NBA Handicapping Picks: Los Angeles Clippers at Indiana Pacers

Los Angeles Clippers at Indiana Pacers
Banker’s Life Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, Indiana

Saturday, January 18, 2014, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: NBA TV
Opening Line: Indiana -7 1/2 (-109)
Current Line: Indiana -9
Opening Total: 198
Current Total; 198
Opening Money Line: Pacers -400 / Clippers +320
Current Money Line: Pacers -470 / Clippers +400 

Indiana is a 9 point favorite at home against the Los Angeles Clippers Saturday night in a battle of Division leaders.

Indiana is a 9 point favorite at home against the Los Angeles Clippers Saturday night in a battle of Division leaders.

Two division leaders meet Saturday in Indianapolis as the 31-7 Indiana Pacers host the 28-13 Los Angeles Clippers. The Pacers lead the Central Division and have the best record in the NBA. Indiana leads the Chicago Bulls by 13 games in the Division, and the Miami Heat by 3.5 games for the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Los Angeles leads the Pacific Division by 3 games over the Golden State Warriors. The Clippers would currently be the #4 seed in the Western Conference.

Indiana beat the Clippers 105-100 in the Staples Center in LA  December 1. The Clippers did win in Indiana last season 99-91.

The Clippers are coached by Doc Rivers. The Clippers are currently on their annual 7 game road trip because of the Grammy awards. The trip started last night with a 109-95 win at the New York Knicks. Los Angeles has won 5 straight games, and has gone 6-1 in their last games. All-Star point guard Chris Paul missed those games with a shoulder injury, and is out until at least after the All-Star break. The Clippers are 24-17 ATS and the total is 22-19 this season.

Los Angeles is outscoring teams 106-100 this season. The Clippers are #3 in the league in scoring and #14 in points allowed. LA is shooting 46.4% from the field and 33.7% from 3 point range. The Clippers are #6 in field goal percentage but #26 in three point shooting. Los Angeles is #24 in free throw shooting at 73% from the line. Clipper opponents are shooting 44.2% from the field and 33.2% from 3 point range. LA is sixth or better in both categories. The Clippers average 43.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 44.7 per game. Los Angeles is #15 in rebounding and #25 in rebounds allowed. The Clippers average 23.9 assists, 13.9 turnovers, 8.6 steals and 4.8 blocks per game. Opponents average 23.6 assists, 15.98 turnovers, 6.8 steals and 3.1 blocks per game.

Power forward Blake Griffin averages 22.5 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. He has been playing out of his mind since Paul went down with the separated shoulder. Paul averages 19.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 11.2 assists, and 2.4 steals per game. Paul leads the league in assists and is third in steals. Guard Jamal Crawford averages 17 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. Guard J.J. Redick averages 16.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game. Point guard Darren Collison has replaced Paul in the starting line-up. Collison averages 9.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Center DeAndre Jordan averages 9.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, a steal, and 2.5 blocks per game. Jordan leads the league in rebounding and is third in blocks. Forward Jared Dudley averages 8.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. Matt Barnes, Willie Green, and Antawn Jamison also get time in the rotation.

Indiana is coached by Frank Vogel. The Pacers are 20-1 at home this season, and are winning by an average of 21 points in Indianapolis in their current 9 game home winning streak. The Pacers have won 3 straight games including a 117-89 rout of the Knicks Thursday night at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse. Indiana completes a four game home stand with this game before embarking on a five game Western road trip. The Pacers are 26-12 ATS and the total is 22-19 this season.

 

The Pacers are outscoring teams 98-88 this season. Indiana leads the league in points allowed and is 20th in points scored. The Pacers are shooting 45.7% from the field and 36% from 3 point range. Indiana is #9 in field goal percentage and #15 in 3 point shooting. The Pacers are #5 in free throw shooting at 78.7% from the line. Indiana leads the league in both opponents’ field goal percentage (40.9%) and in 3 point defense (32.3%). The Pacers average 44.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 40.3. Indiana is #10 in rebounding and #2 in rebounds allowed. The Pacers average 20.9 assists, 15.5 turnovers, 7.3 steals, and 5.8 blocks per game. Opponents average 17.1 assists, 14.8 turnovers, 7.5 steals, and 4.7 blocks per game.

Indiana forward Paul George averages 22.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. He is probable with an illness. Guard Lance Stephenson averages 13.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game. Forward David West averages 12.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game. Center Roy Hibbert averages 12.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 2.6 blocks per game. Hibbert is second in the league in blocks. Point guard George Hill averages 10.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. Forward Danny Granger averages 9.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists. Forward Luis Scola averages 8.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. C.J. Watson, Ian Mahinmi, and Orlando Johnson also get significant minutes.

Los Angeles is 5-1 ATS in road games, 4-1 against Eastern Conference teams, and against teams with winning home records, 9-3 against Central Division teams, 13-6-1 when the starters combine for 160 minutes or more the previous day, 2-5 in Saturday games, 1-4 after a cover, and 0-4 when the opponent scored more than 100 points in the previous game . Four of the last five games in this series have gone over, but the under is 8-2 in the last 10 in Indianapolis in the series.

Indiana is 5-0 ATS after scoring 100 points or more, 5-1 against Western Conference teams, 8-2 in Saturday games, 7-2 after a cover, 23-7 at home, 9-3 after a straight up win of 10 points or more,   20-7 on one day rest, 36-17 overall, and 35-17 after the opponents scores 100 points or more. The favorite is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 in this series.

Griffin has been averaging just under 30 points a game in the last four games without Paul in the line-up for the Clippers. He will have to continue his hot play to beat the Pacers in Indianapolis where they have been nearly unstoppable. I think Indiana continues their three game winning streak and snaps the Clippers’ five game streak.

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