Welcome to Doc's Sports Service Sportsbook Banner
spacer  
spacer spacer
Welcome to Doc's Sports Service spacer
Welcome to Doc's Sports Service Welcome to Doc's Sports Service
Welcome to Doc's Sports Service
Click Here to Purchase Doc's Picks
Baseball Picks   |   NASCAR Picks   |   WNBA picks
Football Picks   |   NFL Picks   |   Soccer Picks
spacer



Live Lines and Odds NFL Odds
spacer
College Football Odds
spacer
NBA Odds
spacer
College
   Basketball Odds

spacer
MLB Odds
spacer
NHL Odds
spacer
WNBA Odds
spacer
CFL Odds
spacer
Boxing Odds
spacer
Golf Odds
spacer
Soccer Odds
spacer

Free Picks by Sport Free MLB Picks
spacer
Free NASCAR Picks
spacer
Free NFL Picks
spacer
Free College Football Picks
spacer
Free NBA Picks
spacer
Free College Basketball Picks
spacer
Free NHL Picks
spacer
All Free Picks
spacer

Handicapping Matchup Reports NFL
spacer
NCAA Football
spacer
NBA
spacer
NCAA Basketball
spacer
MLB
spacer
NHL
spacer

Scores NFL
spacer
NCAA Football
spacer
NBA
spacer
NCAA Basketball
spacer
MLB
spacer
NHL
spacer

Schedules NFL Schedule
spacer
College Football Schedule
spacer
MLB Schedule
spacer
Monday Night Football Schedule
spacer

Upcomming Event Coverage 2014 Heisman Trophy Odds
spacer
MLB Futures Odds
spacer




Sportsbook Banner
spacer
spacer
Home
spacer
View Picks
spacer
Why Doc's Sports?
spacer
Our Betting System
spacer
Sports Betting Strategy
spacer
Message from the GM
spacer
Our Commitment
spacer
Customer Comments
spacer
Free Picks
spacer
Contact Doc's
spacer

The Advisory Board
Our Commitment
spacer
Doc's Sports
spacer
Robert Ferringo
spacer
Allen Eastman
spacer
Raphael Esparza (VSI)
spacer
Indian Cowboy
spacer
Jason Sharpe
spacer
Strike Point Sports
spacer
Mike Davis
spacer

Betting Systems
11th Hour Sports
spacer
The Prop Machine
spacer

Recomended Sportsbooks Bovada Sportsbook
spacer
5Dimes Sportsbook
spacer
BookMaker
spacer
Sportsbook
spacer
Carbon Sports
spacer
WagerWeb
spacer
BetOnline Sportsbook
spacer
GT Bets
spacer
SportsBettingOnline.ag
spacer
Sportsbook Bonus
spacer

Handicapping Resources
Mobile Website Directions
spacer
2014 NFL Season Win Totals Predictions
spacer
2014 College Football Season Win Totals Predictions
spacer
Weekly NFL Survivor Pool Picks
spacer
Sports Betting Money Managment
spacer
Handicapping FAQ
spacer
Sports Betting 101
spacer
Sports Betting Tips
spacer
Parlay Calculator
spacer
Sports Betting Systems
spacer
Parlay Cards
spacer
Gambling Terms
spacer
2014 Archives
spacer
2013 Archives
spacer
2012 Archives
spacer
2011 Archives
spacer
2010 Archives
spacer
Doc's Affiliate Program
spacer
Doc's Writer Bios
spacer
Doc's rss feedDoc's RSS feed



spacer
spacer

NBA Handicapping: Best Team in the Western Conference
by Trevor Whenham - 1/11/2013

Share |
Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul

There is a three-team race emerging in the Western Conference of the NBA this year, and for the first time in a long time one of those teams definitely isn’t the Lakers. The L.A. Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and San Antonio Spurs are all within a game of each other in the standings. There is a good chance that one of those three will ultimately win the conference. The question, though, is which team is the best? Let’s take a look from several perspectives:

Offense

The Clippers sit third in this category, with the Thunder and Spurs essentially tied. Oklahoma City has the edge in points, three-point shooting, and on the foul line. The Spurs have a slightly better field goal percentage, and a better assist-to-turnover ratio. It’s a coin toss. What’s really striking about these two teams is that, despite the fact that they do it quite differently, they are remarkably consistent and comparable. This year the Thunder sit second in points scored and the Spurs are third. Last year the Spurs were second and the Thunder third. The year before Oklahoma City was fifth and San Antonio sixth. In 2009-10 they were 14th and 15th. The year before they were tied for 23rd. For five years in a row the two teams have scored almost exactly as many points as each other. That should be all but impossible, but it has happened.

50% Match Play Reward
Reduced Juice Wagering
Click Here to signup with 5Dimes

Defense

The Clippers don’t score as much as the other two teams, but they make up for it by the fact that they allow just over three fewer points per game than the others. There are better defensive teams — Memphis allows four fewer points per game, and Indiana and Chicago allow fewer as well — but the Clippers are an elite defensive team. Oklahoma City is ninth and San Antonio is 13th, so neither team is weak without the ball — they wouldn’t be where they are if they were. The Clippers get the edge here, though. .

Star power

The Spurs are out in this category — Tony Parker is very good, obviously, but not a superstar like the others, and Tim Duncan is in the twilight of a megastar career. Beyond that, then, it depends on whether you value point guards or scoring forwards. Kevin Durant is perhaps the best offensive force in the league. Chris Paul is definitely the best point guard in the league — at least until Derrick Rose finally comes back and is again healthy. I lean towards Durant, but Blake Griffin is a bigger star than any option on the Thunder, so the Clippers get the win in this column.

Depth

James Harden made a good argument for Oklahoma City, but Kevin Martin is a lousy replacement, so the Thunder are out. Manu Ginobli is obviously a big factor off the bench — and has been eternally, though not now at the same level as he used to be. In terms of bench, the runaway winner here is the Clippers. The biggest single reason for their success this year — aside from the superb play of Paul — is that their second five is better than more than a couple of first fives in the league right now.

Coaching

The biggest liability that the Clippers have is the game-time decision making of Vinny Del Negro. I have no faith in him in crunch time. Scott Brooks is a very good coach, but he has only been a coach for four years, so he still needs to prove himself with some hardware. The clear champ here is Gregg Popovich. How can you argue with him? Four championships in 16 years with the team. Nine first-place finishes in the division and six second-place showings (sixth in his first season was his only sub-standard result). He’s an absolute legend. And though it looked a couple of years ago like maybe he was ready to move on, his renewed focus and excellence the last couple of seasons is wildly impressive. With Phil Jackson out of the league, there is no better coach in the sport right now.

Betting performance

Little to differentiate these teams here — it’s essentially a photo finish. Only Memphis has been more profitable against the spread than Oklahoma City. The Clippers are third in the league ATS, and San Antonio sits fourth. Betting on any of these teams has been a pleasure all season. If I had to pick a loser here it would be the Clippers for the simple reason that they sit at 7-8 ATS on the road. The Spurs (12-9 ATS) and the Thunder (8-5-1 ATS) are both profitable teams on the road.

The verdict

By pure tabulation we had two of these six categories that wound up without a clear winner, three wins for the Clippers and one for the Spurs. I’m a little surprised because I haven’t fully bought into this L.A. team yet, but I laid out the criteria and the results are clear. Based on this process, at least, the Clippers are currently the best team in the Western Division.

Share |

Most Recent NBA Handicapping Articles