We've got an early start to our NBA action today, so make sure you get all of your sports pick ready to go in advance. Check out our preview of LA/Boston inside.
The NBA betting lines are out and we find the Clippers are laying as many as 12 (even 12.5 in some places) points at home against the Celtics. It's safe to say oddsmakers are expecting mostly one-way traffic this afternoon.
We should also be seeing a lot of points, considering both teams like to push the tempo offensively, especially the Celtics. That would help explain the total of 212.5 on the NBA odds board right now.
Los Angeles Clippers
The consistent performances haven't been there for the Clippers, as they've alternated wins and losses over their last five games. That being said, they did notch a win their last time on the court, taking care of the shorthanded Kings in a 117-108 victory.
It's hard to pinpoint one standout player for LA in the win, as a number of guys played well. Blake Griffin scored 30 points and added five rebounds and five assists, while Chris Paul piled up 12 points, nine assists and four boards. Matt Barnes continued his hot play with 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting, and the wing added 10 rebounds, three steals and a block to boot. J.J. Redick also hit a number of shots on his way to 18 points.
After that road win, the Clippers now head back to the Staples Center, where they've had immeasurable success throughout the season. They're extremely comfortable on their own floor and we have a hard time envisioning any scenario in which they'll lost to this young Boston team. The wins are as important as they ever have been in the stacked Western Conference, and the Clippers know that well.
Over their last nine games, the Celtics have won just two times, which signals how much they've been struggling here of late. They've fallen to 13-26 overall on the year.
Their miseries were compounded in this past Friday's home loss against Chicago. Boston did just fine offensively but was horrendous defensively, allowing Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol and Jimmy Butler to essentially do whatever they wanted on their way to help Chicago to 118 total points. Defensive struggles have been a common theme this season, however, as the Celtics have been pushing the pace quite a bit thus far.
Having been involved in so many trades, and with some uncertainty as to which roles work best for Boston, this team has been very hard to trust on the handicapping side of things. The Celtics have shown this season that they can show up and make a game of it no matter the opponent, but then they've gotten completely dominated at times too. With the Clippers licking their chops at home this afternoon, the latter scenario feels far more realistic.
Though the Celtics haven't been getting blown out all that much, we think that conclusion is going to be tough to avoid this afternoon. All signs are pointing towards an easy LA win, and we tend to agree when making our final NBA picks for the day.
Who would you feel more comfortable backing? That's a lot of points you're getting, but Boston has been far too inconsistent to warrant much serious consideration. We're liking LA's chances on their home floor against a vastly inferior overall team, barring a complete letdown on the effort side of things.
With Griffin and Paul setting the tone - both should have big games here - we expect the Clippers to stroll to a win, and as such we're comfortable laying that huge number. We're backing the heavy favorites to cover the NBA betting lines on Monday.
Free NBA Pick: Los Angeles Clippers -12.5 at YouWager