Clippers-Blazers Betting Preview: Will Portland Rebound After Long Road Trip?
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Damian Lillard
Betting odds: Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers
- Spread: Blazers -4.5
- Over/Under: 226.5
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
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The Blazers finished off their extended road trip earlier this week with blowout losses to the Bucks and Warriors. Can they get back on track against a surprising, feisty Clippers team? Our analysts discuss.
Moore: What I’m Watching For Tonight
Portland is coming back down to Earth after a terrific start. T
he Blazers had a Net Rating of +11.5 in October. That’s down to +1.4 in November despite a 7-4 record. Most of that is their beatdown from Milwaukee, but it remains notable.
- I keep wondering if you had Tobias Harris (21-9 on 52-44-80 splits) and you traded for Kemba Walker, how good would your team be? Do you need a third star? The Clippers are good, they’re one of the best teams in the West so far this season, but a guy like Walker takes them to the next level. Meanwhile, Harris is going to make things awfully tough for the Clippers to get him back at a discount this summer.
- The Clippers are 11.9 points per 100 possessions worse with Avery Bradley on the floor. What happened to that guy?
- The Clippers have five guys with a 54%+ effective field goal percentage on spot-up shots this season. They do this despite playing Marcin Gortat, Montrezl Harrell and Boban Marjanovic significant minutes. Never get sucked into believing you can’t create space without a stretch-5. — Matt Moore
Mears: How I’m Betting the Over/Under
The Clippers are 12-6 to the over and the Blazers are 11-8. This line opened at a high 226.5.
Should we keep riding the over?
I’m not so sure for a couple reasons. First, the Blazers are finally home off a six-game road trip, which finished with two embarrassing blowout losses. They allowed a combined 268 points in those games to the Bucks and Warriors. So it’s easy to think that the Blazers will come out at home with a renewed defensive urgency.
Further, the data suggests there isn’t some fatal flaw: They’ve forced the fifth-most shots considered “very tightly” contested — a defender within two feet. Opponents have hit them at a top-10 rate, however, which should regress.
In this matchup, the Clippers largely rely on offensive production by getting to the line: They rank first in the league by a good amount in free throw rate. the Blazers, however, fouls at the second-lowest rate in the league.
Make the Clips into more a pure jump-shooting team in the half court, and things will get much tougher.
The Clippers surprisingly sit first in the NBA in effective field goal percentage allowed. I mentioned above that the Blazers rank fifth in forcing contested shots; well, the Clips rank first. They allow the second-fewest 3-pointers overall and from the corner, and they’re excellent at contesting in the mid-range.
You get the point: There are a lot of statistical reasons to think that this could be a more defensive affair than this total suggests. I believe this line is a couple points too high. Take the under. — Bryan Mears
Betting Trends to Know
The Blazers went 2-4 straight-up in their six-game road trip, including those back-to-back losses. As coach of the Blazers and Bucks, Terry Stotts’ teams are 6-1 SU and 5-2 against the spread when returning home off consecutive road losses.
The Blazers allowed 125 and 143 points to the Warriors and Bucks, respectively, in their most recent two games. Under Stotts, Portland has not fared well coming off consecutive sloppy defensive performances.
The Blazers are 20-33 ATS (37.7%) after allowing 110 or more points in consecutive games, losing bettors 14.1 units and making Stotts the least-profitable coach in the NBA in this spot by more than 7.0 full units. — Evan Abrams
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.