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Odds and Ends

Will Utah win again? Is Toronto a trap?

by Vaughn Dalzell
Updated On: February 19, 2021, 1:54 pm ET

Top Game to Bet: Jazz (-3.5) at Clippers

Is anyone getting in front of this Jazz train? I have hopped on and off a few times, not riding this insane win streak the entire time, why? Well, I don't want to be you Jazz bettors' unlucky charm, so I just admire how well this Jazz team is gelling right now.

The Jazz have now won nine consecutive games and 20 of the last 21. Utah has gone on two separate nine-game-winning streaks and they have a chance for a double-digit streak once again. Utah's longest winning streak this season reached 11 games, broken up by Denver's lone win during this 21-game streak. 

The Clippers and Jazz met on Wednesday, Utah prevailing 114-96 versus no Kawhi Leonard (leg) or Paul George (foot). Both players are listed as day-to-day but questionable for this matchup. This line inquires one or both might play, but if not, go back to betting on Utah.

The Jazz are 19-1-1 ATS (95.0%) on this incredible 20-1 SU (95.2%) run. Nicholas Batum (concussion) and Luke Kennard (knee) are also questionable for this matchup and if two of the four or more play, this game changes slightly. 

Mike Conley is questionable for the Jazz after missing six straight games with a tight hamstring and he would be a nice addition to this Utah lineup. Utah has won all six games without him by eight or more points. Only one game over the last 21 outings have been decided by a single-digits. Utah's smallest margin of victory during this stretch has been eight points on the road in Indiana. The Clippers won four straight before their loss to the Jazz and have lost the last two home games to Western Conference opponents by three and 18 points.

The Jazz have won three straight meetings with the Clippers and four of the previous five, all by six or more points. When visiting Los Angeles, Utah is 2-1 SU (66.6%) over the last three meetings and held the Clippers to 107 or fewer points in all three and five straight games. The Under opened at 224.5 and these two teams have gone Over that total once in the past five meetings.

If Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are out, grab the Jazz -3 or -4 as quickly as possible and sneak a Moneyline Parlay with them in while you are at it. If one of those players suit up, the spread and Moneyline will change and become more favorable for the Jazz backers, so hang around until tip unless you cannot resist now.

A player prop I like in this matchup is Rudy Gobert. He is coming off a monster 23 points and 20 rebounds versus the Clippers and his points and rebound prop stay the same at 27.5. Well, there is not much stopping Gobert from a repeat performance or a little more than half of that 43-piece. 

Bet Locked In: Waiting for lineups - Jazz -3 and Lean Under 225


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Top Team to Fade: Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves

The Toronto Raptors are coming off a two-game sweep of the Bucks in Milwaukee. Toronto will be playing three games in four days and on the second night of a back-to-back for the fifth time this season. For Minnesota, the Timberwolves are 1-6 SU in the last seven games with two straight losses.

The Raptors are 0-4 SU in 2020-21 on the second night and played every game on the road, including this one. Toronto has lost at Portland (112-111), at Indiana (129-114), at Atlanta (132-121) and Boston (120-116). They have allowed an average of 123.2 points per game in those contests and averaged 115.5 offensively. The game total for tonight is 231.5 but was bought down to 227.0 quickly. Kyle Lowry is doubtful to suit up (ankle, thumb) after missing the previous game versus the Bucks.

The Over 6-1 (85.7%) in the last seven meetings in Minnesota between the two squads. The Over is 9-2 (81.8%) in Raptors last 11 overall and 5-2 (71.4%) in Minnesota's last seven this season. The last three meetings dating back to last season have combined for 228 (2021), 234 and 263 points. Minnesota beat Toronto 116-112 on Sunday, in what was a home game for the Raptors. 

Toronto scored 110 and 124 in the two wins over Milwaukee and Minnesota has scored at least 112 points in six of the previous seven games. The Timberwolves defensively allowed 119 or more in that span and both teams find themselves in the bottom 11 of a few defensive categories lately. 

Both allow at least 37.5% from three, 34.4 defensive rebounds and 25.1 free-throw attempts per game over the last 10 contests. They are the only two teams to be 19th or worse in all three of those categories and Minnesota allows 115.8 points per game (22nd) in that span.

Call me crazy, but two wins over Milwaukee is enough to convince me Toronto will break their losing streak on back-to-backs here. Minnesota goes where Malik Beasley and Karl-Anthony Towns take them and Toronto likely won't lose to them twice in a week. The Raptors are 11-4 ATS (73.3%) in the last 15 meetings in Minnesota and 22-10 in the last 32 overall. There is a lot of "sharp" money and big bets coming in on the Timberwolves spread, so until the injury report is released, I am staying away from picking a winner.

