Free NBA Picks: Blazers at Clippers Odds
by Aaron Smith - 2/11/2014
The Portland Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers get together in the marquee matchup of the night Wednesday in Los Angeles. The first meeting between these two ended in a Portland win in overtime. That game was played in Portland.
Chris Paul is back for the Clippers. Los Angeles rolled to a huge victory over Philadelphia in Paul’s first game back, but this game will be much more of a test. Beating the 76ers by a lot is nothing special, but Portland is more like the type of team the Clippers will be up against in the postseason.
Portland was red hot out of the gates this year, but they have slowed a bit of late. The Blazers have been struggling away from home. Portland is an elite offense, but they are having trouble coming up with important stops on the defensive end.
Blazers at Clippers Betting Story Lines
Any time the Blazers and Clippers meet there are always going to be two matchups that everyone should keep a very close eye on. It’s Damian Lillard vs. Paul in the backcourt and LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Blake Griffin down low. These are the top two players for each team, and they present matchup problems for everyone they go up against. One thing they aren’t accustomed to doing is lining up against someone as talented as they will see in this contest. We’ll find out quickly how healthy Paul is when he is guarding Lillard here. In the first meeting between these two, Paul had 34 points while Lillard had just 14. Griffin piled up 35 points and Aldridge came through with 32 points in that one. These are the two matchups to watch once again Wednesday night.
Portland is in a tough scheduling spot here. The Blazers hosted Oklahoma City late Tuesday night before traveling to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers on Wednesday. Back-to-back scheduling spots are no fun to start with, but playing the Thunder and Clippers on consecutive nights is a very tough task. On the other side, Los Angeles has two nights off after their 123-78 win over Philadelphia, so the Clippers are definitely in a better scheduling spot.
The Clippers didn’t start out the season well defensively, but they have gotten good on this end of the floor as the season has moved along. They are No. 1 in the NBA at guarding beyond the 3-point line. Opponents are making only 32.3 percent of their tries from long range. They’ll be tested here by a Blazers team that hits 38.1 percent of their 3-point attempts, and they shoot a lot of long-range jumpers.
While Chris Paul is back in the lineup, the Clippers will be without J.J. Redick in this one. Redick has missed the last three games with back spasms, and he will miss this game as well. Mo Williams is questionable for this one for the Blazers, and he has been a key guy off the bench for Portland this season. Still, the Blazers depth in the backcourt is a strong suit for them, and rookie C.J. McCollum has been great in the absence of Williams the past couple games.
Portland is first in the NBA in points per game at 108 per contest. The Blazers also lead the league in offensive rebounding, so they are getting a lot of second-chance opportunities. The Clippers are second in the NBA in points per game at 106.7 per contest. Los Angeles has struggled a bit on the defensive glass, so that’s an area they’ll need to focus on in this matchup.
Blazers at Clippers NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
The Clippers are favored by 7.5 points, according to current odds from Bovada. The posted total here is set at 216.5 points. The Clippers are 0-4 against the spread in their last four games against a team with a win percentage of 60 percent or higher. The Clippers are also 0-5 ATS in their last five Wednesday games. Portland is just 1-4 ATS in their last five games against the Clippers. The favorite is 13-6 ATS in the last 19 meetings between these two. The “under” is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings in Los Angeles.
Free NBA Picks: Blazers at Clippers Betting Predictions
At first glance, 7.5 seems like a lot of points against a very good Portland team, but the back-to-back scheduling spot is the reason for that many points. This is a tough game to get an edge on. I like the Clippers to win, but laying that many points against a high-quality team is difficult. Instead of backing a side, I’m going to side with the “over” since both offenses are rolling along in very impressive fashion of late. Expect lots of fireworks in a high-scoring game here.
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