Given how drained the Clippers looked in their 118-97 loss Sunday at Golden State, it's somewhat surprising that two online sportsbooks list the Clippers as comfortable six-point favorites to win Game 5 Tuesday at Staples Center.
The Clippers and Warriors split the four games of their regular season series, and their first-round playoff series is tied at 2-2. In the history of the NBA the team that wins Game 5 to go up 3-2 has won the seven-game series about 85% of the time.
Usually when two evenly matched NBA teams play each other, the home team is favored by about three points. Yet both Ladbrokes.com and Betus.com set a six-point spread for the Clippers in Game 5, and they seem to be factoring in the effect of the home crowd at Staples to help carry along the Clippers.
Still, it's uncertain how the Clippers will handle all the pressure because of the Donald Sterling racism scandal. Clippers Coach Doc Rivers is giving his team the day off Monday, an unusual move the day before a critical game.
After Sunday's loss, Rivers talked about the prospect of playing the next game in Los Angeles: "We're going home now, and usually that would mean we're going to our safe haven, and I don't even know if that's true, to be honest."