Last night was a swing and a miss, as the Lakers and Bulls could not exceed a pretty beatable 210.5 Total. I loved the Over due to L.A.’s pace and Chicago’s terrible defense, but these teams simply did not show up offensively.
The Lakers waited until the second half to produce more than 23 points in a quarter, while Chicago mustered just 38 second half points after owning the Lakers in the first half. These teams both shot horribly overall, with the Bulls connecting on 38% of their shots and the Lakers finishing 40% from the floor.
Suffice to say, I missed my Over call and dropped to 3-3 on the year with my TSG NBA picks.
While that was a bummer, I like my chances to turn right back around and get a win tonight.
There are a ton of routes for NBA bettors to consider taking on Wednesday; a day which boasts a ridiculous 14 games. One game that stands out for me is a showdown in Atlanta between the Hawks and the Los Angeles Clippers.
L.A. has been in a free fall lately, as injuries and self proclaimed weak play have contributed to a mind-boggling 8-game skid. The Clippers looked like one of the best teams in the NBA to start the year, but have fallen apart en route to an ugly 5-11 record.
Star point guard Patrick Beverley chalks that up to the starting five not playing hard enough. His return from injury could help rectify that, while a Clippers team that is finally slowly getting healthy again could be nearing a cure.
That just might come in the form of Wednesday’s tilt against the Hawks, who are even worse (3-14) and haven’t taken care of business on their home floor (1-5). Is this a good spot to buy the Hawks as home underdogs, or can the Clippers keep their losing streak from reaching an unfathomable nine straight games?
Los Angeles Clippers (-155) @ Atlanta Hawks (+135) Total: 210.5
The Clippers have obviously been stuck in a funk, but it’s important to be clear about four things; this drought has to end eventually, they’re finally getting healthy, they’ve had a tough schedule and the Hawks are terrible.
The schedule has certainly played a hand in L.A.’s struggles. Six of these eight losses have come on the road, while the Clippers have succumbed to tough teams like the Grizzlies, Spurs, Thunder and Cavs during this skid. On top of that, the Clips have been in most of their games, with just three of these eight defeats coming by more than 9 points.
Los Angeles is getting guys back and they’ve finally hit their easiest game during this brutal stretch. The Clippers admittedly don’t have much going for them in terms of data or against the spread numbers. They’re in a brutal slide and the only way to start improving their numbers is to get a win.
Luckily the Hawks should oblige. Atlanta could in theory be a tough out on their home floor, but they’ve won at home just once this year and haven’t been that threatening (6-9-1) against the spread when they’ve been underdogs. The fight hasn’t been all that much more prevalent (2-3) when that’s the case at home, either.
On paper, the Clippers still have a viable offense (12th in the NBA) and with Bev up front, a defense that can give the right opponent fits. Atlanta looks like that opponent to me, as Dennis Schroder is far and away their offensive lifeblood, yet it’s tough to imagine him getting in a groove with Beverley draping him all night.
The Clippers still have elite size and dynamic play out of their bigs, too. DeAndre Jordan should own the glass in this one, while his defensive ability should silence Atlanta’s interior scoring and also influence Hawks perimeter players to stay outside the paint. Blake Griffin, meanwhile, has the versatility to dominate a Hawks defense that is among the worst in the league (21st) in terms of efficiency.
Ultimately, I dislike the Clippers less. They’re more talented, they offer more reliable value and they are flat out due to get a win. This is still a potential playoff threat in the Western Conference and even if that doesn’t end up being true, I have to believe an experienced team like the Clippers will wake up for such a winnable game to see if they can’t turn this thing back around.
Maybe it only lasts for Wednesday night, but I’m buying the Clips in this one and at their current price, I’m also getting solid value at -155 at GTBets. I love that line, and I wouldn’t be shocked if that shrinks later in the day. Always be sure to shop around, but at the time of this writing, GTBets is the best spot to bet on the Clippers for this showdown.
Update: Patrick Beverley has been ruled out for this game. I still like the Clips to snap their skid and hopefully this news actually tightens the line and gets you even more value with L.A.