Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Free NBA Picks: Clippers ATS
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
The first NFL Divisional Round playoff game Saturday kicks off around 4:45 p.m. ET in Kansas City between the Chiefs and Colts. Perfect timing as that should be halftime of the first NBA game on the schedule, Pistons at Clippers.
Clearly, the story line here is Blake Griffin as he plays his first game “at’ the Clippers since being traded late last January to Detroit along with throw-in Justin Patton for guard Avery Bradley, forward Tobias Harris, center Boban Marjanovic and a first-round pick. That pick became very promising rookie point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
One would have to say the Clippers won that deal handily even though Griffin was one of the league’s biggest stars and is still an excellent player. Not only did the Clippers get the excellent Harris and a foundation piece in Gilgeous-Alexander, but they also cleared a ton of cap space by shedding Griffin’s monster deal to make a major splash next summer when the Clips might be able to lure Kawhi Leonard and/or Kevin Durant in free agency. It’s rare that a team trading a star is in a better spot so soon after, but that appears to be the case for the Clippers.
On the flip side, Griffin’s Pistons are mediocre at best and probably will be for the foreseeable future. Griffin did play in Los Angeles on Wednesday night at the Lakers, but obviously it will be different in the Staples Center on Saturday vs. the Clippers, who surely will give Griffin some sort of video tribute. He did face them in Detroit last season shortly after the trade.
Pistons Awful NBA Bet Right Now
Detroit is free-falling as it was 13-7 after a home upset over Golden State on Dec. 1 but is now six games under .500 after Thursday’s 112-102 loss in Sacramento. Griffin got that game off for rest as he surely was pretty amped up Wednesday in L.A., when he didn’t have a rebound for the first time in his career. Guarantee Griffin plays Saturday. Griffin played in 504 career games (all starts) with the Clippers, averaging 21.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 35.1 minutes per game.
The Pistons are one of the NBA’s best rebounding teams thanks to rebounding leader Andre Drummond, but they were crushed 57-40 on the boards by the Kings. The Clippers rank 12th in rebounding.
L.A. had a three-game winning streak (all by double digits) snapped Thursday in Denver, 121-100, but few teams win there. Lou Williams had 19 points and Harris 18 points and 11 rebounds. Williams currently leads the NBA, averaging 18.5 points per game as a reserve. Harris is averaging career highs in points (21.0), rebounds (8.0), shooting % (50.2%) and 3-point shooting (42.7%).
The Pistons and Clippers have split the season series each of the past two seasons. Prior to 2016-17, the Clippers won nine straight vs. Detroit.
- Pistons are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games.
- Pistons are 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning record.
- Clippers are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
Detroit is maybe the worst bet in the NBA right now. While Griffin might have a nice game statistically, this shouldn’t be close. The Clips have covered nine of their past 13 vs. teams with a losing record. Back Los Angeles ATS.