Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors Pick 4/7/19
Los Angeles Clippers (47-33 SU, 45-34-1 ATS) vs. Golden State Warriors (55-24 SU, 34-44-1 ATS)
When: Sunday, April 7th, 2019 – 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
Point Spread: LAC+13.5 / GS-13.5 (MyBookie Sportsbook)
Total: O/U 235.5
Last Time Out: Clippers lost to the Lakers 122-117; Warriors beat the Cavaliers 120-114
The Final Stretch:
Okay so I am not going to lie, I am feeling good right now with how my picks are going recently. Yesterday we had the Nets not only cover but win outright in a game they had to have. With that win in Milwaukee, the Nets are back into 6th and are looking like a lock for the playoffs.
As for the game I am covering, the Warriors will look to wrap up the 1-seed with a win, while the Clippers will be trying to avoid falling to the 7th seed or maybe even the 8th seed. That makes this game one they cannot afford to lose if they want to have a favorable matchup in the first round.
Some trends to point out are that both teams last played on April 5th, meaning they both have had just one day of rest. In this situation, the Warriors are 30-15 straight up and 20-25 against the spread. The Clippers are 27-19 straight up and 27-18-1 against the spread.
In terms of notable injuries, the Clippers will likely be without their second leading scorer, Danilo Gallinari. He is dealing with an ankle injury and is listed as doubtful. This is a huge loss for the Clippers but is one they will have to deal with to ensure Gallinari is ready for the playoffs.
The Other LA Team:
In what was supposed to be “The Year of the Lakers”, has turned into the Clippers once again earning the title of “The Best Team in LA.” That is not saying that much considering they have never won a championship and seem to always get bounced relatively early in the playoffs. Nonetheless, we will get to see at least one series in the playoffs played by a team from LA.
The more important question to ask is, “Do the Clippers actually have a chance of making noise?” If they do, it will start tonight when they take on the Warriors. Before even considering a playoff run, they need to prove that they can play with the one of the league’s top teams. Strangely enough they have already beaten the Warriors once, but it took overtime to do so and the win came all the way back in November. That feels like an eternity ago and clearly both teams are different today.
There is one X-factor if you want to call it to mention if the Clippers are going to have success. The player I am referring to is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. He is a rookie point guard out of Kentucky that is starting to develop into a real nice player. First off, he has played all 80 games this year for the Clippers, so it is safe to say he is getting some great experience. The rookie is averaging 10.9 points per game this season, but since the All-Star Break (21 games) he has averaged 13 points. Even more recently, let’s just say the last 5 games, Gilgeous-Alexander has averaged 17.8 points per game. So, you see that this kid is very vital to the Clippers success going forward. Especially since Gallinari is unlikely to play as I mentioned earlier, the rookie is going to have to be the one to step up.
Bye Bye Oracle:
This sub-title is not a typo and sadly this will be the last regular season game at Oracle. That said, their will be a celebration held honoring a historical arena that so many great players have played in. Considering all these festivities, you must ask yourself, “Will this be a distraction to the players?” The Warriors are obviously the best team in the West and probably the entire league even with the second-best record. However, they have allowed a lot less to distract them this year and at times have really struggled. It should also be noted that the Warriors are one of the worst teams in the NBA when it comes to covering the spread. They either blow you out or win in a nail bitter. The Warriors have also been known to play down to their competition. For example, they lost to the Suns outright a few weeks ago and most recently edged out the Cavaliers by single digits. Even if they play at full strength, backing the Warriors is a risky play and should come down to how many points you will have to lay.
Of course, I like the Warriors to win, especially in their final regular season game in Oracle Arena. But again, I have a bad feeling this game is going to be super tight and I feel the Clippers are going to play their best basketball with playoff seeding on the line. With that, my pick is for the Clippers to cover in this game.