Portland Trailblazers (27-22) at Los Angeles Clippers (25-24)
We picked up an easy win last night, our third straight NBA winner, when we backed the Milwaukee Bucks at home against the Philadelphia 76ers. This was more situational betting from me as I just didn’t see how the Sixers could perform well playing back to backs on the road. Especially after getting torched for 122 points by OKC the night before.
As I suspected would be the case, the Sixers looked tired in the second half and didn’t have their legs in their shots all night long. You want a fun stat that shows you just how tired those legs were last night? The Sixers shot 7% from 3-point land. 7%! They shot just 2/26 from three. That is the worst team 3-point shooting performance since 2014. It is no wonder the Bucks won and covered easily, 107-95.
And one other dirty little secret that Philly doesn’t like to announce, Joel Embiid very rarely plays the back side of back to backs. They are too worried about his back giving out. He won’t ever show up on the injury report, but he also won’t show up on the court either. Remember that the next time you see the Sixers playing on consecutive nights.
Today I will break down the matchup between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Portland Trailblazers will look to stay hot tonight as they travel to Los Angeles to face the Clippers. Portland has won five out of their last six games and got a nice three-day break before setting out for the City of Angels. The Clippers have been hot as well, winners of eight out of their last eleven games. The Blazers are -2-point road favorites. The game total over-under is set at 216.5 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM PST from the Staples Center in L.A.
This line opened up last night at Clippers -2.5-points. It has flip-flopped completely this morning as the Blazers are now -2-point favorites. What could cause such a giant shift in a number so fast? How about trading away your best player and the face of the franchise? The Los Angeles Clippers have traded away Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons for a couple of middling players and a first and second-round draft pick.
It is not known yet if the group of players that L.A acquired will be in uniform tonight, so it is likely they will be playing very short-handed tonight. At best, the Clips will be playing with newcomers Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, who have yet to even met their teammates or practiced with them. What we do know is that the Clippers won’t have Griffin, Brice Johnson, and Willie Reed. You can expect the Clippers to be on a very short rotation and I would bet you will hear a lot of negativity from the L.A home crowd.
The Clippers had been hot recently since Griffin came back from injury and it looked like he was going to be enough to push them into the playoffs in the Western Conference. That was clearly not the direction that management wanted to go, so they decided to blow up the roster and push the restart button. This is the proverbial white flag going up for L.A., and I am willing to bet the fans stop showing up too.
It is always hard to start over in the NBA, but if you aren’t getting better, you are getting worse, and the Clippers were a seven seed at best this year. They would much rather tank and get a Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, or Trae Young in the draft next year.
The NBA draft will be loaded next year, and the Clippers didn’t want to miss out. It was the right basketball move, and I expect more moves to come. I will be shocked if Deandre Jordan doesn’t get traded before the deadline. It is full rebuild mode in L.A. right now, and I expect a lot of losses the rest of the way out for the Clippers.
I could go into how hot the Blazers are right now. How they look poised to make a push for a deep run in the Western Conference playoffs. But in reality, this bet, today, doesn’t have a lot to do with the Portland Trailblazers. I am betting against the Clippers tonight. I am happy I get to back a solid team that is playing well at the moment, but I would have backed just about anyone tonight.
It is almost worse for the Clippers that they have to play at home tonight. I can see Deandre Jordan pouting early on and walking up and down the court, and I expect the fans to be vicious. The Clippers were a joke of a franchise before Griffin showed up and they are headed back in that direction again. That is going to be a tough pill to swallow for Clippers fans.
I expect this line to keep moving Portland’s direction, and understandably so. Those of you that got it early at Portland +2.5, congrats. I am booking my action at Portland -2 and could see it get to -5 or more. I wouldn’t go too crazy backing Portland at a huge number, the Clippers are at home, and they will likely give some effort, but at -2 I love it.
Give me the Portland Trailblazers -2-points tonight in L.A.