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Spurs vs. Clippers Pick NBA – April 19th

We got a narrow cover yesterday with the Warriors and Pelicans just sneaking over the 204 threshold. The Warriors held a 25 point lead in the game but ended up winning by just seven as the Pels and Anthony Davis fought tough and make it into a watchable contest. I still think Golden State wins the series easily, but it wouldn’t surprise me if The Brow has a monster game in NOLA and the Pelicans sneak a win out. In other Playoff action, Paul Pierce, after spitting some fierce truth this week was indeed “The Truth” yesterday as the 37-year old led the Wizards to an overtime win in Toronto. The Raptors are now 0-7 in their last seven playoff series openers…

Today is another full slate of action with four NBA Playoff games, and in true made-for-tv fashion, the final game tips off around 10:40 PM EST – the game everyone wants to see, the start to the Clippers vs. Spurs. That series is going to be absolutely fantastic; the winner has a legit shot at a title and the loser will consider the series a cataclysmic failure – and it’s hard for anyone to say they certainly know who will be in what role two weeks from now.

Let’s see if we can make it a 2-0 start to the Playoffs with a Sunday winner.

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Today’s Free Pick:

San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers +1 (Total: 207.5)

The last time the Clippers were in the postseason, they were battling the Warriors in a seven game series amidst the insane Donald Sterling controversy. This year, they can simply focus on basketball. That’d be great, except they get the defending-champ Spurs, one of the hottest teams in the NBA, in the first round. It makes for a tough draw, but for easily the most interesting matchup of the opening round.

The Clippers are the underdog in the series, despite owning home court advantage. In fact, they opened as one-point favorites tonight (since moved to one-point dogs). The Clippers have won the last two in this matchup, but they are just 3-6 in their last nine games. Coach Pop has flummoxed the Clippers in the past with the Hack-A-DeAndre strategy that has sent the 40% free throw shooter to the line repeatedly. Hopefully, for the sake of a watchable game, this isn’t the grand plan this series. But don’t be surprised to see Jordan at the line early and often in tonight’s contest. Can he make enough to back off the Spurs?

The Clippers have actually been OK in the last few games. The fouling strategy has tighten up the game, but it didn’t cost them the win. I think they’ll be energized at home tonight and will be able to stay just far enough ahead to survive a few missed free throws.

This series is going to be amazing, and I think it goes at least six, maybe even seven. I’ll take the Clippers tonight at home in a tense, hard-fought game.

Free Pick: Los Angeles Clippers +1