Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers Game 3 Preview and Pick
The Clippers staged the comeback of a lifetime in Game 2. Oracle Arena was in party mode halfway through that game, with the Warriors building a lead north of 30 points and the Clippers looking like little more than first-round fodder for the 2-time defending champs.
However, thanks to stellar play from Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, the Clips battled back from a 31-point deficit to eventually earn a shocking 115-111 win to even the series at a game apiece. The scene will now shift to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Thursday night.
The following odds are courtesy of our live odds feed:
|2019 ATS Home||17-25-1||22-19-0|
|2019 ATS Away||19-22-0||24-18-1|
|2019 O/U Home||17-26-0||27-14-0|
|2019 O/U Away||22-19-0||18-24-1|
Are the Warriors in Trouble?
Not only did the Warriors blow a massive lead in Game 2, but the champs also lost All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins to what is likely a season-ending quad injury in the second quarter. Whether Cousins’ absence is actually a blow to the Warriors is up for debate, but it will force Steve Kerr to shuffle his rotation. Andrew Bogut will now start in Boogie’s place moving forward, with Kevon Looney serving as Bogut’s primary backup.
While Game 2 was all sorts of alarming for the Warriors, oddsmakers clearly aren’t too worried about it. Golden State is listed as a heavy 9-point favorite tonight at Staples Center, which makes the Warriors the biggest favorite of any road team thus far in these playoffs.
Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant will take lead roles offensively. Durant took just 8 shots in Game 2, which raised plenty of eyebrows. There is some speculation that Durant could be dealing with a rib injury after a collision with Danilo Gallinari in Game 1, but I expect Durant to take a more aggressive approach this evening.
Curry has been stellar to this point, though he did struggle down the stretch as the Clippers mounted their comeback. Will Curry and Durant rebound in Game 3?
The Clippers have been a confident team all season long, and they have made a habit of surpassing expectations. Few expected L.A. to make the playoffs this season, especially after they traded arguably their best player, Tobias Harris, to the 76ers at the trade deadline.
However, the Clippers just kept winning. LAC was one of the best teams to bet on against the spread this season, which makes sense given the relatively low expectations many had of this team. The Clips were 46-37-1 against the spread this season, which was the fifth-best mark in the league behind Milwaukee, Dallas, Portland, and Sacramento.
LAC was 22-19-0 against the spread at home, and the crowd will certainly be ready for this game after the stirring comeback the other night. Will it be enough to make up for the massive talent gap between the teams?
I like the Warriors here. While I may be bearish on their chances of winning a third straight championship, I have a hard time imagining Golden State falling behind in this 1-8 series against the Clippers. The Clips having been a fun underdog story all year long makes them an admittedly uncomfortable team to be betting against, but this just feels like a get-right spot for Golden State.
I think the deflating loss the other night will keep the Warriors on their toes, and I think they’ll be more focused on this game. They can’t afford a long series here, especially with the Rockets potentially waiting for them in the conference semis. I like the Warriors big here. Bet on Golden State to cover the 9-point spread and take a 2-1 series advantage Thursday night.
$100 stake could win...