switched sides as DeMarre Carroll makes his return to Philips Arena for the first time since last season in a Raptors’ uniform. Carroll is averaging a career-high 13.1 points per game, while scoring 20 points and pulling down seven rebounds in Sunday’s home loss to the Suns. Toronto has been outstanding in the underdog role this season, compiling a 6-1 ATS record, including outright wins over the Clippers and Thunder.
It’s been a struggle of late for the Hawks to string together back-to-back wins, going 0-5 SU/ATS in their last five tries after holding off Oklahoma City on Monday as three-point underdogs, 106-100. In Atlanta’s last four losses, Mike Budenholtzer’s team has been held to 97 points or less, but somehow during this inconsistent run the Hawks have managed to win three straight games at the Highlight Factory. In two home defeats to the Raptors last season, the Hawks lost by double-digits, including an ugly 105-80 setback in the first game after the All-Star break as Atlanta was held to 33% shooting from the floor.
Bucks at Spurs – 8:35 PM EST
Great teams in this league win on the road, so judging by Milwaukee’s 2-7 record away from BMO Harris Bradley Center, the Bucks aren’t in the upper echelon of the league. The Bucks (7-11 SU, 8-10 ATS) have lost six straight road contests, while squeezing out two covers against the Nuggets and Hornets in this stretch. Jason Kidd’s squad snapped a three-game skid by beating a struggling Denver club on Monday, 92-74 as 3 ½-point favorites, putting together their best defensive effort of the season. The Bucks have lost six straight meetings with the Spurs since 2012, while cashing just once in this span in a 101-95 setback this past January as 11 ½-point road ‘dogs.
The Spurs (14-4 SU, 11-7 ATS) have yet to lose this season at the AT&T Center, compiling a perfect 9-0 home mark, including six covers. San Antonio hasn’t lost consecutive games this season, coming off Monday’s 92-89 defeat at Chicago as 4 ½-point favorites, snapping a five-game winning streak. Gregg Popovich’s team continues to play excellent defense, cashing the ‘under’ in eight of the past 10 games, while limiting nine opponents in this span to less than 100 points.
Pacers at Clippers – 10:35 PM EST
The 0-3 start for Indiana is in the rear-view mirror as the Pacers (11-5 SU, 11-5 ATS) go for their sixth straight victory. The Pacers have stayed in Los Angeles for several days since holding off the Lakers on Sunday night at Staples Center, 107-103, but suffered only their second ATS loss in the last 13 games. The two defeats in this hot stretch for Frank Vogel’s club came by a combined five points at Chicago and Cleveland, while posting seven consecutive covers in the underdog role.
The Clippers (10-8 SU, 7-11 ATS) have quietly caught fire of late, winning three straight games and holding all three opponents below 100 points. The most recent triumph came in Monday’s 102-87 victory over the Blazers as seven-point favorites, the fourth game on this current six-game homestand. Point guard Chris Paul is questionable for tonight with a rib muscle strain suffered against Portland, as the Clippers are 1-2 SU/ATS in the three games he has sat out this season. The Clippers have failed to cash in their last three home meetings with the Pacers, while Indiana has won three of the past matchups overall since 2013.