After taking a breather, will the San Antonio Spurs pick up where they left off when their Western Conference semi-finals series with the Los Angeles Clippers tips off on Tuesday?
The second favourites for the NBA title have had eight days to plot, scheme and rest their legs since despatching the Utah Jazz with a 4-0 sweep in the first round of the play-offs. And they had the perfect outcome when the Clips were pushed to seven games before finally edging past Memphis on Sunday.
With 14 straight wins to their credit as well, it’s little wonder that San Antonio are -11 on the handicap at 1.83 and a short-priced 1.11 to claim victory in regulation in Game 1. And with Blake Griffin hobbled, and Chris Paul still nursing an injury, it’s not hard to see the Clippers, who are 7.70 underdogs tonight, losing this series 4-0.
The Miami Heat still have their ambitions trained on a sweep of the Indiana Pacers but the likely absence of Chris Bosh for the remainder of the Eastern semis with Indiana has made matters a little more intriguing.
Ruled out indefinitely with an abdominal strain, Bosh could feasibly miss the rest of the season which would make the Heat’s quest for a championship a lot tougher. In the nine previous times where the All Star forward sat out this season, Miami went 4-5 and although the LeBron James and Dwayne Wade picked up the slack following his injury to secure a 95-86 win in Game 1, the Pacers will now make adjustments to capitalise.
Expect Roy Hibbert to become a much more potent scoring option and Miami to look for quicker offense, pushing the total points above 185.5. It’s worth a punt on Indiana for an upset at 4.20 but there’s a better chance on the handicap of +7.0 points at 1.91.
Bet of the Day: Take San Antonio over the LA Clippers on the handicap at 1.83.