NBA Playoff Preview: Clippers vs. Grizzlies Betting Trends
by Dave Schwab - 4/27/2012
The Los Angeles Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies tip-off their first-round, best-of-seven playoff series this Sunday with Game 1 at the FedEx Forum in Memphis.
The first two games will be in there before the series shifts to the Staples Center for the next two games. The series will alternate sites for the final three games in a 2-2-1-1-1 format.
When you look at the four first-round matchups in the Western Conference, this one stands out as being the most competitive. The following is a closer look at this series along with some betting trends that can help with NBA handicapping.
Team Overview - Los Angeles Clippers
The addition of guard Chris Paul, through a preseason trade with New Orleans, instantly turned this team from a perennial doormat in the Pacific Division into a legitimate playoff contender. The Clippers jumped out to an early lead in the division and battled their neighbors at the Staples Center all the way to the bitter end with the Lakers winning the title by a game.
Led by Paul and forward Blake Griffin, LA finished the regular season 40-26 straight-up and 33-33 against the spread. It went 24-9 SU (17-16 ATS) at home with the total staying ‘under’ in 18 of the 33 games. On the road, the Clippers were 15-18 SU (16-17 ATS) and the total went ‘over’ in 19 of their 33 games.
Both Paul and Griffin averaged around 20 points a game. Paul ended the regular season averaging 9.1 assists while Griffin averaged 10.9 rebounds a game. The Clippers scored 97.6 points a game while shooting 45.5 percent from the floor. Despite Griffin manning the boards, LA was ranked 22nd in the league in rebounds with 41.6 a game.
Team Overview - Memphis Grizzlies
Last season, the Grizzlies stunned San Antonio in the first round as the eighth seed in the West and then took Oklahoma City to seven games in the conference semifinals. After fighting through a slow start this year, Memphis quickly returned to form with a seven-game winning streak in mid-January and a 9-1 SU stretch from late February through early March. The Grizzlies come into this series with a 14-3 SU record in their final 17 regular season games.
A big reason for the late-season surge has been the play of Rudy Gay, who leads the team 19 points per game. The Grizzlies have five other players scoring in double figures with Marc Gasol chipping in 14.6 points a game while pulling down a team-high 8.9 rebounds. The team’s balance and depth has led to a scoring average of 95 points a game while shooting 44.7 percent from the field. Memphis has a slight edge in rebounds with 42.1 a game but is ranked 26th in the NBA from three-point range; hitting on just 32.6 percent of its attempts.
The Grizzlies finished the regular season 41-25 SU but were a costly 29-37 ATS. They posted a solid 26-7 SU record at home and were 16-17 ATS. Memphis was also under .500 on the road at 15-18 SU and a woeful 13-20 ATS. The total stayed under in 40 of its 66 games overall and in 23 of its 33 games on the road.
Series Betting Trends
The Clippers are 16-40 ATS in their last 56 games against the Southwest Division and 2-5 ATS in their last seven games overall. The total has gone over in five of their last seven games.
The Grizzlies are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six first-round playoff games and 35-15-1 in their last 51 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600. The total has stayed under in 14 of their last 19 games overall.
Head-to-head, Los Angeles won three of four meetings this season and four of the last five games SU. It is 3-2 ATS in the last five meetings. The total has stayed under in six of the last seven meetings and in the final three games this season.
Doc’s Sports will have a series pick for this game posted on Saturday. If you have not yet done so you can get this pick free via our $60 free picks promotion. We are offering $60 worth of member’s picks absolutely free – no obligation, no sales people – you don’t even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit any way you please on any of our top NBA handicappers. Click here for more details and take advantage of this free $60 picks credit today.
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