Even if the Golden State Warriors got paid Tuesday night, it’s the Los Angeles Clippers who belong in Thursday’s NBA picks.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors
Thursday, October 21, 2021- 10:00 PM EDT at Chase Center
The operation was a success, but the patient died in the fourth quarter. Our first NBA pick of the 2021-22 campaign was the Los Angeles Lakers, whom we had as 3.5-point home favorites for their Opening Night matchup with the Golden State Warriors. Everything was going according to plan, too, at least until the Lakers ran out of gas and wound up losing 121-114. Do we ever learn here at the home office?
We’re fading the Warriors again this Thursday night, only it’s the Los Angeles Clippers supplying the opposition, and it’s Golden State’s home opener at Chase Center. And maybe we are being a little too obstinate; the very early consensus is 100 percent on Golden State as 3-point home faves on the NBA odds board with Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review). Let’s pop the hood open and see what’s different about this matchup.
Do You Even Bench, Bro?
First of all, the computers at FiveThirtyEight have our back. The project Golden State to win by one point, which gives us the requisite 2-point gap we need between the projections and the actual NBA lines to fire out a reasonably-sized bet. Then again, ESPN’s Basketball Power Index likes the Warriors to win 58.4 percent of the time, or –140 using the ballin’ BMR Odds Converter. That’s somewhere between –2 and –2.5 according to Wizard of Odds.
The best moneyline we’re seeing at press time is Clippers +140 at GTbets (visit our GTbets Review), so we’ll stick with the spread for our NBA picks – although at a smaller bet size than we had hoped. Maybe the basketball gods are protecting us from ourselves. The Warriors got the job done Tuesday night, even if it was the surprise contributions of Nemanja Bjelica (15 points, 11 rebounds) and Damion Lee (15 points) off the bench that pushed them over the top. Steph Curry’s triple-double (21 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) came on just 5-of-21 from the floor. Who does he think he is, Russell Westbrook?
This will be the first game of the regular season for the Clippers, so in theory, they’ve got the best advantage for this contest – although that shouldn’t be much of an advantage this early in the season. They won’t have Kawhi Leonard (knee) or Serge Ibaka (back) in uniform, but their bench should be a lot stronger than their L.A. counterparts, thanks to the arrivals of Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, and Isaiah Hartenstein.
I’m especially interested to see what Terance Mann (minus-0.1 BPM last year, as per Basketball Reference) brings to the table in his third season as a pro. Mann had some breakout games during last year’s playoff run, earning himself a tasty two-year, $22-million extension in the process. He might not provide everything that Leonard does, but thankfully, he doesn’t have to for the Clippers to get to the pay window Thursday night.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.