NBA Odds: Griffin and Clippers host Nuggets

By: David Schwab | Friday, March 4, 2011

The Clippers have covered the last four matchups against the Nuggets.

The Denver Nuggets will look to extend their current winning streak to four games when they tangle with the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday. Tip-off from LA's Staples Center is a little past 7:30 p.m. (PT) and the game will be available on NBA League Pass.

If Denver misses Carmelo Anthony it certainly is not playing like it. Since the blockbuster trade that sent the superstar forward to New York along with Chauncey Billips, the Nuggets have won five of six games, including a 120-80 romp over Charlotte this past Wednesday night as a 6 ½-point home favorite and a 103-101 victory over Utah as a three-point road underdog on Thursday.

Denver is suddenly just two games in back of Oklahoma City in the Northwest Division and in fifth-place in the Western Conference. It has an overall record of 37-26 straight-up and is 30-30-3 against the spread.

Former Knicks Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler have led the way as the team’s top two scorers since the trade, however Gallinari is currently out until later this month with a toe injury. Ty Lawson has stepped up his game with 23 points against the Jazz and 14 against the Bobcats after averaging 10.6 points for the season.

The Nuggets have averaged 104.6 points over the past seven games which is slightly lower than their league-high 107.5 point average. They have given up an average of 92.4 points over this stretch which is a dramatic improvement over their 104-point season average. Before the trade, Denver’s defense had only held an opponent to less than 100 points once in the previous 17 games. It has done it three times in the last seven.

Los Angeles’s 106-103 victory over Houston as a 2 ½-point home favorite this past Wednesday was its first in the last six games and just its third win in the last 15 games. The Clippers are 22-40 SU overall and 29-32-1 ATS. They are currently in 13th-place in the Western Conference.

Mo Williams, acquired in a trade that sent Baron Davis to Cleveland, has added a spark to the offense with an average of 16.5 points and eight assists since joining the team. Eric Gordon leads the Clippers with 24.1 points a game and Blake Griffin is averaging 22.1 points and a team-high 12.5 rebounds.

The Clippers are shooting 45.5 percent from the field but are ranked 26th in the league from three-point range, hitting just 33.5 percent of their attempts. They are averaging 98.4 points and pulling down 42.3 rebounds a game.

Denver is 3-2 ATS in its last five games on the road and 7-0 ATS in their last seven games overall. The total has stayed ‘under’ in five of its last seven games.

Los Angeles is 4-1 ATS in its last five home games but just 2-4 ATS in its last six games overall. The total has stayed ‘under’ in seven of its last nine games.

Head-to-head, the Nuggets have won four of the last five games SU, but the Clippers are 4-0 ATS in the last four. The total has stayed ‘under’ in five of the last six games.

The last time they met, LA came away with a 106-93 victory as a three-point home underdog and should open as a slightly higher underdog this time around. Denver comes into this game with a head of steam, but the Clippers put up enough of an effort to cover at home.

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