The NBA Christmas slate ends with a Western Conference NBA Odds showdown between the Warriors and Clippers. Right now the early NBA Odds have LA as a -3 favorite, with a total of 216 ½.
Warriors early-season dominance
Golden State has been one of the better stories in the NBA this season, but after losing to the Lakers on the second night of a back to back, the NBA Odds have opened them as slight underdogs to the Clippers on Christmas. This however might be opening up some great value on Golden State on the road. The Warriors are head and shoulders better than the Clippers, and even though LA doesn’t know it yet, but they have been passed up in the Western Conference.
Even without Andrew Bogut for the next month or two, the Warriors have a wealth of depth on their side, and they can just as easily go small and beat the Clippers with speed. As good as Deandre Jordan and Blake Griffin have been this season, neither one of them as terrific defenders, and if the Dubs go small to force mismatches, the Clippers might be in trouble on the defensive end.
While the battle between Chris Paul and Stephen Curry should be a good one, I’ll take Curry in that battle any day of the week. Paul is still terrific, but he can’t shoot and get his own shot like Curry. If Paul is being broken down on defense, and the bigs are getting mismatched on the perimeter and away from the basket, the Warriors are looking better and better as an underdog.
The Sharp Pick
The Clippers have now lost five straight games ATS heading into their Christmas Day game with the Warriors, and even though the Warriors have lost three of their last five ATS, they have also won seven of their last ten ATS. The Clippers are also only 1-5 ATS this season in their last six games as favorites, and LA is only 5-13 ATS in their last 18 home games. For the Warriors, they have gone 27-11 ATS in their last 38 games, and they are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games as underdogs.
Either way this game is played, the Warriors have an advantage. If the Clippers try and run on the Warriors they will lose this game by double figures, and if they try and slow the game down, the Warriors’ improved half court defense will take over and be the unit that brings the Clippers down. Golden State is currently ranked 11th in the NBA in points allow per game at just under 99 per game. However their advanced defensive stats are even better.
Right now the Warriors have the best defensive rating in the entire NBA. Comparing that to their opponent, the Clippers rank 23rd in defensive efficiency, giving up about 109 points per 100 possessions. Both teams rank in the top 10 in the NBA in offensive efficiency, and if it comes down to who is going to stop whom, I’m going with Golden State. Feel free to take the points with the Dubs in this one, and I would even recommend a small play on the moneyline as well. The Clippers might not even be in the top five in the West right now, and I think the Warriors are going to prove that on Christmas night, which is why you should add them to your NBA picks.
Free NBA Pick: Warriors +3 at BetOnline