Pro Basketball Picks: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Clippers
Friday, 3/30/12, 10:30 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Los Angeles -8
Current Betting Line:  Los Angeles -8
Opening Total:  188
Current Total:  187.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Los Angeles Clippers have won two of three meetings with the Portland Trail Blazers this year

Portland has alternated wins and losses over its last six games, as it comes off a 99-93 win over the New Orleans Hornets as 8.5-point home favorites last night.  The Trail Blazers have also gone “over” the total in three of their last four games.  All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, as he’s been dealing with a sore right hip injury.  “I’m just playing through it,” commented Aldridge after Thursday’s win.  Portland is 9-16 ATS on the road this year and the “under” is 13-12 in those contests.

The Blazers have dropped two of three meetings with the Clippers this year, including a 93-88 defeat as three-point road underdogs on Jan. 1, inside the Staples Center.  Portland has still managed to win 13 of the past 16 games in the series, including six of eight in Southern California.  In three games during the 2010-11 series, Portland outscored Los Angeles by an average of 11.3 points per game.  Point guard Raymond Felton picked up his third double-double of the season in scoring 12 points and dishing off 10 assists versus the Hornets.

Los Angeles is enjoying its longest win streak since winning four games in a row from Jan. 26-Feb. 1, capturing a 103-86 victory over the Phoenix Suns as seven-point home favorites for their third straight win.  “Winning is the best medicine,” commented Clippers forward Blake Griffin about the franchise’s recent mood.  He is one of two players in the league that averages 20.5-plus points and 10.5-plus rebounds per game, joining Orlando’s Dwight Howard in that category.  Los Angeles is 0-8 ATS after playing three consecutive home games this season.

The Clippers are 18-8 overall at home this season, including an 11-6 mark versus Western Conference opponents.  Los Angeles has been led on the court offensively by the play of All-Star point guard Chris Paul over the last three games, as he’s averaging 12.7 assists per game over that span.  He is also averaging 21.8 points and 9.2 assists in the team’s 25 wins this season.

Bettors will likely back the Clippers due to the favorite being 23-9 ATS in this series, while the Trail Blazers are 6-13 ATS as an underdog.

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