Explosive Offenses Make 'Over' 212 The NBA Pick In Trail Blazers vs. Clippers

Kevin Stott

Thursday, March 24, 2016 11:23 AM GMT

Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and the Clippers welcome Damian Lillard and the upstart Trail Blazers to the Staples Center. What's the right NBA pick for this game?

This will be a big, positioning battle in the NBA’s Western Conference with the Californian hosts looking desperately to at least hold on to 4th place and have Homecourt Advantage for at least the First Round of the Postseason. Let’s look at the L10 meetings in this series and weigh any Trends, Injuries or Emotional possibilities for this affair and provide an NBA pick or two from the findings in a game in which the first feel is that both teams easily top the 100-point mark.

 

Odds Overview
Damian Lillard and the upstart Portland Trail Blazers (36-35 SU, 15-23 Road) meet Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers (43-26 SU, 22-12 Home) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Thursday in the fourth and final Regular Season meeting between these two Western Conference teams with the Clippers holding a 2-1 edge and winning the L2. Oddsmakers have opened the host Clippers up as 5-point favorites (The Greek) in this game with the Total (Points) opening up at 214 (The Greek). The Money Line (Winner) NBA odds see Los Angeles priced at -190 (Pinnacle) with the visiting Trail Blazers lined at +171 on the takeback as the Road underdog.

 

Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers (40-31-0 ATS Record, 21-17 ATS Road) and Head Coach Terry Stotts are in 6th place heading into Wednesday night’s play and although this team has made strides, Portland still finds itself just 1 slim game ahead of the 8th-place Houston Rockets (35-36) in the Western Conference Playoff race and with time running out, every game will seem to carry about twice as much weight from this point on in March and April for those in this competitive Conference which will see four teams—these 6th-place Trail Blazers (36-35), the 7th-place Dallas Mavericks (35-25), the aforementioned 8th-place Rockets (35-36) and the 9th-place Utah Jazz (34-36, 6-4 L10)—competing for three Playoff spots (6th-8th)....with the lucky 7th- and 8th-place finishers getting to face the Golden State Warriors (63-7 SU) and the San Antonio Spurs (59-11 SU) in Round 1—two teams who have gone a combined 67-0 (100%) at Home this season.

So Portland (250/1 to win NBA Championship, BetVictor) and Lillard (25.8 ppg, 6.9 apg) will need to do everything in its power to try to finish in the 6th spot and at least have a chance, although the narrative that it’s all Warriors-Spurs this year is getting really tired and anything can happen in Sports. What if Stephen Curry or Kawhi Leonard should get injured? Portland (24-20 SU vs. Western Conference) hasn’t been playing great as of late (3-7 L10), but that little nasty 4-game Road trip is a big reason why and Wednesday’s meeting with Dallas and this game with the Clippers are big games for CJ McCollum and this Blazers bunch which has been getting some nice minutes from Allen Crabbe (24 points, 5 rebounds last game) off the Bench of late. Portland (104.5 AF-104.1 AA) only has Injury issues with SG Crabbe (Illness)—who was listed as Probable for Wednesday and should be fine for this one on Thursday—while PF Meyers Leonard (Shoulder) is still Out Indefinitely. So the biggest Injury in this game will be Griffin’s absence for the hosts.

 

Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers (32-34-3 ATS Record, 15-18-1 ATS Home) and Head Coach Doc Rivers still sit in 4th place in the Western Conference and 3½ games ahead of the 5th-place Memphis Grizzlies (41-31), and that matters as the 4th- and 5th-place teams meet in Round 1 and the fourth-place team will get that precious Homecourt advantage in the series and it really looks like Memphis and Los Angeles will indeed collide when the 2016 NBA Playoffs tip off on April 16. Like Portland, the Clippers (4-6 L10) play on Wednesday night, at the ORACLE Arena in Oakland up the Pacific coast against the defending NBA Champion Warriors (GSW -10, 225, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook). The Clippers (L2, 4-6 L10 haven’t been playing great, but that has always been the nature of this team which continue to be without F Blake Griffin (Quadricep), Los Angeles Head Coach Rivers said earlier this week that Griffin is making some progress and “looks better” but that there still is no timetable for his return.

In their last game (before Wednesday), the Clippers lost at New Orleans on Sunday night, 109-105, as Jrue Holiday scored 22 points to carry the Pelicans PG Chris Paul and SG JJ Reddick led the Clippers in scoring with 24 points apiece and Los Angeles (33/1 to win NBA Championship, Ladbrokes) played the type of game that make you think hey have little chance of upsetting the Warriors or spurs and may have trouble in Round 1. On the Injury front, SF Jeff Green (Head) was listed as Probable for Wednesday, SF Branden Dawson (Personal) is Out Indefinitely and the athletic Oklahoma-product PF Griffin (Quadricep) is expected back later this month, and the Clippers will definitely need him to help secure that 4th spot as well as for the coming Western Conference Playoffs (20/1 to win Western Conference, Ladbrokes).

 

Trends, Recent Relevant Series Information and Because They’re Tired Pick
In the L10 meetings in this series, both teams are 5-5 ATS (LAC 6-4 SU) with the Over 6-4 in those 10 games and with at least one team scoring 100 points in 9 of the 10 meetings except a 2015 affair in Los Angeles that strangely went to OT without either side hitting the 100-point mark. Go figure. With the Clippers seeming tired of late and Portland playing more Overs than Unders this season (41-30), this seems the best approach as LA and the Blazers should both be tired after playing the night before.

The Over is an impressive 17-5 ATS in Portland’s L22 games against the Western Conference (77.3%) and the Over is an impressive 16-5 in the Trail Blazers L21 games overall (76.2%) although the Under is 8-1 in the L9 Clippers games here at Home at the Staples Center and the Under is 39-19 in the L58 games played on Thursday by Los Angeles.The Blazers won the first meeting at Home in November (102-91) while the Clippers won the second meeting in Lalaland 10 days later (102-87) as well as the third meeting up in Portland in January (109-98) in an upset as Paul had 21 points and 19 assists with Jordan snaring 14 boards.

It seems at first that the Trail Blazers are catching the Clippers at a good scheduling spot but with Portland also playing on 0 Days Rest (7-8-0 ATS)—Portland (150/1 to win Western Conference, totesport) hosts the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night—and Los Angeles playing on the second night of a back-to-back after having to face the defending NBA champion Warriors in Golden State just 24 hours earlier on Wednesday. So this means Travel (like Portland) back to Los Angeles will be involved which likely translates to less Energy to play good Defense and a better chance for the visiting Blazers (7-9-0 ATS on 0 Days Rest ) to try to pull off the upset here as the hosts should be both Physically and Emotionally tired as playing the Warriors at the ORACLE Arena is a lot more taxing than facing the wilting Mavericks in the Rose Garden.

But truth be told, this is also looks like a bad spot for Portland who just went on a 4-game Road trip—and played some very tough teams—then went Home to the Pacific Northwest and the Moda Center to face the Mavericks on Wednesday (POR- 5½, 215. Pinnacle) and then have to head back on the Road south to Los Angeles to face a team that plays them tough and matches up well with them. All of this seems good for around 27-29 points a quarter per team and probably at least 216 points scored because of some possibly tired legs.

Final Score Prediction: Clippers 113 Trail Blazers 107

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NBA Pick: Over 212
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle