Blake Griffin and the LA Clippers play host to the Denver Nuggets tonight. While the Clippers topped Denver last Sunday night, is this the Nuggets chance to get even? The NBA odds makers are calling for a close one, but I think correct the choice is obvious.

Finishing up the month of January, the Denver Nuggets (14-7) were at a high point, reeling off 6 straight wins. That was until Chauncey Billups came home and scored a game high 32 points to lead the Clippers (13-6) over the Denver Nuggets. Now, as the scene switches to LA, the Nuggets look to even the score.


Sportsbooks opened with LA favored by 2 points, but sports betting action shows that the public finds this contest to be very evenly matched, as NBA betting odds now have the Clippers as a 1 point favorite.

Are these two teams really as evenly matched as the NBA odds would have us believe? Lets decide if the public perception is skewed, and how it can help us in making our NBA picks.



CP3's coming out party

The Los Angeles Clippers already knew that they were getting a star in point guard Chris Paul, but Wednesday really showed what an asset that CP3 can be to this team. Along with setting up power dunker Blake Griffin on a regular basis for easy dunks, Paul finally set himself up offensively as he poured in a season high 34 points with 11 assists, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals.

Paul was unstoppable as he repeatedly penetrated to the basket without a problem. He also had 12 4th quarter points, as poor Utah Jazz free throw shooting appeared to be the difference in the game. 

Chris Paul's style of play is perfectly matched to go up against a predominantly offensive minded team such as Denver's. The Nuggets are averaging 105.4 points per game this season, so expect a big game from Chris Paul in a high scoring affair.

Who wants to be posterized?

Blake GriffinForward Blake Griffin brings an intimidation factor with his combination of strength, size, and offensive skill that get's under many opponent's skin. He draws fouls on a consistent basis and it forces the opposing player to take either an early seat or a long break on the bench.

I've seen in recent games against the Nets and Lakers. Kris Humphries tried to "body up" against Griffin, but inevitably there was nothing that he could do to stop Griffin from either scoring or going to the free throw line. 

In the Clippers last defeat, a game which they dominated for the most part against the Lakers, Griffin was unstoppable. It got to the point to where Metta World Peace thought that he was playing in the NFL and was tackling Griffin out of frustration. World Peace even went to the extent of actually flexing his muscles in Griffin's direction.

Even a mild mannered Kevin Durant recently made comments in regards to Griffin dunking over Kendrick Perkins. Durant said that it was one play and he wasn't impressed. Make no mistake about it, the dunk was impressive and so has been the play of Blake Griffin since he's put on a Los Angeles Clippers jersey.

On the season, Griffin continues to live up to the hype as he averages 21.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists while shooting 52.7% from the field. Denver will have no answer for Griffin on the defensive end, and the only thing that they can do is try to outscore his team.

Poor timing

Denver has the offensive power to matchup with the Clippers. The betting odds are nearly even, but the Nuggets are coming off of two bad losses in which they controlled the entire game until the latter part of the 4th quarter.

Chauncey Billups return to the Pepsi Center was a successful one, as the Clippers outscored the Nuggets 32-22 in the 4th quarter to break their 6 game winning streak. On Tuesday the Nuggets had a 10 point lead over the Memphis Grizzlies with 6 minutes to go, and didn't actually give up the lead until the overtime session where they lost momentum. Denver committed 25 turnovers and Memphis shot just 38% from the field, but it didn't stop the Grizzlies from climbing over the .500 mark.

Who need's college?

Just about this time in his career I wouldn't blame Al Harrington for having some of these internal thoughts. He's had a solid NBA career and is a great fit, coming off the bench for a team that profited off of the Carmelo Anthony trade.

Lately, Harrington's come up big as he was the go to guy in the loss against Memphis. I watched this game, and for some mysterious reason, Coach George Karl took leading scorer Danilo Galinari out of the game fairly early and never put him back in. 

Galinari was having a very poor shooting game, going 1-10 from the field but managing to score 8 points and grab 7 rebounds. In a game like this, you leave your best players out there and let them work out of their slump. Galinari's loss was Harrington's gain, as he dominated towards the end of the game and in the overtime session.

Harrington ended up with 23 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. These were timely hoops and Harrington looked full of confidence. Denver might need to ride Big Al in Thursday night's game against the Clippers if the poor shooting from Galinari continues.

Welcome home?

Veteran and native Californian Andre Miller has carved out a very solid career for himself. I look at him as one of those players that can do it all but consistently flies under the radar and doesn't get the recognition. Miller will stay consistent and do all of the little things that are needed to win this game.

Decisive head to head trends

Nuggets are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 meetings with LA

Under is 10-2 in the last 12 meetings at LA (under is 6-2 in last 8 meetings overall)

Pick to play

Look for Nene to possibly keep Blake Griffin in check, but the Clippers have momentum on their side. Galinari is a question mark until his next outing (Thursday) and look for CP3 to build off of a huge game against Utah. The betting odds should be higher, and the Clippers are a bargain. Lay the point.

Thursday late game pick- Los Angeles Clippers -1