Let's run over the available NBA odds for tonight's Western Conference showdown between the Spurs & Clippers. It hasn't been the best of starts for the defending champions & they're the underdogs tonight.
As of now, the Clippers are favored by 2.5 points at a large majority of the books we've checked. A spread of three can be found for those that like the notion of backing the Spurs as underdogs in NBA odds, something you don't get to do very often in the world of NBA.
Both offenses can score points in a hurry, so we understand why the total is at 202.5 points. It doesn't hurt that the Clippers have been one of the worst defensive teams in the league so far in the early stages of the season.
Los Angeles Clippers
With two of the best players in the league in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, this team is going to be tough to beat night in and night out, and it's all but a lock that they'll be making another run in the playoffs.
DeAndre Jordan continues to be a menace on the boards, and J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford can get hot in a hurry, but this is a team that's still working out some kinks, especially on the defensive end.
The defensive mistakes weren't enough to stop LA from securing a 106-102 home win over Portland on Saturday.
Redick went off, hitting 11-of-13 shots on his way to a game-high 30 points. Paul had 22 points and 11 assists, Griffin went for 23 points, six boards and three assists, while Crawford, who started the game in place of Matt Barnes, scores 20 points on 7-of-16 shooting. The Clippers shot 45.0 percent overall and 40.0 percent (10-of-25) from beyond the arc.
And so the home stand continues, with the Clippers now facing the defending champions before then locking horns with Phoenix and Chicago, two more tough tests. It's early in the season, but this is an important stretch of games for the Clippers, and we should find out a lot more about the makeup of this team.
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs have opened with a 2-3 record, with wins over the Mavericks and Hawks and losses to the Suns, Rockets and Pelicans, three teams that will be fighting it out for playoff berths in the Western Conference.
San Antonio was last in action Saturday as well, but fell by a point at home to New Orleans.
As has often been the case this season, Anthony Davis was unstoppable, and his driving layup with just under seven seconds left propelled the Pelicans to the win. He ended up with 27 points, 11 rebounds, six blocks and four steals in another all-around incredible effort.
For the Spurs, Tony Parker led the way with 28 points, four assists and three boards, while Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard combined for 25 points and 24 rebounds in the losing effort. Danny Green added 16 points, with Manu Ginobili coming off the bench to score 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting.
Overall this season, San Antonio's typically scarily efficient offense has struggled, only averaging 92.8 points per game, good for 26th in the NBA. We don't expect those numbers to continue, as we know it's only a matter of time before the Spurs get into gear again.
The Spurs are a very hard team to trust when making your final NBA picks. We all know Gregg Popovich likes to toy with the masses by resting his key guys here and there, and the Spurs are going to do everything in their power to make sure their top players are rested and ready to go for another playoff run.
With that mindset, San Antonio hasn't exactly looked like world champions to begin the season, whereas the Clippers just earned their best win of the season and seem to be entering a good situation for them to grab a second straight victory.
With Paul and Griffin leading the way, we believe the value lies with LA in this spot. Take the favorites to win and cover the small spread at home.
Free NBA Pick: Clippers -2.5 at The Greek