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L.A. Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers Gambling & NBA Handicapping Prediction

Los Angeles vs Portland NBA Picks

The Portland Trail Blazers have surprised everybody this season, and they’ve done so in dramatic fashion. [ad-4468020]

Los Angeles (20-10) @ Portland (23-5)
Thursday, Dec. 26 10:30 PM ET
Spread: Portland -4
Total: 212.5

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They’re the No. 1 team in the NBA (tied with the Indiana Pacers) following Christmas, and they’ve beaten every top-nine team in the league that they’ve faced.

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As it turns out, the Los Angeles Clippers are not one of those teams, but the two will battle on Dec. 26 at the Moda Center in the Pacific Northwest.

Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Clippers are coming off of a tough loss to the Golden State Warriors, and they’re underdogs in this one, as they’re the No. 4 team out West going up against No. 1.

Entering this game, the Clips are fifth in scoring (105 points per game), and 11th in points allowed (99.3 points per game).

There are two key matchups to watch for: Chris Paul versus Damian Lillard, and Blake Griffin versus LaMarcus Aldridge.

When looking at the latter, you have two big men with contrasting styles. Griffin is going to attack the rim every chance he gets, while Aldridge will spread the floor with his mid-range jumper.

Expect the two styles to look different, but picture a physical battle down low, as Aldridge will attack when looking to draw fouls.

At the point guard position, you have arguably the game’s best floor general taking on one of the league’s up-and-coming stars.

Paul will have a field day against a youngster who is still improving on defense, as he’ll be able to slice his way through pick-and-roll defense en route to a layup or a lob to Griffin.
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On defense, Lillard will force him to step out on the perimeter, as the second-year player has shown he can score from virtually anywhere on the court.

Portland

Expect three-point shooting in this game from Portland. The Trail Blazers take the fourth-most three-pointers in the NBA, and they’re No. 1 in three-point percentage.

No team in the Association makes as many long-range shots as they do (10.1), and they’re the No. 1 scoring team because of it.

Conversely, the Blazers are allowing three-point shooting on defense by design.

They recognize that they aren’t good at defending the paint, so instead of brining double teams and leaving the perimeter open, they’re focusing on stopping shots from downtown.

The Clippers are shooting a horrible percentage from long range this season (33.3 percent), which is even more of a reason they’re not likely to shoot well on Thursday.

This game is on national television—just the second time this season the Blazers can make that claim. Local fans have bought into the hype, but across the league, there are still doubters who don’t see a national title contender.

Expect this one to be close, but don’t be shocked if Portland comes away with another dramatic win.

Prediction: Los Angeles -4

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