Warriors @ Clippers
Golden State heads down to Southern California for two games. Holding on to a playoff spot by a game, they could certainly use a couple of wins here.
The Clippers hold on to the sixth seed in the Western Conference despite being the perfect embodiment of mediocrity. LA has a stacked roster, but even when healthy, they are not the dominant force bettors expect them to be.
The headlining stars will be out in this one, as Curry is missing substantial time with a knee injury, and today is a rest day for Leonard. So fans will be witnessing a Thompson vs. George matchup.
After Curry went down, Thompson had back-to-back incredible games, shooting a combined 19-35 from deep. However, he followed up those two games with two, where he made 7 of 32 from behind the arc. If the Warriors want to improve their playoff positioning, they will need him to be better.
George has looked fantastic of late, but the Clippers have had a string of games against top-tier teams; while they didn’t come out with the results they had hoped for, they are trending in the right direction.
It will be a tight matchup today, and it’s hard to see why the Clippers are favored so heavily. Golden State is not often a heavy dog, and there is no reason for bettors not to take them in this spot.
Golden State +8.5 (-110)
Paul George Over 22.5 Points (-118)
Washington @ Portland
After being severed a nine-point loss against the Warriors last night, the Wizards head north to Oregon to take on the Trail Blazers.
Both organizations sit on the playoff bubble and find themselves in an odd position. It’s doubtful either of these teams would have any impact on the 2023 Playoffs and being on the brink of a lottery pick, they will have to make a tough decision when the closing days of the regular season come around. Do they want to be a one-and-done playoff team, or do they want a long shot at the number one pick in this year’s draft?
While it seems improbable that either team would land Victor Wembanyama, we’ve seen it happen before, and if there was ever a year to send up a prayer, it’s with this draft class.
It’s a crazy idea to toss out a playoff run for a one percent shot and the number one pick, but it’s certainly something to consider.
As for tonight, both teams have been extremely streaky this season, and betting on them has been a challenge. However, teams rarely farewell on a west coast road trip, and Portland has owned their meetings against the Wizards. So there isn’t too much to consider in this one; Portland should take care of business at home.