NBA Playoff Predictions 2012: Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs, Game 1 Odds

Los Angeles Clippers at San Antonio Spurs
Tuesday, 5/15/12, 9:30 PM EST, TV:  TNT
Opening Point Spread:  San Antonio -11
Current Betting Line:  San Antonio -11.5
Opening Total:  191
Current Total:  190.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

San Antonio Spurs PG Tony Parker will match up with Chris Paul during their Western Conference semifinal series

Los Angeles may feel a sense of exhaustion in taking the court for Game 1 of this Western Conference semifinal series, considering it’s coming off a physical seven-game series against the Memphis Grizzlies.  The Clippers’ roster is incredibly banged up, including All-Star forward Blake Griffin having a sprained left knee that would likely keep him out for two weeks if it were the regular season.  He was just 3-of-11 from the field, and grabbed four rebounds in Sunday’s 82-72 win as 7.5-point road underdogs to advance past the first round.  Los Angeles is 15-12 ATS as an underdog, while the “under” is 16-13 in that situation.

The Clippers did manage to fly straight to Texas from Memphis following their latest victory, which should help limit any fatigue that would have occurred due to travel.  Los Angeles is going to need a huge game from point guard Chris Paul, who has been hampered a bit by a hip injury, averaging 20.7 points and 7.1 assists during the postseason.  The bench will also need to play a key part, coming off its best game of the playoffs, outscoring the Grizzlies’ reservers by a 41-11 margin in Game 7.

San Antonio swept the Utah Jazz in the opening round and has managed to win 14 games in a row dating back to the regular season.  The Spurs haven’t played since an 87-81 win as 7.5-point road favorites on May 7, as all four games against the Jazz went “under” the total.  Point guard Tony Parker is leading the team in averaging 21.0 points and 6.5 assists per game, while power forward Tim Duncan is chipping in with 14.3 points and 8.8 rebounds.  San Antonio is 5-2 ATS as a home favorite of 9.5 to 12 points.

The Spurs won two of three regular-season meetings with the Clippers, extending their regular season series win streak to 15 consecutive seasons.  San Antonio did drop a 120-108 decision as 4.5-point home favorites in the last meeting on March 9.  In four postseason games, the squad is averaging a playoff league-best 102.3 points and 46.0 points off the bench.  Manu Ginobili plays a big role in leading the reserves, but managed just one double-digit scoring effort in the first round.

Bettors will likely back the Spurs due to their 22-5-1 ATS mark at home, while the Clippers are 7-16 ATS as a road underdog of 11 or more points.

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