Another day, and another game in which the New Orleans Pelicans get vastly overvalued by the betting market. New Orleans opened up as a four-point favorite on the road against San Antonio on Saturday, but the market pushed back early, driving the line down to Pelicans -2 before tip-off. San Antonio would eventually win outright, averaging 1.232 points per possession, exploiting one of the worst defenses in the league. San Antonio might have been missing a smattering of its depth due to COVID-19 protocols, but their core was still on the floor last night, and they should have been the favorite regardless.
However, this is not another piece lamenting the Pelicans’ overvalued nature by the market. This is about a San Antonio Spurs team that is quietly humming along, playing some rock-solid basketball.
Over their last 13 games, the Spurs are 9-4 SU/8-5 ATS with the ninth-ranked defense in the league (110.6). San Antonio needs some work on offense, but this effort on defense is a far cry from unit that finished 23rd last season in efficiency. The Spurs have used this quality defense to find its way into contention for a playoff seed in the Western Conference, and to build up a 17-12 ATS record on the season.
Updates injury reports can be found here.
Updated odds on every game can be found here.
Note: * indicates team is on second leg of a back-to-back
The Main Event
Los Angeles Clippers at Milwaukee Bucks (-1.5, 237)
The Clippers have been a difficult team to figure out. Los Angeles bounced back from a loss to Memphis on Thursday to beat down the Grizzlies in a rematch on Friday. The Clippers limited them to 1.0 point per possession and 34.1 percent on 41 mid-range attempts, Memphis’ bread and butter on offense. Defense has been the story for Los Angeles this season. They rank 19th in defensive efficiency, according to Cleaning The Glass, and should be much better than that, as they finished last season fifth in the same category. On Friday we detailed the struggles that the Clippers are facing when it comes to their strategy guarding the mid-range area of the floor, but today their rim defense gets tested.