The Portland Trail Blazers face the LA Clippers on Monday in the second of four matchups between the two Western Conference squads this season.
LA previously defeated Portland 123-111 on opening night (Oct. 25). However, the Clippers have shaken up their roster since then with their mid-season acquisition of star guard James Harden. So, they will have even more offensive firepower this time around.
Entering Monday, both teams are trending in opposite directions in the crowded West standings. The Blazers (6-15) have lost three straight games. Meanwhile, the Clippers (11-10) have won three straight.
Portland Trail Blazers vs LA Clippers: Preview, betting tips and prediction
The Blazers and Clippers’ matchup tips off at 10:30 p.m. EST at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California. It will be broadcast live on Bally Sports SoCal and ROOT SPORTS/ROOT SPORTS Plus. It can also be streamed live on NBA League Pass and FuboTV.
Moneyline: Trail Blazers (+600) vs Clippers (-900)
Spread: Trail Blazers (+13.0) vs Clippers (-13.0)
Over/Under: Trail Blazers (o220.0) vs Clippers (u220.0)
Portland Trail Blazers vs LA Clippers: Preview
Entering Monday, the Blazers have several key veterans on their injury report. Center Deandre Ayton (knee) and guard Malcolm Brogdon (knee) are both listed as day-to-day and questionable.
Meanwhile, forwards Jerami Grant (concussion) and Ish Wainwright (knee) are listed as out. Additionally, big man Robert Williams III (knee) remains out for the season.
As for the Clippers, their injury report is far less extensive. Reserve guard Joshua Primo (knee) is listed as questionable. Meanwhile, backup big men Mason Plumlee (knee) and Moussa Diabate are out.
Portland Trail Blazers vs LA Clippers: Predicted lineups
The Blazers could once again be without as many as three starters on Monday (Ayton, Brogdon and Grant). Assuming this is the case, they will likely roll out the same starting lineup that they did during their 125-112 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday.
That lineup featured offensive-minded guard Anfernee Simons and defensive specialist Matisse Thybulle in the backcourt. Meanwhile, sophomore wing Shaedon Sharpe started in the frontcourt alongside rookies Toumani Camara and Duop Reath.
As for the Clippers, they should have their regular starting five featuring Harden and shooting guard Terance Mann in the backcourt. Rounding out their frontcourt will likely be star wings Paul George and Kawhi Leonard alongside big man Ivica Zubac.
Portland Trail Blazers vs LA Clippers: Betting tips
Ahead of Monday’s matchup, Leonard has an over/under points prop of 23.5. The two-time NBA champion is coming off a season-best 41-point performance in the Clippers’ 117-103 win over the Utah Jazz on Friday. However, he scored 23 points or fewer in his previous three games. He also scored exactly 23 against the Blazers on opening night.
Given that Portland is shorthanded, Leonard should be able to get some easy baskets early in the contest. However, the game will likely be a blowout, leading him to take an extended second-half rest. So, it may make sense to take his under.
Meanwhile, Leonard’s teammate Zubac has an over/under rebounds prop of 9.5. Zubac has recorded at least 12 rebounds in four of his last seven games. He also recorded 12 rebounds against Portland on opening night.
This time around, Zubac will be taking on a Blazers squad that could be without both of its top big men (Ayton and Williams). Even if his playing time ends up being limited, he should be able to feast on the boards. So, it makes sense to take his over.
Portland Trail Blazers vs LA Clippers: Prediction
With both teams at full strength, LA has a much stronger and more proven roster than Portland. However, with the Blazers being shorthanded, the talent disparity between the two squads should be even more glaring on Monday.
So, if the Clippers come out focused, they should be in store for a rather easy home win. Given their star power, they should also be able to cover the spread (-13.0) against the Blazers’ 30th-ranked offense (105.5 offensive rating).