I’ve been putting off using this subtitle to start a segment on Blake Griffin’s importance, but it can’t be overstated on a night like tonight. Griffin made his return to the lineup last night for the Clippers, and he played 34 minutes. However after the game, the team and he noted that he isn’t fully over the back spasms. It could limit his minutes the rest of the regular season, and it could start tonight.
The NBA Odds have the Clippers as -4 favorites at home, with a total of 212. Even if Griffin is going to be limited, I think the Clippers could still cover here. However there is still a possibility of Griffin sitting out if his condition worsens before the late night tip off. This is a small chance, but it is still something to think about at this point in the regular season.
It would surprise me to see Griffin not have an impact on this game however, even if his minutes are limited. The Clippers still have an outside shot at the #2 seed, especially if the Spurs lose tonight to the Thunder, a game that is conveniently right before the Clippers’ game tonight.
At this point in the season, we all have to be pessimistic about almost every game, even on a two game night. However this game should be close down to the wire, with Griffin on the floor in crunch time.
The Sharp Pick
With LA playing last night, their defense should give up a few more points. On the second night of a back to back this season, the Clippers are 9-6-1 cashing the over, and I think that’s where we need to go with our NBA Picks tonight. At 212, the total seems just a bit undervalued, especially considering the history of these two teams this season.
The over has cashed in all three of the games between the Mavs and Clippers this season, and in most of them it wasn’t even close. Now at 212 points, the over once again looks like the play. The over has cashed in four in a row between these two, as well as five of their last six overall matchups. For Dallas, the over is 6-1 in their last seven overall games, and for the Clippers, the over has cashed in four of their last five.
The Mavs have been amazing on offense recently, and it seems as if they are peaking at the right time. They have averaged 111 points per game over their last ten games, and have given up over 106 per game during that same stretch. Assuming the Clippers at home can get to 108 or above tonight, the over is absolutely the play.
If Griffin is indeed limited, this frees up more room for Dirk Nowitzki during the first three quarters, which could make the Dallas offense even more dangerous on the road. This season, the Mavs are cashing the over on the road at 19-17, and against the West, the Mavs cash the over at 27-18.
My Pick: OVER 212