Staples Center Shootout: Milwaukee Bucks at L.A. Clippers

Milwaukee Bucks AT Los Angeles Clippers
Jan 31, 2011 at 10:30 PM EST
Opening Line:  L.A. -3.5
Current Line:  L.A. -3.5
Opening Total: 188.5
Current Total: 191
Opening Moneyline:  L.A. -175 / Mil +155
Current Moneyline:  L.A. -170 / Mil +145

Jennings is back after having suffered a foot injury a month ago

Things have gone from good to great recently for the Bucks.  They’ve won three straight and managed to stay afloat without their star point guard Brandon Jennings.  And now he’s back.  No doubt the added firepower and leadership will only strengthen the Bucks, who are actually about to hit a weak spot in their schedule.  It has all the makings of a strong win streak that could push the Bucks up to the 7th spot in the East, as they currently trail 8th seeded Philadelphia by only one game.

The Clippers, meanwhile, have looked great themselves.  After a dreadful 5-21 start to the season, they have since come together and actually looked like a playoff team more than a lottery bound one.  They have won 13 of their past 20, and beat opponents such as the Heat and Lakers.  Riding on the shoulders of rookie Blake Griffin, the Clippers have come to be regonized as one of the NBA’s most exciting young teams, and while they will be without star shooting guard Eric Gordon for the short term, their long term prospects look very sunny and have Clipper fans rejoicing that the team may step out of the Dark Ages and back into the playoffs.

Some betting trends:  Milwaukee is 5-2 SU in their last 7 games and the total has gone OVER in 4 of their last 6 road games.  They are 6-13 SU in their last 19 on the road and 3-8 SU in their last 11 against the Clippers.and they aer 3-10-1 ATS in their last 14 against L.A.  The Total has gone OVER In 4 of the last 5 meetings between LA. and Milwaukee and it has gone OVER In 4 of the Bucks’ last 6 road games against the Clippers.  Milwaukee is 1-9 SU in their last 10 road games against the Clippers and 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 road games against the Clips.

The Clippers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games and the total has gone OVER in 5 of the Clippers last 7 games.  The Clippers are 8-4 SU in their last 12 games and the total has gone OVER in 4 of their last 6 at home.  The Clippers are 5-0 SU in their last 5 home games and the total has gone OVER in 4 of the last 5 games against the Bucks.  The Clippers are 8-3 SU in their last 11 against the Bucks and 9-1 SU in their last 10 home games against the Bucks.  The total has gone OVER in 4 of the last 6 home games against Milwaukee.

Key Matchups:

Andrew Bogut vs. DeAndre Jordan

Last year this would not have even occured, because Chris Kaman was in top form and playing at a near all-star level.  The Clippers are actually blessed to have Kaman injured because it has shown them that their future may lie in DeAndre Jordan instead of Kaman, afterall.  Jordan has put together an impressive string of games, highlighted by a 14 point, 20 rebound, 6 block game in a 13 point win over the Denver Nuggets, who have a good center in their own right in Nenê.  Jordan hasn’t been getting enough touches of late, and it seems to have taken him out of his game on the boards, too, but he’s much more atheletic than Bogut and should be able to simply out jump Bogut even when he is in poor rebounding position.  Bogut’s numbers are superior, but Jordan hasn’t been getting minutes like he has lately all season.  Bogut posts 13.3 points per game, a career high 11.7 rebounds per game and another career high 2.8 blocks per game.  You have to think the Bucks will take the 2.6 less points per game when he is rebounding and blocking shots at that rate.

Brandon Jennings vs. Baron Davis

Baron seems to play harder against the better point guards in the league, of which Jennings is one, but it might take more than a little effort for Davis to slow down the lightning quick Jennings.  While Jennings takes a lot of questionable shots, Davis will have his problems keeping Jennings in front of him and getting a hand up on jumpers.  They probably won’t play Jennings heavy minutes tonight as he still has to get back into game shape, so we’ll probably still see a good amount of Keyon Dooling and Earl Boykins.  Davis has size and strength advantages against all three Bucks guards, with Dooling perhaps being an exception.  If Baron plays aggressively he could have a big night against those three with Dooling being the only one that might pose a problem for Davis.

With the Clippers recent play and the fact that they are a winning team at home, it’s easy to see why NBA Oddsmakers have set the line in their favor.  Milwaukee is hot, but L.A. is even hotter.

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