Celtics vs. Clippers Odds, Pick & Preview: Boston Presents Value in Los Angeles (December 8)
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jayson Tatum.
- The Celtics are underdogs in Los Angeles against the Clippers on Wednesday.
- Boston lost on Tuesday to the Lakers, but there's reason to believe the C's have betting value.
- Joe Dellera breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.
Celtics vs. Clippers Odds
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Celtics will run it back at the Staples Center as they take on the Los Angeles Clippers after taking a 117-102 loss in the building less than 24 hours ago.
Can the Celtics fend off this LA squad or will they leave the City of Angels on a sour note?
Boston’s Defense Remains Elite
The Celtics anxiously await the return of Jaylen Brown, who is questionable for this matchup due to his right hamstring. He has missed the last three games and in his absence, Dennis Schroder has remained in the starting lineup. In the 12 games that Brown has missed this season, Schroder has averaged 22.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists on 51.8% shooting in 35.1 minutes.
Aside from Brown, be sure to check in on the status of Al Horford and Romeo Langford, both of whom played last night but missed the prior game with injuries.
Despite the Celtics’ loss last night to a Lakers team that may have played its best game all season, they have been defensive juggernauts this season. Boston’s adjusted Defensive Rating (points allowed per 100 possessions adjusted for the strength of opposing offenses faced) is ranked seventh at 107.0, per Dunks & Threes.
Boston defends every shot well, with the exception of at the rim, but that’s not all that surprising considering its personnel. On the plus side, the Celtics allow attempts at the rim at the fourth-lowest frequency in the league so those high-percentage looks are limited, per Cleaning the Glass.
Clippers Offense Stays Afloat Thanks to George
The Clippers’ injury report is mainly Nicolas Batum, who is questionable due to the league’s health and safety protocols. If he does return, I’d expect him to be eased into the rotation while Marcus Morris either continues to start and not take a huge hit to his minutes.
The Clippers are floating around .500 in a stacked Western Conference, but they’ve struggled a bit against teams in the top 10 of point differential, going just 1-3 in those matchups with a -7.0 Net Rating, per Cleaning the Glass.
Part of the issue for the Clippers has been their reliance on Paul George and lack of true offensive options outside of him and Reggie Jackson. It’s led them to the 24th-ranked offense in the NBA, scoring just 106.9 points per 100 possessions.
The Clippers’ eFG% is just 52.2%, which is about league average. It’s truly buoyed by George’s elite efficiency from midrange and on corner 3-pointers. Los Angeles just lacks true secondary options and its bottom 10 Offensive Rebound% (25.2) does not afford it many second-chance points.
If the Clippers go cold from the field, they do not have much to supplement their offense.
While these teams have identical Net Ratings (1.1), this fails to capture just how bad the Clippers’ offense has been. Los Angeles barely survived Portland, which was without both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum on Monday, and now faces a Celtics team that is looking to leave Los Angeles on a high note.
The Clippers’ recent gameplay is truly uninspiring and I think this line should be much closer to a pick’em. And don’t be worried about the Celtics playing last night since they’re 4-1 this season against the spread on the back end of a back-to-back. They hammered the Lillard-less Blazers by 28 on Saturday night after losing in Utah on Friday.
I’ll gladly take this Celtics team that is getting points.
Pick: Celtics +4
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