News of Paul's injury has had a clear and immediate effect on the NBA odds, as the Spurs are eight-point favorites at home over the Clippers. No chance we'd see that high of a line if the star point guard was playing.
So far San Antonio has managed a 25-8 SU record while going 17-16 ATS. Los Angeles is 23-12 SU and 21-14 ATS on the year.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers may have beaten the Mavericks last night, but the win came with a price.
Chris Paul separated his shoulder and will miss three to five weeks, meaning Darren Collison will take over as the starting point guard going forward.
Collison looked sharp in the 119-112 road win, scoring 20 points with four assists and three rebounds in over 35 minutes of court time. He was helped out by DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, who tore it up for a combined 50 points, 33 rebounds, six assists and four blocks.
With CP3 out, the frontcourt will have to keep dominating to keep the Clippers competitive. Griffin will have his chance to carry the load on his shoulders.
With that gutsy victory over the Mavericks, Los Angeles moved to 9-9 SU and 12-6 ATS on the road. They sure will be tested against the Spurs though. Can the Clippers keep it going and secure their third straight victory?
San Antonio Spurs
How desperate must the Spurs be to get back on the court after that dismal loss to the Knicks two nights ago?
San Antonio had won three straight, including a nice nine-point road win over Dallas, but they couldn't get the job done against New York, even in spite of Marco Belinelli having a career night shooting the ball.
Belinelli single-handedly kept the Spurs alive, hitting six threes en route to a career-high 32 points. Elsewhere, Manu Ginobili had 11 points and 12 assists off the bench, though both Tim Duncan (nine points and seven boards) and Tony Parker (12 points and seven assists) were disappointing.
It wasn't a good performance whatsoever, considering San Antonio had come in favored by 11.5 points. When favored by double digits this season, the Spurs are now 5-6 ATS.
They've struggled for backers when playing at home as well, going 6-11 against the spread leading up to tonight's tipoff. Still, you may be interested to know the Spurs haven't lost consecutive games once this season, which bodes well for them with some sportsbooks.
The Clippers will give it their all, but there's too much going against them here to add them to our NBA picks.
They're coming off a tiring win last night and are due for a letdown against a San Antonio team that will want to redeem themselves after a bad home loss to the Knicks. Oh yeah, and they're missing their best player. That never helps.
Following a straight up defeat, the Spurs are a mighty impressive 12-2 ATS over their past 14 tries. They should be able to overcome the Clippers, who are a mediocre 4-4 SU (5-3 ATS) on the backend of back-to-backs this season. Take San Antonio to cover the big number.
Pick: San Antonio Spurs -8