Free Picks: Clippers vs. Mavericks, 2021 Western Conference Playoffs Round 1

Clips, Mavericks Clash To Begin Western Conference Playoffs
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks, Sunday, June 6, Staples Center

Well, at least we got one first round series going the full seven games. And what a series this has been so far between the fourth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers and the fifth-seeded Dallas Mavericks through six evenly matched games. Now, they head back to Staples Center where L.A.’s basketball hopes now hinge on the Clippers alone after their crosstown rivals were eliminated earlier this week in six games.

Game 7 (series tied 3-3)

June 6, TBD, Staples Center

(Playoff Betting Record: 23-19, +2.88)

The Los Angeles Clippers have never led in this series, but they have found a way to claw back from every deficit the Dallas Mavericks have given them so far. After losing two straight in their home building, they came back and won two in a row on the road. After another dominating performance by Luka Doncic put them in a hole again at three games to two, Kawhi Leonard led the response team on Friday night.

The game had been kept close through the first three quarters, with the hosting Mavs taking a four-point advantage into the final frame in what was a closeout game for Doncic and company. Unfortunately for them, the Klaw had other plans. With the game tied at 82 and about eight minutes remaining, the two-time Finals MVP went to work.

The veteran cyborg hit a nice mid-range jumper to give his squad the lead, then a couple of minutes later, he really took over the game. A step-back jumper with five and a half to go, and then eight straight points in the span of a minute and a half to put this one to bed with about 90 seconds of game time remaining. As Doncic said after the contest, Leonard destroyed the Mavs on this day.

It wasn’t just that stretch where he scored 12 of 16 points to put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter—Leonard had been on one all game long. Leonard finished with 45 points and he was back to his regular ridiculous efficiency, going 18-for-25 from the field and 5-for-9 from beyond the arc. In fact, those 18 buckets accounted for exactly half of the 36 shots made by the entire Clippers squad on Friday night.

That’s what you call carrying a team, and while Doncic did it for Dallas in Game 5, Leonard was there to respond in Game 6 and bless us with a well-deserved Game 7 where it’s win or go home for both sides. Is there anything better? Considering how poorly the rest of L.A.’s team played, we like them to bounce back for our NBA pick in Game 7 and not have to be carried across the finish line in a baby bjorn like they were in Game 6.

The rest of the team shot a combined 35 percent from the field and 17 percent from long range in Game 6. Nicolas Batum, Rajon Rondo, Marucs Morris, and Luke Kennard combined to go 0-for-11 from beyond the arc, and Paul George struggled at every level, going 6-for-15 from the field, 2-for-7 from deep, and just 6-for-10 from the charity stripe.

This year’s playoffs have shown us a much more confident and productive Paul George than the dud we saw in the bubble, so I wouldn’t expect that bad performance to linger, especially after watching his comrade put up a historic performance to drag the Clips to victory. PG knows he needs to have a big game on Sunday afternoon if he’s going to pull his own weight around here.

Batum, Morris, Kennard, and Rondo all shot 40 percent or better from three during the regular season, so our best bet for today will be hinging on that quartet along with George getting inspired by what their teammate did for them in Game 6 and getting back to their usual sharpshooting ways.

On the other side, it turns out that Luka Doncic is, in fact, human. He went 11-for-24 on the night and was unable to carry his Mavs to the promised land for the fourth and final time in this series. Though he did get a bit better of a

contribution from Tim Hardaway Jr., Doncic can’t put up a Herculean effort every night: some other guys will have to pitch in.

Other than Hardaway the younger, there’s really not much else to write home about with regards to the Mavs supporting cast, though. Kristaps Porzingis has been very quiet, taking just 10 shots a game, Josh Richardson has been invisible, and Dorian Finney-Smith hasn’t brought the efficiency on the offensive end to match his defensive chops.

The Clippers have a better all-around team, so if the stars on both sides can cancel each other out, the supporting cast of L.A. will shine through and be the catalyst for their victory. Clips head coach Tyronn Lue is pretty much coaching for his job on Sunday as well, and his players will certainly be acutely aware of that fact. They’re playing not just for their season, but for their coach, which could give them some added intensity.

This has been the first series in NBA history where the road team has won each of the first six games of the matchup, but we expect that trend to end on Sunday afternoon. The Clippers are going to go into Staples Center and dazzle their home crowd with a game and series win, not to mention we like them to cover a -6.5 NBA point spread at solid -109 NBA odds as one of our top picks of the day.

