NBA Pick on Knicks, Clippers ‘over’ on New Year’s Eve

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 7:31 PM GMT

Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out a total that simply does not add up and therefore offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Wednesday.

 

There could be a score-fest in Hollywood on New Year’s Eve Wednesday when the New York Knicks (5-28, 2-15 away) pay a visit to the Los Angeles Clippers (21-11, 13-4 home) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA at 6:05 ET in a game available on MSG.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 206 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -103.


Clippers Can Name the Score
This contest looks like a total mismatch on paper as the Clippers are five games behind the team with the best record in basketball, the Golden State Warriors, in the Pacific Division and they have won nine of their last 10 home game after beating the Utah Jazz 101-97 here at Staples on Monday. The Clippers may be a bit lax defensively this year but they are still 21-11 thanks to ranking fourth in the NBA in scoring with 106.1 point per game.

The Knicks are heading in the polar opposite direction as they have been the losing NBA picks in eight games in a row, as only the pitiful Philadelphia 76ers are keeping New York out of the Atlantic Division basement, and by just one-half game at that! In fact the Knicks have the second worst record in the entire NBA.

While this outcome should never be in doubt, we have no interest in giving a boatload of points with Los Angeles in this spot. However, we do expect this outcome to be settled early and for there to be extensive “garbage time” in the fourth quarter with neither team playing much defense, which should be a boon to the ‘over’.


Imagine if Los Angeles Played Defense!
Now we get that the ‘under’ is 5-2-2 in the last nine Clippers contests, but this matchup may have them approaching 100 points by the end of the third quarter, as they should not face the same resistance from the Knicks that they have faced from better defenses as of late.

Besides being fourth in the league in scoring as mentioned earlier, the Clippers are third in overall field goal percentage at 47.2 percent, second in three-point shooting at 38.5 percent and third in offensive efficiency with 109.8 points per 100 possessions. Blake Griffin (22.9 points per game) and Chris Paul (18.1) lead the scoring attack as usual, and they are followed by Jamaal Crawford, who is averaging 16.5 points despite usually coming off the bench.

And it is a good thing that the Los Angeles offense is potent and efficient because the Clippers’ defense has only made a few cameo appearances this season while seeming to just go through the motions the rest of the time, which cannot please their defensive-minded coach Doc Rivers. The Clips are 20th in the NBA in points against at 100.9 per game and 22nd in field goal percentage allowed at 46.0 percent.


How Can Knicks Slow LA Down?
Luckily for the Clippers, the defense could probably take today off too and it probably would not make a difference because we see no way for the Knicks to slow down the Los Angeles offense. The Knicks are 21st in the league in points against at 101.4 per game, 23rd in field goal percentage allowed at 46.1 percent and worst of all are dead last in three-point defense at 39.5 percent, making for a nightmarish matchup vs. a great three-point shooting team.

The Knicks do still have one of the top scorers in the NBA in Carmelo Anthony, who is averaging 24.1 points despite playing through a nagging knee injury. Anthony missed the second half of a 101-79 loss at Portland when his knee flared up on Sunday, one night after he poured in 36 points in a 135-129 overtime loss vs. the Kings in Sacramento Saturday, but he is now probable for this game thanks to the Knicks having two days off.


Ciao Bargnani!
Finally the New York offense is expected to get an added boost tonight with sharp-shooter Andrea Bargnani finally set to make his seasonal debut. Bargnani has not played an NBA game in 11 months since tearing a ligament in his elbow back in January.

Not that much improvement was even necessary for the Knicks to actually put up their fair share of points vs. an indifferent Clipper defense, so look for an ‘over’ when New York visits Los Angeles on New Year’s Eve.

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NBA Pick: Knicks, Clippers ‘over’ 206 (-103)