New Orleans Pelicans (23-35 SU, 24-31-3 ATS)
The Pelicans traveled to the desert and played dead even with the Suns for three quarters until they melted in the final frame. But it was not to be despite rookie Anthony Davis matching a career best 32 points despite playing through the pain of a sprained left shoulder. The Suns scorched the Pelicans with a 17-1 fourth-quarter run which was all they needed to not only get the win but the cover in NBA odds. When the buzzer sounded, New Orleans had wilted under the heat of Goran Dragic's career-high 40 points and suffered a 116-104 loss and their sixth consecutive defeat. It was not a happy night for Pelicans' fans and those who backed New Orleans in NBA odds whose team took a tie game into the fourth quarter with the benefit of a seven-point head start courtesy of the oddsmakers.
The Pelicans are looking to become more aggressive on the glass, as they are currently ranked 21st in the league, which will translate into more points on the scoreboard. New Orleans is averaging only 99.2 points per game (ranked 19th) and allowing 101.6 (ranked 17th) which paints a pretty clear picture of why this team is 12 games below .500.
Los Angeles Clippers (40-20 SU, 34-26 ATS)
The Clippers need depth and they feel they got it when they signed Danny Granger and Glen Davis. Both men were castoffs from their former teams, the 76'ers and Magic respectively, but the Clips may have added some very valuable pieces to their playoff puzzle and perhaps for years to come. Granger, though plagued with tendinitis, is only 30-years-old and Davis is 28 which could mean that their tenure in LA may be longer term if they can provide valuable contributions off the bench.
The additions of Granger and Davis would not be possible had the Clips not dumped Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens a week earlier for a bucket of balls and a few bath towels. It was all by design as it allowed salary cap room for LA to sign the two big men. Jamison, Mullens and Hollins (who is still in a Clippers uniform) were the frontcourt depth for the Clippers but averaged a combined 8.6 points and 5.2 boards in 25.9 minutes per game. Big Baby Glen Davis averaged 12.1 points and 6.3 rebounds all by himself in Orlando. Factor in Danny Granger who from 2007-2012 averaged almost 22 points per game. That was not very long ago Clippers fans.
Free NBA Pick:
Just last week the Clippers handed the Pelicans a 123-110 beating in 'Nawlins as 4 ½ point road favorites in NBA odds. In their first meeting this season the Clippers did the deed very much the same way on their home court when they came away with another 13-point win, 110-95 back on December 18th. The disparity in talent is clear between these two teams and it looks like another victory for the Clippers. The question is - by how much?
New Orleans just played last night in Phoenix and now must pick up and fly to LA to face one of the best teams in the league. I have this game pegged as Los Angeles 15-point favorites in NBA odds but after reviewing SBR odds I see that we have no line as of this writing. The reason being that the Clippers Jamal Crawford may be sidelined starting tonight for a few games with a minor calf strain. Obviously his absence will affect the spread but the Pelicans also got some bad news when they determined that point guard Jrue Holiday will not be coming back this season after undergoing surgery for a stress fracture.
Play the Clippers at Bet365.com