I tend to lean Minnesota's Team Total at 112.5. That is a solid number considering the Raptors have allowed 123.2 points per game on back-to-backs and all four teams posted 111 or more. Toronto's 114.5 is not a bad price either rather than picking them to win.


Friday Betting Notes:

Pistons at Grizzlies: Grizzlies -4.5

Memphis has alternated wins over their last six games, with a victory over OKC coming in the previous contest. Over those six games, the Grizzlies are ninth in the league with 117.8 points per game and eighth in field goal percentage (48.9%). All of the Grizzlies' last three wins have come by nine or more points. Only one of the Pistons' last seven losses have come by five points or fewer.

Detroit enters this contest struggles ATS versus Memphis. Detroit is 5-16 ATS (23.8%) in the last 21 meetings and enters this game, 2-6-1 ATS (22.2%) in their last nine games playing on one day of rest. The Grizzlies have played the home favorite role well recently, going 4-1 ATS (80%) in the last five and 5-2 (71.4%) as the favorite over the previous seven. 

The Grizzlies have won two straight over the Pistons and this will be the first meeting of 2020-21. Three of the last five meetings have failed to register 200 total points in this matchup and the other two went for 237 and 247 points. The game total is set at 222.0 and I lean the Over and Grizzlies here.


Suns at Pelicans: Over/Under 231.5

The Pelicans allow 126.8 points per game (29th) and the Suns 113.2 (18th) for a 240.0 average between these two teams over the last five games. In that span, the Pelicans offensively average 125.2 points per game (2nd) and the Suns 119.3 (6th) for a 244.5 average. The total opened at 229.5 and has been pushed up to 230.5 and 231.0.

When these two teams meet, the Over is 6-1 (85.7%) in the last seven games. When in New Orleans, the Over has gone 4-1 (80%) over the previous five. 

NBC's top trends for either team make a compelling case for the Over and the Suns. On a larger scale, the Over is 39-14-1 (73.6%) in the Pelicans' last 54 games following an Over, which just happened. The Suns are 27-11 ATS (71.1%) over the last 38 games, which they failed to do against the Nets in their previous outing. Both seem favorable to happen here, with the Suns winning four of the past six meetings and the majority of games being high-scoring.


Thunder at Bucks: Thunder +11

The Bucks have now lost five straight and for the first time since 2018, Milwaukee has lost two home games in a row. Milwaukee is now 19-1 (95%) SU in a home game following a home loss, which they just did in two straight to Toronto. 

The Thunder are 1-5 SU (16.6%) in the last six games and enter on a two-game losing streak. OKC has lost four straight road games, three coming against Denver and the LA Lakers (twice). The Bucks will be a tough buy on the -11 spread following five straight losses, including a 114-109 loss to the Thunder on Sunday.

Another revenge game for Milwaukee, if you are betting on this matchup, OKC is 4-1 ATS (80%) in the last five matchups and 7-3 ATS (70%) in Milwaukee. Per NBC's betting trends, OKC is 26-7 (78.8%) ATS in its last 33 games on the road as an underdog.


Warriors at Magic: Warriors -4

Golden State has won two straight over Cleveland and Miami, but now they travel cross-country to Orlando. The Warriors are 6-1 ATS (85.7%) in their last seven trips to Orlando. Both teams last played on Wednesday, giving them one day of rest in between. Orlando is 1-6 ATS (14.2%) in the last seven games with one day of rest, while Golden State is 7-3 ATS (70%) in their last 10 games playing on one day of rest.

On a larger scale, Orlando is 18-30 ATS (37.5%) as a underdog and coming off a day of rest. Orlando is also bad ATS versus teams with winning ML records, going 16-32-2 (33.3%) ATS in the previous 50 games. The Magic are 3-8 SU (27.2%) over the last 11 games and as a home underdog, the Magic are 2-3 ATS (40%) in the past five, but 6-19-1 ATS (24%) over the past 26 outings.

The Warriors beat the Magic by six at home on Feb. 11 and the two have split the last four meetings 2-2. Before that, the Warriors won 11 straight meetings against the Magic, 10-of-11 games coming by four or more points. In the last four games, every meeting has been decided by four or more points. With Stephen Curry averaging 35.0 points per game in the month of February (9 games), it is hard not to back the Warriors to get their third straight victory over the Magic.

Vaughn Dalzell

Vaughn Dalzell is a former Division I SID, two-time IUP Alumnus and also a contributor on numberFire, FantasyPros and Bet The Prop. You can follow him on Twitter for more insight @VmoneySports.