Thunder vs. Clippers Game 4
Oklahoma City took back home court advantage in Game 3 of this series, however even after the SU win, they are +5 underdogs in the NBA Odds, with a total of 215 points. The Thunder shot incredibly from the floor in Game 3, and even though the Clippers didn’t have a bad scoring day themselves, the Thunder are hard to beat when you’re not playing great defense, and their best three players are shooting a combined 63% from the floor.
Serge Ibaka was a huge success in Game 3 compared to the first two, and even though Blake Griffin was also virtually unstoppable on the other end, Ibaka’s play on offense really pulled the Thunder together. If he has truly found his edge in this series, it could push the Thunder into having some nice value as underdogs on the road.
However the spread is a wash to me. The Clippers should bounce back and have a good game, and while it remains to be seen whether or not they will cover the spread, I think they should win SU and score plenty of points. Both of these defenses can be good, but as always, great offense beats good defense any day. The total is a great value for an over bet once again, even though the game is an early afternoon start. The Clippers seem reserved to covering the Thunder straight up, and if they are going to continue playing at OKC’s pace, this total is going over.
My Pick: OVER 215
Pacers vs. Wizards Game 4
The Wizards were magical in Game 3, because they pulled off the biggest disappearing act of the year. Even though they set a franchise low for points scored in a game with 63 in Game 3, the sportsbooks seem to think they will bounce back here. The NBA Odds have the Wizards as -4 ½ home favorites, with a total of 180 ½.
While they looked like the 2012-2013 Wizards in Game 3, I think Washington will bounce back and play better here, especially on the offensive end. However I think what’s going more unnoticed is that the Pacers are very slowly creeping back to being the Pacers of the beginning of the season. At least they have gotten better with every game of this series. If that is the case, the Pacers could have some very nice value as +4 ½ underdogs here in Game 4. Even on the road, if the Pacers are engaged defensively again, it won’t matter if the Wizards pick themselves up in this game.
Indiana (although they have barely shown it) is just as athletic on the perimeter as Washington, and as long as Roy Hibbert is at least a strong defensive presence, the Pacers will cover this spread. Indiana playing at the level they were playing at in November and December is going to win the next two games against the Wizards to win this series.
The Pacers forced 18 turnovers in Game 3, and seven of them were on the hands of John Wall. Washington is now trailing for the first time this postseason, and I am interested to see if they fight back, or wilt away and are now content with their season. They have been overachieving for a while now, and like a speculative stock, this Wizards bubble may be about to burst.
My Pick: Pacers +4 ½