Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics (37-16) will host Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers (37-17) on Thursday in a potential 2020 NBA Finals preview. Jaylen Brown (calf) is considered probable for the Celtics, who otherwise have a clean injury report. The Clippers will be without starting point guard Patrick Beverley (groin) for the fourth consecutive game.
Tip-off for this one is set for 8:00 p.m ET from the TD Garden. Sportsbooks list the Celtics as two-point home favorites, while the over-under for total points is 227 in the latest Clippers vs. Celtics odds. Before making any Celtics vs. Clippers picks or NBA predictions, you’ll want to see what SportsLine’s advanced computer model has to say.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and last season it returned a whopping $4,280 on its top-rated NBA spread and money line picks. It’s already returned almost $3,000 in profit on all top-rated NBA picks during the 2019-20 season and entered Week 17 on a blistering 35-19 run on all top-rated NBA spread picks. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Clippers vs. Celtics spread: Celtics -2
- Clippers vs. Celtics over-under: 227 points
- Clippers vs. Celtics money line: Boston -129, Los Angeles +108
- BOS: The Celtics have the second-best ATS home cover rate in the NBA.
- LAC: The Clippers have covered just 37.5 percent of spreads when playing as a road underdog.
Why the Celtics can cover
The model is well aware that the Clippers have been much more beatable when playing away from the Staples Center. They’re 22-5 with a +9.1 point differential when playing in L.A., as opposed to 15-12 with a +2.6 point differential on the road. The Clippers have just a 48 percent cover rate ATS when playing on the road, and they’ve lost two of three on the current road trip.
Now the Clippers travel to Boston to take on a Celtics team that has been tough to beat at home. Boston is 22-5 with a +10 point differential when playing at home, and it hasn’t lost at the TD Garden in a month. The absence of Beverley is important in this matchup, as the Clippers now don’t have a good answer for Kemba Walker defensively. Walker has improved his percentages across the board when playing at home, and he should carve up the L.A. defense.
Why the Clippers can cover
Even so, Boston isn’t a lock to cover the Clippers vs. Celtics spread. The model has also factored in that the Clippers are one of the most imposing teams in the NBA when both Leonard and Paul George are healthy. L.A. ranks top-eight in point differential, rebounding rate, and both offensive and defensive efficiency this season, even though both superstars have missed several games.
The Clippers are almost completely healthy now, and they added veteran swingman Marcus Morris, who averaged 19 points per game for the Knicks. Morris provides the Clippers with even more length on the wing, as well as another complementary scoring option. When both George and Leonard have been on the court together, L.A.’s point differential per-100 possessions has improved drastically, up from +5.5 to +10.4. With those two and Lou Williams on the court at the same time, L.A.’s offense has averaged an eye-popping 117.3 points per 100 possessions, and their point differential per-100 possessions is +13.2.
How to make Clippers vs. Celtics picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning under on the total. In fact, the model is projecting Leonard, George, Tatum, and Walker all to finish below their scoring averages. It also has generated an against-the-spread pick that says one side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations.
So who wins Clippers vs. Celtics? And which side of the spread cashes in over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Celtics vs. Clippers spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.