NBA Picks: Paul-Less Clippers Won't Stop Red-Hot Pacers

Teddy Covers

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 6:28 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015 6:28 PM UTC

We look at the NBA odds for the Pacers vs. Clippers game on Wednesday, analyzing the impact of Chris Paul's injury and provide an ATS NBA pick.

I could do this write-up in a single sentence: 'The LA Clippers have no business laying points as home favorites to anybody right now.' Yes, the Clips have bounced out of their ugly early funk, notching four wins in their last five games.  Still, the Clips are a sub .500 team since their 4-0 start (all against likely lottery bound foes: Sacramento twice, Dallas and Phoenix). 

All four wins in their last five games have also come against sub .500 foes that are likely headed for the lottery (New Orleans, Denver, Minnesota and Portland).  In fact, their only win all year against a team that’s as good as Indiana came nearly a month ago against the Grizzlies.  LA won that game by a bucket, never sniffing a point spread cover.


Impact of Chris Paul's Absence
The Clippers aren’t healthy, expecting to be without All Star starting point guard Chris Paul this evening.  Even if Paul suits up, I have no hesitation fading LA after the pointspread rises.  But the early indications are that Paul isn’t likely to suit up tonight.  LA has been without him three times already this year, losing SU and ATS twice, and lucky to come away with a tight win and cover in the third matchup (against Detroit, as they rallied from behind thanks to a season high 37 point performance from Jamal Crawford.  The Clips just aren’t good enough to be laying points to quality foes without Paul at or near 100%.

Paul Pierce is looking pretty washed up at this late stage of his career; unable to defend opposing threes. The addition of Lance Stephenson has created chemistry problems, just like Stephenson's issues in Charlotte last year. DeAndre Jordan, coming off a ‘miss 22 free throws’ effort, is playing like a guy who just got paid, not a guy playing for a long term contract.  The Clips have been out rebounded by nearly five boards per game.  LA doesn't hit free throws, their bench is underachieving once again, and they're 5-9 ATS as a favorite of ten points or less against the NBA odds, consistently failing in this role.

Here you can find our NBA Picks of the Day

Pacers' Betting Trends
Meanwhile, the Pacers have been major moneymakers for their supporters, including a 7-0 ATS mark in their last seven tries as an underdog and a 6-1 ATS mark on the highway since losing at Toronto on opening night.  Frank Vogel’s squad has won five straight and eight of their last nine, without a lick of hype.  They’ve been getting great shots on offense, with ball movement on every possession, averaging more than 113 points per game in their last five contests.  

The Pacers perimeter quartet -- Paul George, Monta Ellis, George Hill and CJ Miles -- are breaking down opposing defenses with dribble penetration, leading to kickouts to wide open shooters.  Big men Jordan Hill and Ian Mahinmi have provided better than expected rebounding and shot blocking in the low post.  Right now, even with a healthy Paul, the Pacers are the better of these two teams.  Without Paul, this game could be a mismatch!  Take the Pacers with your NBA picks.

NBA Picks: Pacers +2 at The Greek

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