BET ON LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS TO COVER -6.5 POINT SPREAD (-109 odds, 10bet)

Game 1

May 22, 4:30 p.m., Staples Center

The Los Angeles Clippers enter Game 1 of this first round playoff series on less than a hot streak, having lost their final two games of the regular season and six of their last 10. The Dallas Mavericks, on the other hand, come into this one having won seven of their past 10, though they did drop their regular season finale against the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves.

Those trends don’t mean much, however, considering that the Clippers have actually been a solid bounce back team this season, going 14-10 against the spread and 17-7 straight up after a loss this year. It has also seemed for much of the season like the Clippers were simply biding their time until the playoffs, when they could really spread their wings and strut their stuff.

Their biggest offseason acquisition, Serge Ibaka, just returned for the regular season finale after sitting for over two months with what the team referred to alternately as “back tightness” or “back soreness.” And we all know about the load management of Kawhi Leonard, which was even more pronounced this season as he dealt with a few new nicks and bruises here and there.

I know I said they were taking it easy in the regular season, but Leonard took it so easy that it leads me to believe that his body is actually beginning to break down on him a little bit. That means that Paul George will need to carry this team if they are to make a serious playoff run. He’s done it with the Indiana Pacers, so despite his recent playoff struggles, PG is capable of postseason greatness.

George didn’t finish off the season with the best of shooting displays, shooting 40 percent or less in each of his final three regular season games. We and our NBA Pick are counting on him to turn it around starting in Game 1 here.  Despite his recent dip in efficiency, George still shot 41 percent from deep this season, which is solid.

This matchup with the Mavericks could be good for George and his fellow three-point marksmen. The Clippers are the best three-point shooting team in the NBA, dropping 14.3 triples per game (third in the NBA) and doing so at an insane 41 percent clip, tops in the association.

The Mavericks haven’t been awful defending the three-point line, but they’ve been mediocre enough for us to like the Clippers’ NBA point spread as one of the best bets for today. They were 13th in the league this year in opponent three-point percentage, at 36.5, 16th in three-pointers allowed per game, at 12.8, and since the start of April, they’ve been 22nd in three-point shots contested per contest, at 19.4.

Snipers like Luke Kennard, Marcus Morris Sr., Nicolas Batum, Terrence Mann, Rajon Rondo, and George all shoot 40+ percent from deep, so that extra room could be deadly. Heck, even the Klaw is shooting an efficient 39.8 percent, and he’s one of the worst three-point shooters on the team. We’re taking the Clippers to cover a -4.5 point spread at decent -125 NBA odds as another of our top picks today.

BET ON LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS TO COVER -4.5 POINT SPREAD (-125 odds, Betway)

Game 2 (Mavericks leads series 1-0)

May 25, 10:30 p.m., Staples Center

The Dallas Mavericks lost Game 1 of last year’s first round matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers despite a 40-burger from Luka Doncic. Then they won Game 2 largely on the back of their bench, dropped Game 3, then won Game 4 in overtime thanks to another 40-piece from the Slovenian as well as a legendary buzzer-beating triple from the kid that will live on in NBA lore for a very long time.

That was it, however, for Doncic and the Mavs. They went on to drop the final two games of the series by double-digits, one by 43 and the other by 14. It was a valiant effort from a team missing its second-best weapon in Kristaps Porzingis, who is back and fully healthy for this season’s matchup.

Porzingis had been a problem for the Clippers last season in the two games he did play in that series, but he shot just 4-for-13 from the field during Game 1 on Saturday and his team still managed a victory, which is encouraging. The lion’s share of the credit for that victory has to go to Doncic, who put up 31 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds on solid shooting efficiency.

Though the Mavericks led for most of that Saturday afternoon affair and outscored their opponents in all four quarters, it was always a close game, with Dallas only managing to build a league as large as 12 all game long. In fact, with just over three minutes left in the game, it was tied at 100. The Mavs would then go on a 13-3 run to close out the contest and snatch homecourt advantage away from the Clippers.

The back-and-forth nature of that first game along with the oftentimes erratic play of the Clippers has made this quite a tough NBA prediction to make. Not to mention the fact that sportsbooks are giving Los Angeles a surprisingly large NBA point spread as the favorites once again, which does seem confusing.

