Hard Choices With Blazers-Clippers, but Lean Toward 'Under'

Sunday, March 18, 2018 12:00 PM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 18, 2018 12:00 PM UTC

Two of this year’s best NBA picks will meet tonight when the Portland Trail Blazers visit the Los Angeles Clippers. It’s going to be a tough choice – unless we bet the total.

<h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nba-basketball/portland-trail-blazers-vs-la-clippers-3263890/" title="Trail Blazers vs. Clippers">Sunday NBA: Trail Blazers vs. Clippers</a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Free NBA Pick: Under 220.5 (–105)</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Best Line Offered: <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4429&amp;book=Heritage" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">Heritage</a></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3263890, "sportsbooksIds":[169,19,93,1096,238], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>It’s always an adventure when the Los Angeles Clippers play. Pinning down Friday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder was a challenge; Paul George and Steven Adams played for Oklahoma City, but <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/nba/friday-pick-clippers-look-for-double-up-vs-okc/84369">despite their gimpiness</a> and the Clippers playing the second of back-to-back games, they went "over" 224 points when the Thunder (-6 at home) won 121-113. L.A. managed to hit 11 of their 26 trey attempts despite those tired legs. Good for them.<br /><br />The Clippers (37-31 SU, 37-30-1 ATS) will host the Portland Trail Blazers (43-26 SU, 38-26-5 ATS) tonight at 10:30 ET (NBA-TV), and this time it’s the Blazers playing on zero days of rest. They just finished whupping the Detroit Pistons 100-87 Saturday night as 9-point home faves. Portland has won 11 straight games at 10-1 ATS. Rest or no rest, we’re going to need a very good reason to bet on the Clippers this time.</p><h2>Jusuf Endures</h2><p>The Clippers opened as 2-point favorites on the <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nba-basketball/" title="NBA Odds">NBA odds board</a>, and according to the consensus reports, 67 percent of early bettors are on Portland. That could be two of three bettors, for all we know, but it’s still not a good sign for L.A. There was some concern about center Jusuf Nurkic (minus-0.8 BPM) and his sore right ankle heading into Saturday’s game, but he played a reasonable 23 minutes and scored 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting with eight rebounds and three assists.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Someone got to Jusuf Nurkic’s Wikipedia page in a hurry. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;😂😂😂 &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/YwsTiJMHni\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/YwsTiJMHni&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Nate Lundy (@natelundy) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/natelundy/status/974476200226664448?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;March 16, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><blockquote> </blockquote><p>The thing is, a 2-point spread doesn’t leave us much to work with. FiveThirtyEight projects the Clippers to win tonight's game 63 percent of the time, which works out to -3 using their CARMELO formula. And ESPN’s Basketball Power Index has L.A. winning only 60.3 percent of the time; that actually works out to near -3.5 according to Wizard of Odds, but it’s still not the 2-point difference we’d like to see before opening up the vault and making our <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/nba/" title="Free NBA Picks">NBA picks</a>.<br />It didn’t quite work out last time, but we’re more inclined to bet "under" 220.5 points than fade either of these two teams. Portland does have the "under" at 41-28 this year, including the win over Detroit. This is how they’re built – with the No. 15-ranked offense in the league (106.2 points per 100 possessions) and the No. 8-ranked defense at 104.1 points allowed. We’ll buy that for a dollar.</p>
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