The Golden State Warriors (55-24; 34-44-1 ATS) will play their final regular-season ever at Oracle Arena in Oakland, moving to Chase Center in San Francisco next year. The reigning champions will try to clinch the No. 1 seed in the West with a victory over the Los Angeles Clippers (47-33; 45-34-1 ATS), but the visitors will be highly motivated, fighting the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference which promises a thrilling game tonight. These two teams will face off against each other for the fourth time this season, and the Warriors lead the series 2-1 including a 129-127 in the previous duel at Oracle Arena.
The Clippers could miss Danilo Gallinari (ankle) and Patrick Beverley (hip) who are both listed as doubtful. On the other side, Shaun Livingston (knee) and Andre Iguodala (toe) are both listed as questionable for the Warriors.
The Warriors opened as massive 11.5-point favorites with the total at 235.0 points and the Clippers at +750 money line odds. Golden State is 5-1 straight up and 3-3 ATS in its last six games at home and just 6-4 straight up and 3-7 ATS in its last ten showings as a double-digit fave. The Clippers are 5-1 straight up and 4-1-1 ATS in their last six contests on the road and 1-5 straight up and 5-0-1 ATS in their last six outings as double-digit underdogs.
What’s at Stake?
The Warriors will clinch the top spot in the conference with a win, as they are two games ahead of the Nuggets.
The Clippers are just half a game ahead of the No. 7 seed Oklahoma City and one game ahead of the No. 8 seed San Antonio, so the stake is huge for both LA and Golden State.
The Clippers are coming off a 122-117 defeat to the Lakers which certainly affected their confidence. They will have a regular-season finale at Utah Wednesday, so the Clippers are at a tight spot here. The Warriors have beaten Cleveland 120-114 at home last time out. They have a back-to-back set after the clash with the Clippers, visiting New Orleans and Memphis.
The Warriors easily outlasted the Clippers 112-94 in Los Angeles in their previous meeting on January 18. It was DeMarcus Cousins debut in the Warriors uniform. However, since then, the Clippers have changed their roster a lot. Tobias Harris is not in LA anymore, and Danilo Gallinari is leading this Clippers team. Gallinari is averaging 19.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game this season, but he’s still doubtful for tonight’s game due to an ankle injury. Lou Williams is tallying 20.1 points and 5.4 assists off the bench, while Montrezl Harrell is another guy who’s making a lot of damage off the bench, posting 16.6 points and 6.6 boards per contest.
On the other side, Stephen Curry is leading the way for the Warriors. Steph is averaging 27.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per contest. He’s coming off a 40-point game against the Cavaliers, while Curry is averaging 35.0 points against the Clippers this season. Kevin Durant has been quiet lately, posting just 18.4 points per game over his last ten outings along with 7.3 assists and 5.2 rebounds.
The key factor for the Clippers will be their defense, as they have to find the way to avoid downs in their game against the best offensive team in the league. The Clippers are allowing 111.3 points per 100 possessions (20th in the league) on 45.6% shooting from the field (13th) and 34.2% from beyond the arc (6th), while the Warriors are scoring 115.8 points per 100 possessions (1st in the league) on 49.0% shooting from the field (also 1st) and 38.5% from beyond the 3-point line (3rd).
Golden State is surrendering 109.5 points in a return (13th in the league) on 44.3% shooting from the field (2nd) and 34.5% from beyond the arc (11th).
The Clippers are scoring 112.4 points per 100 possessions (9th in the league) on 47.1% shooting from the field (7th) and 38.6% from downtown (2nd).
The Warriors are pretty unpredictable when it comes to covering the spread. They cover against the Nuggets, but they fail against the Cavaliers. In general, they are pretty poor against the spread this season.
On the other side, the Clippers are covering at a steady pace, but they will have a tall task if Gallinari doesn’t suit up tonight. Still, the Clippers were excellent as double-digit dogs, so I would rather take them to cover.
The over is 9-1 in the last ten head-to-head matchups between the Warriors and Clippers. Although the line has been set sky high, these two teams can put some serious numbers on the scoreboard. The over is 9-2 in the Clippers last 11 outings, and it is 4-3 in the Warriors’ last seven showings. Hereof, I’m backing the over.