The race for the top spot in the Pacific Division is shaping up to be a fun one. You can probably throw those “Sacramento Kings to win the division” betting slips in the trash, but each of the other four teams is very much in the thick of things as of today. The Suns and Clippers are tied for the division lead at 6-2 apiece, followed by the Lakers (6-3). The Golden State Warriors got off to a ragged start, but they have since rallied to win four of their last six to pull to 4-4 on the year.
Golden State still faces incredibly long odds to win the Pacific, but it’s not impossible to think that Steph Curry could drag this team to a playoff berth. The recent return of Draymond Green should help improve what was a ragged defense to begin the campaign, while James Wiseman, Andrew Wiggins, and Kelly Oubre have all shown promise as complementary pieces.
The Warriors took a seven-point loss to the Clippers in an ugly game at Chase Center on Wednesday, and the two teams will tangle in the Bay Area again tonight. The Clips are listed as 6.5-point favorites on the road here.
Clippers Back to 100 Percent
The Clippers had their full complement of players healthy and in the lineup for the first time on Wednesday. Paul George suited up after missing a game with an ankle tweak, while Kawhi Leonard played the second half of a back-to-back set for the first time since 2017. Marcus Morris also made his season debut after missing the first couple of weeks with a sore knee.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Clips did manage to come away with a win on Wednesday night. LAC pulled out a win despite shooting just 44.4 percent from the field and a mediocre 32.4 percent from three-point range. George and Leonard led the way with 21 points apiece, while Nicolas Batum continued to play well as the starting power forward. Morris played off the bench, which is likely to continue with Batum having entrenched himself as a starter with this team.
NBA teams don’t win games in which they turn the ball over 19 times very often, but the Clippers managed to do just that. They were able to create plenty of second-chance opportunities thanks to their dominance on the glass. The Clips won the rebounding battle 48-35. They also made the most of their freebies, converting on all 25 of their free-throw attempts in the game.
The Clippers are going to need a better all-around effort tonight if they want to leave San Francisco with a pair of victories.
One-Man Show for Warriors
The Klay Thompson Achilles injury means Steph Curry will once again have to carry the Warriors on his shoulders. The lack of other reliable scoring options means Golden State will be a volatile team all year long. This team is going to struggle to score on nights that Curry can’t find his shot. Fortunately for him, that hasn’t been a recurring issue over the course of his career. Still, it’s tough to have much faith in this team’s ultimate ceiling if they’re going to be this heavily-reliant on one player to carry the freight.
It’s a bit surprising that the Warriors were able to keep Wednesday’s game as close as they did. Curry was off all night long, yet Golden State managed to hang with the Clippers throughout. Steph converted just five of his 17 shots, including an uncharacteristically bad 1-for-6 from three-point range on his way to a season-low 13 points.
Curry is also listed as questionable to play tonight with an ankle injury. If he’s out, it’s very difficult to imagine the Warriors being able to keep this game close.
Steph Curry (ankle) is questionable for tomorrow's Clippers-Warriors matchup.
Wiggins chimed in with 19 points, while Eric Paschall contributed another 19 points in 20 minutes off the bench. Steve Kerr has been running an incredibly deep rotation all year long, which could lead to some consistency issues for this team. 10 players played at least 12 minutes for Golden State the other night. Settling on a more defined rotation could help the Warriors from a continuity perspective as the season progresses.
What’s the Best Bet?
Assuming the Clippers don’t wind up putting one of their stars on the injury report later in the day, the 6.5-point spread for this game looks a little low. Golden State has shown more fight of late than they did to begin the season, but the Warriors’ reliance on Curry to carry them makes them a risky bet on a nightly basis.
The Clips look like a strong bet to cover in this spot. LAC is 6-3 against the spread to begin the year. If they can avoid turning the ball over with as much frequency as they did the other night, this game has potential to get out of hand in LA’s favor.
BetOnline.ag is also offering a couple of NBA odds boosters on this Friday. You can bet on the Suns to cover a 6.5-point spread plus the over on 217.5 points in tonight’s game in Detroit at +280 odds. You can also bet on the Rockets (-6) and Bucks (-6) both to cover against the Magic and Jazz, respectively, at +310.
The “over” has hit in five of the Pistons’ eight games to this point. The Suns (2-6 over/under) haven’t been nearly as profitable on the over, but 217.5 points is a pretty attackable number for this game. The Suns are a strong bet to cover the fairly tight spread against an undermanned Pistons outfit, especially considering Detroit is just 27th in the league in defensive efficiency to this point.
If you’re looking for a little extra upside, take a shot on the Suns to cover plus the over on 217.5 points in Suns-Pistons tonight.
Detroit vs Suns –Over 217.5 Points (+280)
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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