All these personnel changes with the Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics should help the Under beat the NBA odds this Wednesday.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Boston Celtics
Wednesday, December 29, 2021 – 7:30 PM EST at TD Garden
The Los Angeles Clippers have been through tougher times than this. And times are indeed tough: Paul George has joined Kawhi Leonard on the injured list, alongside many others who will be missing Wednesday’s game with the Boston Celtics. It’s bad, but pretty much everything that happened with this team before 2011 was far worse.
Los Angeles (17-16 SU, 15-18 ATS) might even have some contrarian betting value for your NBA picks. However, the Celtics (16-17 SU, 18-14-1 ATS) have seven men in league protocol at press time, including their franchise player in Jayson Tatum, so they’re in much the same boat as the Clippers – who are 5-point road dogs at DraftKings as we go to press.
The Under might be the right choice instead, at least once the totals hit the board. There’s been a more recent trend towards the Over, which went 25-14 the past seven days, but these specific teams have what it takes to get the job done.
The Clippers have the Under at 20-13 this year and 8-3 in their past 11; that includes 4-3 in seven games that George sat out. And the Celtics (Under 18-14-1) lost 108-103 to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, slipping below the 214.5-point total in their first game without Tatum.
It’s not just the star players who are missing. Isaiah Hartenstein (ankle) has been one of the best performers for the Clippers this year, Nicolas Batum (ankle) has filled in admirably for Leonard, and Reggie Jackson (protocols) is… well, he’s fallen off a bit after providing league-average play for Los Angeles the previous two years, but he’s still an experienced point guard on a team that’s hurting for offense right now. Less Jackson means more Eric Bledsoe, which means more defense and even less scoring punch.
Let Freedom Reign
The Celtics have their own problems in the backcourt. Marcus Smart is listed as day-to-day with a lacerated right hand that kept him out of Monday’s game; however, it’s possible Smart makes his return Wednesday night, and his defensive presence would help the Under get paid. Enes Freedom, a noted non-defender, is on the COVID-19 list and is not expected back until January.
Otherwise, Boston isn’t in too bad shape – the other guys in the protocol are end of the bench or replacement players. This is one of the slowest teams in the league, ranking No. 26 overall in pace at 98.2 possessions per game, and they’ll be playing a Clippers team (99.6 possessions, No. 17) that isn’t exactly burning up the court. Throw in the recent return of three-time NBA All-Defensive first-teamer Serge Ibaka to regular minutes for L.A., and you’ve got a tasty recipe for the Under. Bet accordingly.
NBA Pick: Under 209.5 (-110) with BetMGM