NBA Picks: Clippers vs. Trail Blazers

Jeff Grant

Thursday, December 26, 2013 2:45 PM GMT

The Los Angeles Clippers have enjoyed recent success against the Portland Trail Blazers when point guard Chris Paul lands in the lineup, as the two teams prepare to face off Thursday night.

Let’s take a closer look at the pro basketball odds for this Western Conference affair at the Moda Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT.

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Unfortunate result

Los Angeles suffered a 105-103 defeat to the Golden State Warriors as three-point road underdogs Wednesday, as star forward Blake Griffin was ejected for his second technical foul with 10:43 remaining.

Griffin is averaging 24.3 points and 12.5 rebounds over his last four games, while he’s knocked down 76.6 percent of his free throws since Dec. 1.

It’s important to point out that the franchise is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games following a SU loss.

A long break

Portland is just 10 wins shy of its total for a season ago, as it returns to the floor for the first time since picking up a 110-107 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans as eight-point home favorites last Saturday.

The Trail Blazers are 2-2 SUATS when playing on three or more days rest the last two-plus seasons, with no clear edge in terms of the betting total (2-2 Over/Under).

Paul has been the difference

NBA handicappers need to realize that the Clippers have won their last four games against the Trail Blazers with point guard Chris Paul in the lineup, while he’s averaged 16.8 points and 11.5 assists over his last four efforts overall.

Los Angeles is 2-5 ATS in its last seven road games against Portland, with the OVER going 9-2-2 in its last 13 opportunities in that situation.

Dynamic duo

The Trail Blazers are led offensively by the play of forward LaMarcus Aldridge and point guard Damian Lillard, as the duo are averaging a combined 44.6 points per game.

Portland is averaging 108.4 points while shooting 40.5 percent from beyond the arc—both are the best marks in the NBA.

Also make sure to check out our:

Thursday NBA Picks of the Day

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Clippers for their NBA picks, as they’ve covered both opportunities this season when dropping the front end of a back-to-back situation.

NBA Pick:  Los Angeles Clippers +4.5