It has been a rough start to the season for the San Antonio Spurs and Gregg Popovich. The Spurs have dropped four games in a row after starting the season 2-0. The team just lost G Derrick White long-term due to a fractured toe. LaMarcus Aldridge has been on the shelf and is questionable to play Tuesday due to a knee injury. So San Antonio will head into tonight’s matchup against the top-seeded Clippers pretty shorthanded.
Other than that blowout loss to the Dallas Mavericks, Kawhi Leonard and Co. haven’t missed a beat this season. The Clippers’ only other loss was 6 points to the Utah Jazz. Other than that, it’s been all smiles for Tyronn Lue. Leonard is still in a mask but that has only meant Paul George can step up and take over. He’s coming off 39 points in a win over the Phoenix Suns over the weekend. Let’s take a look at some picks for tonight.
Update: Paul George is out for the Clippers and LaMarcus Aldridge is in for the Spurs. So I’d maybe shy away from this spread and look to get in on something in-game depending on how the game goes. San Antonio is bad and the Clippers should have enough to win without PG. Still, LMA is back and it could be tighter than we expected.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 10:00 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Clippers -9
Anything under a double-digit spread in a game that feels like it could be a blowout is good value to me. This is a perfect example of an elite team going up against a team floundering and gasping for air. The number of blowouts we’ve seen this season suggests this game could get out of hand fast. The kicker is LMA being out. If that ends up being the case, this number will only move up to 10-11 points. The Spurs just won’t have enough on offense to keep up with Leonard and PG-13.
Player Prop: Keldon Johnson O12.5 Points (-110)
Johnson is on a tear with a combined 48 points over the past two games. He’s emerging as the next potential great Spurs player (although that’s probably early to say). If it is the case, and if LMA is out, then Johnson’s points prop is wayyyy too low. Johnson’s averaging 16.2 points per game this season. Oh, did I mention he went to Kentucky? That pretty much seals his fate as a future stud.
I’d be concerned about the matchup, but Johnson’s past two games have been against the Jazz and Lakers, two teams with good perimeter defenders. If you want a potentially safer play, Johnson’s points/rebounds/assist prop is 19.5 at -121. Johnson is averaging 7.5 rebounds per game.
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