Game 3: Golden State Warriors vs. LA Clippers Pick
Golden State Warriors (58-26 SU, 36-47-1 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (49-35 SU, 46-37-1 ATS)
When: Thursday, April 18th, 2019 – 10:30 PM ET
Where: Staples Center– Los Angeles, CA
TV: TNT / TSN
By: Keith Franks, NBA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: GS -8.5 vs. LAC +8.5
Power Rankings: Los Angeles +4
Takeaways from Game Two
After the Warriors defeated the Clippers by a score of 121-104 in Game One in Oakland, it seemed like Golden State was on their way to getting their broom ready against their divisional rivals. Though the Warriors were the least profitable team against the spread on the season, they managed to cover a 13.5-point line in the series opener to give their takers a chance to profit. In Game Two, the W’s gave us the W, when they closed at an identical price but fell prey to an upset orchestrated in the uncanny of fashion. Golden State led by as much as 31 points but the Clippers refused to give up. Los Angeles would come from behind to hand the Warriors a defeat on their own floor by a score of 135-131. The result sent ripples across the league.
How the Public is Betting the Los Angeles and Golden State Game
Presently, 51% of the consensus like the Warriors here laying the points. As a result of what appears to be early action on the Warriors, the line has moved upward by a point from the opening number of Golden State spotting 7.5 points to the Clippers.
The Historical / Betting Trends
In Los Angeles in particular, the Warriors have been quite kind to backers as they are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings in the Staples Center. For Over/Under players, the Over is 10-3 ATS in the last 13 matches between these two bitter foes.
For the Clippers, they have no injuries to report heading into Game Two. However, Golden State will be without with the services of their Center Demarcus Cousins for the remainder of the playoffs. “Boogie” suffered a tear in his left quadriceps in Game One. Cousins produced 16.3 points per game, 8.2 rebounds per contest, 3.6 assists per match, 1.3 steals per game, and 1.5 blocks per match for the Warriors. Likely, the Warriors will move star forward Draymond Green to Center and bring in Warriors mainstay and NBA veteran Andre Iguodala to play forward alongside all-pro Small Forward Kevin Durant in the front court. Iguodala has been an instrumental part of all of Golden State’s title teams in the last four years and is a seasoned veteran. Chances are Golden State will do just fine with Iguodala’s expanded role combined with Cousins’ absence.
Rest Advantages and Concerns
Both teams enter into this contest on three days of rest. The Clippers closed out their regular season at home before playing the first two matches of this series in Oakland. Contrarily, Golden State was on the road for the last two games of the regular season before they hosted Game One and Two. All in all, neither team has been on the road or at home for a prolong period and both are equally rested. The Clippers have the benefit of hosting the next two matches until the series returns to Oakland for Game Five next Thursday.
Can Golden State Offense Seal The Deal Against A Typically Porous Clippers Defense?
The Warriors owned the second best offense in the NBA at the end of the regular season as they averaged 117.7 points per game. On paper, the Warriors have a favorable match-up against a Los Angeles team that sits 25th in scoring defense. On average, the Clippers give up 114.3 points per game. The Warriors should have no trouble finding opportunities to score in Game Three as they have averaged 128 points in each of the two matches in this series. The question is whether or not they can undermine the Clippers’ fifth-ranked scoring offense that procures 115.1 points per game. If analytics serve correct, they should be able to. After all, Golden State is the best team in the league in terms of field goal efficiency as they hit 49.1% of their attempts. Against the Clippers in Game Two, the Warriors shot 53.3% from the field. It just so happens that the Clips managed to shoot an incredulous 56.5%. Typically, the Warriors only allow opponents to hit 44.4% of their attempts from the field (3rd in the NBA) while the Clippers own a 47.1% field goal percentage (7th overall). Very simply, everything went right for Los Angeles and the Warriors were on the wrong side of history.
Can Los Angeles Bench Put Them In Position To Strike Again?
If the Clippers are going to want to prove all the cynics wrong about the verity of the upset, they will look no further than their bench which owns a huge edge compared to Golden State. The Clippers bench averages 53.7 points per game. Golden State’s bench averages 30.7 points per match. Without question, Los Angeles will hone this advantage to try to pull off yet another upset. The Clippers also own an edge in the turnover department and that was also on full display in Game Two. Golden State managed to turn the ball over 22 times despite the Clippers giving the basketball away on 20 occasions.
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Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Golden State -8.5
There is no team more set-up for a let-down in their follow-up than the Los Angeles Clippers given the gravity of the win and they manner in which they pulled it off. For this reason, I will be hard-pressed taking back the points. Some may argue that the epic collapse by the two-time defending champs could be the signal of the beginning of the end of the Warriors dynasty. I am not one of those people. Led by the likes of Pat Beverley and Lou Williams, I would expect Los Angeles to never give up on the game even if it seemed out of reach. Perhaps, Golden State got a bit too comfortable and took their foot of the gas. I would argue it is a combination of that and the Clippers playing their best game all year. I am also willing to wager that it won’t happen again. Golden State will respond with fury in Game Three and remind the league as to why they are the kings of basketball. I got the Warriors winning this one by 20-plus points and this time around there won’t be any hope of a comeback by the Clippers.