A battle of Western Conference playoff contenders is part of Monday's NBA betting card as the Los Angeles Clippers close out a homestand with a visit from the Memphis Grizzlies.
As someone who has previously confessed to not following the NBA, it's still a strange sight for yours truly to look at the standings and see the only team in the playoff hunt from Los Angeles being the Clippers.
The Clippers begin the week 7½ games behind Golden State in the NBA's Western Conference, the Lakers now making a strong Draft Lottery push 30 games back of the leaders. Next up for the Clippers is Memphis, Monday night's tip vs. the Grizzlies at 10:30 PM (ET) to wrap up an NBATV doubleheader from Staples Center.
The NBA betting odds caught the opening numbers for the game with LA -4 and 200 for the total. The spread held overnight while the total grew to 203.
Monday marks the second of four battles between the clubs this season, and first taking place in Tinseltown. They collided in Memphis back a little before Thanksgiving, Marc Gasol's 30 points and 12 boards highlighting a 107-91 Grizzlies victory. Giving up 2-2½ at home, it was Memphis' seventh win in the last eight meetings and left Grizz backers 8-1 vs. the spread the last nine matchups.
The teams don't have to wait long for their next clash, a quick rematch coming up Friday back in Tennessee plus another in LA near the end of the schedule. Betting the 'over' has been the way to go the last 11 times the Grizzlies and Clippers have gotten together (8-2-1 O/U/P).
Grizzlies Reach LA Off Upset Win In Portland
Things were not looking good for Memphis (40-14 straight up, 28-25-1 against the spread) heading into the fourth quarter of last night's game in Portland. The Trail Blazers had just doubled their first half output with a 39-point third quarter to take a 13 point lead into the final stanza, and all signs pointed to defeat for the Grizzlies who were 2 point underdogs.
Memphis stormed back in the final 12 minutes, however, scoring on 10 of the first 13 possessions and shutting down Portland's offense to rally for a 98-92 victory. Marc Gasol led the way with 21 points while adding three blocks, and the Grizzlies outscored the Blazers 54-26 in the paint.
Sunday's win left Memphis 3½ games behind Golden State in the Western Conference, and marked the first game for the Grizzlies in 11 days.
Clips Carrying 4-Game Win Streak Into Clash
Los Angeles (37-19 SU, 24-32 ATS) got off to a horrible start to February, losing the first four games on the fixture and not doing bettors any favors with losing efforts vs. the NBA odds. Blake Griffin was even on the floor in first three of those matchups, all four of the setbacks coming during a season-high 8-game road trip.
The Clippers haven't enjoyed Mr. Griffin's presence on the floor since due to his elbow injury, but they have sorted things out with four consecutive wins, covering the spread in each dubya. Monday's tilt is the finale of a 4-game homestand and Griffin remains out indefinitely according to all reports.
The long layoff had the Grizzlies plenty rested to make the comeback late in Portland, but now they've got to play a second straight day. This is still one of the best frontcourts in the league, however, and I'm taking the visitors plus the points with my NBA picks against a Clippers team playing without Griffin.
NBA Pick: Memphis +3 at BetOnline.