Golden State Warriors @ Los Angeles Clippers | NBA Playoffs Predictions and Betting Tips
After catching the Warriors napping in the second half of Game Two, no one expected the Clippers to stand a chance in the next three games. While Games Three and Four went according to expectations, the Clippers caught the Warriors looking ahead in Game Five. While this must be an annoyance to Golden State fans, with two more chances to win one game, the Warriors are still in good shape.
Spread: Warriors by 9.5
Money Line: Clippers +405; Warriors -500
*Odds via BetOnline.ag
Golden State Warriors
It is not unusual for a team that is up 3-1 in a series to a have what is commonly referred to as a ‘let-down’ game before closing out a series. Rather than come out hard in Game Five and attack with the intent to put a game away early, they come out flat and make more mistakes than usual. They miss shots that they would typically make and do the one thing you should never do—give the other team hope. The other team is already coming out with a little more fire and desire. But once they start to think they can really win—then they become dangerous. The Warriors did miss shots that they would typically make in Game Five. But they still scored 121 points, so the offense wasn’t the issue. It’s their defense that has been a problem. The Clippers had one of the better offenses in the NBA during the regular season and have been hard to defend. If the Warriors do not find their defensive edge, they are not going to win Game Six.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers are doing exactly what every underdog in sports history dreamed of doing—they are taking it to the favorite and threatening to kick them off the throne. But, as they have shown, when they bring their best game and attack, they can compete with the mighty Warriors. Pressure and energy seem to be the key. When the Clippers have brought more than the Warriors, they have won or at least have been competitive. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said as much after the game: “I thought Patrick Beverley came in, just kicked our butts right away. He came out with more energy than we had and that set a tone.” That is what allowed them to make an epic comeback in Game Two and opened the door for them in Game Five. But when it comes down to it, they are going to have to make their shots. Defensively, they are not stopping the Warriors; Golden State is averaging 123.6 points/game. So, they are going to have to outscore them.
Golden State Warriors @ Los Angeles Clippers Head-to-Head
Golden State won the regular season series with the Clipper three games to one. The Clippers beat the Warriors back in November by five in OT. Prior to Christmas Eve, the Warriors beat the Clippers by two and then a few weeks later (mid-January) beat them by 18. The fourth game saw the Warriors win by 27. From a historical perspective, the Warriors lead the all-time series with the Clippers with 131 wins to 87 for Los Angeles. But the all-time postseason series is now tied, 6-6. They have met in the playoffs on one other occasion, the first round back in 2014. The Clippers won the series in seven games, 4-3. The Warriors lead the current series, 3-2.
Odds and Predictions
Once again, the odds are heavily in Golden State’s favor. They are still the more talented team of the two; they just have to make the conscious decision to play up to their abilities and not down to their competition. If they do, then there is no chance the Clippers pull off a miracle and force a Game Seven. But the Clippers seem to think they know something. They appear to believe they know how to put up some serious points on the Warriors. They haven’t done too bad at 115.6 points/game. If the Clippers can continue to get 50+ points a game in the paint, keep the Warriors from going nuts with fast break points, and allow fewer second-chance opportunities, they could pull off another upset. However, the Warriors are going to come out angry and looking to make a statement.
Expert Betting Tip
Take Golden State to win (-500), straight up and against the spread. With how these two have been putting up points, definitely take the over (236.5).