Clippers vs. Celtics Betting Picks, Betting Odds & Predictions: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for LA-Boston

Credit:

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Kemba Walker #8 of the Boston Celtics.

  • Our staff reveals their favorite bets for the Thursday tilt between the Celtics and Clippers.
  • With Jaylen Brown out, Boston faces a unique challenge against LA's lineup.

Clippers at Celtics Picks, Betting Odds & Predictions

  • Spread: Celtics -2
  • Over/Under: 228
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: TNT

Odds as of Thursday and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.


The first matchup between these two teams in November was an overtime thriller that just happened to be the first game with both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard on the court together for the Los Angeles Clippers.

On that particular evening, the Clips pulled out the close win on their home floor, but the Celtics have a chance to split the series in Boston in the last game before the all-star break.

Which team has the edge in tonight’s game? Our NBA experts detail their favorite bets for Thursday’s marquee matchup.

Betting Trends to Know

The Celtics have done well in this spot, going 16-10-1 against the spread at home and 20-15-2 ATS as favorites. The Clippers, meanwhile, are just 13-14 ATS on the road and 4-3 ATS as underdogs. Interestingly, the under is 6-1 when the Clippers have been dogs this season.

Bryan Mears: A Game of Uncertainty

Both teams are coming off tough losses on national TV on Tuesday night, with the Clippers falling on the road in Philly and the Celtics losing in Houston.

So far, the public is pretty split on the spread: The Celtics are getting 53% of the bets. The money is heavier on the Celtics, who are getting 66% of that. The public is also divided on the over (51%), although the money is almost all on the over at 97%.

There’s been just one steam move so far on the Celtics at -1.5. As a result, this line has ticked up to -2.

The Celtics have definitely been the better team of late: Over the past two weeks, they’ve ranked third with a +7.3 Net Rating; the Clips are 13th with a +1.2 mark.

The reason I don’t have a strong lean on this game is just the uncertainty in this one. Jaylen Brown will miss Thursday’s game, and while I don’t think he’s as valuable to this team as Jayson Tatum or Kemba Walker, his presence will be missed in this matchup. Against Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and even Marcus Morris, you need all the big wings you can find.

The other piece of uncertainty is just the motivation here. I don’t think Kawhi will sit out, as he sometimes does, but I do wonder if the Clips are just ready to get to Chicago for All-Star weekend and have a break. They’ve shown they have a switch, which will get flipped in time for the playoffs, but it does make them a little more volatile than some teams in the regular season.

I think both teams are about even when adjusting for home-court advantage for the Celtics (assuming the Clips are motivated), so despite the sharp action on that side, I would probably take the points considering I think it’s a coin flip.

John Ewing: Following Sharp Line Movement

The Celtics-Clippers total opened 227 and has quickly been bet up past that number. Sharps are responsible for the line movement.

We know this because while 52% of tickets were on the over, this accounted for 92% of all dollars wagered on the total at the time of writing. When there is a higher percentage of dollars than tickets on a bet it is an indication of professional action.

Historically, it has been profitable to follow such line movement.

Since 2015, when we began tracking dollar percentages, bettors following this system have gone 337-266-7 (56%). A $100 bettor would have returned a profit $5,356.

Pros don’t always win, but being on the same side as the smart money is a profitable long term strategy.

The PICK: Over 228

Brandon Anderson: A Battle of Attrition

Does everyone else feel as exhausted as me? I just feel like everyone needs this all-star break, and both of these rosters as much as anyone.

The Celtics and Clippers can be feisty defensive teams when they’re clicking, and I just have a feeling this one could be a bit of a slog with tired teams ready for the break.

The 228 feels a bit high anyway and I could see this game turning into a bit of a blowout in either direction where one side gets a bit behind and just decides to hit the break early.

Even if that doesn’t happen and we get a great game, I see a cagey battle where possessions are slowed down and points come at a premium. I’ll definitely take the under here.

The PICK: Under 228


Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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