LA Clippers – Golden State
(Warriors lead series 1-0)
After working all season long to secure home advantage in the NBA Playoffs, the Los Angeles Clippers threw it away in 109-105 Game 1 defeat to the Golden State Warriors.
Lose twice, and the 14.00 fifth-favourites for the title will be in deep trouble. But it’s not quite time to back off LA just yet, providing Blake Griffin smartens up and keeps out of foul trouble in Game 2 on Monday.
The All Star played just 19 minutes on Saturday, limiting him to a mere 16 points and that was a massive factor in the Warriors upset as they held off a fourth quarter rally from their hosts. And that Golden State prevailed was even more surprising with Stephen Curry scoring only 14.
LA’s strategy of double-teaming their rival’s leading scorer may keep his options limited but expect more out of Griffin, a contribution which would likely push the total points above the line of 215.5, available at 2.16.
It might also allow the Clippers to get off to another good start with good value on the first quarter handicap of -6.5 at 3.30.
And while Golden State are 4.25 to go 2-0 up and 15.00 to sweep the series, back LA to produce a response.
Oklahoma City – Memphis
(Thunder lead series 1-0)
The Oklahoma City Thunder silenced some of the doubters with their 100-86 win in Game 1 but they were not as superior as the final box score suggests.
After taking a 25-point lead during the first half, OKC were out-scored by 18 in the second as the Memphis Grizzlies reverted to defensive stops and grinding it out in transition.
If they do that again, this could be a closer affair with good value on Memphis on the handicap of +5.5 at 2.16 or going under the total points line of 184.5 at 2.45.
Best bet: Back the Clippers at -9.5 on the handicap against Golden State at 2.16.