Clippers Momentum Makes Them Our NBA Pick When Hosting Pelicans

Jason Lake

Sunday, January 10, 2016 2:46 PM GMT

Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016 2:46 PM GMT

The Los Angeles Clippers beat the NBA odds (again) on Saturday. They're right back on the horse Sunday afternoon for a home game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

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Jason's 2015-16 record as of Jan. 9: 13-12-1 ATS, 4-1 Total
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Free XXX Pick: Clippers -8½
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Well, that went pretty much as expected. The Los Angeles Clippers beat the Charlotte Hornets 97-83 on Saturday, cashing in as 8.5-point home faves on the closing line and extending their post-Blake Griffin winning streak to 7-0 SU and ATS. Nicolas Batum (toe) was indeed unavailable for the Hornets in this matchup, giving L.A. one more chance to put away a struggling short-handed team.

Why stop there? The Clippers have another matinee coming up this Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET, FSN) against the New Orleans Pelicans, who remain near the bottom of the Western Conference at 11-24 SU and a bankroll-immolating 12-33 ATS. The Pelicans could be without their best player; PF Anthony Davis (back contusion) is traveling with the team to L.A., but he may or may not suit up, so the NBA odds for this game are on hold at press time.

 

Thank You, Come Again
Not to worry. We can approach Sunday's game the same way we did for Charlotte, when we weren't sure if Batum was going to play. Los Angeles had already faced the Hornets once during this seven-game winning streak, with Batum in the lineup. On New Year's Eve, the Clippers went to the Squishee King Center and beat the Pellies 95-89 as 2-point faves, with Davis in the lineup. If your NBA pick ain't broke, don't fix it.

Of course, we don't have any odds to work with yet, so it's impossible to say where the value is for this contest. But we're dutifully going out on a limb here and recommending the Clippers (24-13 SU, 17-17-3 ATS) to keep the ball rolling. The risk is that the marketplace will severely overvalue Los Angeles, even without Griffin on the court, and we'll be dining on chalk here at the ranch. Then again, maybe Davis will be a late scratch for the Pelicans.

 

Furrowed 'Brow
Davis (24.3 PER, +1.6 BPM) is certainly talented enough to warrant having this game circled, but he isn't the same guy who led the NBA last year with a 30.8 Player Efficiency Rating. Accumulated injuries and an increased emphasis on 3-pointers (of which he's made 27.8 percent) have put a dent in Davis. Still an All-Star? Certainly. An MVP candidate? Not this year, not yet at least.

One other injury note for Sunday: Pelicans SF Quincy Pondexter (knee) isn't quite ready yet to make his season debut, so that takes a little more equity off the table for New Orleans. Let's do this thing. The Clippers have got their mojo working, Chris Paul (23.6 PER, +4.8 BPM) just scored 25 points against Charlotte, and he only had to play 31 minutes – what's not to love? As long as the NBA odds don't come out all funny, that is.

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