The Los Angeles Clippers have won five straight games, logging a 4-1 spread record in that span. Vinny Del Negro’s squad plays its final regular season home date in Tuesday’s matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers, who have seen the OVER cash at 7-4 in its present 11-game losing streak.
Is L.A. still worth backing here against the struggling Blazers, or is betting the ‘total’ a better options for our picks?
Clippers, Jordan edge out Grizzlies
Los Angeles’ latest victory came in Saturday’s 91-87 triumph as a two-point road dog against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Clippers erased a late five-point deficit, holding Memphis to 14 points in the fourth quarter.
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan notched 16 points and 12 boards, picking up his second double-double in five games. Los Angeles’ Chris Paul and Blake Griffin united for eight assists, hitting 11-of-26 floor buckets.
The tight affair’s 178 points ducked below the ‘total’ of 182 ½, despite both clubs draining a combined 12-of-29 shots from three-point land. Jordan added three of his side’s eight blocks, while mate Eric Bledsoe logged a trio of steals off the bench.
Blazers, Lillard cash in Denver
Portland trailed by as many as 20 points in Sunday’s 118-109 defeat to the Denver Nuggets, allowing 53.1 percent field shooting. The Blazers held on to collect as 15-point road dogs for my followers, drilling 12-of-32 buckets beyond the arc.
Blazers guard Damian Lillard piled in a team-high 30 points, uniting with mate J.J. Hickson for six assists each. Portland’s Will Barton grabbed nine boards, while hitting 6-of-6 free throws en route to notching 17 points.
The duel’s combined 227 points soared above the ‘total’ of 208 ½, with the Blazers edged out in paint points, 62-44. Portland found the “back door” in the second half, outscoring Denver over the final two quarters, 59-51.
Back the OVER in L.A.
The NBA odds makers have been slow to release the lines, but that hasn't kept us from taking a side in this matchup.
Los Angeles and Portland are both playing the front end of a back-to-back spot, with the Clippers traveling to Sacramento and the Blazers returning home to face the Golden State Warriors. Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge is listed as “questionable” for Tuesday’s matchup, recovering from an ankle injury that kept him out of Sunday’s defeat.
I am backing the OVER with my NBA picks in this spot, looking for some octane as the regular season winds down for these rivals. Portland has allowed 109 PPG over its present losing streak, while the Clippers could find themselves easing up their defense in the second half.
The OVER is 5-0 in the Clippers’ last five home dates, while cashing at a 6-2 clip in games that followed the team’s most recent eight victories. Paul and Co. have notched 115.3 PPG in its last three home affairs, piling up the scoring against weaker foes like the Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns.
Portland’s 109 points put up in Denver was the team’s best scoring effort on the road since last month’s 136-106 thrashing of the San Antonio Spurs. The Blazers continue having their moments despite struggling and should have their share of chances to let it all hang out down this matchup's late stretch.
Free NBA Pick: OVER