Nevertheless, whenever you believe a game to be a toss up and the oddsmakers have given one team a large spread, that means the underdog is offering a ton of value. Such is the case here, so our best bet for today will be on the Mavericks to at least cover their +6.5 point spread at standard -111 NBA odds as one of our top picks for the day. We wouldn’t be surprised to see them win the clash straight up as +220 underdog odds either.

The Clippers seemingly have the better, more complete team, but it did not translate in Game 1, much like the issues they faced in last year’s playoff debacle. Reggie Jackson and Serge Ibaka were doing nothing off the bench, and the two big guns, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, weren’t doing much better either.

George gets a lot of flak—such as the litany of nicknames he picked up during his rough stretch in the bubble last season including “PG-13 percent” and “Pandemic P”—for the playoff collapse last season, and while it was warranted, Leonard didn’t often swoop in with his Batman cape to save the day. The Klaw has become a lot less aggressive on offense and has started to defer a lot more on that end of late.

I still believe the Clippers can win Game 2, or else I would’ve taken Dallas straight up instead of against the spread, but Leonard will have to up his game to his pre-Clippers level. A combined 3-for-14 mark from downtown for Leonard and George is not going to cut it in today’s NBA either. Players need to space the floor and hit their shots, or it’s not going to be a very long postseason for your squad.

BET ON DALLAS MAVERICKS +6.5 POINT SPREAD (-111, 10bet)

Game 3 (series tied 1-1)

May 28, 09:30 p.m., American Airlines Center

The Los Angeles Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks played pretty evenly through the first two quarters on Tuesday night, with L.A. heading into the locker rooms at half with a two-point lead. That would not last long, however, as the Mavericks came storming back in the third quarter, holding the Clippers to just 19 points while putting up 30 themselves.

They would never again relinquish the lead after that, though the Clippers made several desperate runs in the fourth quarter to try and steal the game away from the underdog Mavericks. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George both played very well and shot the ball efficiently, but they just didn’t get enough support from the so-called ‘other guys.’

Leonard really seemed to try to put the team on his back down the stretch, going 14-for-21 from the field and 4-for-7 from deep for a game-high 41 points, but even his comrade PG’s 12-for-22 for 28 points night wasn’t good enough to supplement him alone. Despite that solid performance, George did that thang at a 14 percent clip from deep, which is definitely not going to cut it in the playoffs these days.

Other than Nicolas Batum and Rajon Rondo, who both played decent, the rest of the team apart from the two big dogs shot a combined 40 percent from the field, which is simply not going to cut it for them as a group. Two players can only do so much, and as people have begun to say more and more in this age of Big 3s and super teams: the other guys need to show up for your team to have success.

Meanwhile, you look to Dallas’ side and you see Luka Doncic going off to the tune of 39 points, seven boards, and seven dimes. But he didn’t do it alone, he had Tim Hardaway Jr. dropping 28 points including some huge shots down the stretch, Kristaps Porzingis put in a very efficient 20 points, and Jalen Brunson was very effective coming off the bench as he went 4-for-7 for nine points on the night.

Now the series heads to Texas, where Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue and his boys will absolutely have their backs against the wall—it’s desperation time baby. The sheer competitive spirit and pride of the guys on the Clippers will not let them be swept, which is why we like them to win Game 3 as one of our top picks on Friday night. But while I like their chances in Game 3, I would certainly not be wagering any sort of funds on L.A. to win the series at this point.

The Klaw isn’t the kind of guy who’s going to ra-ra and do a speech and get his guys fired up. He’s simply the consummate pro, going about his business and getting it done at an elite level and with high efficiency. He’s not a guy who a team will rally around.

In San Antonio he had the aging big three and legendary head coach Gregg Popovich, in Toronto, that guy was undoubtedly Kyle Lowry. Here in L.A., it’s unclear who the leading voice in the huddle is, and that could be the problem.

You can count on Leonard continuing to play at a very high level for the rest of the series, but if PG and the rest of the team’s sharpshooters can get back up to their season average, they can certainly take a game or two back from

Dallas. L.A. shot the three-pointer at a 41 percent clip in the regular season, tops in the NBA, so those shots will start falling at some point, and we’re betting our NBA pick on that happening on Friday night in the Big D.

