NBA Picks: Clippers vs. Suns

Steven Suarez

Thursday, January 24, 2013 3:45 PM GMT

The Suns, under new coach Lindsey Hunter, will look to avoid a five-game home losing streak when they host the Clippers tonight. Which way should we go with our NBA picks for this one?
Odds Overview 

We see that Phoenix is getting 6.5 points from sportsbooks, though you can find 7 at certain NBA odds sites as well. This season the Suns are just 17-23-2 ATS, while the Clippers are 25-18 ATS. 

A play on the total could be the way to go here. The O/U can be locked down at 193, with the UNDER having cashed in seven of the last eight meetings between these teams. 

Los Angeles Clippers 

Without a healthy Chris Paul out there, the Clippers have dropped two straight. They first lost by seven to Golden State, with CP3 clearly struggling on his bad knee, leading to him sitting out Tuesday's 109-97 home loss to Oklahoma City. 

Obviously listing L.A. as underdogs against the Thunder was justified. The Clippers had no answer whatsoever for Kevin Durant (32/7/6) and Russell Westbrook (26/6/4) and were soundly beaten despite dominating in the paint.

Blake Griffin's monster night also went to waste. He tormented Oklahoma City all night long, finishing with 31 points (11-of-19 FG), 11 rebounds, five assists and two steals.

The rest of L.A.'s starters had a rough time, as Eric Bledsoe, Willie Green, Caron Butler and DeAndre Jordan combined for just 28 total points. 

It was the Clippers' third straight ATS setback and they're now 3-5 ATS over their last eight heading into tonight. Vinny Del Negro's team has been good on the road though, posting a 13-6 SU and 10-9 ATS mark thus far on the season.

Phoenix Suns

Lindsey Hunter's coaching debut was a successful one, as he led his Suns to a 106-96 road win over DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings last night. 

Despite getting out-rebounded 49-30 and out-scored 58-46 in the paint, Phoenix forced 25 turnovers and were able to mastermind an impressive comeback in the fourth quarter to get the win.

Hunter stuck with the same starting five that Alvin Gentry had been utilizing, but it was the Suns' second unit that really picked up the slack. Michael Beasley, Shannon Brown, Markieff Morris and Sebastian Telfair combined for 49 points off the bench. 

It would be nice if Phoenix could now string together some wins, starting with a home victory here tonight. The Suns have struggled to protect their home floor this season, going just 10-11 SU. In those games they've gone a poor 7-13-1 against the spread.

While there's no substitute for wins, Phoenix has been quite good defensively recently. They've only allowed two teams to score 100+ points over their last 10 games and will try to keep that going versus L.A. 

[gameodds]5/134736/43/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick

Things just aren't as smooth for the Clippers on either end of the court without CP3 taking charge. Bledsoe is an ultra-athletic and talented young player, but he's nowhere near as good of a floor general. 

That's one reason why we feel the UNDER is the right choice for your NBA picks tonight.

A spread play is tough here. On one hand you've got the Clippers who, while obviously the better team, have looked a little shaky of late and will be without their best player. Then you've got the inconsistent Suns, who are just 2-7 SU over their last nine but will be out for blood since they've already gotten trounced by L.A. two times this season. Too tough to call.

So we'll stick with betting on the total and happily take the UNDER instead. Hunter has openly stated that he wants to bring a more defensive-oriented culture to Phoenix, while we're well aware of what the Clippers are capable of defensively. Del Negro's squad is ranked fifth in the NBA in efficiency in that respect.

The UNDER is 13-3 in Phoenix's past 16 home games and is 6-1 in their last seven matchups when playing on no days of rest. Let's see if it hits again tonight.

NBA Pick: UNDER 193

For a play on this game's spread please check out our NBA Picks: Thursday Night Parlay.