The Boston Celtics would like to put a terrible February (5-6) behind them by completing their West Coast road trip with a fourth straight win. But the Los Angeles Clippers want to turn their four-game win streak into a five-game streak while sweeping their season series with the Celtics.
Boston Celtics @ Los Angeles Clippers
Monday 11th March 2019
- Spread: Boston by 1.5
- Over/Under: 226
- Money Line: Celtics -120.48; Clippers +100.00
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February was not a good month for the Celtics and not just because they went 5-6. They struggled to find any consistency on the floor and gave up massive leads to inferior teams. It seems that the road trip they are looking to wrap up Monday night was exactly what they needed.
It started with a dominant win over the Golden State Warriors, 128-95. A close one over Sacramento (111-109) followed that game. Saturday night they dispatched the Lakers with relative ease, 120-107. A win over the Clippers will give them a West Coast sweep on this trip and should send them home with all the confidence in the world.
With the regular season winding down, they can’t afford to lose if they want to overtake the Indiana Pacers for the No. 4 seed and home-court advantage in the first round (Indiana is ahead by one game).
Kyrie Irving sat out against Sacramento but has otherwise shot well during this road trip hitting 19 of 33 shots including seven of 13 from three-point range.
Los Angeles Clippers
When the Clippers traded away then-leading scorer Tobias Harris, it looked like they might have been giving up on the season. But Danilo Gallinari returned from injury around the same time and helped pick up the slack along with Lou Williams.
Now, as the regular season begins to wind down, they find themselves in a three-way fight for the No. 6 seed in the West (currently tied with Utah and San Antonio). This, of course, makes every game important for the rest of the season.
With how they have been playing of late, the Clippers will likely be as confident as ever entering Monday night’s game. They have won their last four games and five of their last six including an eight-point win over the Oklahoma City Thunder their last time out.
“We’ve got great energy in the locker room right now,” Williams said after Friday’s win over the Thunder, via the Los Angeles Times. “Guys are playing at a high clip, playing with a lot of confidence….”
Boston Celtics @ Los Angeles Clippers Head-to-Head
The Celtics and Clippers have only played one other time this year, a game which the Clippers won back on February 9, 123-112. Boston had led by 28 during the game, but the Clippers outscored the Celtics, 70-38, in the second half.
From a historical perspective, the Celtics have dominated the Clippers winning 88 of the 129 regular season games the two franchises have played. Boston has also bested the Clippers in the playoffs, 8-4. But the Clippers have won eight of the last 11.
Odds and Predictions
Boston has been playing well on their road trip and should feel good heading into Monday night’s game with the Clippers. Beating Golden State is a big deal, whether they are slumping or not. However, they will need to be dialed in from the onset against these Clippers or risk falling into an early hole.
The Clippers will need Lou Williams and Danilo Gallinari to get off to strong starts and force the Celtics to play from behind. It would help if their defense can get on target early and keep Irving or anyone else from heating up too early.
So—who’s going to win?
The easy thing to do would be to pick the Celtics since they appear to be on a roll. But while confidence is great, false confidence built off easy wins can set them up for a fall. Take the Clippers (+100.00) to win over the Celtics (-120.48), straight up and against the spread (+1.5).
As for the over/under (226), neither team has been allowing opponents to go over 110 in their last three games. Take the under.
Expert Betting Tip
Whether it is the defensive play of one team over the other or one team stopping the other, these guys will not combine for more than 220 points let alone 226.