Neither team is playing their best basketball of the season recently, especially on the defensive end of the floor. However they are both very good teams, and while the spread is tempting, I think the total has better NBA Odds value tonight.
Defense falls by wayside when offense intensifies
Recently both teams have been playing pretty bad defense, and tonight against one another, if they both don’t step it up on that end of the floor, it’s going to end up like their first meeting, which finished 126-118 in favor of LA a couple weeks ago in Toronto. Both teams have played the Jazz recently and both held them to very few points, so their recent numbers are skewed just a little bit, but both are playing faster, and it’s leading to more points for both sides.
I think this game will be another one of those nights, and that’s why I the total of 204 is a bargain for the over tonight. The Raptors don’t rank that high in the pace stats for the season, however they have one of the better offensive efficiency ratings in the NBA this season, as do the Clippers.
LA has also been playing exceptionally well on the offensive end, and it shows with how much they are cashing the over for NBA Bettors. The Clippers have cashed the over in nine of their last 13 games, and at home this season, they have cashed the over at 15-8-1.
The Sharp Pick
LA has scored 106 points per game in their last five games overall, (109 ppg. in their last 10) however their defense has given up an average of 107 through those same five games. If you take away the game with the Jazz they played last week where Utah only had 87 points, their defense has given up almost 112 points per game in their last four games.
LA’s defense has been good at times this season, but recently it seems as if they are letting down on that end of the floor. The Heat scored 116 on them two nights after the Nuggets did the same thing. The Nuggets game was on the road, while they played the Heat at home, but 116 home or away is not great. The Nuggets game was also the one where Randy Foye nailed a game winner.
The Raptors haven’t been immune to the defensive struggles pre-All Star Break. Two nights ago the Raptors gave up 109 points to the Kings in Sacramento, which should raise a lot of red flags for everyone wanting to take points with the Raptors right now. This is a team that could be getting tired. If you take away the 79 points they gave up to the Jazz, their last two games Toronto has allowed 106 to the Blazers and 109 to the Kings.
This will be the 5th and final road game of a west coast swing the Raptors are currently on, and it looks as if their legs are ready for the break during the All Star festivities. Against the West this season, the Raptors give up well over 103 points per game, and I see the over being our NBA pick tonight in LA.
My Pick: OVER 204