The Clippers had a chance to head home with this series 1-1, but collapsed in crunch time to fall into an 0-2 deficit. While some home cooking will be welcomed in Los Angeles, the Suns will be getting Chris Paul back into the lineup for the first time this series, and looking for a commanding 3-0 lead. Let’s break down some betting angles in this crucial Game 3.
There’s a clear cut argument to be made for both sides of this game, which conveniently sits right around a pick’em. The Clippers are not completely outmatched in this series, having had a good chance in Game 1 and completely choking away Game 2. They’ve also been in this 0-2 hole twice before this postseason, and won Game 3 (and eventually the series, obviously) in both prior rounds. However, the Clips also had Kawhi Leonard for both of the Game 3 victories that started the series turnarounds.
But in this case, it felt like Game 2 was the one for Los Angeles to steal on the road. The Clippers got some fortunate calls and had the Suns without their best player on the ropes — it took a missed pair of free throws from Paul George and a brilliant play with less than a second remaining to swing the game.
I think that the Suns should be able to impose their will this time around in a way the Clippers haven’t seen yet. Phoenix was just in this situation in Denver, and crushed once again — the Suns have won and covered their past four road games this postseason.
The boost of getting Chris Paul back, and having Cam Payne playing off the bench with supreme confidence, takes this team to another level. And for the Clips, the longer they play without Kawhi, the more realistic chance there is of his absence catching up to them, no matter what the numbers during this small sample size tell us. It might not come as easy as it did in Denver, but I like the Suns to continue racking up road wins.
Another reason to like the Suns? Ayton has been dominant in the series, averaging 22 points and 11.5 rebounds. Even with the Clippers switching to a bigger starting five in Game 2, Ayton got only better, hitting 12-of-15 field goals while pulling down 14 boards. He’s continued his ridiculous streak shooting over 70% in the postseason, and this Clippers defense isn’t the one to stop him.
If the Clippers do wind up going big again with Ivica Zubac, I do like backing his props, too. I’d put most of my weight behind keeping it simple with points and/or rebounds, but he can also be had at +400 to record a double-double. He finished Game 2 with 14 points and 11 boards in 34 minutes, so while it may not come to fruition again, the price is pretty tempting if he remains in the starting five.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
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