Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:15 PM EST.
10:35 PM EST. The Pelicans are currently the fifth seed in the West, but they have not clinched a playoff spot with two games to play. New Orleans is 46-34, which ties them with San Antonio and Oklahoma City. The Nuggets and Timberwolves are both a game back of those teams. New Orleans has won three straight games including a 126-120 victory over the Warriors in Oakland on Saturday night. Beating the defending champs was huge for the Pelicans, who had lost 14 straight to Golden State. That win is nice on paper, but only inflates the Pelicans standing in the market and potentially sets them up for a huge letdown tonight. Before that big W over the 'Dubs, the 'Cans beat up on the Suns and Grizzlies, which are two of worst teams in the league. Prior to this three-game run, New Orleans dropped four in a row. The 'Cans are as inconsistent as they come and cannot be trusted to spot points like this on the road. The perception in the market is that the Pelicans are in a must-win situation, but that angle is tired and overvalued. No team wants to have the enemy clinch a playoff spot on its home floor.
The Clippers were eliminated from playoff contention after a blowout loss to the Nuggets on Saturday night. If there was any question about whether or not they'll compete here, head coach Doc Rivers laid it on the line, "I think I have to play the (starters) against New Orleans, honestly... I just believe in protecting the league." This game is very important in the race for a Western Conference playoff spot, as two wins separate the fourth place Jazz from ninth-place Nuggets. The Clip Joint close out the season against the Lakers in what will be a meaningless contest for both sides, so this is their last chance to go out and play the meaningful role of spoiler before the year is over. The Clippers were crushed in their last two games, but those lopsided results should only lessen their appeal in the market. The poor take that the Clippers have nothing to play for only inflates this price, as they look to be a live pooch in this situation. An outright win is on the table here, but these pumped up points are too juicy to pass up.
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L.A. CLIPPERS +8 -106 (Risking 2.12 units - To Win: 2.00)