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Breaking Down The Best Bets For Saturday’s Western Conference Matchups

Posted by on 4/10/2015 9:47:43 PM

The focus in the NBA Western Conference will shift from the fight for the eighth and final playoff seed to the battle for position among some of the teams that have already secured their place in this year’s postseason with three games featuring four of the teams jockeying for position. The Memphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs are separated by just a single game heading in to the final stretch. Here is a quick look at Saturday’s three Western Conference matchups and where the smart money should be.

Memphis Grizzlies @ Los Angeles Clippers

Saturday, 10:00 PM ET

The Grizzlies seemed like a lock to finish among the top two seeds in the Western Conference when they had a 39-14 record at the All-Star break but they have posted a 14-11 record in 25 games since and they are now trying to hold off the Rockets, Clippers and Spurs for the second seed. Meanwhile, the Clippers are the hottest team in the West having won nine of their last 10 and with Blake Griffin healthy they now have their eye on that No. 2 seed. Memphis took each of their first two meetings before Los Angeles beat them by 18 in their last clash so look for the Clippers to even out the season series with a win in this one.

Pick: Los Angeles

Utah Jazz @ Portland Trail Blazers

Saturday, 10:00 PM ET

Portland is still very much in play for the No. 2 seed as well and considering they have posted a .500 record on the road this season earning home court advantage for the first two rounds of the playoffs could be crucial. The Trail Blazers have won 32 of 40 games at home this season and they should be able to add to that win total against Utah on Saturday. The Jazz have overachieved recently thanks in big part to the job head coach Quin Snyder has done but don’t expect them to go in to Portland and steal an important win from a playoff team looking to solidify its position in the Western Conference. The Blazers have treaded just above the .500 mark since Wesley Matthews went down but a date with Utah should be the perfect antidote for getting back on track with an important victory.

Pick: Portland

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Golden State Warriors

Saturday, 10:30 PM ET

Nobody will catch the Warriors for the No. 1 seed and while they have nothing left to play for other than to continue their momentum heading in to the postseason don’t expect them to let up. Minnesota barely has enough healthy bodies to make their games worth watching beyond the play of Rookie of the Year favorite Andrew Wiggins and now they have to travel to face a Golden State team that could probably beat them by double-digits even if MVP candidate Stephen Curry doesn’t play. Curry should be on the bench by the fourth quarter regardless as the Warriors cruise to another easy win in this one.

Pick: Golden State



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