NBA Playoffs 2019: Warriors vs. Clippers odds, picks, Game 3 predictions from proven model on 77-62 roll

 cbssports.com  04/19/2019 00:59:00   CBS Sports Staff

In their last game in the 2019 NBA Playoffs, the Golden State Warriors were on the short end of the biggest comeback in NBA playoff history. That loss provides additional intrigue to their first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers when the clubs meet for Game 3 on Thursday night at the Staples Center at 10:30 p.m. ET. In Game 2, Los Angeles overcame a 31-point deficit to emerge with a 135-131 victory and tie the series at 1-1. It was just the third first-round loss for the Warriors in the past five years. Last year, they dropped Game 3 to the New Orleans Pelicans, but wrapped up the series in five games. Golden State remains an 8.5-point favorite and the over-under for total points scored is 233.4 in the latest Warriors vs. Clippers odds. Before you make your Warriors vs. Clippers picks, be sure to see the NBA playoff predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, is crushing its NBA picks. It entered Week 27 of the 2018-19 NBA season with a sterling 294-242 record on all top-rated picks, returning more than $3,500 in profit to anybody following them. And it has been particularly red-hot on its A-rated NBA picks against the spread, entering Week 27 on a strong 77-62 run. Anybody who has followed it is way up.

Now, the model has dialed in on Game 3 of Warriors vs. Clippers. We can tell you it's leaning over, and it also has generated a strong point-spread pick that hits over 50 percent of the time. That selection is available at SportsLine.

The model knows the Warriors will be eager to regain control of the series after suffering just their third first-round loss in the past five seasons. The defeat came in the most unlikely fashion because the outcome never seemed in doubt until the final minutes. The Warriors took command behind their signature, free-flowing offense that led to a barrage of transition baskets and 3-pointers. They built a 73-50 halftime lead and opened the margin to 31 points toward the end of the third quarter.

That's when Lou Williams and the Clippers took over with a flurry that wrote a new chapter in the NBA postseason record books, and they now return to Los Angeles with the series tied 1-1. Even so, the Warriors shot 53.3 percent from the field, drilled 11 3-pointers and held a 45-38 rebounding edge. Steph Curry led six players in double figures with 29 points, while Kevin Durant added 21.

But Golden State is far from a sure thing to cover the Warriors vs. Clippers spread on Thursday against a team that now has the belief that it can compete with the two-time defending NBA champions in the NBA Playoffs 2019.

Although Williams deservedly got his share of headlines for his heroics in the comeback victory, the Clippers got another standout performance from Montrezl Harrell. The 6-8, 240-pound forward has proven to be a nightmare matchup for the Warriors, and a near-automatic basket any time he is fed the ball in the paint or corrals an offensive rebound. After Harrell scored a team-high 26 in the Game 1 loss, coach Doc Rivers said he planned on going to the forward more often for the remainder of the series.

Harrell has 51 points through the first two games on 20-of-26 shooting (76.9 percent) from the field. He made all nine of his field goals in Game 2, finishing with 25 points and 10 rebounds. He also went 7 of 9 from the free-throw line, including a clutch pair in the waning seconds to seal the upset.

Who wins Game 3 of Clippers vs. Warriors? And which side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Clippers vs. Warriors spread you should be all over Thurday, all from the model that's up more than $3,500 on top-rated NBA picks this season.

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