Defending champions San Antonio Spurs take on the LA Clippers in the first round of the Western Conference NBA Playoffs. Check out our comprehensive preview of this must-see clash, complete with Series Odds and Predictions.
Regular Season Preview:
No. 6 San Antonio Spurs finished the season with a 55-27 SU record and a 41-39-2 ATS record overall. Home form featured a solid 33-8 SU record at home, coupled with a 21-18-2 ATS record. Road form featured a 22-19 SU record and 20-21 ATS record.
In their last ten games, the Spurs were a stellar 9-1 to close out the season, losing only their last game 108-103 to New Orleans Pelicans and blemishing an otherwise perfect run of form in the lead up to the playoffs.
No. 3 LA Clippers finished the season with an admirable 56-26 SU record but a 38-44 ATS record. Home form featured a 30-11 SU record, but a 16-25 ATS record. Road form featured a 26-15 SU record and a 22-19 ATS record.
In their last ten games, the Clippers emerged with a 9-1 SU record, which included a seven-game winning streak in the lead up to the playoffs. Indeed, the Clippers have momentum coming into the first round, boasting the longest winning streak of all the teams going into the postseason.
Head-to-Head Record 2014-2015
The series between this pair is tied 2-2 with the Spurs winning the first two meetings and the Clippers winning the last two meetings. The Spurs won 89-85 as the 1.5-point underdogs on the road in November and won 125-118 as the 1-point home favourites in December. Since the second half of the season, it's been all Clippers with a 105-85 win as the 5-point road underdogs and a 119-115 win as the 2.5-point home underdogs.
Recent Playoff Trends:
The San Antonio Spurs come into the playoffs as the defending champions, but they are certainly not the top favourites in the competition. They are making their sixth straight playoff appearance and have reached the NBA finals in the last two seasons; they were runners-up to Miami two seasons ago after losing Game 7.
The Clippers enter their fourth straight playoffs. Last season, they reached the Western Conference Semi-finals for the second time in three consecutive seasons only to lose to Oklahoma City in Game 6.
NBA Playoffs Odds:
On the strength of back-to-back NBA Finals appearances, the San Antonio Spurs emerge as the third overall favourites to win it all at +400, despite their less than convincing regular season output. In the Western Conference, they emerge as the second favourites at +240 to win outright, but a good distance larger than Golden State Warriors at +125 NBA odds.
The LA Clippers, meanwhile, are fifth overall favourites to win it all at +1200 NBA odds and the third overall favourites to emerge from the Western Conference Finals at +650 NBA odds. Indeed, the way the odds are shaping up, these two sides could potentially deliver the most exciting first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Breaking Down The Series:
SA Spurs -165
LA Clippers +145
NBA Betting Verdict:
No.3 LA Clippers have home court advantage, but the San Antonio Spurs are favoured to advance into the next round of the Western Confrence Playoffs at -165 NBA odds at their expense. That is a telling sign.
This NBA betting outlook is understandable given the Spurs have rounded out into form down the stretch impressively. They are enjoying a formidable run that goes back two months and features just two losses. Now, the Clippers also picked up pace down the stretch winning seven in a row, marking the best winning streak ahead of the playoffs. It would be grievous error therefore to discredit the Clippers as legitimate contenders . They'll fancy their chances even if the odds makers don't, but more importantly it won't shock the world if they do turn the NBA odds in their favour and upset the Spurs as the +145 underdogs to win the Series. This is a close one to call. Push comes to shove, we're backing the Spurs on our NBA picks simply because they've been incredible lately.
NBA Picks: Spurs To Win Series in 7 Games.