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What bettors need to know: Saturday's NBA playoff action
San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers (5, 192)
THE STORY: The Los Angeles Clippers are banking on their home-court advantage slowing down the freight train masquerading as the San Antonio Spurs. Trailing 2-0 in the best-of-seven series and with All-Stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin each battling injuries, the Clippers need any edge they can get with back-to-back games set for Saturday and Sunday at Staples Center. The Spurs arrive in California riding a tidal wave of momentum and a 16-game winning streak following Thursday's 105-88 victory in Game 2.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
ABOUT THE SPURS: San Antonio’s fifth double-digit win of the playoffs speaks to how efficiently it is playing. The Spurs looked vulnerable after seeing Los Angeles chop a 16-point deficit to four points at the half Thursday, but they responded to the hiccup by shooting 62 percent in the second half. Tony Parker bounced back from a sub-par effort in Game 1 to score 22 points and register a knockout in his much-anticipated point guard matchup with an ailing Paul. Tim Duncan followed up his 26-point effort in the opener by scoring 18 in Game 2. He’s shooting 61.8 percent in the series.
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS: Paul’s strained hip flexor clearly appears to be an issue. He had 10 points and a career playoff-high eight turnovers and went scoreless in the fourth quarter for the second straight game, but refused to blame his injury. “No excuses, I've just got to play better,” Paul said. Griffin, already fighting a sprained left knee, also hurt his hip in Game 2. He scored a team-high 20 points but grabbed only one rebound. How much is riding on Paul’s improvement? Los Angeles shot nearly 50 percent from the floor, hit nine of 13 3-pointers and missed only six free throws and were still blown out in Game 2.
- The under is 17-3-1 in the last 21 meetings in Los Angeles.
- The Spurs are 13-3 ATS in the last 16 meetings.
- The Clippers are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games as a home underdog.
1. San Antonio can match its 2004 team for the second-longest winning streak extended from the regular season and into the playoffs. The Los Angeles Lakers hold the record with 19 straight wins in 2001.
2. The Clippers have received solid production from their reserves and hold an 80-68 edge in bench scoring in the series.
3. The Spurs won at Los Angeles 103-100 in overtime in February despite a 22-point, 20-rebound performance from Griffin.
The Thunder look to bounce back from last night's 99-96 loss and take advantage of a Lakers team that is 7-19 ATS in its last 26 games following a SU win. Oklahoma City is the pick (+1) according to Dunkel, which has the Thunder favored by 1. Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (+1). Here are all of today's picks
SATURDAY, MAY 19
Time Posted: 7:00 a.m. EST
Game 525-526: San Antonio at LA Clippers (3:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Antonio 130.256; LA Clippers 127.033
Dunkel Line & Total: San Antonio by 3; 194
Vegas Line & Total: San Antonio by 5; 190 1/2
Dunkel Pick: LA Clippers (+5); Over
Game 527-528: Oklahoma City at LA Lakers (10:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Oklahoma City 123.861; LA Lakers 122.880
Dunkel Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 1; 185
Vegas Line & Total: LA Lakers by 1; 189
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (+1); Under
Play Against - Home underdogs (LA CLIPPERS) revenging a loss vs opponent against opponent off 2 consecutive home wins by 10 points or more
57-25 over the last 5 seasons. ( 69.5% 29.5 units )
5-2 this year. ( 71.4% 2.8 units )
NBA SAN ANTONIO at LA CLIPPERS
Play Against - Road favorites vs. the money line (SAN ANTONIO) after having covered 3 of their last 4 against the spread, a top-level team (>=75%) playing a team with a winning record.
61-50 since 1997. ( 55.0% 38.5 units )
5-5 this year. ( 50.0% 1.5 units )
NBA SAN ANTONIO at LA CLIPPERS
Play On - Home underdogs vs. the 1rst half line (LA CLIPPERS) in a game involving two average defensive teams (92-98 PPG) after 42+ games, after allowing 100 points or more 2 straight games
62-28 since 1997. ( 68.9% 31.2 units )
3-0 this year. ( 100.0% 3.0 units )