The Los Angeles Clippers (35-18) have thrived without Blake Griffin in the lineup and have denied they would trade him before they host the San Antonio Spurs (45-8) on Thursday, according to the Orange County Register's Dan Woike. Griffin scored 25 points on December 18 against the Spurs, with that game resulting in a 115-107 loss for the Clippers as 7.5-point road underdogs.
Los Angeles will see if playing without Griffin might actually help beat San Antonio in the second meeting this season as a small home underdog at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark.
The Clips have gone 0-4 straight up and 1-3 against the spread in their last four games as home dogs, according to the Odds Shark NBA Database. But they went 10-3 ATS in their previous 13 under that scenario and will be playing the Spurs at home for the first time since knocking them out in Game 7 of their epic first-round playoff series last year.
Los Angeles is 2-5 ATS in the past seven meetings after covering the previous three.
San Antonio visits the Staples Center on a six-game winning streak, going 3-3 ATS since losing 117-103 to the Cleveland Cavaliers as 1.5-point road favorites on January 30. The Spurs won the first two games of their season-long eight-game road trip before the All-Star break in Florida over the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic, and they now play the first of two in Los Angeles before taking on the Lakers on Friday.
They have won the first game of a back-to-back situation 14 straight times, failing to cover the past three, though, with all three taking place within the last month.
Tim Duncan scored 14 points in the first meeting with the Clippers and just missed eight straight games for the Spurs due to a knee injury. However, he returned in a 98-96 victory at Orlando last Wednesday, with his team failing to cover as an 8.5-point road favorite.
San Antonio is 1-3 ATS in the previous four games Duncan has played despite winning all of them SU. Los Angeles has gone an impressive 18-5 SU and 15-8 ATS without Griffin, who is now nursing a fractured hand after he was originally dealing with a quad injury.