Two Western Conference contenders square off in the late game tonight. Find out who we back with our NBA picks when the Portland Trail Blazers host the L.A. Clippers. Both teams are coming off of wins, but who will keep the streak alive?
Tonight's matchup is set for a 10:30 PM EST tipoff and televised on TNT, the Trail
Blazers (16-14 SU, 16-13-1 ATS) host Chris Paul and the Clippers (18-9 SU,
16-11 ATS) in hopes of making a statement.
NBA odds opened with the Clippers as the two point favorites with a total of 192. Early sports betting action has already extended the spread to 2.5, and this number could continue to grow. Read to find out why I think the Clippers will cover the number in this matchup, and why we should add this play to our NBA picks before the line keeps heading north.
Even without LaMarcus Aldridge in the lineup, Portland was
able to beat Golden State at Oracle Arena last night. That win however was only
the Trail Blazers' second in six games.
Gerald Wallace picked up the slack with Alridge out, scoring
a team-high 24 points to go along with six rebounds. Nicolas Batum took over
the starting power forward spot and put up 17 points, while Marcus Camby ended
with 12 points and 11 boards in what was only his third double-double of the
West Coast Battle
The Clippers were also on the winning side last night,
beating the Washington Wizards by 18 points. They were only up three points at
half but then piled it on in the second stanza.
None other than Blake Griffin took charge for the Clippers.
He finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds and Caron Butler was also able to
eclipse the 20-point mark. Chris Paul recorded 16 points and nine assists in the
For tonight, both teams will have to deal with possible
fatigue. The Clippers may have won big but Paul and Griffin both played at
least 33 minutes. Meanwhile all five Portland starters were on the court for at
least 30, with Wallace and Raymond Felton both getting 39 minutes of work.
The teams are very familiar with one another as they've
already faced off twice this season. The home team in each meeting won straight
up and against the number.
When you look at the team statistics and matchups, there's really
not much separating the two teams. DeAndre Jordan is a great leaper and
defender, but Camby likewise is one of the best defenders and rebounders in the
league. Griffin and Butler are a strong duo at the forward positions and the
Clippers also have Kenyon Martin in their ranks now, but Wallace and Batum are
no slouches either.
That leaves the two guard spots, and although Chauncey
Billups is done for the season, who else would you rather have running things
more than CP3? He alone makes the visitors an attractive pick to cover.
If you go over recent results, you'll also see the Clippers
have been much better defensively than have the Trail Blazers. Over each team's
last five games, Portland is allowing 100.4 PPG while Los Angeles is giving up
only 88.4 PPG. Quite a difference there.
Playing on no days rest the Clippers are 5-2 ATS, as opposed
to the Trail Blazers who are just 4-6 ATS.
But I'll give you one more reason why I like L.A. here.
We've become accustomed to seeing the Trail Blazers dominate at home, and while
they started out the season 11-1 at the Rose Garden, they've lost three in a
row there heading into tonight.
I have little doubt this one goes down to the wire, but I
think it's the Clippers that edge it out. And of course, don't be shocked if
it's CP3 that ends up making the big play. Take the Clippers to your sportsbooks tonight.
PICK: L.A. Clippers
Clippers are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall
Trail Blazers are 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 home games
UNDER is 5-1 in Clippers' last 6 games overall
OVER is 6-2 in Trail Blazers' last 8 games overall
Clippers are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 head-to-head meetings
Home team is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 head-to-head meetings