NBA Picks: Trail Blazers vs. Clippers

Joe Catalano

Sunday, January 27, 2013 2:53 PM GMT

Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013 2:53 PM GMT

The Los Angeles Clippers and the Portland Trail Blazers meet in part 2 of their back to back at the Staples Center. Portland managed to squeak by the Clippers last night. Will they cover the odds today?

The Clips were without “CP3” on Saturday, 101-100. Chris Paul is expected to miss tonight’s game also. Will LA return the favor with a win?

Tip-off is scheduled tonight at 9:30 pm ET at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California

WOW!

I certainly didn’t expect the Clippers to be a 7.5 point betting odds favorite via 5 Dimes Sportsbook. The total for the game is 191.5. Do the odds makers know something that I don’t? According to rotoworld.com, Chris Paul is expected to be out for Sunday’s game. If Paul “remains” out, you have to love these odds!

Up For the Task

Even though the Clips didn’t win the game, they were very competitive and Blake Griffin came up with a huge bounce back game in which he had 24 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds, and 4 steals.

In order for Los Angeles to have a chance in this game, Blake Griffin will have to have a big performance. Portland is very talented up front and home court won’t save the Clippers unless number 32 shows up.

Clippers Bench Is the Key

The Clippers have a very deep bench and their secondary players proved dominance over Portland’s in last night’s meeting. Los Angeles’ bench outscored the Portland bench 43-16 and was spear-headed by the play of Jamal Crawford.

Crawford is a streaky player that can light up the scoreboard with a barrage of 3 pointers. He has a real street style mentality when it comes to playing basketball. Expect Crawford to razzle-dazzle the Blazers at home and have another big game.

Matt Barnes was a key figure coming off the bench, seeing lots of playing time, and expect more of the same. Barnes is somewhat streaky also; He either can’t miss or can’t hit the side of a barn.

Look for Griffin, Bledsoe, and Crawford to be the key figures in this game as the Clippers attempt to play without CP3.

More West Coast bettin action right here~!

Nicolas Batum

With a subpar performance by superstar, LaMarcus Aldridge, the Blazers were unaffected as Nicolas Batum had one of his best games of the season.

He had a triple-double; 20 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds. Portland would still prefer that the Frenchmen cut down on turnovers, but the results speak for themselves. Batum has an athletic style of play with a great touch and Los Angeles is a team that suits him well.

Home court has a bit of a psychological effect on players, but expect Batum to play well on the road in the rematch.

Play Like a Star!

Portland doesn’t have a deep team, but their starters are one of the best starting five in the NBA. They rely heavily on LaMarcus Aldridge for offense, defense, and leadership.

On Saturday, all of the starters showed up except for Aldridge. If he were to have a half decent game, the Blazers would’ve run away with it. Look for this “20-10” man to vindicate himself at Staples Center. Nobody, including Blake Griffin, can stop Aldridge when he’s playing well.

[gameodds]5/134904/43/us[/gameodds]

Outcome

I think the odds are ludicrous. Portland just beat Los Angeles without Chris Paul and now they’re getting 7.5 points? This should be another close game and 7.5 points are a flatout gift. Take the Trail Blazers and expect an easy cover for your NBA picks in this one.

NBA Picks: Portland +7.5 at 5 Dimes

Head on over to the Eastern Conference to check out the Heat vs.Celtics~
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