We took a beating last night as Oklahoma City vented some pent up frustration upon the poor Trailblazers. The deficit was 22 at halftime and never got any closer the rest of the night. It was all-around ugly for Portland, but hopefully we can bounce back tonight with a solid winning effort.
There are six games on the NBA schedule tonight, but there is only ONE GAME on the NBA schedule, and that is the San Antonio Spurs hosting the suddenly-struggling Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers appeared to be doing just fine, ‘hey, who needs Blake Griffin’ until the schedule amped up a bit, and they got a stern reminder that THEY, in fact, really, REALLY need Blake Griffin. There is a reasonable chance the Clippers get sent packing in five games by with the Dubs or the Spurs come crunch time, but it is becoming more and more obvious, they have NO shot without their All NBA power forward.
The more pressing issue is, can they win tonight – or at least cover?
Let’s take a look at tonight’s marquee matchup.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Los Angeles Clippers at San Antonio Spurs -9 (Total: 200)
My first instinct is to really like the Spurs tonight. The Clippers had been weathering the storm without Blake just fine until the schedule got nasty. They’ve lost three of their last five games, all to good teams, and all by double-digits including the most recent pasting by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Add in the Spurs near record-setting point differential for the season and the fact that game is in San Antonio, and it is pretty easy to like the Black and Silver tonight.
But the pick I like even MORE is the UNDER. I generally bet winners/losers in basketball and steer more towards over/unders in baseball, but the trends are so overwhelming on this game, it is hard to ignore. The Clippers and Spurs have gone UNDER in five of their last six meetings. San Antonio has held the total UNDER in eight of their last ten overall and the Clippers have been UNDER in nine of their last twelve games overall. That’s a ton of non-conflicting trends aligning at the same time, especially appetizing given the relatively ambitious 200 point total on tonight’s game. The Spurs allow a stingy 92.1 points per contest and are one of the most efficient defensive teams in the league.
The Clippers are treading water right now, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Spurs get on top of a 105-85 type game – an easy win made easier by the fact that the just don’t allow many easy baskets. Only one of the Spurs last five opponents exceeded 94 points.
Look for defense to reign, especially when it comes to the stingy Spurs.