Los Angeles Clippers (17-12) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (16-13)
NBA Basketball: Monday, December 17 2018 10:30 PM EST (STAPLES Center)
Line: LAC -2
FREE NBA Prediction Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Clippers
The Portland Trail Blazers are travelling down to Los Angeles to take on their Western Conference Clippers. The Blazers are coming off a strong win against the Eastern Conference leading Raptors amidst a difficult December. The Clippers are having an even worse December, 2-6 since the start of the month with one of their wins coming against the Suns in OT.
Los Angeles Preview
Is this the team that many predicted the Clippers would be? The Clippers were one of the hottest teams to start the season but have stumbled mightily over the past few weeks. Four of those losses were by double digits, including 20+ points to the Heat, Raptors, and Spurs. The Clippers are still 7th in the league in scoring offense, putting up about 114 points a game although their rank is 24th in the month of December, scoring just 104 points a game. They have really slipped on the defensive end of the ball, giving up 113 points per game, 25th in the league. The Clippers have been a middle of the league defensive team all year, but their struggles this month have been quite troubling. The Clippers are one of the faster team’s in the league, racking up 102 possessions per game. They will want to control the pace against the Blazers, who tend to play a little slower and more deliberate. While this team lacks a bonafide star, they have been getting excellent play from forwards Tobias Harris and Danilo Gallinari. Gallinari, amazingly, has missed just 1 game all year despite missing around a billion games over the last few seasons. They are averaging 20.9 points and 19 points, respectively. One of the best surprises for the Clippers has been forward Montrezl Harrell, a sixth man of the year candidate. The third year player out of Louisville is shooting 63% from the field while putting up 15 points and 7 rebounds a game. His energy is what really drives the Clippers some games.
The Trail Blazers have had an uneven year to say the least. Over the last month, wins have been sandwiched between multi-game losing streaks and some ugly losses. Their most recent win over Toronto has hopefully righted the ship for now. The Blazers are 11th in the league in scoring offense, putting up 111 points per game. On the defensive side, opponents are scoring 110 points a game, 14th in the league. Shooting the ball, they are just average in many categories. One thing that stands out about the team is they have one of the lowest assist rates in the league. It’s not surprising as they have two great guards: CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard. They lead a strong starting lineup with Al-Farouq Aminu, Evan Turner/Moe Harkless, and Jusuf Nurkic. These two lineups average a +15 net rating and are able to score in bunches. One of the big problems, however, is when either of those two sit for long stretches of time. Lately, coach Terry Stotts hasn’t been staggering their minutes and without them on the floor, the Blazers really struggle to score. There is a reason that both Lillard and McCollum are amongst the league leaders in minutes. On a more positive note, Portland is one of the league’s best rebounding teams. They will need that rebounding tonight if they want to hold off the Clippers.
Cover the Spread 365 Betting Trends
Los Angeles Clippers
LA Clippers is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Portland
LA Clippers is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Portland
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of LA Clippers’s last 6 games when playing Portland
LA Clippers is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing at home against Portland
LA Clippers is 12-4 SU in its last 16 games when playing at home against Portland
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of LA Clippers’s last 10 games when playing at home against Portland
Portland is 3-10 ATS in its last 13 games
Portland is 4-8 SU in its last 12 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Portland’s last 6 games
Portland is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
Portland is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Portland is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing LA Clippers
Portland is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing LA Clippers
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Portland’s last 6 games when playing LA Clippers
FREE NBA Parlay Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Both teams come into this game looking for a win to propel them to a strong second half of December. The Clippers especially need a win after getting demolished over the last few weeks. I’m going with the Clippers in this one in a close game.
Pick: LAC -2