NBA Odds: Back Clippers To Win 3rd Straight Over Blazers & Cover

Matthew Jordan

Sunday, December 11, 2016 11:36 PM UTC

Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016 11:36 PM UTC

Not that it makes up for losing to Portland in last year's playoffs, but the Los Angeles Clippers can already clinch the season series against the Trail Blazers with a home win Monday night on NBA TV. L.A. is -9.5 on BookMaker NBA odds.

Trail Blazers Conclude Road Trip

Portland (12-13) fell under .500 for the second time this season following a third straight loss on Saturday, 118-111 in Game No. 4 of  a five-game road trip.  Indiana was playing the second of a back-to-back and had lost at a bad Dallas team on Friday night. The Pacers had been 0-4 this season on zero days' rest, losing the last two of those back-to-backs by at least 35 points. They also trailed Portland by as much as 20 but became only the second NBA team to overcome a 20-point deficit to win this season. The other was Atlanta vs. Milwaukee. The Blazers scored 44 first-quarter points vs. Indiana, their most in a first quarter of any game since February 2003.

I expect quite a gassed Portland team here to close out the road trip. Really that Indiana loss showed all you need to know about the Blazers: they can score with anyone behind a great backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum but are just terribly defensively. McCollum made a career-high seven 3-pointers and had a season-high 34 points against Indiana and Lillard had 33 points. Those two get little help most nights and that was the case Saturday as no other player had more than eight points.

On the season, the Blazers rank 28th in the NBA in defense in allowing 111.7 points per game. They average 109.2 points per night offensively. Forward Al-Farouq Aminu is questionable to play Monday after sitting out Saturday with a back contusion. He was actually dressed and able to play but Coach Terry Stotts held him out. Aminu averages 6.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per night and is one of the team's better defenders. If he doesn't go Monday, Ed Davis would likely start again.

The Trail Blazers are 9-16 against the spread this season on NBA odds and 5-9 ATS on the road.


Clippers' Paul Has Monster Night

Los Angeles (17-7) ended a two-game losing streak with  a 133-105 home blowout of New Orleans on Monday. It was the most points scored by the Clips all season. Chris Paul had one of the games of his career with 20 points, 20 assists and no turnovers. It was the multiple All-Star's first career 20-20 game and he was the first player since at least 1977-78, when turnovers first started being tracked for individual players, with 20 points, 20 helpers and no turnovers. Paul and Norm Nixon in 1985 are the only players since 1983-84 with 20-plus points and 20-plus assists in under 30 minutes of playing time.  Los Angeles also set season bests in field-goal percentage (57.4) and 3-pointers made (17).

I wouldn't get too excited about that Clippers win, however, as they failed a major test at home on Wednesday against Golden State. They also didn't have to face Pelicans star Anthony Davis, who got the night off to rest. The Pelicans without Davis are basically a D-League team.

L.A. didn't have Blake Griffin against the Pelicans due to a sore right knee but he's expected to play in this one (line would drop a few points if not). The team will be without reserve guard Austin Rivers, Coach Doc Rivers' son. He suffered a minor concussion after taking an elbow to the chin against New Orleans. Rivers is averaging 8.4 points per game.  But the Clippers will get back backup point guard Raymond Felton. He had missed the past two games following the death of his grandmother. The Clippers are 13-11 ATS on NBA picks this year and 6-6 ATS at home.

The Clippers lead the season series 2-0 so would clinch it with a victory here for what that's worth. L.A. opened its season in Portland and won 114-106. Paul and Griffin each had 27 points. Lillard had 29 points and 10 rebounds. On Nov. 9 in Los Angeles, the Clippers won 111-80. Lillard and McCollum were held to eight points each. I lean L.A. here as Portland is just 1-8 ATS in its past nine vs. teams with a losing record.

NBA Free Pick: Clippers -9.5Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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