Here we go again.
The Los Angeles Clippers were on the road and on the ropes on Monday night trailing this series 3-1 and managed to get back into the Western Conference finals. On Wednesday, they will head back to Staples Center with an opportunity to tie yet another series after trailing. The Phoenix Suns are 5-2 in road games this season, but this will be their toughest test of the postseason.
Our NBA crew is looking at two bets entering Game 6 of this series. You can find their picks and analysis below.
NBA Odds & Picks
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|Suns vs. Clippers Total|
|Suns vs. Clippers Futures|
Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers
|Tipoff||9 p.m. ET|
Austin Wang: The Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Clippers face off in Game 6 on Wednesday evening at the Staples Center. Chris Paul is one win away from reaching the NBA Finals for the first time his career. The resilient Clippers will try to force a Game 7 and continue their impressive run without superstar Kawhi Leonard.
The Pace has been slow in this series with an average of 92.18 possession per 48 minutes. In Game 5, with Zubac sitting out due to an injury, the Clippers went with a small-ball lineup with Marcus Morris at center. As a result, the game was faster-paced at 97.5, the highest it has been all series, and the game flew over the closing total of 213.5.
Zubac is currently listed as questionable with a sprained MCL injury, so keep up with his status using our Bet Labs Insider tool. Even if he does play, expect his minutes to be limited as the small-ball lineup was very effective for the Clippers in Game 5. Having Morris in the middle allowed the Clippers to spread the floor with five shooters on the floor.
On the flip side, Paul has been struggling with his shot since he returned from health and safety protocols in Game 3. Likewise, Devin Booker has been struggling with his shot since his collision with Patrick Beverley in Game 2 and having to adjust to life with playing with a facemask. Both players looked a little better in Game 5 and seem to be returning back to form. Also, I expect Deandre Ayton to be more aggressive tonight to take advantage of the Clippers’ small line-up.
My recommendation on tonight’s game is to play the over of 214.5. Both of these teams keep the pace slow, but with Zubac potentially out or limited, I expect the Clippers small-ball line-up to be running and gunning.
I also anticipate some improvements to the Suns’ offensive efficiency as Paul and Booker return to form and they try to put this series away.
Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers
|Pick||Suns -120 to Win NBA Title|
Brandon Anderson: Slooow exhale
This NBA postseason has been brutal.
It legitimately feels like we can’t go more than two or three days in a row at this point without another devastating injury to a star. Kawhi Leonard is still out indefinitely with that knee injury. Trae Young missed last night with a foot problem. Now Giannis Antetokounmpo hurt his knee. And don’t forget, those teams are already down another important starter each — Serge Ibaka, De’Andre Hunter, and Donte DiVincenzo, respectively.
And then there are the Suns. It looked like the Suns were doomed when Chris Paul hurt his shoulder in the opening game of the playoffs, but Phoenix has persevered, and the shoulder seems fine now.
Instead, the Suns are now dealing with Devin Booker’s nose injury plus Paul’s continued return from COVID protocols. In a normal season, injuries to Phoenix’s two stars might make them the team with the biggest question marks. But in this wonky postseason, the Suns are the healthiest team left, by far. It’s not even close.
After years and years of Paul catching the worst playoff luck in history, is it possible things are finally bouncing the way of the Point God?
Betting futures is scary right now. At this point, CP3 getting abducted by aliens doesn’t feel like a stretch.
The reality is, the Phoenix Suns have never been closer to an NBA championship. Phoenix needs to win one of two games against a Clippers team missing two or maybe three starters (pending Ivica Zubac).
Then the Suns may get almost a week of rest before facing an East representative with a hobbled star (at best??) and another missing starter. Phoenix will have home court advantage and probably a significant rest advantage. Suddenly everything is coming up Suns.
I know, you want to wait. Wait until the Suns clinch against these resilient Clippers. Wait until we know more about the Giannis injury.
But here’s the thing — if you wait and you lose value. The value is there now.
If you wait until tonight to make sure the Suns finish the job the odds might be halved. Wait until the worst Antetokounmpo news drops and the odds could fall even further. This is gambling after all. Bet on what’s in front of you. If you wait until it’s behind, you’ve missed your chance.
Anything can happen, but the Suns are the healthiest team left, the best team left, and in a wildly advantageous situation. They’re slight favorites tonight and should be ready for a small ball Clips attack with a renewed sense of finishing the mission after what happened the last two nights. The finish line is in sight. This is Phoenix’s title to lose.
We’ve done this before with the Suns. Up 3-2 on the Lakers, we bet them to win the series, not just Game 6. Up 3-0 on Denver, we bet Phoenix to win the West, not just make the Conference Finals.
In both instances, the Suns won that night and saw those odds sliced more than in half that same day. Phoenix is the favorite now. Bet them to win the title while the odds are in our favor.