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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

Feb 19th NBA Action: Taking a SIDE on San Antonio Spurs @ LA Clippers

San Antonio Spurs @ Los Angeles Clippers +3

The Clippers kicked off February by dropping four in a row both straight up and against the spread. However, they did manage to collect two morale-building wins/covers against top-ten teams (the Mavericks and the Rockets) before heading into the All-Star break. Importantly, these high-profile victories came without superstar Power Forward Blake Griffin in the lineup (Griffin is expected out for a few weeks still following elbow surgery last week to address chronic bursitis).

Our work anticipates that the Clips will continue to roll tonight when the Champion San Antonio Spurs visit the Staples Center. Our computer simulations call for Los Angeles to win outright (albeit by the slimmest of possible margins), despite coming into the contest as 3-point underdogs. This month, one of the simulation program in our stable identified value on the home team in the range of 3-4 points (akin to that evident for this matchup) on 17 occasions. The model is 12-5 from this position. The other computer trial program we employ, which runs entirely independent of the first, anticipates an almost identical margin, and thus implies the same value. Sim 2 is 7-2 in February in games that fall into this value bin. Thus, across a couple of different dimensions, both sim models we run offer strong bases for supporting the LA Clippers to cover tonight.

Our primary quantitative factor, which is derived from power rankings data, registers virtually the same indication as the computers. In February, this indicator has seen only one other game with an implied value indication in the same zone; the factor correctly forecasted the winner versus the number in that instance.

Alternately, as we are proponents of ESPN’s Real Plus Minus statistic, we have been flirting with a power rankings approach rooted in this methodology. Acclaimed statistician, Nate Silver’s unveiled RPM-based rankings on January 19th. Though still in beta-phase, our adaptation of this system is a profitable 104-79-5 since its debut. This approach as well favors the Clippers, and, over its one-month life, has amassed a record of 20-6-2 picking games where the value proposition stacked up similarly to what is on display for tonight.

Keys to the game: Our work expects the Clippers shooters (i.e. J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes and Jordan Farmar) to produce from deep. Prolific three-point shooting will likely coincide with the Clippers out assisting the Spurs (but would you expect anything less from a squad run by the brother of State Farm Agent, Cliff Paul?). Further, we look for DeAndre Jordan and Spencer Hawes to hold the rebound battle approximately even.

Happy betting!!

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