Los Angeles Clippers vs. Boston Celtics Betting Preview – NBA, March 2, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| March 2, 2021 9:56 am PDT

The Clippers travel to Boston to take on the Celtics in one of the fixtures of the season, but it isn’t quite the top-of-the-table clash that we are used to, given the Celtics currently find themselves down in the sixth spot in the East. LA is third in the West, fractionally behind their bitter rivals, the Lakers, and a win tonight could see them move above them in the standings.

The recent head-to-head record is close, with each team winning two of the previous four meetings. It’s that close that two of the last three have gone into overtime, where they each picked up a victory. The Celtics won the most recent encounter in LA a little under a month ago. That was another close game in which the Celtics went on to win by four. This was despite the Clippers shooting at 51% and having made considerably more rebounds than the Celtics. Ultimately they made too many turnovers on the night, and the Celtics happily accepted this gratitude.

Despite the head-to-head record being close, the Clippers have averaged six more points per game in the previous ten meetings than the Celtics. This suggests that when the Clippers have won, it’s been by slightly more points than when the Celtics have won. They have both averaged 54 points at halftime during those games, meaning the Clippers have got stronger as the game progresses.

Another stat that stands out during these games is how poorly the Celtics have shot, making only 42% of their field goals.

Clippers vs. Celtics Odds

Clippers -3.5-110
Celtics +3.5-110
Clippers To Win-155
Celtics To Win+136
Over 224.5 Points-110
Under 224.5 Points-110

The spread looks about right here, but the points total seems a little low and could offer some value. When they met last month, the spread was bigger, which is odd as since then, the Celtics have dropped down the standings in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics have a negative record of 5-7 as the underdogs this season.

Clippers Analysis

The Clippers come into this game in uncharacteristic inconsistent form, having alternated wins and losses in their previous eight games. However, they will be hoping that continues tonight. As if it does, they will find themselves back in the win column following their defeat against the Bucks last time out. The Clippers will be disappointed with the result given they led heading into the fourth quarter and finished the game on a 9-0 run, which saw them lose 105-100.

They have won two-thirds of their 18 games on the road this season. Slightly concerning for them is the fact that they have lost two of their previous three road trips. The last time this happened this season, they went on to win the next three away fixtures.

Here are the latest betting trends for Los Angeles:

Bet Type Trend
Total Four of their previous five games have gone under the betting total.
SU The Clippers have won ten of their last 15 matches against Boston.
SU LA is 7-3 in their previous ten games on the road.
Total The total has gone over in five of their last six matches in Boston against the Celtics.
ATS They have won two-thirds of their previous 12 games against teams in the Eastern Conference.
ATS The Clippers have only won one of their last nine matches against teams based in the Atlantic Division.

The Clippers have an excellent offense that has been very accurate throughout the season, especially from three-point range, where they have the best record in the league. They also have the best success rate from the free-throw line, so the Celtics will have to stay disciplined against them.

If you wanted to be over-critical, you could say there is room for improvement in the rebounding department, but that hasn’t been too much of an issue to date.

They also have a good defense which has rebounded slightly better than their attack. None of their defensive stats particularly stands out because they defend by hogging the ball, and if their opponents don’t see much of it, they can’t harm them.

Despite the Clippers having an excellent season to date, they aren’t resting on their laurels, and they are looking to improve their roster by adding an experienced point guard. Presumably to help see them over the line and guide them in those closer contests like their recent defeat against the Bucks.

LA only has one doubt for tonight’s game, and that is Patterson, who could miss the game for personal reasons.

Celtic’s Analysis

The Celtics have struggled over the last five weeks and have dropped down to fourth in the Atlantic Division. However, they have posted back-to-back wins for the first time since the end of January by beating the Pacers and the Wizards, so perhaps their fortunes are about to change. Although the last time they did this, they went on to lose the next two matches.

Their recent upturn in form has coincided with Kemba Walker’s resurgence as he has now scored 20 plus points in four of his previous five games. If he can continue his excellent form, there is no doubt that the Celtics will continue to rise back up the rankings.

Like the Clipper’s away record, Boston has won two-thirds of their 15 home fixtures this season. Although their form has been sketchy as of late, it hasn’t been down to their home matches. They have won five of their previous seven home games, including the last three.

Here are the latest betting trends for Boston:

Bet Type Trend
ATS The Celtics have only won one of their last five matches.
Total Five of their previous seven games have gone over the betting total.
Total Only one of their last seven matches against the Clippers has failed to go over the points total.
ATS They have lost four of their previous five games against teams in the Western Conference.
SU Boston is 2-4 in their last six games against teams based in the Pacific Division.
Total The total has gone over in 11 of the Celtic’s previous 16 games played in March.

The Celtics have a poor offense this season that has struggled more often than not. Although they have shot reasonably well from deep, they will undoubtedly need to improve tonight to keep up with the Clippers in this department.

Boston has rebounded very well in attack, and this could be their key to victory tonight, especially against a team that doesn’t give up the ball easily. They haven’t always passed too well this season either, which is undoubtedly a concern.

They do have an excellent defense that is well organized, which it will have to be against a Clippers team that is shooting so well.

The Celtics have committed a high number of personal fouls this season which they will have to keep in check against LA tonight.

Boston will miss Smart and Langford tonight, and Brown is questionable to play as he missed the win over the Wizards last time out with a knee problem.

Clippers vs. Celtics Betting Pick

Pick
  • Over 224.5 Points
    -110

Both teams come into this game on the back of closely fought contests with very different outcomes. The Clippers will be disappointed with their loss against the bucks, while the Celtics will be riding high after their one-point victory over the Wizards. That fact will be an equalizer in this game as I believe the Clippers are a better team than the Celtics.

That could mean this is another close game between the two, and I think they will take each other on, which could help produce many points. They are both strong where the other team is weak, which they will look to exploit tonight. Both teams are good at shooting from distance, especially the Clippers, which could help the scoreboard tick over.

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