Two Ways To Cash NBA Picks On Clippers vs. Blazers Game Four

Monday, April 25, 2016 12:00 PM GMT

Will the Blazers make their Western Conference first-round series with the Clippers a best-of-3 with a win at home in Game 4? Los Angeles is a 3-point favorite on NBA odds with a total of 206.

Clippers Could Benefit From Curry Injury
Players in the NBA don't root for other players to get hurt. The guys are all brothers in that regard. But you can't tell me that the Clippers players won't be monitoring the news out of the Golden State Warriors' camp on Monday. The Warriors are awaiting MRI results on the knee of superstar Steph Curry, who is a lock to repeat as NBA MVP. Early reports have Curry with a right MCL strain. That would likely sideline him a couple of weeks depending on the severity. The Warriors should be able to finish off Houston without Curry but I'm not sure they can beat the Clippers in a series without him. And those two would play in the next round. So if you are the Clippers, you want to eliminate Portland as fast as possible and have the Warriors do the same against the Rockets. You want the least amount of time off ahead of the conference semifinals for Curry. But obviously Doc Rivers won't let his guys look past Portland in this one.

I picked against the Clippers in Game 3 in Portland as 2-point favorites -- the Clippers have never won the first three games of a playoff series in their history. The only other active franchises that have not done that are the Pelicans, Timberwolves and Raptors. I thought Portland would get one game at home and the Blazers did, 96-88. Los Angeles had averaged 108.5 points in winning the first two games at home. Chris Paul played great again with 26 points and nine assists. He has scored at least 25 points in five straight playoff games, second-best in franchise history. The record is nine in a row by Bob McAdoo from 1974-76.

The rest of the starters -- Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, J.J. Redick and Luc Mbah a Moute -- combined for only 32 points in Game 3. Redick is dealing with a heel injury and doesn't look quite right. Jordan was the only one with a positive plus/minus rating of plus -2. But Jordan was also 3-for-10 from the line. He has been intentionally sent there a total of 13 times this series and is 10-for-24 in those. The bench came up huge in Game 2 with 43 points but outside of Jamal Crawford's 19 points in Game 3 did little. Los Angeles was just 3-for-18 from long range. The trio of 3-pointers and 16.7 percent shooting were both lows for this season.

LAC is 9-3 all-time in Game 4 of best-of-7 series and has won its past three. The Clippers are -1000 on NBA odds to win this series.


Blazers Wanted Game 3 More
Portland's 96 points were a series high for the Blazers. Their very good backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum combined for 59 points on 50 percent shooting. Lillard had 32 points on 10-for-20 and McCollum, who had really struggled the first two games, had 27 on 11-for-22. They didn't top 33 points in either of the first two games or shoot better than 36 percent combined. Those two have to dominate because the Clippers are so much better up front. Center Mason Plumlee had a big game, though, despite only six points. He had a career-high 21 rebounds and nine assists. Plumlee was the first Blazer with at least 20 rebounds in a playoff game since Sam Bowie, the guy drafted one spot ahead of Michael Jordan, in 1985. Plumlee was the first NBA player to have at least 20 rebounds and nine assists since Kevin Garnett in 2004.

Portland coach Terry Stotts made a minor offensive tweak for Game 3. He shifted small forward Moe Harkless closer to the baseline, creating space for Plumlee to penetrate and create.

"Me on the baseline makes the defender (have to) make a decision," Harkless said after to the media. "Are you going to guard me or guard the guy on the three-point line? And when he goes out there, Mason just throws it up, I go get it."

The Blazers were also the much more physical and energetic team in Game 3. They won the rebounding battle 56-44 and held a 34-32 edge in second-chance points. The Clippers shouldn't be losing those categories to a smaller team.

Portland is +725 on NBA picks to win this series.

Blazers got their pick. Now I'm giving the points and going 'under.' The Clippers are 4-0 ATS in their past four after an ATS loss. Portland is 0-4 ATS in its past four after a win. The 'under' is 4-0 in the past four meetings. It is 8-2 in the Blazers' past 10 at home.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3011073, "sportsbooksIds":[93,1096,169,999996,180,139], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
Free NBA Pick: Clippers -3½ -105 & Under 206
Best Line Offered: at Heritage & JustBet respectively