Griffin Injured Again, Clippers Regain Value: NBA Picks

Jason Lake

Monday, January 8, 2018 12:30 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 8, 2018 12:30 PM UTC

Once again, the Los Angeles Clippers will have to do without Blake Griffin – which should help them beat the basketball odds in Monday’s game versus the Atlanta Hawks.

Free Pick: UNDER 212.5 (–105)
Best Line: Pinnacle
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Well, here we are again. Blake Griffin, star forward for the Los Angeles Clippers, took an elbow upside the head during Saturday’s game against the Golden State Warriors. Griffin went down like a sack of potatoes and didn’t get up for several minutes; he’s out indefinitely with a concussion. You know what this means: Time to put the Clippers (17-21 SU, 20-17-1 ATS) in our NBA picks.

Our next opportunity is Monday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks (10-28 SU, 20-16-2 ATS), who are coming off Sunday night’s 132-113 de-pantsing at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers (–3.5 at home). At least the Hawks don’t have very far to travel in between. At press time, Atlanta is a 4-point underdog on the NBA odds board, with the early consensus split right down the middle. Tip-off is at 10:30 p.m. Eastern.

Badstreet, Atlanta GA

Sunday’s clubberin’ notwithstanding, Atlanta has played above market expectations this year. Those expectations were low to begin with, and the Hawks still have the worst record in the NBA, but are they really that bad? Not according to their 13-25 Pythagorean record, which is better than five other teams this year – including the Lakers. The Hawks are 10-4-1 ATS over the past month, as well. Gonna be hard to fade them Monday night, even in the second of back-to-back games.

Maybe we should bail on the point spread and consider the UNDER instead. Neither of these two teams is particularly good at defense, but tired legs will make it harder for Atlanta to score, too, and the Hawks have the UNDER at 6-3 this year when playing on zero days of rest. Plus, the Clippers won’t have Austin Rivers (Achilles) back in action for another week or so; Rivers has turned into an above-average scorer at plus-1.0 OBPM, but he’s an even worse defender at minus-2.0 DBPM. Milos Teodosic (minus-0.6 OBPM, minus-2.2 DBPM) is also questionable for Monday with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Ai ya.We’ll take our chances with the UNDER, thank you kindly.

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