NBA Picks: Clippers vs. Lakers

Joe Freda

Thursday, February 14, 2013 1:44 PM GMT

Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 1:44 PM GMT

The Los Angeles Clippers have a 2-0 spread record in this year’s pair of victories over the Los Angeles Lakers, notching 106 PPG. Thursday’s nightcap of a TNT doubleheader has the rivals squaring off again at Staples Center, where the OVER is 7-0 in the last seven duels between the foes. 

Will the Clippers cash another ticket here, or is the ‘total’ trend too hot to ignore?

Clippers, Griffin hold off Rockets

The Clippers returned home from an eight-game road trip with Wednesday’s 106-96 victory against the Houston Rockets, while falling a ‘hook’ shy of cashing as 10 ½-point ‘chalk.’  Clippers guard Chauncey Billups drilled 4-of-7 buckets beyond the arc, finishing with a season-high 19 points. 

Billups and mate Chris Paul united for 13 assists, with Paul logging 10 points as part of a second straight double-double. Clippers forward Blake Griffin notched team-highs of 20 points and 11 boards, while adding four of his side’s 12 steals.

The contest’s combined 202 points dipped below the ‘total’ of 208, moving the UNDER to 6-4 in the Clippers’ last 10 games. Griffin and Co. connected from the field at a 49.3 percent clip, leading by as many as 23 points. 

Lakers, Howard edge out Suns 

Lakers center Dwight Howard piled in 19 points and 18 rebounds in Tuesday’s 91-85 victory for his club over the Phoenix Suns. The Lakers fell shy of cashing as 8 ½-point home favorites, despite outscoring Phoenix in the fourth quarter, 26-14.

Howard’s mate Kobe Bryant was held to a 1-for-8 night from the field, finishing with four points en route to a team-high nine assists. Lakers veterans Steve Nash and Metta World Peace united for 27 points, while forward Antawn Jamison came away with 19 points and 10 boards off the bench.

The duel’s combined 176 points plunged beneath the ‘total’ of 201 ½, making the UNDER 4-2 in the Lakers’ last six matchups. Both squads finished even in rebounds with 48 each, while the Lakers were edged out in fast break points, 23-10.

[gameodds]5/218400/43/us[/gameodds]

Back the OVER at Staples Center 

NBA odds makers first opened the Clippers as three-point favorites, with early wagers on the ‘chalk’ lifting the number to 3 ½. The ‘total’ was first set at 199, remaining unchanged after initially mixed betting. 

I am adding the OVER in this matchup to my NBA picks for Thursday’s short card. Both rivals should let it all hang out here with the All-Star Break looming ahead, while the OVER is 7-1 in the Clippers’ last eight spots played on no rest.

The Lakers have piled in 102.4 PPG in the last nine outings on their floor, while Bryant should look for a big night after Tuesday’s subpar night of shooting. Mike D’Antoni’s club has hit from the field at a 46.5 percent clip with its home jerseys donned, while the Lakers and Clippers rank sixth (101.6 PPG) and 10th (100 PPG) in the league overall for scoring.

The Clippers have seen their numbers pick up this week, notching 105 PPG in their last trio of battles. Paul and Co. have been stingy on defense in the span, but the spot of a fourth game in five days should catch up to their legs here. 

NBA Picks:  OVER 199 (Bookmaker.eu)

Also take a look at my Free NBA Picks: Thursday Night Parlay for more betting options.

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