Clippers vs. Pelicans Pick NBA – December 31st

When things are going good, your team hits two meaningless free throws in the final seconds and you eek out a one-point cover. When they are going bad, you just don’t get those breaks. It feels like bad luck has followed me this week in NBA picks as we notched our sixth loser in seven picks and the third by one point or less. Last night was a half-point loss as the Bulls kept letting the Pacers back in the game en route to a 102-100 win – and yet another one-point loser. Yuck.

Today is the final day of 2015, so there is no better time than today to leave the losing ways in the past and resolve to make 2016 chock full of winning picks. There are just six games to choose from tonight, including the Warriors playing the back-end of a back-to-back following their Steph Curry-less blowout loss. It looks like Steph is on the shelf again tonight, so it will be interesting to see if (and by how much) the Warriors are underdogs for the first time this season.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Los Angeles Clippers at New Orleans Pelicans -3

What better way to shake up a losing streak than to go against all conventional wisdom and instead back a red-hot team defying logic. The Clippers have a chance to finish off a five-game road trip sweep tonight – all since losing All Star Blake Griffin to injury. The bench has been enormous – a huge problem area for the Clipps most of the season – and the improved balance and depth have led to awesome results. They are averaging over 48 points during the streak after being close to 30 most of the year.

JJ Reddick has been shooting with deadly accuracy. He led the team with 26 points in their last outing to compliment Austin Rivers’ season high 22. This is good news for the Clippers, as JJ has averaged 22 against the Pelicans in their last four meetings. It’s nice to have him going well heading into a matchup where they have historically relied on him.

New Orleans has been better lately, but still pretty disappointing overall. They have lost two of their last three games at home and enter at just 10-21 on the season. The Clippers have won 8 of their last 10 meeting with New Orleans and won by an average of 11.1 points. They’ve shown a nice short-term ability to adapt to life without Blake, and I expect them to finish off the road trip the same way tonight.

Free Pick: Los Angeles Clippers +3

Chris Scheeren / Author