Winners of six in a row, the Clippers have to be feeling great about their chances of making it seven tonight in Boston. What kind of NBA odds have been made public for tonight's contest?
In spite of being the road team this evening, Los Angeles is favored by five and a half points at a lot of the major sportsbooks. There are a couple sites out there that have a line of six available, which is why it's crucial to employ multiple books so you can get the best value out available.
A high-scoring contest should be on the cards, with the NBA odds O/U trading at 207 currently. The Celtics have been pushing the pace all season long, while the Clippers are scoring 106.4 points per game, the second-best mark in the NBA.
Believe it or not, the Celtics are currently in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, which means they would make the playoffs if the regular season ended today. They'd face off against the Hawks in the first round of the postseason.
There are still plenty of games remaining on the schedule though, and there are a number of teams (Miami, Brooklyn, Indiana and Charlotte) vying for one of the last spots in the playoffs. That means Boston has to avoid a letdown to close things out, and they'll be looking to log their second straight win after beating the Knicks on the road on Friday.
Boston didn't have its most efficient offensive day, shooting just a hair above 42 percent from the field, but this is New York we're talking about. The Celtics were still able to earn a win over the awful Knicks despite not playing nearly their best basketball. Five different players reached double figures in scoring, with Isaiah Thomas (18 points) and Jae Crowder (17) leading the charge off the bench. Having Thomas back healthy as a sparkplug for the second unit is certainly going to be handy.
Los Angeles Clippers
One of the hottest teams in the NBA, the Clippers have rolled off six straight wins to improve to 48-25 overall. That's good for the fifth seed in the loaded Western Conference, meaning they'd be taking on Portland in the first round of the postseason if the season ended today.
During the winning streak, LA has beaten Charlotte, Sacramento, Washington, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia. As you can see, there aren't that many impressive victories mixed in there, with the Clippers most recently having no trouble with the 76ers in a 119-98 road win on Friday evening.
Against Philadelphia, DeAndre Jordan had 17 points and 20 rebounds (with two blocks) in just 28 minutes of action, while Chris Paul put up a 25/7/3 line. The rest of the starting five, in addition to Austin Rivers off the bench, scoring in double figures too, as LA shot 53.7 percent from the field overall.
It's obviously not easy to fade the Clippers with NBA picks when they're playing this well, but we like this situational spot for the Celtics.
Boston will be at home and taking on an LA team that's a mediocre 21-15 on the road this season. What's more, this is the final game for the Clippers on this road trip before they return home to take on the Warriors in a Western Conference showdown on Tuesday - they could look ahead to that game and not have a focused effort against the Celtics. Adding even more to the equation, we're not that impressed with the strength of schedule during the Clippers' winning streak, as they've been beating up on a lot of the weaker teams in the NBA.
We know Boston still has plenty to play for, so we think the home team can at least keep this one close enough to cover.
NBA Pick: Boston Celtics +5.5 at BookMaker