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Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers Free NBA Pick

Los Angeles Clippers (1-0) at Golden State Warriors (0-0)

NBA: Thursday, October 24th, 2019 at 10:30 pm ET (Chase Center)

Line and Odds: Los Angeles Clippers -1.5 Over/Under: 227

Free ESPN NBA Picks Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Clippers are off to a fantastic start to their 2019-2020 season. Their opening game with the Los Angeles Lakers was as hyped as any opener in recent memory. We had the 2 NBA title favorites, who happen to play in the same building, playing a high-intensity contest in game 1 of 82. When you watched that game, it definitely had a playoff feel to it. There was a 50/50 split of Lakers and Clippers fans and it was loud throughout. Both teams came out with a focus that convinced me that they were each taking this game extremely seriously. It was the Clippers who ended up coming on top. The Los Angeles Clippers beat the Los Angeles Lakers 112-102 on Tuesday night to open the season 1-0.

There’s a reason that the Clippers opened up as the 2nd favorite to win the NBA Championship. If they had just returned their 2018-2019 roster, they would’ve been seen as a threat to win a playoff series this year. Last season, they went 48-34 and went to the Western Conference playoffs as an 8-seed. They pushed Golden State to 6 games in the opening round of the 2019 playoffs. The Clippers finished 9th in offensive rating, scoring 112.4 points per 100 possessions. They averaged 115.1 points per game, which ranked 5th in the NBA in scoring. Los Angeles finished 1st in free throw rate (.326 free throws attempted per field goal attempted) and 1st in free throws made per field goal attempt (.258). The Clippers hit 38.8% of their 3-point attempts, ranking 2nd in 3-point shooting percentage. They also ranked 8th in defensive effective field goal percentage with an eFG% of .514 allowed.

Los Angeles kept their main core of players and added 2 all-stars. Arguably the biggest free agent on the market this offseason was Kawhi Leonard. Kawhi was coming off of a playoff run where he led the Toronto Raptors to their first-ever NBA title. He won his 2nd Finals MVP and re-established himself as one of the best players in the league. Leonard shocked the NBA world by eschewing the Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors in favor of the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers were seen as the 3rd-most likely destination, so it was a huge coup for Doc Rivers and Jerry West to pull off. Additionally, Leonard brought a friend with him. It has been widely-reported that Leonard told the Clippers front office that he would sign with the Clippers if they could trade for Paul George. So, that’s what the Clippers did. Paul George, after finishing top 5 in the regular season MVP race, now pairs up with the defending NBA Finals MVP. Leonard and George join an already deep Clippers roster in hopes of winning an NBA title. However, George isn’t quite healthy, so the Clippers begin the season without him on the court.

Golden State

The Golden State Warriors are in the midst of one of the most dominant 5 year stretched we’ve seen in NBA history. They have gone to the NBA Finals in 5 straight seasons, winning the championship in 3 of those years. However, there are people who think that era of Golden State dominance has come to an end. Not only will the team’s roster look different, they will also be playing in a different arena. Golden State has moved to the other side of the bay, leaving Oracle Arena in Oakland behind to play in San Francisco’s Chase Center. Oracle has provided such an intimidating home court advantage throughout the years that it is tough to see how the Chase Center can create the same environment. With tonight as the grand opening, I want to see how much of an impact the crowd will have on the game.

Unlike years past, this Golden State team is not one of the favorites to win the NBA title in 2020. The biggest change for the Golden State Warriors is the loss of Kevin Durant. Durant won back-to-back Finals MVPs with the Warriors and helped lead the team to 3 straight trips to the finals. Last season, Durant averaged 26.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game. Kevin Durant left Golden State to sign with the Brooklyn Nets. While Durant isn’t healthy enough to play this season, it is expected that he’ll eventually return to an All-Star level when he has recovered from injury (just not as a Warrior). The other major loss for Golden State is Klay Thompson. Klay remains on the team, but he isn’t expected to play at all this season. Thompson, like Durant, suffered a bad injury in the NBA Finals (ACL tear). Klay averaged 21.5 points per game last season, shot 40.2% from 3 point range, and often guarded the opponents’ best offensive wing. Golden State also lost players like Andre Iguodala, DeMarcus Cousins, Quinn Cook, and Shaun Livingston.

Though this is a team that has undergone numerous changes, there are still aspects of the team that still look like the “old” Golden State. 2-time MVP Steph Curry returns to play point guard. He averaged 27.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game last season. Many experts believe Curry will have another MVP type of campaign because of how much he will be asked to carry the load. There will be no Kevin Durant or Klay Thompson, so Curry will have to do more to get Golden State where he wants them to go. Golden State also return their Jack-Of-All-Trades, Draymond Green. Draymond is arguably the heart and soul of the team. He passes, rebounds, leads, and defends anyone on the opposing team who needs to be defended. Additionally, the Warriors front office acquired 23-year-old guard D’Angelo Russell. Russell averaged 21.1 points and 7.0 assists per game, reaching the first all-star game of his career.

Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends

Clippers

LA Clippers are 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games.

The total has gone OVER in 14 of LA Clippers’ last 20 games.

LA Clippers are 4-16 SU in their last 20 games against Golden State.

Warriors

The total has gone OVER in 4 of Golden State’s last 5 games against LA Clippers.

Golden State is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games at home.

Golden State is 16-4 SU in their last 20 games when playing at home against LA Clippers.

ESPN NBA Scores Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors

I’m taking the Golden State Warriors +1.5 in this matchup. This is an incredibly short number for a team as good as the Warriors. If Paul George was healthy, I would be more willing to lean towards the Clippers here. This Golden State team still has Stephen Curry and still has Draymond Green. D’Angelo Russell is a young all-star who is ascending and getting better. Steve Kerr is a great offensive mind, so I expect that he’ll be able to incorporate Russell into the offense without much issue, even though there is some talk out there that Russell doesn’t necessarily fit the system. I could see this game being a bit of a letdown game for the Clippers considering how emotional and intense the opener was. On the other hand, this is the Warriors’ first game of the season and they are chomping at the bit to make a statement to the NBA world. I’m willing to grab Golden State as a home underdog any chance I get, so I’ll take the Warriors and the points here.

Golden State Warriors +1.5
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