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3/22/2014 9:20:00 AM
The Clippers are one of the hottest teams in the NBA and
host a Detroit club that hasn't won away from Motown since mid-January. Seems
like easy money for sports bettors, doesn't it? The Clippers are -13.5-point
favorites on NBA odds with a total of 215.5.
Clippers Nearing Full
Very soon, it will be hard to argue that the Los Angeles
Clippers aren't the deepest team in the NBA, especially after acquiring
veterans Glen Davis and Danny Granger via buyouts.
The Clippers (39-29-1 ATS, 36-23-1 O/U at sportsbooks) have
been without their big offseason acquisition, guard J.J. Redick since Feb. 3
due to a herniated disc in his back (he also
missed 21 games earlier this year with a broken wrist). Just a week or
so ago there was talk about possibly shutting Redick down for the season but he
returned to practice on Thursday. Redick won't play in this game but it's
obviously a great sign for Coach Doc Rivers' club.
Fellow guards Jamal Crawford and Darren Collison are
expected to return Saturday barring a setback. Crawford, one of the leading
contenders for NBA Sixth Man of the Year, has missed five straight games and
eight of nine with strained calf. Collison, who has largely been terrific
starting alongside Chris Paul with Crawford out -- Redick would be starting at
shooting guard were he healthy -- missed the past two games with a stomach bug.
Collison has started seven games this month and averaged 16.3 points while
shooting 49.4 percent from the field and playing at least 40 minutes in four of
The Clippers have won 11 of 12 but that loss was last time
out as host Denver ended their-season high 11-game winning streak, 110-100 on
Monday. It wasn't an unforeseen result as the Clippers had to play Sunday night
against Cleveland and it's never easy to play in the high altitude in Denver in
the second of a back-to-back. L.A. looked winded in the fourth quarter when it
was outscored 27-17 and held without any points in the final 3:31. Blake Griffin
had 26 points, his 27th straight game with at least 20, but was only 7-for-25
from the field. Chris Paul had 29 points
and seven assists. The Clips had to start Willie Green again at guard with
Collison out and Green had just eight points in 30 minutes.
Another Lost Season
The Pistons (29-38-1 ATS,46-22 O/U at sportsbooks) lost
their 12th straight road game this season in Phoenix on Friday night, 98-92,
and have two away wins in 2014. One is in Philadelphia so that shouldn't count.
It's the team's longest away skid since the 1993 season. One of the few bright spots this season has
been the growth of second-year center Andre Drummond. He's averaging 13.1
points and 12.8 rebounds. Drummond had essentially missed two straight games (played
five minutes in one) with a neck injury but was back Friday and had 13 points
and 16 rebounds.
There are few locks in sports but here is one: Pistons General
Manager Joe Dumars will be fired after this season. He's still living off his
playing days with the Bad Boys and that unlikely 2004 championship while he was
the GM. The Pistons will finish with a losing record for the sixth straight
year and won't have any cap room to do much this summer after overpaying for
Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings last offseason. Interim coach John Loyer won't
keep his job, either. Let the Tom Izzo rumors begin. Maybe if Sparty wins a
title Izzo might finally be ready to leave East Lansing and head 90 miles or so
down the road.
The Clippers won 112-103 in Detroit as 3.5-point favorites
on NBA odds Jan. 20 (over 208.5 total). DeAndre Jordan was a beast with 16
points, 21 rebounds and four blocks. Here is how those 16 points came about:
seven dunks, a layup and six missed free throws in six attempts. Beautiful!
Crawford had 26 points, Griffin 25 and Redick 20 (two four-point plays) as L.A.
hit 55.6 percent of its shots. Paul was out with a shoulder injury. Rodney
Stuckey had 29 for the Pistons and Drummond 15 points and 11 rebounds, but
Brandon Jennings had the second scoreless game of his NBA career; he played 28
minutes and was 0-for-7 from the field and didn't get to the line. Greg Monroe
had just six points. L.A. also has won two straight at home in this series.
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-13.5 and the over 215.5 on NBA odds for our basketball picks. L.A. essentially just had another
All-Star Break in not having played since Monday while the Pistons will be
gassed. The over is 8-3 in L.A.'s past 11 against teams with a losing record.
Detroit hasn't covered its past five against teams with a winning record.