NBA Betting Preview: Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers

Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers
Moda Center – Portland, Oregon

Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 10:35 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Portland -4 1/2
Current Line: Portland -3
Opening Total: 208
Current Total: 207
Opening Money Line: Blazers -150 / Clippers +130
Current Money Line: Blazers -150 / Clippers +130

Portland is a 4.5 point home favorite against the LA Clippers Wednesday night in a battle of Western Conference playoff teams.

Portland is a 3 point home favorite against the LA Clippers Wednesday night in a battle of Western Conference playoff teams.

Both the 57-24 Los Angeles Clippers and 53-28 Portland Trail Blazers have secured their spots in the NBA Playoffs as they meet in the regular season finale Wednesday night in Portland. The Pacific Division champion Clippers are currently the #3 seed, but will move up to the #2 seed with a win and an Oklahoma City Thunder loss to the Detroit Pistons Wednesday night. Portland is locked into the #5 seed and will play the #4 seed Houston Rockets in the first round.

Portland and Los Angeles split the two previous meetings this season with each team winning a close game at home. The Blazers won 116-112 in overtime December 26. The Clippers won at home 122-117 February 12. The Trail Blazers have won 8 of the last 10 games in Portland in the series.

Los Angeles is coached by Doc Rivers. The Clippers have gone 7-2 in their last 9 games, including a two game winning streak. LA won at home last night against the Denver Nuggets 117-105. In that game Clippers’ forward Blake Griffin got his 16th technical foul of the season which is a mandatory one game suspension. He did not even make the trip to Portland, and neither did guards Chris Paul and  J.J. Redick who are being rested. The Clippers likely feel it is a long shot at best for the Pistons to upset the Thunder in OKC. The Thunder are 14 point favorites in that contest. The Clippers are 46-34-1 ATS this season and the total is 43-37-1 this season.

LA is outscoring teams 108-101. The Clippers lead the league in scoring and are #14 in points allowed. Los Angeles is shooting 47.5% from the field and 35.5% from 3 point range. The Clippers are #3 in field goal percentage. LA is #26 in free throw shooting at 72.9% from the field. Opponents are shooting 44.1% from the field and 33.1% from 3 point range. The Clippers lead the league in 3 point defense and are #5 in opponents’ field goal percentage. Los Angeles averages 43 rebounds per game and opponents average 43.5 per game. The Clippers average 24.6 assists, 13.9 turnovers, 8.6 steals and 4.9 blocks per game. Opponents average 23.3 assists, 15.4 turnovers, 7 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.

Griffin averages 24.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Paul averages 19.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 10.7 assists, and 2.5 steals per game. Paul leads the league in assists and steals. Guard Jamal Crawford averages 18.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. He missed 5 games with an Achilles’ injury but returned last Saturday against Sacramento. Redick averages 15.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Guard Darren Collison averages 11.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Center DeAndre Jordan averages 10.6 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game. Jordan leads the league in rebounding and is third in blocks per game.  Forward Matt Barnes averages 9.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. Danny Granger, Jared Dudley, and Willie Green will also get significant minutes. Granger is out until the playoffs with a hamstring injury.

Portland is coached by Terry Stotts. The Trail Blazers have won 8 of their last 9 games including 4 straight. Portland won at home Sunday night against the Golden State Warriors 119-117 in overtime. The Blazers won despite 47 points from Warriors’ guard Stephen Curry. Since Portland is locked into the #5 seed, this game against the Clippers is meaningless. The Blazers will likely rest forward LaMarcus Aldridge Wednesday night, and the other 4 starters will likely play limited minutes.  Portland is 43-38 ATS this season and the total is 45-35-1 this season.

Portland is outscoring teams 107-103 this season. The Trail Blazers are #3 in scoring and #22 in points allowed. Portland is shooting 45% from the field and 37.2% from 3 point range. The Blazers are #9 in 3 point shooting. Portland leads the league in free throw shooting at 81.6% from the line. Opponents are shooting 45.2% from the field and 35.8% from 3 point range. The Blazers average 46.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 43.5 per game. Portland leads the league in rebounding but is #23 in rebounds allowed. The Blazers average 23.1 assists, 13.8 turnovers, 5.5 steals, and 4.8 blocks per game. Opponents average 20.4 assists, 12.1 turnovers, 7.8 steals and 3.7 blocks per game.

Aldridge averages 23.2 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1 block per game. Point guard Damian Lillard averages 20.8 points, 5.6 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game. Guard Wesley Matthews averages 16.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Forward Nicolas Batum averages 13.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. Center Robin Lopez averages 11 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. Mo Williams, Dorrell Wright, Thomas Robinson, Will Barton, and Joel Freeland will also get significant minutes.

Los Angeles is 4-0 ATS in road games, and against teams with winning home records, 6-1 after allowing 100 points or more, 5-1 when the opponent allows 100 points or more in the previous game, 7-2 overall and against Western Conference teams, 6-2 after scoring 100 points or more, 8-3 against teams with winning records, 9-4-1 after a cover, and 3-8 in Wednesday games. The underdog si 5-2 ATS in the last 7 games in this series.

Portland is 5-2 ATS after failing to cover, 3-7 against Pacific Division teams and against teams with winning road records, 1-4 overall and against Western Conference teams, 0-4 at home and 0-7 on 2 days rest.

Neither one of these teams seems to care that much about this game, as they are gearing up for the playoffs. The Clippers ostensibly have something to play for if Detroit can pull off the upset against Oklahoma City. Again though since Griffin, Paul, and Redick didn’t even make the trip up north, the Clippers don’t seem to care about the #2 seed. Both of these teams are among the top 3 scoring teams in the league, but can play suspect defense. I don’t trust either side in a glorified exhibition game but I think this will be a high scoring game. Over is the play tonight.

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