Los Angeles Clippers at Detroit Pistons
We took a tough beat last night, as Portland led by double digits the entire night before absolutely going to sleep and letting the Hornets creep back in the game in the final four minutes. Fortunately for the Blazers, they woke up just in time to secure the win, but unfortunately for us, they gave away the cover in the process.
Tonight, we will try to bounce back and resume the hot streak by piggy-backing off the hot streaks of the hottest team in the NBA, the Los Angeles Clippers.
Los Angeles Clippers -6.5 at Detroit Pistons (Total: 192.5)
The Clippers enter tonight’s game on fire, winners of nine straight games pulling their record to 17-7 overall and re-entering the discussion of legit contenders to the Thunder out West. They have benefited a bit from a soft schedule, only facing three likely playoff teams during this stretch (none of them elite) beating Utah, Chicago and Milwaukee. The impressive thing about the wins is that each one was on the road.
Before we penalize the Clippers for not beating elite teams, lets recognize they aren’t exactly facing an elite team tonight either! The Pistons have played better basketball after starting the season 0-8, but have once again entered a bit of a malaise, dropping four in a row and eight of their last ten games. They’ve lost four in a row at home, and all but one of them was by more than seven points.
That is important, because the Clippers are giving six and a half tonight. Usually laying more than a half-dozen points on the road makes me a little nervous, but not really tonight. The Clippers are rested, despite it being their fourth straight road game and should be fresh and energized tonight. That is part of the beauty of having Chris Paul pulling the strings; there is rarely a flat-out “no-show” game by the Clippers since his arrival.
The Clippers +8.6 point per game differential is one of the best in the NBA, as is their stunning 48% field goal percentage. This is an efficient team that gets quality shots, gets to the foul line, and defends well (average opponent FG% is just 42.8% – which is excellent).
Anytime you are generating more than a 5% difference in field goal percentage versus field goal percentage allowed, you are in really good shape. Sometimes jumpers don’t go in on the road, but when you get layups and can defend, your game travels really well. I like the Clippers to handle their business tonight and earn their tenth straight victory.
Free Pick: Los Angeles Clippers -6.5