The Los Angeles Clippers are back in action at Staples Center on Monday, April 16th in an NBA betting showdown on NBA TV against one of the top dogs of the Western Conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Thunder know at some point over the course of the playoffs, they are likely to have to end up going through this building at least once to get to the NBA Finals, whether it be against these Clippers or the Los Angeles Lakers. It is awfully important to get the top seed in the West, as this team feeds off of what amounts to be a great home court advantage on a regular basis, and it has always been hard for teams to go on the road and get victories in the Sooner State, especially in the postseason. Oklahoma City has the edge by a game coming into action on Monday, but the San Antonio Spurs are level in the loss column. The Thunder are coming off of a 115-110 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, and it should come as no surprise that the men that did the mass majority of the scoring were Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. These two alpha dogs really have figured out how to work together and work together well, and they combined for a whopping 78 points on the night.
There is clearly more on the line here for the Clippers. They are a game and a half back of the Lakers for the top spot in the Pacific Division, and they are still trying to make sure that even if they don’t catch their fellow Staples Center tenants that they end up as the No. 4 seed and get home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs against either the Memphis Grizzlies or Dallas Mavericks in all likelihood. The Clips are riding a three-game winning streak, and they have also taken eight out of 10, saving the job for the time being for Head Coach Vinny Del Negro. Of course, it has helped dramatically that Blake Griffin has been good for a double-double seemingly every single night, and it also has proven to be worthwhile that Chris Paul is just an assist shy of averaging a double-double per game as well. Both of these men could go off for 30+ as well every time out, and these are the types of spots in which they need to make sure that they are at their best.
The Final Word: The Clippers are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games overall, and they are 20-8 ATS in the last 28 in this series. This should be an emotional game for sure on both sides, and in the end, here at the Staples Center, we do think that the hosts are going to get the job done and pull off the mild upset.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Los Angeles Clippers Pick: Los Angeles Clippers +2.5
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.