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Game 1 Previews: Clippers vs. Grizzlies, Nuggets vs. Warriors


The NBA playoffs tip off tonight with four high-profile match-ups, two of which include teams from the powerful and competitive Pacific Division. Those are the games we’ll focus on today as bettors prepare for a month of premier NBA playoff action. Here is who we like in Saturday’s game ones.

Game 1 – Los Angeles Clippers -5 vs. Memphis Grizzlies +5

The Clippers and Grizzlies have engaged in some fierce battles over the last couple of years, but the Clippers have been on the winning end of most of those battles, so it’s no surprise that they are favored at home today in game one of the first round series.

Last year, Los Angeles prevailed in seven games against Memphis in the opening round and this season they won three of four regular season meetings with the Grizz. Obviously, the Clippers have a match-up advantage against Memphis and their balance of strong defense and potent offense should help them earn another win against this Western Conference adversary.

Look for the Grizzlies to put up a good fight in game one, but for the Clippers to prevail again, covering -5 points in the process.

Game 1 – Denver Nuggets -8 vs. Golden State Warriors +8

The Nuggets and Warriors possess two of the top offenses in the league, but Denver closed out on the regular season as one of the hottest and most consistent winners in the NBA, whereas the Warriors limped to a far less impressive finish.

Still, when Golden State heats up from the perimeter, it can beat any team in the league. The Warriors shoot better than 40% from three-point range, while the Nuggets do most of their offensive damage in the paint. The key for Denver will be contesting outside shots and limiting Golden State’s production from the fringe.

“You’ve just got to be aware of where the shooters are,” Andre Iguodala said, according to ESPN.com. “Good defense can be beat sometimes by three-point shooters. But if you play the percentages, make them take tough shots, contest the shots, the percentages kind of fall toward the defense.”

Golden State will definitely give Denver a good series, but look for the Nuggets to earn the win at home today, where they are an amazing 38-3 this season, and cover -8 points.

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