Free NBA Picks: Celtics vs. Clippers

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 3:20 PM GMT

Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014 3:20 PM GMT

The Boston Celtics have struggled offensively on the road when playing the second game of a back-to-back situation, as they prepare to face the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night.

Let’s take a closer look at the NBA betting lines for this non-conference affair at the Staples Centre, with the opening tip scheduled for 10:35 p.m. ET.

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 Going in the wrong direction

Boston has dropped its last five games, including a 129-98 setback to the Denver Nuggets as 7.5-point road underdogs Tuesday, while going OVER the betting total for a second consecutive contest.

The Celtics will need to put forth a major effort to snap their recent woes, considering they’ve dropped 11 consecutive road games against Western Conference foes dating back to last season.

The franchise is 0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS as road underdogs of 9.5 to 12 points during the 2013-14 NBA campaign, with the UNDER cashing in all four of those opportunities.

Playing without Paul

Los Angeles has gone 11-10 SU without the services of starting point guard Chris Paul since 2011-12, as it comes off a 101-81 blowout victory over the Orlando Magic as 7.5-point home favorites Monday.

The Clippers have been getting major contributions from shooting guard Jamal Crawford over the last three games, as he’s tallied 26 combined assists in the three games Paul has missed since suffering a shoulder injury.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the franchise is 16-2 SU and 10-8 ATS as home favorites of 9.5 to 12 points, with no clear edge in terms of the betting total (9-9 Over/Under).

For starters

NBA handicappers may look at backing the road underdog in this spot, considering the Celtics had all five of their starters averaging 10.9 points or more entering last night’s affair, with forward Jeff Green leading the charge at 15.9 a contest.

Green netted a game-high 29 points in the team’s 96-88 loss to Los Angeles as five-point home underdogs on Dec. 11.

Scoring at home

It’s always dangerous to play an UNDER when the Clippers take the floor at this venue, as they pace the NBA in averaging 109.2 points per game at home.

Los Angeles has compiled a 15-3 SU record at home—matching the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder for the second-best mark in the league in that situation—trailing only the Indiana Pacers.

Make sure to check out our NBA Picks: Pacers vs. Hawks

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total for their NBA picks, as the UNDER is 5-0 in the Celtics’ last five games when playing on zero days rest.

NBA Pick: Under 195.5

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