The Mavericks seem to clearly be the superior team here, but I believe the Clippers will take either Game 3 or 4 just out of a pure sense of self-respect and desperation. When your best player drops 40 and you still lose, that’s a pretty bad sign more often than not.

Sportsbooks obviously feel the same way, because they have listed the Clippers as the favorites for Game 3 despite the fact that they are down 0-2 in the series and playing on the road. It’s a shame we couldn’t get a little bit more value here, but the -2.5 NBA point spread we got at lovely -102 NBA odds for the Clippers was good enough to make it one of our best bets for today.

BET ON LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS TO COVER -2.5 POINT SPREAD (-102 odds, 22Bet)

Game 4 (Mavericks leads series 2-1)

May 30, 09:30 p.m., American Airlines Center

(Playoff Betting Record: 14-8, +5.45 Units)

 

You just had to know that players of the caliber of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George had way too much pride to go down 0-3 to a lower seed, and thankfully for us, we were prescient enough to see that and hop on the Los Angeles Clippers’ NBA point spread in Game 3. Here’s to us.

It was actually Luka Doncic’s home playoff debut for the Dallas Mavericks, since his first—and legendary—foray into the playoffs last season happened in the bubble. Him and his comrades came out looking pretty good to start the clash off, jumping out to a 30-11 lead right away.

They put together the ideal start there, only to have it squandered by a Clippers run late in the first quarter during which they kept the Mavs off the scoreboard for over four straight minutes, with Josh Richardson busting the streak with nine seconds left in the quarter to give Dallas a three-point advantage at the first break.

The game was very back-and-forth for the next two quarters, both of which were won by the Clippers, and L.A. just kept chipping away, eventually building up a seven-point lead midway through the third quarter. The Clippers would have to wait a little longer to get comfortable, however, as Dallas kept the game within a couple of possessions until finally they gave way over the final seven minutes of this contest.

It was a 10-3 run near the end of the game that put it out of reach for the Mavericks. And just like in their run during the first quarter, L.A.’s stingy defense’s ability to keep Dallas from scoring for long periods of time was crucial to putting space between the Clippers and their opponents down the stretch.

The strange thing about this performance from the Mavericks was that they shot poorly from the field, going 44 percent on the night, but they were shooting the lights out from beyond the arc, where they shot it at a 51 percent clip in Game 3.

Luka Doncic was Luka Doncic again, putting up 44 points on 15-for-28 shooting, but other than Jalen Brunson, no one else really shot the ball well for Dallas on Friday night. Tim Hardaway Jr. cooled right off after his scorching performance in Game 2, going 4-for-14 from the field in Game 3. Kristaps Porzingis was in the same boat, as he managed just nine points on 3-for-10 shooting from the floor.

It was just the opposite for the Clippers, as their role players that struggled in L.A. finally found their footing, Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson specifically. But Leonard and George played like stars again as well, putting up 36 and 29, respectively, on great shooting percentages. The Klaw went 13-for-17 and for the third game seemed like a robot on a mission, the only difference on Friday was that his minions were playing up to his level in Game 3.

We would expect Leonard to continue to be the picture of efficiency, and considering PG seems to have exorcised his playoff demons from the bubble last year, it’s all up to the ‘other guys’ to fill in the blanks and continue to get the job done. The Mavs really should not have let the Clippers win Game 3, because now they smell blood in the water, and we like them to come back and tie the series in Texas with one of our top picks for Sunday.

Doncic, George, and Leonard have all been playing very well in this series, and I don’t see any of them starting to struggle at this point, so it’s really going to be up to the supporting cast, and which team supplements their stars with more talent and gusto. The Clippers’ supporting cast would seem to have the advantage in both categories, and we haven’t even really seen Rajon Rondo come out of his shell yet. That man is all about gusto.

But the Clippers were the number one three-point shooting team in terms of percentage during the regular season, so it makes more sense the way they shot the ball on Friday than it did in the first two games. They averaged 14.3 threes a game and shot 41 percent from deep in the regular season, and they hit 13 at a 42 percent clip on Friday, so that wasn’t a flukey good performance, that was par for the course for Tyronn Lue’s boys.

We’d expect the Clippers to keep that momentum going and feed the Mavs the same home sweep that they just suffered last week. Then the series will be tied at 2-2, and it’s anybody’s ballgame at that point. Hopefully, for the sake of basketball fans, this baby goes all the way to seven games. We’re taking the Clippers to cover a -2.5 NBA point spread at standard -110 NBA odds as one of our best bets for this lovely Sunday slate of games.

BET ON LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS -2.5 POINT SPREAD (-110 odds, 10bet)

Game 5 (series ties 2-2)

June 2, 10:00p.m., Staples Center

(Playoff Betting Record: 19-13, +5.09 Units)

The Los Angeles Clippers seemed to be in huge trouble after dropping the first two games at home as Luka Doncic seemingly got anything he wanted on the floor for the Dallas Mavericks, but it seems like the Clippers were the only ones not worried about that development. If anything, they seemed supremely confident after going down 0-2.

Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue, who is likely looking down the barrel of a firing if he loses this series, seemed completely undaunted after that second loss, instead saying that he thought the pressure was all on the Mavericks now after winning two road games: could they do the same at home? Serge Ibaka, who is injured again, also showed supreme confidence in calling a Clippers series win after Game 2.

The Clippers have been playing under the weight of immense expectations ever since Kawhi Leonard and Paul George arrived in the offseason of 2019. They have not come close to meeting those expectations, but after last season’s debacle and the two losses to start these playoffs, the pressure was decidedly off, as a lot of people decided this group would never be able to get it done.

Without that added pressure, the Clippers came out and played much more free in Game 3, taking it by double-digits. In Game 4, it was never really even a contest, with the Clippers going ahead by double-digits a few minutes into the second quarter and never allowing the Mavs to within a single-digit deficit thereafter, eventually winning by 25 while holding Dallas, who averaged over 112 points per game in the regular season, to just 81.

Lue made the necessary adjustments, slotting scoring point guard Reggie Jackson into the starting lineup in place of pitbull Patrick Beverley for Game 3, giving his two stars more offensive support, rather than the defense of Beverley, which is really not at the elite level that it used to be. Jackson responded with 15.5 points and 3.0 dimes per game on 46 percent shooting from the field and 39 percent from deep in his two starts.

The former Lakers star turned Clippers head coach made further adjustments in Game 4, removing static big man Ivica Zubac from the starting five in favor of three-and-D expert Nicolas Batum, who started alongside Leonard, George, Jackson, and Marcus Morris in Game 4. The new lineup clearly worked, as the entire starting five save Morris put up plus/minus numbers of 18+ or higher on Sunday.

On the other side, the Mavericks have problems, which is why we’re going with the Clippers to win their third straight against the flailing Mavericks on Wednesday evening as one of our top picks for the slate. Doncic continues to deal with a strain in his neck that is also affecting his arm apparently, and his supporting cast has really shown it’s true colors here in the last two games.

Apart from Kristaps Porzingis, who went 7-for-12 from the field for 18 points, no one was playing with any offensive efficiency for Dallas on Sunday. Tim Hardaway Jr. has gone ice cold, failing to hit a shot in Game 3 and following that up with a 1-for-8 dud in Game 4.

Jalen Brunson and Josh Richardson weren’t much help off the bench either, going a combined 4-for-15 from the field on the night. In the end, it’s really just a question of percentages returning to the mean, which is another factor in our NBA pick here.

The Clippers led the league with a ridiculous 41.1 percent mark from beyond the arc during the regular season. The Mavs, meanwhile, were shooting it at 36.2 percent, good for just 18th. L.A. only shot it at a 39.4 percent rate during Game 4 and a 41.9 mark in Game 3, so the way they’ve been shooting in their wins is definitely very sustainable.

The Mavericks shooting it at a 47.2 percent clip in Game 1 and a 52.9 mark in Game 2? Now THAT is what’s unsustainable. They crashed back down to Earth upon their return to the Big D, and we believe the reality of their subpar long-distance shooting will remain with them for the rest of the series.

Not to mention Leonard’s MVP credentials so far in this series: the Klaw is averaging 33.0 points, 8.5 boards, 2.5 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game while shooting the ball with ruthless efficiency, posting a 64/50/88 shooting line so far in this series. The guy’s a robot, and he’s been given a clear mission: decimate the Dallas Mavericks.

He will continue on that quest on Wednesday, and we expect him and his team to move a game closer to achieving that goal. We’re taking the Clippers at a -7.5 NBA point spread at lovely -102 NBA odds as one of our best bets for Wednesday night’s packed NBA slate.

