NBA Pick: Clippers ML (-160) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)
Hugely important game in the NBA’s Western Conference playoff race on Thursday when the Los Angeles Clippers visit the Golden State Warriors in a nationally televised matchup. Which side of the 3.5-point spread (or moneyline) at the best sportsbooks has the best value? We also have a player prop for your NBA picks.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors
Thursday, March 02, 2023 – 10:00 PM EST at Chase Center
What You Should Know
There’s an NBA on TNT doubleheader on Thursday. The first game is Philadelphia at Dallas, which we also will preview here at BMR, and the nightcap is the LA Clippers at Golden State. Still no Steph Curry, though, for the Dubs but he might be getting close. More on that below.
It’s the third of four regular-season meetings between the Pacific Division rivals with the Warriors heading to LA on March 15 to conclude things. They split the first two, each winning at home. The last played on Valentine’s Day in LA, and the Clippers prevailed 134-124 as Kawhi Leonard had 33 points, tying his career high with seven made three-pointers.
Norman Powell added 24 points and Paul George had 20 points and eight assists. Jordan Poole led seven Warriors in double figures with 28 points. Curry and Andrew Wiggins (more on him below) were both out.
Since the Clippers moved to LA, they are 22-58 as the road team in this series. The total has gone under on the NBA odds in four of the past five at Chase Center.
Is Westbrook the Clippers’ Problem?
Love to say that I can get every NBA game right, but I was completely wrong about the Clippers on Tuesday. They entered on a two-game skid but were 6.5-point home favorites against a mediocre Minnesota team and I thought they would roll. The Wolves were 108-101 upset winners. These things happen.
After totaling 77 points in his previous two games, Kawhi Leonard was held to 23 on 7-for-19 shooting. Paul George had 25 points but both he and Leonard were minus-1 in their time on the court. LA looked almost bored – or maybe looking ahead to this one – in shooting 42.2% against a not-very-good defensive team.
The bench is one of the NBA’s best but that group was largely terrible. Norman Powell was just 4-for-14 shooting, Mason Plumlee had all of five points in 25 minutes and Eric Gordon was scoreless. The Clippers had a whopping 25 turnovers – they average 13.7 per game.
“It’s 25 possessions where we didn’t get a shot. That’s way too much,” Coach Ty Lue said. “We got to take care of the basketball and when you want to be a good offensive team, you just can’t turn the ball over that many times. It’s just too hard to recover. I don’t care if you have Michael Jordan or Shaq. When you turn the ball over 25 times, it’s hard to win a game.”
Team and Players’ Stats
Since signing Russell Westbrook, the Clippers are 0-3. Coincidence? Perhaps Lue needs to convince Russ to accept a Sixth Man role like he did with the Lakers and reinsert Terance Mann in the starting five. Westbrook has had OK numbers overall in his three games with the team but also 13 turnovers.
Center Ivica Zubac was back Tuesday after missing the previous two injured and had 12 points and nine boards, just missing his 22nd double-double. I expect a major bounce-back effort Thursday in front of the national TV cameras and against a big rival. LA can’t mess around as it battles for a Top 6 spot in the West. The Clips are -900 to make the West playoffs (past play-in tournament) and +600 for no. They’ll make it.
- Clippers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games.
- Clippers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games.
Curry Nearing Return for Warriors
Star Steph Curry has not played since Feb. 4, when he suffered partial tears to ligaments in his left leg, and will not play in this game but is targeting a return during the team’s three-game road trip next week. My guess would be Tuesday in Oklahoma City.
The Warriors were 5-4 without Curry in February after a third straight win Tuesday, 123-105 at home vs. Portland. I personally backed Golden State in that one and thought it was a lost cause when I turned in for the night with the team down 17 points at the half.
However, the Dubs absolutely blasted the Blazers after the break and held Damian Lillard to 25 points a game after he had 71. Jordan Poole had 29 points, six assists, and five rebounds, and Klay Thompson scored 23 points. Poole is a bit banged up but listed as probable tonight.
As long as Curry is out, they will be the team’s primary scorers. Thompson averaged 25.5 points per game in the month of February, tied for the third-highest scoring average in any month in his career. Thompson averaged a league-best 5.4 three-pointers made per game in February. For the season, Thompson is averaging 4.4 makes, second to only Curry (4.9). At home this season, Thompson averages 24.0 points. On the road, just 19.0.
Draymond Green returned from a two-game injury absence Tuesday and filled the stat sheet as he usually does with 12 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, and two steals. He left for a bit with a wrist injury but returned and seemed fine. Andrew Wiggins has yet to play out of the All-Star break (also missed the final game before it) due to personal reasons and won’t do Thursday, either.
Be aware this is the front end of a back-to-back with the Dubs hosting New Orleans on Friday. With the Warriors also fighting for a Top 6 playoff spot, Coach Steve Kerr can’t really afford to rest anyone who is healthy. Earlier in the season, Thompson hadn’t been playing both ends but has of late.
Hate to fade the Warriors at home, where they have won eight of nine, but sans Curry and Wiggins, they just don’t have the horses to keep up with LA – as long as the Clippers are motivated this time. I’m on the ML since the spread is more than one possession.
- Warriors are 2-5-2 ATS in their last 9 games a straight-up win of more than 10 points.
- Warriors are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning record.
For Golden State residents looking to bet on this game and players, you can do it at our top California betting sites.
NBA Pick: Clippers ML (-160) at Bovada
NBA Prop Pick: Klay Thompson Over 25.5 Points (-112) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
*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.