NBA Picks: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers
Thursday, 2/16/12, 10:30 PM EST, TV:  TNT
Opening Point Spread:  Los Angeles -1.5
Current Betting Line:  Los Angeles -2
Opening Total:  192
Current Total:  189.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Los Angeles Clippers head back out on the road Thursday night

Los Angeles heads out on the road again after capturing a 102-84 win over the Washington Wizards as 13-point home favorites, while going “under” the total for the fourth time in five games.  The Clippers will look to get major production out of forward Caron Butler, who is averaging 23.5 points and 8.0 rebounds over his last four games versus the Trail Blazers.  He is averaging 15.1 points and 4.0 rebounds in 32.5 minutes of play this season.  Los Angeles is 10-3 ATS as a favorite and the “under” is 9-5 in that situation this year.

The Clippers are 7-6 on the road this season, but just 3-5 in that situation when taking on Western Conference opponents.  Both teams have gained a victory in the season series up to this point, with Los Angeles dropping a 105-97 contest as 5.5-point road underdogs in its last trip to the Rose Garden on Jan. 10.  Power forward Blake Griffin score a team-high 23 points last night on 10-of-19 shooting, which could carry over into tonight’s showdown due to Portland being without the injured LaMarcus Aldridge.

Portland escaped with a 93-91 win over the Golden State Warriors last night as five-point road underdogs, but that doesn’t mean a winning streak is on the horizon.  The Trail Blazers haven’t won back-to-back games since Jan. 23-24, while posting a 1-4 ATS mark in their last five games following a straight-up victory.  The franchise has won nine of the past 10 games in this particular series, holding Los Angeles to under 100 points in nine of those.  Portland is 10-5 ATS at home and the “over” is 9-6 in those contests.

The Trail Blazers have won five straight games at the Rose Garden in this series, covering the last four meetings against the spread.  Portland is extremely balanced offensively even without Aldridge in the lineup, with five other players averaging in double figures in scoring.  It’s also the only team in the league to have two different players that come off the bench that rank in the top 15 in the league as a reserve.

Bettors will likely back the Trail Blazers due to their 27-13 ATS mark as a home underdog of 4.5 points or less, while the Clippers are 3-7-1 ATS as a road favorite in the same point range.

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