NBA Picks and Predictions: Los Angeles Clippers at Charlotte Bobcats

Blake-Griffin-clippers-1LA Clippers at Charlotte
Time: 7 PM ET, Jan 22, 2014
Spread: LAC -6.5
Total: 199

Betting odds courtesy of Bovada

The Charlotte Bobcats have improved just enough this season to play its way into the dreary playoff picture of the Eastern Conference. Even seven games below .500 at 18-25, the Bobcats would be the eighth seed if the playoffs began today. Even so, the club is not even a winning club at home and will host the L.A. Clippers in a game NBA oddsmakers at Bovada are favoring the Clippers by 6.5-points.

The Bobcats won 100-95 at home over Toronto on Monday night and have won three of its past five contests, but even with the improvements, this is still a team with a negative (-2.8 points) differential. The Cats are a slow paced team that controls its opponents to just 96.8 points per game, but the team scores just 94.

Al Jefferson gives the Cats a premier scorer on the interior, but he is suspect at the free throw line. Kemba Walker has improved and is the team’s best scorer, but the Cats have to get him more scoring options to dish the ball to. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has a long ways to go as a scorer, and the Bobcats will likely be losing its draft pick to the Bulls as part of the Tyrus Thomas deal.

Doc Rivers has improved the Clippers’ “D” but it is still a high paced attack. The Clips rank 3rd in the NBA in scoring (105.8 points per game) and allow 100.2 points per game. Chris Paul is a big part of why the Clips are 4th in assists per game (23.8) as the point guard is posting averages of 19.6 points and 11.2 assists per game. Blake Griffin has shown expanded offensive capabilities this season and is posting a 22.4 PER while averaging 22.5 points and 10 rebounds per game.

The Clips are even more dangerous with both Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick healthy. The tandem is averaging a combined 33. points per game. DeAndre Jordan has turned into an absolute monster on the boards this year, averaging 13.7 rebounds per game. The Clips just seem to have all the right pieces in place, including depth in the form of Darren Collison, Jared Dudley, Matt Barnes. This could be the year the Clips emerge from the West.

LAC Trends: OVER 4-0 in last 4 overall; OVER 4-0 in last 4 when opponent scores 100 or more in previous game; OVER 5-0 in last 5 following ATS win.

CHA Trends: OVER 6-0 in last 6 when opponent scores 100 points or more in previous game; OVER 4-0 in last 4 on 1 days rest; 0-3-1 ATS in last 4 following ATS win.

Head-to-head: Clippers 7-1 ATS in last 8 meetings; 6-2-1 ATS in last 9 in Charlotte.

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