BET ON LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS -7.5 POINT SPREAD (-102 odds, 22Bet)

Game 6 (Mavericks leads series 3-2)

June 4, TBD, American Airlines Center

(Playoff Betting Record: 22-17, +3.83 Units)

The Los Angeles Clippers came into Game 5 of their first round series against the Dallas Mavericks as big-time 7.5-point favorites, the largest number they had been given so far in the series. Unfortunately, we hopped on that bandwagon to no avail, as Luka Doncic came out and put on another show for the fans of the NBA on Wednesday night.

He put up 42 on the night, the third time in this series that he has scored 39+ points in a game. But not only that, the Slovenian phenom also racked up 14 assists on the night, which means that he accounted for at least 70 of his team’s 105 points on the night. Doncic is definitely capable of recreating that performance, but these explosions don’t always mean wins for his team.

While his team was able to hold on for the 105-100 win in Game 5 on the back of his otherworldly performance, he arguably played better in Game 3 when he had 44 points and nine dimes on much higher shooting efficiency, and his team still lost that one 118-108, the result that gave the Clippers new life in a series they had previously been trailing 2-0.

Everybody seemed ready for the Clippers we’ve all been expecting since the summer of 2019 to finally emerge after putting up back-to-back away wins to tie the series up. Unfortunately, the Clippers have something against their home crowd, because for the third time this series, they lost in L.A.

The contest was actually very close for the first 35 minutes, at which point the Mavs went on a 22-3 run that saw them shut out the Clippers for nearly four full minutes of game action. However, the Clippers would fight back in the final frame and go on a 9-0 run right at the end to bring the game within one point with 40 seconds remaining.

Reserve guard Terrence Mann was able to snag a steal off of Doncic on the ensuing possession, giving the Clips the chance to take the lead back. Unfortunately, Nicolas Batum was unable to put in a bunny from point blank range, and the Mavericks got the ball and hit both of their free throws.

The Clippers were down just three at that point, so they were still very much in the game. But instead of using the nearly nine seconds remaining to come up with a play or get an open shot, L.A. inbounded it to Kawhi Leonard in a terrible spot in the corner, a situation which forced him to chuck up an ugly attempt from deep that missed everything. Game over, Mavs up 3-2 heading back to Dallas.

That is about as far from ideal a turn of events as you can come up with for that final 40 seconds of game time. And the Clippers have to be very discouraged about the fact that Tim Hardaway Jr. and Doncic were the only Dallas players to score in double-digits and they still got the win.

Everyone in L.A.’s starting five scored in double figures, but not one of them shot the ball at a clip of 50 percent or higher. After his uber-efficient displays through the first quartet of games in this series, Leonard fell on hard times in Game 5, going just 7-for-19 from the field and 1-for-7 from deep. The Klaw will not play that poorly twice in a row, which is why we like the Clippers to push this series to seven games as our NBA pick here on Friday night.

Rajon Rondo also missed all six of his attempts from the field off the bench, and considering the level of veteran savviness he brings to the table, that doesn’t seem like a performance that will be repeated either. The Clippers really should not have given this game up, and if a Batum layup bounces a little differently, we’d be having a completely different conversation right now.

But they did lose, and now they’ll have to come together and show their mettle, because if they’re eliminated in the first round, especially in just six games, head coach Tyronn Lue is gone, and you can probably expect Leonard to consider his options during the offseason as well. What a tragic experiment this would have turned out to be if that turns out to be the case.

They shot the three-ball at over 40 percent in the regular season, and apart from Rondo and Leonard, they shot it well again on Wednesday night. If those two championship-winning veterans can get themselves together and contribute with some efficiency in Game 6, the Clippers should have no problem sending this series back to Staples Center for a Game 7.

The Clippers are being given a much more reasonable point spread for this one when compared to the big fat one they got for Game 5, but we still would’ve liked to see this one listed as more of a pick ‘em proposition. Nevertheless, we’re believing in the star power of the Clippers to keep their season alive and cover a -3.5 NBA point spread at tasty +105 NBA odds as one of our best bets for today.

BET ON LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS TO COVER -3.5 POINT SPREAD (+105 odds, 888sport)

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Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve. Follow Alex on Twitter

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