Betting Public Leans 'Under' When Placing Blazers vs. Clippers NBA Picks

Matthew Jordan

Friday, April 29, 2016 6:52 PM GMT

Friday, Apr. 29, 2016 6:52 PM GMT

The Trail Blazers can earn a date with the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals by beating the visiting L.A. Clippers in Game 6 on Friday. The Blazers are -10 on the NBA odds.

Clippers Simply Not Very Good Without Paul, Griffin
Think how much has happened to the Clippers since I previewed Game 4 in this series against the Trail Blazers, a game I thought the Clippers would win in Portland to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. And they were favored in that game too. But of course I had no idea that Clippers superstars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin would get hurt in that game. Griffin aggravated a quad injury that was part of the reason he missed three months during the regular season and has been ruled out the rest of these playoffs. Paul broke his shooting hand on really a fluke play and was ruled out 4-6 weeks following surgery. Those injuries obviously changed not just Game 4 and this series but also the entire landscape of the Western Conference postseason because many believed, myself included, that the Clippers at full health could beat the record-setting Warriors in the conference semifinals with the Dubs missing Steph Curry for at least the first three games due to his knee injury.

Instead, the Clippers are now dead in the water and facing the fact they might have to trade either Paul (to Cleveland for Kyrie Irving so Paul can play with buddy LeBron James?) or Griffin this offseason as this core clearly isn't going to win a title and hasn't even made the conference finals.

Los Angeles played without both Paul and Griffin for the first time since 2013 in Game 5 back in L.A. on Wednesday and the Clippers played valiantly for three quarters before fading in the fourth in a 108-98 loss. Coach Doc Rivers, who was very emotional before the game, decided to go with a small starting lineup with his stars out. Center DeAndre Jordan and shooting J.J. Redick remained in their starting roles, but forward Luc Mbah a Moute was benched and didn't play at all. Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers entered in a three-guard lineup with Redick. Crawford had 17 points but was only 6-for-23. Rivers had 13 points but was a team-worst minus-23. The third new starter was Paul Pierce for Griffin. Pierce is a Hall of Fame lock but simply has nothing left at age 38 and should retire. He had more fouls (3) than points (0) in his 10 minutes Monday.

Frankly, the only way the Clippers extend this series is if Jordan becomes Wilt Chamberlain. Otherwise it's the start of a very interesting offseason. L.A. is now +50000 on NBA odds to win the NBA title.

 

Blazers Finally Woke Up In Game 5
Instead of taking Game 5 by the throat from the start, the Blazers didn't play well at all in the first half as they trailed by five at intermission. Moe Harkless had 17 points on 6-for-11 shooting but the rest of the team was 8-for-28 for 28 points. Star Damian Lillard had just three points at halftime and was 1-for-10 for six points entering the fourth quarter.

And it was in the fourth where the short-handed Clippers faded, Portland tightened defensively and Lillard took control as he had 16 (a playoff career high for any quarter) of his 22 points in the quarter, making his first six shots. By the time he missed one, it was a double-digit lead and Portland would go ahead by as many as 17. C.J. McCollum led Portland with 27 points overall. Mason Plumlee continued his breakout series with 10 points and 15 rebounds -- he has probably been the team MVP in this series -- and Harkless had 19 points and 10 rebounds as the Blazers ended a nine-game playoff road losing streak.

Entering these playoffs, teams that fell behind 0-2 in a best-of-7 series had gone on to lose the series 94 percent of the time. But here the Blazers are ready to finish things off, and they need to. You don't want to go back to Los Angeles for Game 7 on Sunday. More important: get as much rest as possible ahead of the Western Conference semifinals against Golden State. The Blazers are now +12000 on NBA picks to win the NBA title.

Give the points, go 'under.' The Clippers are 1-6 ATS in their past seven after a loss and 1-4 ATS in their past five on the road. The Blazers are 5-1 ATS in their past six Friday games. The 'under' is 5-1 in the past six meetings. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the past five. [/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3011076, "sportsbooksIds":[93,1096,169,999996,180,139], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
Free NBA Pick: Under 198
Best Line Offered: at YouWager

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