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Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant, top, dunks as Los Angeles Clippers guard Landry Shamet defends during the second half in Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series on April 21, 2019.
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant, top, dunks as Los Angeles Clippers guard Landry Shamet defends during the second half in Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series on April 21, 2019.|Mark J. Terrill | Associated Press
NBA

NBA Playoffs: Frank looks at Clippers v Warriors and makes a case for avoiding the spread

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

Clippers (+14) @ Warriors (235)
Pick: Under 235
If you’ve read my NBA handicaps most of the season, you’ll know that I rarely have an appetite for laying double digits with a big favorite. It’s underdog or pass most of the time when it comes to picking a side in these kinds of games. You never want your interests to veer too far away from the team’s interests and with a number this high, that kind of conflict can come into play in garbage time. However, I’m not running to the window with the Clippers either in this one, after what felt like a last stand from them in Game 4 fell short at Staples Center and the Warriors now have a commanding 3-1 series lead. If I was going to bet a side, I would lean to the Warriors, but a lot of times if you’re forecasting a blowout, you’re better off going under the total if it’s high enough. This one certainly is at 235. The rationale there would be that if there’s going to be a lot of garbage time minutes in the fourth quarter, the pace is going to slow down and less shots will be attempted. If we’re picking a previous game in this series that we think tonight will likely mirror, it would be Game 1. The Warriors won every quarter except for the fourth in the series opener and coasted to a 121-104 victory and a narrow cover. What were the totals by quarter in Game 1 you ask?

First quarter: 63
Second quarter: 62
Third quarter: 52
Fourth quarter: 48

As you can see, things slowed down considerably in the second half with the game in the bag. The game still landed under the closing total despite 125 points in the first half. Though, the Clippers still won the fourth quarter and nearly snuck through the backdoor. Go under 235 tonight and sweat less than backing Golden State laying all those points.