The NBA Playoffs continue on Sunday night and we will see the Houston Rockets travel to the Staples Center to take on the Los Angeles Clippers in game 4 of their best-of-seven series. Free Pick to follow. The game has a start time of 8:30 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on TNT. Current Vegas betting odds have the Clippers listed as 7.5 point favorites, while the total is set at 217.5.
Analysis: The Houston Rockets had a rather easy time of it in their first round matchup vs Dallas, but now they have stepped up in class of competition and are struggling. Even though they won game 2 they still have been thoroughly outplayed in all 3 games and are now down 2-1 and look to be fading. This series just may be over in 5 games if they don't win this one. Houston has gone 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games following a SU loss of more than 10 points, but just 2-9 ATS the last 11 games in the series. The Rockets have scored 104.7 ppg on 44.6% shooting overall and 34.0% from long range on the road this year. Defensively they have not been so good away from home, where they have allowed 104.5 ppg on 45.6% shooting overall and 35.3% shooting from long range.
The LA Clippers are rolling right now and they have looked strong with or without Chris Paul on the floor. LA blewout the Rockets without him in game 1, then they led for much of game 2 without him and in game three they blewout the Rockets again, this time with him. This really looks like Clippers series to lose. LA has gone 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Conference Semifinals games, but just 5-13 ATS in their last 18 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600. The Clippers have scored 106.6 ppg on 47.2% shooting overall and 37.5% from long range at home this year. Defensively they have been decent at home, allowing just 98.7 ppg on 45.2% shooting overall and 33.4% shooting from long range.
Pick: I will go with the Under here. At some point the Rockets have to slow it down and play some defense or they will have no shot at all here.The Clippers like to run, but they will also play defense, especially at home, where they have allowed just 98.7 ppg on the year. Also if they get up big I really look for them to slow it down and conserve energy for game 5 which will be at Houston and will be a game that they most certainly have to run in. I look for around 210 points in this one.
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