It is only a regular season game, but calling it one of the bigger upsets in the NBA in the last twenty years wouldn’t be an overstatement, at least from a wagering perspective. The Golden State Warriors were 18 point favorites at the Lakers yesterday afternoon, marking the largest road spread in the last twenty years of NBA basketball. And considering the Lakers won the game by 17 points, the hyperbole is warranted.
Is it anything to be concerned about? Not really. It was just one of those days; days that every team in the NBA has five or ten times a season – a day when nothing will go in the basketball and things just sort of snowball. The reason yesterday’s result was so jarring is because we haven’t seen the Warriors look human this year – ever – at full strength and rested.
I still think 73 wins is firmly in sight, but yesterday’s loss does make 72 or even 71 feel like a perfectly realistic destination considering they still have three games remaining against the Spurs and two of them are in San Antonio. It will certainly make the last month of the season, which is often a little boring, worth following closely.
Today’s Free Pick:
Los Angeles Clippers -5.5 at Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks have dropped two in a row but they finally get to return to the comfort of home tonight, albeit with a tough opponent awaiting them. The Clippers are also entering fresh off a loss, a home loss to Atlanta in which they fired three-point attempts at will but never seemed to find the bottom of the basket. Both teams are in pretty secure playoff position, but with tonight being a possible preview of a first round series should either move a spot in the standings, it makes the matchup a little more intriguing.
Dallas has been pretty good against the number at home, posting a 19-12-1 ATS record on the season. These teams have split their last three meetings with the home team winning and covering each time. That’s why I like Dallas tonight, despite the Clippers being the better team. Dallas is getting five at home, and that is nothing to sneeze at. Given these two teams track records, it isn’t unrealistic for the Mavericks to win straight up, despite playing an overtime game yesterday in Denver. It isn’t often where the home team is on a back-to-back while the road team had a day to rest, but that is the case tonight, and probably the reason Dallas is getting so many points. I’ll buck the back-to-back fear and bank on home court lifting up Dallas to the cover.