Wednesday’s Tip Sheet
By Kevin Rogers
Hornets at Cavaliers – 7:05 PM EST
The hottest team in the Eastern Conference is riding a five-game winning streak as Charlotte (29-26 SU, 28-26-1 ATS) goes for its second win over Cleveland this month. The Hornets have won each of their first three games of their six-game road swing at Indiana, Milwaukee, and Brooklyn, while capturing four straight victories away from Time Warner Cable Arena. The last time Charlotte faced Cleveland on February 3, the Hornets erased a nine-point halftime deficit to beat the Cavaliers, 106-97 as eight-point underdogs.
The Cavaliers (40-15 SU, 24-28-3 ATS) saw their five-game hot streak go down in flames in Monday’s 96-88 home setback to the Pistons as 9 ½-point favorites. Cleveland couldn’t capitalize off Sunday’s rout of Oklahoma City as LeBron James was limited to 12 points on 5-of-18 shooting against Detroit as the Cavs suffered just their fifth home defeat of the season. Tyronn Lue’s club owns a 3-1 SU and 1-2-1 ATS record off a home loss, while the Cavs are coming off three consecutive ‘unders’ after allowing 96 points or less during each game of this span.
Warriors at Heat – 7:35 PM EST
Golden State (50-5 SU, 32-22-1 ATS) became the fastest team to 50 wins in the regular season in NBA history after staving off Atlanta on Monday, 102-92 to cash as six-point road favorites. The Warriors snapped a four-game ATS skid as Stephen Curry exploded for 36 points, while the defending champions won in spite of missing 31 three-point attempts (14-of-45). Steve Kerr’s squad has cashed the ‘under’ in five of the last seven road games, while winning six consecutive away contests against Eastern Conference foes.
After dropping its final two home games prior to the All-Star break, the Heat (32-24 SU, 29-26-1 ATS) have rebounded nicely by winning three straight. Miami overcame a 4-of-21 shooting performance by Dwyane Wade to outlast Indiana in overtime, 101-93 as two-point home favorites on Monday. The Heat have jumped the Hawks for the top spot in the Southeast division, while extending its winning streak to eight against Eastern Conference opponents. However, Miami has dropped four of its last five against the West, while losing at Golden State last month, 111-103 as 14-point underdogs.
Wizards at Bulls – 8:05 PM EST
The one team that is expected to make a run towards the Eastern Conference playoffs is Washington (26-29 SU, 29-26 ATS), who has won three of four games since the All-Star break. The Wizards pulled away from the Pelicans last night, 109-89 as 4 ½-point favorites as Randy Wittman’s team allowed 89 points or fewer for the third straight home game. Washington goes for its second victory at the United Center this season after the Wizards cruised past the Bulls in January as 8 ½-point underdogs, 114-100.
After suffering a five-game losing streak, the Bulls (29-26 SU, 22-33 ATS) showed some signs of life by beating the Raptors and Lakers at home. Chicago’s offense woke up from its slumber which saw them score 95 points or less in the final three losses of that skid, as Fred Hoiberg’s club put up 116 against Toronto and 126 against Los Angeles. The defense continues to be atrocious for the Bulls, allowing at least 100 points in 10 consecutive games, resulting in six ‘overs.’
Thunder at Mavericks – 8:35 PM EST
Oklahoma City (40-16 SU, 22-34 ATS) goes for the four-game season sweep of Dallas, as two of the first three victories came by three points each. In the last matchup at the American Airlines Center last month, the Thunder held off the Mavs, 109-106, but Dallas cashed as six-point home underdogs. OKC looks to get back on track after consecutive home losses to Indiana and Cleveland, while being limited to below 100 points in back-to-back games for the first time since December. Billy Donovan’s team has struggled as a road favorite recently by posting a 1-8 ATS record in the last nine times in this role.
The Mavericks (30-27 SU, 31-25-1 ATS) have cashed the ‘over’ in five straight games, coming off Sunday’s 129-103 blowout of the 76ers as nine-point home favorites. In all five of these contests, Dallas has allowed at least 100 points each time, although three of those games went to overtime. Rick Carlisle’s club has covered four of its past five games as a home underdog, but won only twice straight-up against the Warriors and Celtics.
Spurs at Kings – 10:35 PM EST
San Antonio (47-9 SU, 34-22 ATS) has dominated Sacramento over the years, winning nine of the past 10 matchups, including a 106-88 victory at Sleep Train Arena in November. The Spurs continue their eight-game road trip after beating the Lakers and Suns in high-scoring affairs, but Gregg Popovich’s squad has failed to cover in their last four games. San Antonio has cashed the ‘over’ in five of the past seven road contests, as the Spurs hope to get All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard back in the lineup, who has missed the last three games with a calf injury.
A tough homestand begins for the Kings (24-31 SU, 25-30 ATS), who host the Clippers and Thunder later this week after facing the Spurs. Sacramento held off Denver on Tuesday at the Pepsi Center, 114-110 to pick up its third consecutive win, led by a 39-point effort from DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings aren’t exactly a defensive juggernaut, giving up at least 110 points in six straight games, resulting in six ‘overs.’ George Karl’s team hasn’t fared well without rest, putting together a 2-11 SU and 7-6 ATS record, but has covered in both opportunities at home against Atlanta and Golden State in this situation.