NBA Expert Picks: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Clippers
Saturday, 4/20/13, 10:30 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Los Angeles -5
Current Betting Line: Los Angeles -5.5
Opening Total:  179
Current Total:  179
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Los Angeles Clippers are 4-2 ATS as home favorites of 3.5 to 6 points this season
The Los Angeles Clippers are 4-2 ATS as home favorites of 3.5 to 6 points this season

Memphis won five of its last six regular season games, including a 86-70 victory over the Utah Jazz as 4.5-point home favorites Wednesday, while going UNDER the posted total of 178.5.  The Grizzlies finished with the same record as the Clippers, but lost the tie breaker in terms of gaining home-court advantage in this series due to dropping three of four meetings this year.  Memphis is 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS as road underdogs of 3.5 to 6 points this season, which can’t be ignored when making your NBA expert picks Saturday night.

The Grizzlies were 24-17 overall when playing away from FedExForum, including a 14-12 mark versus Western Conference opponents.  Memphis went 23-8 after the All-Star break, which ended up being the third-best record in the league in that span.  Defensively, the team led the league in allowing just 89.5 points per game, which was made possible by holding opponents under the century mark in 71 of 82 games during the 2012-13 campaign.

Los Angeles ended the season on a seven-game winning streak, including a 112-108 triumph over the Sacramento Kings Wednesday, while going OVER the total for the first time in four contests.  The Clippers outscored the Grizzlies by a 101.1-to-93.4 margin in four games this season, which is important to consider when looking over the NBA betting lines.  Power forward Blake Griffin hasn’t enjoyed much success in this series, averaging 17.0 points in 11 regular season games against Memphis.  Los Angeles is 4-2 ATS as home favorites of 3.5 to 6 points this season, with the OVER going 6-0 in that situation.

The Clippers compiled a 21-9 record from Feb. 10 to April 17, which was good for the fourth-best mark in the league in that span.  Los Angeles will want to get off to a good start in this affair, as it went 43-4 when leading after the first quarter, which was the second-best record of its kind behind the Miami Heat.  Expect point guard Chris Paul to put up big numbers in this affair, as he’s led his teams to a 4-1 record in Game 1’s during his playoff career, averaging 24.0 points and 11.8 assists.

Sports bettors will likely back the Clippers due to their 4-0 ATS run at home, while the Grizzlies are 1-4-1 ATS in the last six meetings in this series.

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