Clippers vs Grizzlies series preview

Two teams with identical records meet in a playoff re-match from last season as the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies begin their four-vs.-five seed Western Conference first-round series.

Game 1 goes Saturday night at Staples Center in LA (10:30 pm ET, ESPN2) and early betting at most NBA sportsbooks were chalking the Clippers at -5 points for Game 1 over the Grizzlies.

Also, Sportsbook was listing LA at -175 to win this first-round series, with Memphis getting +155 as the underdog.

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The Clippers (56-26 SU, 45-37 ATS) won the first division title in franchise history this season, going back through the days when they were the Buffalo Braves and then the San Diego Clippers, by taking the Pacific Division by nine games over second-place Golden State.

LA won 17 games in a row back in December, and finished the regular season on a seven-game winning streak.

The 56 victories also set a new franchise record; heck, the Clippers had never even won 50 games in a season.

Memphis (56-26 SU, 46-34 ATS) couldn't quite track down San Antonio in the Southwest Division, finishing two games back of the first-place Spurs. The Grizz jumped out to a 14-3 start to this season, later went on a 14-1 run and finished by winning nine of their last 11 games.

Memphis also set a new team record with its 56 victories.

On one side of this match-up the Clippers ranked ninth in the league by averaging 101 points per game; on the other side, the Grizz led the league by holding opponents to 89 PPG.

LA took the season series from Memphis three games to one. Most recently the Clippers went into Memphis and beat the Grizzlies last Saturday 91-87, a victory that ultimately gave them home-court advantage for this series.

Also, three of the four meetings between these two teams this season played UNDER on the totals.

Last year the Clippers outlasted the Grizzles in seven games in a first-round series, before getting swept out in the conference semis by San Antonio.

On the NBA futures market Sportsbook was offering odds of 15/2 on LA to win the Western Conference and 25/1 to win its first-ever NBA title, while Memphis was getting 14/1 to win the West and 40/1 to win that franchise's first league championship.

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