NBA Pick: LA Clippers vs SA Spurs
Los Angeles Clippers (24-21 SU, 24-21 ATS) vs. San Antonio Spurs (27-20 SU, 28-18-1 ATS)
When: Sunday, January 20th, 2019 – 7:00 PM ET
Where: AT&T Center – San Antonio, TX
TV: FSN / TSN
By: Keith Franks, NBA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: LAC +6.5 / SA -6.5
Power Rankings: San Antonio +8 (Intertops Sportsbook)
Takeaways From Los Angeles and San Antonio’s Most Recent Games
The Clippers enter in off a nasty five-game skid capped off by a most recent loss to their arch rival, the Golden State Warriors on Friday when they were pummeled 112-94. The loss marks an unsuccessful home-stand that saw LA lose all four home games in the City of Angels. Against the Warriors, the Clippers suffered their fifth straight loss against the spread as a 7.5-point underdog.
On the flipside, the Spurs enter into this game in overall good form as they have won their last two contests. Most recently, the Spurs notched their second consecutive road win when they edged out the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday in a 116-113 victory. The Spurs closed as a 1.5-point underdog.
Speaking of underdogs in the NFL the New England Patriots are now +3 +105! Mr. Brady is using that to project them Pats against the world narrative but most NFL fans aren’t buying it.
The Clippers and Spurs have already met three times this season. The first chapter in Los Angeles resulted in a 116-111 victory going to the Clippers in November. The Spurs closed as a 6.5-point underdog in that contest. Since then, San Antonio has won the last two meetings and produced two more covers against the spread to extend their ATS winning streak to three. The two teams last met on December 29th in Los Angeles yet again. This time the Spurs defeated the Clippers outright as a three-point underdog when they defeated Los Angeles 122-111.
The most significant injury concern rests with Clippers Shooting Guard “Sweet” Lou Williams. A former Sixth Man of the Year winner, Williams is listed as questionable for this Western Conference bout as he sat out Los Angeles’ last game due to a sore hamstring. Clippers Small Forward Danilo Gallinari is also listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.
Los Angeles Will Look To Outscore San Antonio To End Losing Streak
The Clippers are a team that like to outscore opponents. However, from a perspective of margins, the Clippers have not been able to enjoy any success as they are just +.1 on the season indicating that their strategy has not been working. Overall, the Clippers sit fifth in the NBA in scoring as they average 114.7 points per game. Defensively, the Clips give up 114.6 points per outing which places them 25th in the NBA. While they are not the top-ranked team in three-point shooting or free throw percentage like San Antonio, the Clippers remain ranked fourth in the league from three-point range with a 38.4% success rate while also retaining a fifth-ranked free throw percentage at 79.9%. The Clippers own a key edge which can help them in games that are nip-and-tuck deep into the second half: their bench. Very simply, LA’s bench play has been spectacular as they average 52.2 bench points per game. Overall, an 11.4-point advantage is granted to the Clippers as San Antonio’s bench produces 38.8 points per outing. If Los Angeles endeavors to get a win here, they will have to lean on their depth.
San Antonio Will Look To Continue Win Streak As They Proceed To Do What They Do Best
The Spurs are known as a team that stresses the fundamentals. It is for this reason, the Spurs are the most efficient team from both the charity stripe and beyond the arc. San Antonio is the best team in the league when it comes to three-point shooting, as they hit a remarkable 40.4% of their attempts from three-point range. The Spurs are also the best in the business when it comes to free throw percentage, as they hit 82% of their attempts. San Antonio will be able to take full advantage against a Clippers team ranked 25th in opponent free throw percentage (77.4%). Overall, the Spurs are ranked fifth when it comes to field goal percentage with a 47.9% success rate. In addition, San Antonio also holds an edge in the turnover department.
San Antonio’s win streak against the bookies and straight up have already been highlighted. However, the Spurs have been a cash cow in San Antonio in this series as they are 5-2 ATS against the Clippers when they are hosting. The Over is also 6-1 ATS in the last seven matches.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Los Angeles +6.5
No matter how you slice this one, the Clippers are bound to be overvalued here for a wide range of reasons. First off, the Clippers are riding a nasty losing streak which in itself diminishes the stock of this outfit which loss it racks up. Generally speaking, Los Angeles will be averted because of their current form. However, situationally-speaking the Clippers are that much more prone to being undervalued here because of their recent troubles against San Antonio, most notably on the Spurs’ court. As a whole, San Antonio is known as a team with a strong home court presence and they have followed suit this season in bolstering that reputation as they are 18-6 SU on their own floor. When this trend is also tossed in the equation, the Spurs are bound to inflict a premium on takers that back them at home in general. Adding in their supremacy against the Clippers and their good form compared to Los Angeles’ woes only enhances the likelihood of San Antonio being overvalued and sets up the Clippers to take back more points than they should be. Given how exceptional Los Angeles’ bench has been there is huge value in backing the Clippers here. This is where we step in and take advantage.