All good things must come to an end. But the Los Angeles Clippers can extend their winning streak to 17 when they host Utah on Sunday night. And they’ll take confidence from the manner in which they came from 19 points down to defeat the Jazz 116-114 just two days ago.
It was the second time this month the teams had met, with the Clips sneaking a 105-104 win over Jazz on December 3 - the closest anyone has come to breaking the NBA’s longest current streak. Utah centre Al Jefferson has averaged 19 points in those two ties but the Jazz have had problems with Blake Griffin, who has averaged 26. In this one, he’s at 1.85 to score over 19.0.
Over their last four games, LA have put up 108.3 points per night while the Jazz have only broken the 100-point barrier once in their last nine. With the handicap at -9.5 to the Clippers, we could see another close shave but it’s hard to see their run ending here.
San Antonio face Dallas for the second time in a week, with the Spurs coming off four consecutive wins at home. They’re a little less impressive on the road, going 11-6 so far, but last Sunday they trashed the Mavericks 129-91 on Dirk Nowitzki’s comeback from injury. The German has been eased back into action and has yet to be a factor in three losses. And with Tim Duncan averaging 18.8 points when he has two days rest, take the Spurs to spike Dallas by more than the handicap of -5.5, available at 1.91.
There’s been unexpected sign of life for Sacramento of late, including an upset of the Knicks on Friday. They might have Tyreke Evans back when Boston come calling, while the Celtics may again be without Rajon Rondo for the second successive game. If he sits, the Kings look good value on the handicap.
It’s also worth a look at some of the European leagues for great value betting, especially Spain, where basketball’s version of El Clasico takes place today when FC Barcelona host Real Madrid. The Catalans have had a surprisingly poor 7-7 start to the ACB campaign while their great rivals can equal the best ever start in the league after winning their first 14 games. On that form, odds of 2.38 on a Real win or a handicap of +3.5 look like a steal.
Bet of the day: Take San Antonio over Dallas on the handicap.