Kemba Walker and the Boston Celtics host Paul George and the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday. The Celtics enter Thursday's action as winners of seven of the past eight games, which has them in the third spot in the Eastern Conference standings. Boston's 37-16 record is almost identical to L.A.'s 37-17 mark, and the Clippers also occupy the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference standings.
Tip-off for this one is set for 8:00 p.m ET from the TD Garden. Sportsbooks list the Celtics as two-point favorites, while the over-under for total points is 227.5 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: 227.5 points
- Clippers vs. Celtics money line: Boston -132, Los Angeles +112
- 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 Boston has been the better team on the year and as of late. For the season, only the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers have a better point differential than Boston. The Celtics are third in defensive efficiency and fifth in offensive efficiency -- both of which rank ahead of the Clippers. They've been one of the NBA's best at covering the spread when facing winning teams too, boasting a 71.4 percent ATS cover rate when facing teams who have won more than 55 percent of their games.
The home/road splits also favor the Celtics. L.A.'s +9.1 point differential at home drops to just +2.6 when on the road. Meanwhile, Boston has a +10 point differential when playing at home, and the Celtics haven't lost at the TD Garden in a month. The Celtics already beat a full-strength Clippers team in L.A. once this season, and they didn't have Gordon Hayward for that game. Now the tables have turned; the game is in Boston, the Celtics are fully healthy, and the Clippers are missing starting point guard Patrick Beverley (groin).
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 Kawhi Leonard and 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.