Spurs vs. Clippers NBA Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: Target the Total in Western Conference Matchup (March 24)
Glenn James/Getty Images. Pictured: Kawhi Leonard of the Clippers.
- The Clippers and Spurs are two of the strongest teams against the spread in the NBA this season.
- We're targeting the total in this one, banking on San Antonio's lack of interest in shooting 3's and L.A.'s slow pace to keep it under the number.
- That makes for a tough matchup to handicap, but Matt Trebby believes there is value on the total:
Clippers vs. Spurs Odds
|Moneyline||-235 / +185|
|Time||Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday and via PointsBet|
One of the playoff teams with the most starpower in the NBA takes on the most unassuming squad currently in the playoffs on Wednesday night. The LA Clippers head to San Antonio for the first of back-to-back nights playing against the Spurs.
LA comes to the Lone Star State having avoided a blowout loss at the hands of the Hawks thanks to a stellar showing from its bench mob, while the Spurs have lost two straight but have shown they’re capable of beating anyone in the league this season.
Let’s dig into where the betting value lies on Wednesday night in San Antonio.
Los Angeles Clippers
At halftime of Monday night’s game against the Hawks, the Clippers were headed toward their third loss in five games. LA was down by 15 points to an Atlanta team that has been red hot since firing Lloyd Pierce.
The Clippers got their act together in the second half, though, and outscored the Hawks by seven points in the third quarter and a whopping 17 in the fourth. The run was mostly thanks to LA’s bench, which saw Terance Mann score 21 points and grab 10 rebounds and Luke Kennard go a perfect 8-of-8 from the field and 4-of-4 from 3-point range. Mann finished with a plus-23 on the night, while Kennard registered a huge plus-30.
In the starting lineup, Kawhi Leonard was a plus-1 and Paul George a minus-4, with the latter going 3-of-12 from the field.
Kennard’s lights-out shooting was what dug LA out of a hole, and he was out of the rotation altogether before the All-Star break. Obviously, he’s not going to make every shot, but having a reliable shooter off the bench, which he was supposed to be when acquired from the Pistons and subsequently given $64 million, would be huge down the stretch for the Clippers.
LA is 4-2 since the All-Star break and enters play on Tuesday with the No. 7 Net Rating in that span, according to NBA Advanced Stats, at 5.8. While there have been a couple offensive duds in that stretch, their Offensive Rating is fourth in the league at 117.2, trailing only the Mavericks, Blazers and Hawks.
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs are on their way to having the most underwhelming roster in the playoffs this season, but it’s getting the job done this season. It has been led offensively by DeMar DeRozan, professional scorer, who is at 20.6 points per game this season on 49.8% shooting.
Those who don’t pay close attention to the Spurs will likely only recognize DeRozan, Patty Mills and Rudy Gay. The likes of Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson, Derrick White and Lonnie Walker IV (the latter of whom will miss this game) have taken big steps forward this season, and even Jakob Poeltl is showing flashes of his potential down low now that LaMarcus Aldridge is out of the picture.
About Aldridge: It’s very odd for a playoff team to be willing to part ways with such an established veteran, but that’s where we find ourselves with the Spurs and LMA.
Why has that become the case? San Antonio has gone very small of late without Poeltl on the court. When the 7-foot-1 Austrian is on the bench, Johnson and Gay are mostly providing the “size” down low, as well as forward Drew Eubanks.
The craziest part about the Spurs’ lack of size is how they’re scoring: from inside the arc. San Antonio enters play on Tuesday night ranked 28th in the NBA with just 33.0% of its points coming on 3-point shots, according to NBA Advanced Stats. The Spurs are playing small-ball, but they’re not scoring like it.
These are two of the strongest teams in the NBA against the spread (ATS), with the Clippers coming in at 24-20 and the Spurs 23-17.
I’m going to target the under for a couple reasons. One is the Spurs’ lack of 3-point shooting. They don’t play many shootouts because, frankly, they don’t shoot from deep often enough to get involved in them. Two is the Clippers’ pace, which ranks 26th in the NBA this season. The Spurs rank 15th, although as we discussed the lack of perimeter shooting keeps them from being an offensive juggernaut.
This opened at 221 and I wouldn’t go much lower than that. But given the back-to-back set, I think these teams come out looking to feel the other out on the first night.
Pick: Under 221 (down to 220)