Free NBA Picks for Spurs vs. Clippers

Steven Suarez

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 2:09 PM GMT

The second half of the season tips off tonight and we've got an outstanding late-night matchup featuring the Clippers and Spurs. Who gets our recommendation with our NBA picks?

Odds Overview

The opening NBA betting line of 4.5 points has stayed the same, with Los Angeles the favorites inside Staples Center. The total has risen slightly, starting out at 210 but now trading at 211 at some of the top sportsbooks.

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San Antonio Spurs

The break came at a good time for the Spurs, as injuries were piling up for this aging group. They had still managed a 5-2 SU record in seven February games ahead of the layoff.

To kick off the second half, San Antonio faces a very tough three-game road trip out west which seems them play the Clippers, Trail Blazers and Suns in a span of four nights.

The Spurs will certainly be without Kawhi Leonard (hand), who's out through mid-February, but Tony Parker (rest) and Manu Ginobili (hamstring) are both considered probable for tonight. Tiago Splitter (calf) is a more of a doubt and is listed as questionable.

Tim Duncan (15.6 PPG and 10.0 RPG) figures to do a lot of heavy lifting again tonight, but San Antonio has been getting help from all over the place. The likes of Boris Diaw, Marco Belinelli, Patty Mills and Danny Green have all had their moments this season.

Along with getting two key players back in Parker and Ginobili, the Spurs have been the best road team in the entire NBA this season. They head into tonight's game with a 20-7 SU mark and will try to tally another win over Chris Paul and company.

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers went into the break riding a three-game winning streak, with all three victories coming at home. They beat Toronto (118-105), Philadelphia (123-78) and Portland (122-117) to push their record to 37-18.

At the moment Los Angeles is in the fourth spot in the Western Conference, but it's a tight race between Houston and Portland for third. A win over San Antonio here would be a perfect catalyst for the second half of the season.

It was impressive to see how well the Clippers did without Chris Paul out there running the show.

Much of the credit should go to Blake Griffin, who's vastly improved his offensive game – he's averaging 24.2 PPG and 9.8 RPG for the year. DeAndre Jordan (10.1 PPG and 14.0 RPG) has also truly elevated his game under Doc Rivers.

Injury wise, J.J. Redick has already been ruled out for tonight with a back/hip issue and Willie Green (hip) is considered questionable. Jamal Crawford figures to continue to slot in as the starting shooting guard alongside CP3 in the backcourt.

NBA Pick

We believe the value in the NBA odds lies with the Clippers tonight.

Given Gregg Popovich's tendencies to play it safe with his veteran group, he's not going to be giving his starters a crazy amount of minutes tonight, not with a Wednesday night game in Portland looming and another matchup coming up on Friday.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, won't be playing again until Friday after tonight's matchup, and we look for Paul and Griffin to come out early and set the tone. So while the Spurs have excelled on the road, we think they'll meet their match in a Clippers team that's gone an excellent 23-4 SU at home. Take the home team to win and cover for our basketball picks.

NBA Pick: Los Angeles Clippers -4.5