NBA Picks: Clippers & Pelicans Will Go 'Over' 207 In Fast-Paced Game

Charles Stark

Thursday, December 31, 2015 12:34 PM GMT

The Pelicans have been less than stellar this season but they do have a winning record at home. Tonight they face the Clippers coming off a back to back without Blake Griffin. How can we beat the NBA odds in this game?

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NBA Pick: Over 207

Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Betting Odds
NBA odds makers set the total at this game pretty high at 207 like at Pinnacle. Although Los Angeles is playing some better defense this season this game has all the makings of one that will be up and down the court and high-scoring. For my NBA pick today I will back over the total of 207 and anticipate a track meet.

 

Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles is averaging 102.5 points per game while shooting 45.8% from the field, and allowing 100.4 points per game on 43.5% shooting from the field. They haven't really missed a beat without Blake Griffin and I've had little trouble scoring. It seems without Griffin in the lineup the Clippers have a little bit better spacing, not to say they are a better overall team without him, but they do have other options to put the ball in the bucket. Offensively the Clippers rank seventh in the league in scoring and sixth in shooting percentage. They also rank sixth in two point shooting percentage at 50.4% per contest, but they probably won't be as efficient in that aspect without Griffin, although there is evidence o the contrary as of late. As mentioned, they do have other options though and they are an efficient offensive team that is pretty unselfish averaging 22.8 assists per game. Defensively the Clippers are one of the better teams in the league ranking 10th in opponent shooting percentage. They have been good at controlling tempo but it seems with their different dynamic that they are more inclined to get out and run, which I anticipate tonight.

 

New Orleans Pelicans
New Orleans is averaging 102.1 points per game while shooting 44.7% from the field, and allowing 107 points per game on 46.1% shooting from the field. Offensively they have been fine and rank in the middle of the league in most offensive categories, but a respectable sixth in shooting efficiency. In their last three home games they have scored 107, 115, and 110 respectively against Washington, Portland, and Houston. I don't see that trend changing very much against a Los Angeles team that will be coming off a back to back on the road. They should be very successful in running their pick and roll and getting open-space for their three-point shooters where they average 35.8% per game. Defensively New Orleans is arguably the worst team in the league as they rank 28th in scoring defense, 24th in overall opponent shooting percentage, and dead last in opponent three-point shooting percentage. They also rank in the bottom part of the league in opponent three-pointers and field goal attempted per game. Tonight I believe they will face a Los Angeles team that will present to them the kind of matchup that they like. A team that will spread the floor that will push tempo a little more than they normally do as evidence of their last three games without Griffin.

Because of their home record and catching the Clippers in this situation it seems New Orleans has a good shot to pick up another win at home, but what I like on this game is the total. This has all the makings of a transition orientated game that should be fast-paced. For one of your NBA picks I recommend backing the over in this contest and expect not a lot of defense on either end. New Orleans should dictate the tempo and Los Angeles will be in more than happy to run with them.