Game 2 Western Conference Semis: L.A. Clippers at Houston Rockets—Odds, Trends

There is just so much more to this guy than dunks, and fans are starting to finally see it.
There is just so much more to this guy than dunks, and fans are starting to finally see it.

Los Angeles Clippers at Houston Rockets- Game 2
Clippers lead 1-0
Time: 9:35 PM EDT
Spread: HOU -7
M/L: HOU -300; LAC +250
Total: 214

Betting odds c/o Bovada

The L.A. Clippers showed that it is not a team reliant on an MVP-caliber type of point guard to lead it to success. In Game 1, despite being 6.5-point underdog according to NBA oddsmakers, the Clippers went out and routed Houston 117-101 behind an absolutely monstrous triple-double from All-Star forward Blake Griffin.

NBA live odds still didn’t show the Clippers with love, as oddsmakers at Bovada favored Houston by 7-points in live betting action. The total is set at 214 after 218 combined points in Game 1. For a better understanding of these odds, see our NBA odds explained.

There’s those circumstances when a writer can be foreboding (prophetic even?), and we’ll just go ahead and call this paragraph from Maddux Sports’ game 1 preview just that:

“With Chris Paul out to start the series, Blake Griffin will be looking to make more plays and play more of a point-forward role. It’s something few envisioned him doing when he began his NBA career, but Griffin has honed a mid-range jumpshot and become very adept at putting the ball on the court. He initiates fast breaks, and if the Clippers are to come with an underdog victory in game 1, it’s likely going to be because Griffin found a way to get going. Josh Smith is capable of being a great defender, and he will need to be hyper-focused because Griffin’s role is due to change until Paul returns to the court. Expect a lot of pick and roll sets with Griffin and both Redick or Jamal Crawford.”

Griffin played point-forward. And he did it brilliantly.

He did it imperatively, because the Clippers basically had a three guard rotation in the backcourt, and all three of those guards were 2-guards. Griffin took the playmaking right into his hands and dropped 13 dimes while posting a team-best +21 on the court.

Griffin also snagged 14 boards and shot 9-of-19 from the floor en route to 26 points. Matt Barnes benefitted from the good court spacing and knocked down 8-of-11 from the field including three three-pointers, while the backcourt of J.J. Redick and Austin Rivers shot a combined 11-of-25 for 34 points between them. Jamal Crawford, as indicated, also had the requisite big game with CP3 on the sidelines. Crawford scored 21 points in his 32 minutes off the bench, making the only meaningful contribution of any Clipper in the game.

Despite the Clippers being without Paul, Houston largely floundered on the offensive end on its own. The Rockets had 24 turnovers, nine of which came from supposed MVP snub James Harden. Harden also attempted just 13 field goals for 20 points, and he really has yet to prove his regular season weight is the same as it is in the playoffs (figuratively speaking, of course). Dwight Howard had a good game, hitting 9-of-13 from the floor, but the Rockets got just 4-of-18 shooting from its two power forwards Terrence Jones and Josh Smith, and Smith even said after the game that the Rockets seemed to have been playing “hero ball.”

If the hero ball doesn’t stop tonight, the turnovers will continue to mount as the underdog wins mount for the Clippers. The Rockets have (see: had) the homecourt advantage in this series, but the Clippers proved in Game 1 it can win on the road at the Toyota Center, and with Paul likely (cited as 50/50, but this is the postseason) back in the fold for this contest, Kevin McHale and his squad will have to figure out a way to combat Griffin’s playmaking while the best playmaker in the NBA returns at the same time. That doesn’t sound like the recipe for an easy victory, despite NBA oddsmakers giving a hearty edge to Houston in this affair.


L.A. Clippers
Over is 4-0 in Clippers last 4 games following a S.U. win.
Clippers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS win.
Over is 4-1 in Clippers last 5 games playing on 1 days rest.

Rockets are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a double-digit loss at home.
Over is 5-0 in Rockets last 5 games following a double-digit loss at home.
Over is 5-1 in Rockets last 6 games playing on 1 days rest.

Head to Head
Clippers are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Houston.
Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
Clippers are 7-2 ATS in the last 9 meetings.

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