NBA Picks: Clippers vs. Celtics

Joe Freda

Sunday, February 3, 2013 1:54 PM GMT

The Boston Celtics have cashed with a 3-0 spread record in the first 3 of 4 at home, despite the absence of Rajon Rondo.Will Boston stay hot with another cover, or can the Clippers get by at TD Garden?

Celtics finish home-stand vs. Clippers

Sunday’s NBA betting has Doc Rivers’ club finishing its stretch in “Beantown,” with an early tip against the Los Angeles Clippers. 

Celtics, Pierce Outgun Magic

Boston’s latest win came in Friday’s 97-84 victory over the Orlando Magic, collecting as 8 ½-point home ‘chalk.’  The Celtics led by as many as 23 points, shooting 50 percent from the floor.

Celtics mates Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett each logged a double-double, uniting for 28 points and 21 boards. Pierce added a team-high seven assists, while Garnett notched three of his squad’s nine steals.

The duel’s combined 181 points dipped below the ‘total’ of 190, bringing the UNDER to 4-2 in the Celtics’ last six games. Boston’s Jeff Green came away with three blocks, while piling in 17 points off the bench.

Clippers, Griffin Thrashed in Toronto 

Los Angeles logged its fifth loss in seven games with Friday’s 98-73 defeat to the Toronto Raptors. The Clippers were held to 34.7 percent field shooting, failing to cash as four-point favorites. 

Clippers forward Blake Griffin notched a team-high 17 points, while uniting with Caron Butler for nine boards each. Los Angeles’ Jamal Crawford logged five assists off the bench, while mates Eric Bledsoe and Lamar Odom recorded two blocks and two steals, respectively.

The lopsided affair’s combined 171 points plunged beneath the ‘total’ of 193 ½, making the UNDER 4-1 in the Clippers’ last five contests. Los Angeles connected 20-of-31 free throws, while edged out in rebounds, 45-37.

Back the Celtics at home

The NBA odds makers opened Los Angeles as a one-point road favorite, remaining unchanged following mixed wagers. The ‘total’ was first set at 184, while early betting on the OVER moved the digits north a ‘hook’ to 184 ½.

I am backing the Celtics in this spot, looking to follow suit with last Sunday’s cashed ticket in Boston for my followers. Pierce and Co. have stepped up without Rondo in the lineup, edging out their last three foes in assists by a combined margin of 76-51.

[gameodds]5/216923/43/us[/gameodds]

Boston also looks to erase thoughts of December’s 106-77 defeat to Los Angeles, while not having to face Clippers guard Chris Paul this time around. Paul notched 11 assists in that affair, but has missed six straight games for the Clippers with a knee injury.

Los Angeles comes in fuming from its sizable loss in Toronto, but has gone a meager 1-7-1 ATS in its last nine spots that followed a defeat by more than 10 points. The Clippers face a Celtics squad that has shot 47.3 percent from TD Garden’s floor, with Boston holding foes to 85.6 PPG in its last 13 home dates that did not reach overtime.

Look for Boston to come up big again here, handing the Clippers another losing ticket in their 1-4 ATS mark over the team’s last five road games.

Free NBA Picks: Boston Celtics +1

Also, check out our Free Picks on the Miami Heat vs. the Toronto Raptors~