Sooner than expected, the Los Angeles Clippers are back to their best. After demolishing New York on Sunday with the restoration of an almost fully healthy roster to the court, they’ll try to pull off another smash and grab when they visit Philadelphia on Monday.
The young, vibrant 76ers might test the conditioning of the Clippers veterans - Chancey Billups especially - on the second night of a back-to-back. But if the Clips' greatest strength is talent, then depth is not far behind. And on the evidence of last night, LA’s top team might be worth a close look for the title once more at 9.50.
Chris Paul scored 25 points yesterday and is available at 1.85 to score over 17.5 tonight. Although Jrue Holiday figures to shadow his fellow All Star, the Sixers' offensive output has dropped of late. While they’ve won four of their last five, all have come against really bad opponents. So have a punt on the Clips on the handicap of -5.5 in a game that should go over the total points line of 184.
Two teams with similarly poor records clash when Cleveland welcome Minnesota. While the Cavaliers have been steadily improving, the Timberwolves are dropping fast, losing nine in a row on the road in the absence of Kevin Love, with their defeats coming by an average of 13.
Cleveland are a poor defensive team but Kyrie Irving’s scoring punch has blown out a number of teams, with the Cavs scoring over 100 points in their last four games. The first-time All Star is 1.85 to score over 25 and the hosts are good value on the handicap at 1.91, even at -6.5.
Bet of the day: Take the Clippers on the handicap over Philadelphia at 1.91