NBA Today April 3

NBA Today April 3

BEHIND THE LINES

NBA's Western standouts tough to figure out

The streaking San Antonio and unpredictable Utah and Houston are best avoided, while teams who are already out of the playoff hunt provide a pretty good option.

In recent weeks, it has been an adventure betting on NBA games involving Western Conference teams fighting for playoff position.

San Antonio lost four consecutive games and then won eight in a row in the same month.

Utah -- which has one of the league's best home records -- won on the road at Phoenix, then lost at home to the Lakers the next week.

New Orleans crushed Houston at home by 21 points, then two days later, the Rockets won by three at Golden State.

A good way to avoid the Western Conference top-heavy roller coaster is to wager on games involving teams already eliminated from the playoffs.

Welcome to the world of the Clippers and Sacramento Kings, two vacation-eager teams that will face each other tonight at Arco Arena.

Although the Clippers have been a bust on the court, they have been a decent play against the point spread recently.

Before Wednesday, the Clippers were 5-5 against the point-line in their previous 10 games and that included covers in losses at San Antonio and Dallas.

The Kings, listed as an 11-point favorite over the Clippers tonight, have done a good job of staying competitive since the All-Star break.

Under first-year Coach Reggie Theus, Sacramento has won three of its last four games since March 1, and owns victories over potential playoff-bound teams Golden State, Toronto and the Lakers.

The best action for the Clippers-Kings game could be the over/under combined point total of 200.

The over is 6-0 in the Clippers' last six road games against a team with a winning home record and the over is 4-0 in the Clippers' last four road games overall. The over is also 5-1 in Sacramento's last six games against a team with a winning record below .400.

latimes.com

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