It may not be one of the Christmas Day matchups, but the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers should give fans much to feel blessed about on Saturday when they face off at Crypto.com Arena. Take a look at our complete Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Clippers predictions, betting picks, and full breakdown below, featuring each team’s projected starting lineups and the current betting odds.
Boston Celtics Vs. Los Angeles Clippers Prediction
Everyone expected the Boston Celtics to have a successful season after bringing in Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday to add to the dynamic duo of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum; however, their early-season dominance (21-6) has still been impressive nonetheless.
The Celtics have the second-highest net rating, fifth-highest rebounding percentage, and third-highest effective field goal percentage, as well as rank third in opponent points in the paint and fifth in opponent fastbreak points.
Further, they allow opponents in the NBA the fourth-lowest effective field goal percentage. Unfortunately, Porzingis will not be available, and his rim presence has deterred drivers all season long. Without him, Boston will have to lean heavily on Al Horford to control the paint defensively, which he can’t do quite as well as KP.
As a matter of fact, the Celtics are 5-2 without Porzingis, which is nothing to scoff at but is not as compelling as the 16-4 record they have when he is on the floor. Porzingis is among the most underrated (and underappreciated) players in the league; he averages roughly 19 points and seven rebounds while shooting 53% from the field. His drop coverage defense, rim protection, and three-point shooting give Boston a versatile five who complements the rest of the team perfectly.
Meanwhile, the Clippers have had a roller coaster start to the 2023-24 regular season; they started slow, traded for James Harden, played worse for a few games, and then went on an impressive run. Los Angeles has actually won nine of its past ten games and has the third-highest net rating in that stretch.
As a team, the Clippers have shot 52% from the floor, 41% from behind the arc, and 86% from the free throw line; they have been a force to reckon with offensively. With Porzingis out, the Clippers get a slight lean from us, although we will probably wait until we know more about the status of Jayson Tatum before we make an official play.
Boston Celtics Vs. Los Angeles Clippers Prediction: Clippers +1.5 (-110)
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Boston Celtics Vs. Los Angeles Clippers Best Odds
The Los Angeles Clippers are 1.5-point home underdogs against the C’s on Saturday. Boston has an impressive 21-6 record, which is why it is a slight favorite against the Clippers; they have won nine of their past ten games. Los Angeles has Moneyline odds of +100, while the Celtics are -120 to grab another road win. The point total rests at 230 points for this non-conference matchup between two of the best teams in the NBA.
Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineup
Boston Celtics Vs. Los Angeles Clippers Injuries
Boston is a little beat up right now, with three players on the injury report, including Kristaps Porzingis (ankle), Jayson Tatum (ankle), and Luke Kornet (adductor.) Porzingis and Kornet will not be available for this game, while Tatum is a game-time decision with a lingering ankle injury; he missed the team’s last game against the Sacramento Kings.
Los Angeles also has a few injuries: Kawhi Leonard (hip), Moussa Diabate (hip), Mason Plumlee (knee), and Joshua Primo (contract) are all on the injury report. Diabate and Plumlee are out, while Primo and Leonard are day-to-day. Check back frequently throughout the day for updated information on Leonard, as his presence could swing the game.