Showdown at Staples Center: Charlotte Bobcats at Los Angeles Clippers

Charlotte Bobcats AT Los Angeles Clippers
Jan 29, 2011 at 10:30 PM EST
Opening Line:  L.A. -4.5
Current Line:  L.A. -6
Opening Total: 196
Current Total: 192.5
Opening Moneyline:  L.A. -240 / Cha +200
Current Moneyline:  L.A. -250 / Cha +200

Blake Griffin has shed his suit to play some amazing basketball this year and had 35 against Utah last matchup.

One of these teams’ streaks will end tonight.  The Bobcats have won 4 straight on the road and the Clippers have won 7 straight at home.  Charlotte has improved dramatically since bringing in Coach Paul Silas, who replaced Larry Brown’s outdated 1980s style of coaching.  Charlotte is in the playoff picture and looking relevant, though far from being a contender.

“(To go) 3-0 on the road trip is a great start,” said Bobcats swingman Stephen Jackson who averaging 25.0 points in his last three games, all Bobcat wins.

If the Bobcats can pull out a win tonight it will be the first 5 game road win streak in franchise history.

It won’t be easy though.  The Clippers, after starting out dreadfully, have begun to look like a Playoff team in their own right.  Blake Griffin is one of the most exciting players to come through the league in recent memory, and the now injured Eric Gordon was playing an instrumental role in their success until he went down.

Some betting trends:

Charlotte is 5-1 SU in their last 6 games and 5-11 SU in their last 16 road games.  They are 4-1 SU In their last 5 games on the road and 5-1 SU in their last 6 games against the Clippers.  The total has gone OVER In 4 of the last 6 meetings between the teams and Charlotte is 2-4 SU in their last 6 games on the road against the Clips.

The total has gone OVER in 5 of the Clippers’ last 6 games.  The Clippers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games and the total has gone OVER In 4 of the last 5 Clipper games.  The Clippers are 5-0 SU in their last 5 home games and the total has gone OVER in 4 of the last 6 meetings against the Bobcats.  The Clippers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games against Charlotte.

Key Matchups:

D.J. Augustin vs. Baron Davis

The young vs the old.  D.J. Augustin is emerging as one of the best young point guards in the game and has quickly made Bobcat fans forget Raymond Felton, who is now flourishing in a Knicks uniform.  Baron Davis is one of the least motivated players in the league and his lack of motivation makes him consistently inconsistent.  He turns in nights where he looks like the once explosive player he was in his prime, and other nights you end up wondering why he doesn’t appear to be in game shape.  D.J. Augustin has the speed and outside shot to give Davis fits, and his size won’t help him much as Augustin has found ways to get over the fact he’s only 5’10”

Boris Diaw vs. Blake Griffin

I just don’t see any way how Boris Diaw can keep Griffin in check. Diaw is looking like much less of an athlete than he was in his tenure as a Phoenix Sun and Griffin is arguably the most explosive player in the league.  He should have a total dunkfest tonight with the only reasonable threat between he and the basket being Kwame Brown.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 20-20 game from Griffin tonight.

This matchup should prove to be a good one, but as NBA oddsmakers have favored the Clippers, I do too.  They may be missing Eric Gordon, but their talent level is still superior to the Bobcats and DeAndre Jordan could be in for a big game as well.

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