In terms of what the history of NBA basketball is concerned in the last twenty years this is a classic matchup of David versus Goliath. In the timeframe I just mentioned, the Spurs have missed the playoffs only once and that was in the 1996-1997 season which happened to be a year before Tim Duncan came to the team. Since then, the Spurs have made the playoffs for 19 consecutive years, reaching the Finals 6 times and winning the NBA championship 5 times. In that same timeframe, the Los Angeles Clippers have reached the playoffs only 6 times (if you include this year) and have only won a total of three playoff series, never advancing past the Conference Semi Finals. If you are going by a historical context then the Spurs would appear to be a lock pick to take the series but that’s why we all love sports (and betting thereupon) because not everything happens as history might assume it to.
Here are the best series prices you will find on either team:
This years’ version of both teams has the #3 seeded LA Clippers playing against the #6 seeded SA Spurs. Right off the bat I think it’s important to note that had the Spurs won their last regular season game against the New Orleans Pelicans they would have had the Western Conference’s #2 seed, but in their very competitive Southwest Division (all 5 teams in this division made the playoffs), their loss slipped them all the way down to the #6 seed. The season series matchup between these two teams is split evenly at 2-2 with each team winning once both on the road and at home. Another point to make here is that these four games took place before the Spurs caught their stride, or before they won 22 of their last 25 games to close out the year.
In terms of scoring, the Clippers rank right up there at #2 in the league with 106.7 PPG. The Spurs are not far behind though, coming in at #7 with 103.2 PPG. San Antonio gets the edge on the defensive side where they rank #3 in the League with an average opponent total of 97 PPG, whereas the Clippers clock in at #16 in the league, giving up 98.7 PPG to opponents. All of this equates to a small edge in San Antonio’s favor for the year, however when you look at the numbers for just the last two months, San Antonio actually outscored Los Angeles by 3 PPG while holding opponents to under 96 PPG in their 25 game stretch that I alluded to earlier.
With all of this in mind, if this were just your average regular season game I would have to advise you to take the Spurs, as they are coming in as arguably the hottest team in the league right now, and are doing so at just the right time. These recent and full season numbers, coupled with the level of playoff experience in the San Antonio locker room makes for a fairly easy pick in my opinion. Furthermore, the fact that 11 of San Antonio’s players average more than 6 PPG (with the highest being Kawhi Leonard at only 16.5 PPG) shows that they have exactly the kind of depth that is needed to make another deep playoff run. Any one of those players can have big nights and make up for anyone else who might have an off-game on any particular night.
Play: Spurs 1.588 @ 5Dimes.eu
LA Clippers • NBA • Round 1 • San Antonio Spurs