NBA Picks: Warriors vs. Clippers Game 1

Jeff Grant

Thursday, April 17, 2014 12:31 PM GMT

The Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors both protected their home court during the regular season, which will provide value for the road underdog Saturday afternoon.

Home court advantage
The teams split the season series 2-2, with the home team winning all four games in SU fashion—a trend that may lead to Los Angeles receiving a majority of the betting action in Game 1. 

The Clippers compiled a 34-7 SU record at this venue during the regular season, including a 21-5 mark when taking on Western Conference opponents.

It’s important to point out that the host has covered the number in six of the last seven overall meetings in this rivalry.


Potent backcourt
Golden State is capable of pulling off a slight upset in this series if guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson continue to play well together, as the duo combined to score 42.5 points per game during the regular season. 

The Warriors set a franchise-record in three-pointers made this season, with Curry leading the entire NBA in that statistical category.

When playing in the half court against the Clippers this season, Curry knocked down 8 of 16 shots from beyond the arc.

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Griffin
Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin had 12 games this season that he finished with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds, as he continues to thrive with point guard Chris Paul running the offense. 

Griffin has scored 10-plus points 18 times in the first quarter, as he ranked fifth in the league in averaging 7.6 points in the opening 12 minutes.


Been there, done that
The Warriors are making their first back-to-back postseason appearances since 1991-92, which makes them a dangerous matchup for any team in the league, especially since they’ve covered the number in 11 of their last 12 opening-round games.

Golden State will need to concentrate as a unit on the defensive end, as it has compiled a 35-6 SU record when holding opponents under 100 points.  The team held foes to 43.6 percent shooting since the All-Star break—the second best mark in the league.


Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Warriors as one of their NBA playoff picks, as they’ve gone 27-11 ATS in April over the last two-plus seasons. 

Pick: Golden State Warriors +6.5 at BetOnline

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