The Spurs visit the Clippers for their series opener of the Western Conference Playoffs. Our expert capper takes a look at the NBA odds on offer and shares his NBA pick for maximum profit on this matchup.
San Antonio Spurs vs. LA Clippers 10:30 ET TNT
On Sunday, April 19th at 10:30 ET on TNT television, San Antonio visits the LA Clippers for the first game of their, best of 7 matchup, in the First Round of this year’s Western Conference NBA Playoffs. These teams met 4 times in the regular season. The games were split on the home courts (one game apiece). But, the Clippers won the last 2 games of the series by counts of 119-115 on this court and 105-85 at San Antonio. That sets up a double revenge motive for the visiting San Antonio Spurs, who just happen to be the NBA defending Champions.
The LA Clippers sprinted to the finish with a 7-game win streak to capture the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. They have also won 13 of their last 14 contests. Last year’s playoff team was troubled by the contention between former owner, Donald Sterling and his team, following the disclosure of his affair and the revealing of the racist phone message left by Sterling. The situation made headlines and clearly influenced the Clippers, who lost in the 2nd Round to OKC. Justice was finally served with Sterling being removed as owner and forced out of the league. No such disturbances appear to surround this team, as they take a now veteran group into this First Round Playoff series. They are led by the veteran inside/outside tandem of PG Paul, interior force Griffin, emerging rebounding/shot-blocking Center, Jordan and the premier 6th man in the league in Jamal Crawford. But even before last year’s disaster, this Clipper’s franchise was a troubled playoff team with a current recent playoff record of 9-21 ATS. The 94 foot offensive game is fun to watch, but the suspect defense does not always uphold its end of the bargain.
For that reason, we are backing the San Antonio Spurs in this Game 1. Entering Wednesday night’s regular season finale in New Orleans, the Spurs were 21-3 SU, 19-5 ATS since a 0-4 SU ATS break from the gate, following the All Star break. This run included 11 consecutive victories, a 10-1 ATS mark that saw San Antonio outscore the opposition (108-90), while winning 10 of those 11 games by 12 or more points. Their reward for victory was a No. 2 seed and the opportunity to meet a flailing Dallas Mavericks team in the First Round WITH HOME COURT ADVANTAGE. It was shocking to this bureau that their host, New Orleans, who was playing for a “win and in” scenario, took it to the Spurs from start to finish. After the game, Spurs’ HC Popovich did not appear to take the loss too hard. He congratulated Pelicans’ HC Monte Williams, a former player and Assistant. Many Spurs players also congratulated Williams with San Antonio star, Tim Duncan, saying “we are very happy for him. He has worked his butt off these past couple of years. I wanted to win and that didn’t change anything, but I get some solace in the fact that he made the playoffs.” The subconscious can work in strange ways, Tim!
Must favor the defending champs in the underdog role for my NBA pick, playing to defend their title in a Game 1 double revenge scenario! This is a proven veteran playoff team with an experienced corps of Duncan, Parker and Ginobili leading the way. Kawhi Leonard has emerged as a major threat after receiving the award as MVP of last year’s playoffs. Spurs bounce back after falling from the No. 2 to No. 6 seed to get a victory that is only an upset to some.
NBA Pick: Take San Antonio Spurs at a top sportsbook