The Boston Celtics, who boast the best record in the NBA, will look to bounce back tonight from their loss to the Warriors on Saturday. Boston is in Los Angeles tonight to take on the Clippers, and we’ll preview the game and go over the smart betting play for the action as well.
The Los Angeles Clippers have gone 4-6 over their last ten games, proving they are one of the most unpredictable teams in the league. It doesn’t help when every night is a guessing game on who will be playing for them, but over this recent 10-game span, no matter who is on the floor, they’ve struggled on both ends of the court.
In their past ten games, the Clippers have a NET rating of -5.2, which is 27th in the NBA. Also, in that span, they rank 21st in both offensive and defensive efficiency, so it hasn’t been just one problem that can be identified as the reason for the shaky play. Despite all of this, the Clippers do enter tonight off a win in their last game over the Wizards, a game in which Paul George led the way with 36 points.
The Celtics' recent ten-game stretch has been much different than the Clippers, as they went 8-2 in that span but lost their most recent game. Boston had the best offensive efficiency in the league over that stretch and had the second-best NET rating at 11.1.
Their numbers might be even better if not for their recent 123-107 loss to the Warriors. It was starting to look like Boston was on a different planet, so that loss showed they could still make mistakes from time to time. The Celtics' decision to drop on defense and go under screens was questionable since that allowed Curry, Thompson, and Poole to get a lot of open looks. Tonight is a much better match-up for them defensively.
The Celtics can currently be found as -3.5 point road favorites, and they are my pick for this one. Boston has lost back-to-back games only once this season, and they have gone 8-2 ATS over their last ten games. The Clippers are 5-6 ATS at home this season, and I don’t think they possess the offensive ability to keep this game within the number.
The Clippers' defensive numbers on the season look good, but recently they have gotten exposed quite a few times on the defensive end. With Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both averaging over 29 points per game over their last ten games, they pose a big problem for this Clippers' defense.
For the way both teams have been playing, this number is giving the Clippers a little too much respect. Los Angeles is 26th in the league in effective field over the last ten games and is 21st in turnover percentage, so the Celtics' offense will be too much for the Clippers to keep pace with.
Boston Celtics (-3.5)