We went against the “experts” who were largely picking the Celtics to cover in La-La Land last night, and were rewarded with our seventh win in eight NBA picks (the early fail-to-cover by OKC ended the overall ATS win streak at 14 games…). But it seems Vegas and the oddmakers are still late to the tremendous party brewing with the Staples Center’s “other” team, the Clippers.
Tonight they are just a three point favorite on the road at Utah. So can the Clipps make it 15 straight?? Let’s dig into some numbers and trends for tonight’s free pick.
Los Angeles Clippers -3 at Utah Jazz (Total: 192)
As mentioned earlier, the Clippers are riding one of the longest and most impressive win streaks in NBA history. They may face their toughest obstacle yet tonight in Utah. No, the Jazz aren’t an elite team, and I would wager they will not even make the Playoffs in the West (losing a tough battle to the Rockets and Mavs/Timberwolves), but they are difficult to beat in their home arena.
Utah is 9-3 at home this season, despite losing their most recent home game to the Golden State Warriors 94-83. The Clippers bring an identical 9-3 road record (the best in the NBA) into Salt Lake City tonight. Home or away has mattered little to the NBA’s deepest team, who seems to be impervious to road crowds, fatigue, or any of the elements that befall all NBA teams. This is their second game in as many nights, but with the ten-deep bevy of talent they trot out, I am not sure it is a big issue.
Utah has actually lost their last two home games by double digits. Both were to elite Western Conference teams (Memphis being the second). That description would be more than apt for the Clippers. I like LAC to go in and do what they have done for a month straight – handle their business and handle it with relative ease.
Los Angeles has now covered in 13 of their last 15 games, and many of those easy covers have helped propel our extended win streak here at thesportsgeek.com. I’m riding the Clippers train until I get booted off… and I don’t think it will be tonight.
Free Pick: Los Angeles Clippers -3
There are a couple other good lines tonight, so let’s wrap the column with a few bonus picks. First, despite the injury to Ray Felton, I love the Knicks in Sacramento tonight. The Kings jump up and surprise a few elite teams at home each season, but I don’t think it is tonight. They are 8-7 at home, impressive for a 9-19 train wreck of a team, but the Knicks are 9-6 on the road – a more than respectable number. I like them to bounce back from their Christmas Day loss and beat up on the inferior Kings.
Free Pick: New York Knicks -4
One last pick. Golden State hosts the 76’ers tonight and is only laying six points. The Warriors have been very good at home (8-4) and Philly has struggled mightily on the road (5-9). They have lost 5 of their last 6 road games, and only covered in two of their last seven. I like the Warrior to keep up their most surprising team in the West status and win easily at home, covering the six point spread.
Free Pick: Golden State Warriors -6