Late Night NBA Betting: L.A. Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers

Chris Paul is just a notch below his typical 20 point, 10 assist mark.
Chris Paul is just a notch below his typical 20 point, 10 assist mark.

L.A. Clippers at Portland
Time: 10:30 PM EST Jan 14
Spread: POR -4
Total: 208

Betting odds c/o Bovada

The L.A. Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers are both contenders in the West, but it has been the Blazers who have continued to assert itself as potentially the team to beat after a hot Golden State Warriors squad. Portland will try to maintain its home dominance, as the Blazers are 18-3 at home. Hosting the Clippers, Portland will find itself 4-point favorites according to NBA oddsmakers at Bovada.

The Blazers have a plus-7.4 point differential and have won four straight, and eight of its past 10. Portland leads the NBA in rebounding (46.5 per game) while also boasting the toughest defense, holding teams to 96.4 points per game.

The defensive efforts begin with Nicolas Batum, whose abilities render him a future first-team All-NBA defender. His length makes him a lot taller than the 6’8” he is, and against the Orlando Magic on Saturday (Jan 10) he had four blocks in the first 16 minutes of game time, denying both Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo back to back on one possession.

Damian Lillard has been the usual threat he is, and he scored 39 in the victory over the L.A. Lakers on Jan 5 then followed it up with a 34 point effort again against the Lakers on Jan 11 (last Sunday). LaMarcus Aldridge remains a solid source of offense at any given point since his baseline step-back is entirely unblockable. Aldridge is averaging 22.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game while Lillard puts up 22.2 points and 6.3 assists per game, both posting PERs well above the average (21.7 Aldridge, 23.2 Lillard).

The Blazers have a strong starting five rounded out by Wesley Matthews and Robin Lopez. Lopez is backed up by the crafty Chris Kaman and an improving Meyers Leonard, giving Portland three legitimate centers to throw at the bigger teams in the NBA. Lopez is out until early February with a hand injury.

Also, Portland is still waiting on the payout for C.K. McCollum who has struggled to crack the rotation (appeared in just 24 games thus far). For the meantime, Steve Blake remains an adequate backup to Lillard at the point guard position.

The Clips continue as a well-oiled machine. The team ranks 5th in the NBA in points per game and 5th in assists. There is no better formula for a team than a premier point guard and guys who can finish around the hole, and that is just what the Clips have.

Chris Paul is still arguably the best point guard in the NBA, wildly efficient, and can keep his dribble better than anyone in recent NBA history. His 4.8 assist to turnover ratio attests to that, and his 25.5 PER is the result of his high shooting percentages, great ball handling and adaptability in tough situations offensively.

Paul has greatly enhanced the talents of both Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Griffin has not hurt his own cause, greatly enhancing his offensive arsenal, scoring 22.7 points per game and snatching 7.7 board, as well.

Most impressively, Griffin averages five assists per game from the small forward spot, which is mostly a testament to how well this Clippers team clicks with one another. Each player knows his role, and J.J. Redick to Jamal Crawford in the rotation is as solid a shooting tandem as seen on any team. Matt Barnes still plays big minutes and makes an impact beyond the statistically unimpressive 9.4 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. Spencer Hawes is the other key rotation player, a capable court-stretcher and the best complement to an interior dominator like Jordan.

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