Clippers vs. Warriors: NBA Picks

Steven Suarez

Wednesday, January 2, 2013 3:27 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013 3:27 PM UTC

At last the streak has been broken. The Clippers' lengthy run has come to an end, but they'll aim to start a new one tonight against a vastly improved Golden State team. What's the right NBA pick here?

Clippers vs. Warriors

Odds Overview

Odds makers have listed the Clippers as 1.5-point favorites for tonight's visit to Oracle Arena. On the year they're 20-12 ATS, with the Warriors doing well themselves at 19-11-1 ATS.

A total play could be right up your alley, and if it is you can find the O/U at 200. For the record, the OVER has gone 5-2 in the previous seven head-to-head meetings between these Pacific Division foes.

Los Angeles Clippers

It had to end at some point.

The Clippers, who didn't lose one time in the entire month of December, finally saw their awesome streak come to an end with a 92-78 loss to Denver last night.

As a team, L.A. shot just 38.5 percent, including a miserable 5-of-29 (17.2 percent) from three. The Clippers were also dreadful at the line, making only 13-of-29 (44.8 percent) of their freebies. DeAndre Jordan (3-of-10) was the main culprit.

Still, the fact the Clippers won 17 straight games is nothing short of miraculous and it's a fantastic offensive and defensive balance and a deep bench that have been the key ingredients to success. L.A. is in the top five in both offensive efficiency (107.4 points per 10 possessions) and defensive efficiency (97.3).

It helps when you have a bench that possesses multiple pieces that can go off on any given night. Matt Barnes has been re-born under Vinny Del Negro, while Jamal Crawford, Lamar Odom and Eric Bledsoe have been productive too.

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Golden State Warriors

It's been a while since we've seen the Warriors take to the court, as they've been off since a 101-83 win against Boston over the weekend.

Everything was working for Golden State. They shot 52.1 percent overall and 63.2 percent from three, while holding the Celtics to 36.0 percent shooting.

Stephen Curry had 22 points, nine assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks in the win. David Lee chipped in with 20 points, five boards and four dimes, and Harrison Barnes, Jarrett Jack and Klay Thompson all hit double figures too.

The Warriors have now won three in a row, both straight up and ATS, and have gone 4-1 ATS over their last five contests. They're also 8-3 versus the number in their past 11 matchups at Oracle Arena.

Curry is having a career year (20.0 PPG, 6.5 APG, 4.4 RPG), Lee is averaging 20.1 points and 11.0 rebounds per game while also dishing out a career-best 3.6 assists, and Thompson, Landry and Jack have all been essential as well. However, it's been huge improvements defensively that have been the primary reason the Warriors are where they are.


NBA Pick

These two teams met up back in early November, with Golden State grabbing a 114-110 win inside Staples Center. Curry had a 24/4/4 line and Landry (23 points and 10 rebounds) was a monster off the bench for the Warriors.

Tonight we believe Golden State, a team that's also in the top ten in both offensive and defensive efficiency, will again get the win.

In spite of a 21-10 SU and 19-11-1 ATS record, it feels as if a lot of people are still sleeping on the Warriors. They've gone 10-4 SU and 9-5 ATS at home, while the Clippers are just 7-7 ATS on the road this season.

Fresher legs should also help. This is L.A.'s third game in four nights, while Golden State has been off since Saturday. That's a lot of time to rest and draw up a nice game-plan for Chris Paul & co.

Pick: Golden State Warriors +1.5 at Bovada

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