Clippers vs. Spurs: Strong Defensive Matchup Makes 'Under' the NBA Pick

Charles Stark

Friday, December 18, 2015 1:03 PM GMT

For NBA Friday we head to San Antonio when the Spurs host the Los Angeles Clippers. NBA odds have come out with a pretty low total for this contest, and I think they are right. 

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NBA Pick: Under 195
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

 

Betting Odds
NBA odds have come out with the total at 194.5 for this game. At first glance when you think of Spurs versus Clippers you probably think of a game that is going to end up well over 200 like they did last year December. However, in their two other matchup the total stayed pretty low and I think that is more of the type of game we will get today. For my selection today I will be backing under 194.5 between these two.

 

Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers come in to this game averaging 102.6 point per game while shooting 45.6% from the field, and allowing 100.5 points per game on 43.2% shooting from the field. Offensively the Clippers have been a very efficient team and rank eighth in the league in effective field-goal percentage. They have some interesting numbers in that they do not shoot the three-pointer particularly well at just 34.2%, and they rank 28th in the league at 37.7 points in the paint per game. What makes it interesting though is that they average 50.1% on their two point shooting which ranks seventh in the NBA. On the defensive end they have really stepped things up this season and although they rank in the middle of the NBA in scoring defense, their defensive percentage statistics are solid. Overall they rank ninth in opponent shooting percentage, but what should really help them tonight is that they rank seventh in opponent shooting beyond the arc at just 33.5%. This should be one of the main points of contention tonight versus a San Antonio team that is very good beyond the arc.

 

San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs are averaging 101.6 points per game while shooting 48.2%, and allowing 88.2 points per game on 41.8% shooting from the field. If it wasn't for Golden State's tremendous streak to start the season we would be talking a lot more about how great San Antonio has been this year. On both sides of the ball they have been excellent and they are starting to develop some chemistry which will make them very dangerous come playoffs. Offensively they are very solid at 52.5% in effective field-goals, and they rank second in the NBA in both shooting percentage from the field and shooting efficiency. On the defensive side I believe they have been the best team in the league as they rank first in scoring defense, opponent three point shooting percentage, opponent three-pointers made per game, and opponents field-goal made per game. They also are great at limiting rebounds, and as we dig more into the statistics it becomes apparent they really don't have a weakness on the defensive side.

This should be a really good defensive matchup and I simply don't see either team scoring a lot of points. For one of your NBA picks today I recommend backing under the total when these two teams meet in San Antonio. Don't expect an up-tempo game, but a hard-fought, grind out affair.