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Struggles In Close Games Costing Clippers

Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics are underdogs hosting the LA Clippers.

After another late-game collapse Sunday in Milwaukee, Los Angeles (24-12 SU, 20-16 ATS) looks to rebound when it visits the Celtics (17-17, 16-18). Boston beat the Clippers last month in LA and has thrived in the home underdog role, covering 18 of its last 23 games when catching points at TD Garden.

Los Angeles Clippers vs Boston Celtics
  • Date/Time: March 2, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Arena: TD Garden
  • TV Coverage: TNT
  • Opening Odds: Clippers -3.5 | O/U 224.5 (Line History)
  • Clippers vs Celtics Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The UNDER has been popular among early bettors, driving the total down to 220 at some books at the time of writing. Last month’s meeting between the squads in LA sailed OVER the total of 219 as Boston beat the Clips 119-115 as a 5.5-point underdog. The Celts were without Jaylen Brown for that contest while LA was missing Paul George.

Los Angeles News & Notes

On Sunday in Milwaukee, the Clippers failed once again to deliver down the stretch of a tight game. LA didn’t score in the final 4:01 of regulation as the Bucks rallied from a late four-point deficit to beat the Clippers 105-100, dropping LA to 3-4 SU and ATS in its last seven games.

The Clips are now 7-9 SU this season in games in which the score differential was five points or less in the final five minutes of regulation, conjuring up memories of last summer’s playoff collapse in the Orlando bubble. LA is shooting 35.9 percent as a team in the final five minutes of close contests, and superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George might be the most guilty parties. Kawhi and PG combined to miss all nine of their field-goal attempts in the final four minutes Sunday in Milwaukee.

LA’s struggles in close games might not be a factor if the Clippers continue their track record of bouncing back well after losses. The Clips are a sizzling 41-16 ATS in their last 57 games following a SU defeat. LA has also covered 22 of its last 32 games on the road and is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 visits to Boston.

Boston News & Notes

After losing eight times during an 11-game stretch, the Celtics have won their last two, including a come-from-behind 111-110 win over the Wizards on Sunday. Jayson Tatum scored twice in the final 15 seconds to help Boston overcome a 110-105 deficit in the last minute, part of a 31-point performance the Celts needed from their superstar wing in the absence of Jaylen Brown.

Brown, a first-time all-star who ranks second in team scoring at 25 points per game, is listed as questionable for tonight’s contest due to knee soreness. Javonte Green started in place of Brown on Sunday and had eight points in 33 minutes. Center Daniel Theis added 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting and also pulled down nine rebounds.

Despite the SU victory, Boston failed to cover Sunday for the seventh time in its last 10 games, dropping the Celts to 0-7 ATS in their last seven games following a win. Most of those struggles have come on the road, however, as Boston is 9-4 ATS in its last 13 at TD Garden.

Betting Pick: Celtics +4.5

Boston has been a different team at home this season and should keep things tight, even if Brown isn’t able to suit up.

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Shark Bites
  • LA is 41-16 ATS in its last 57 games following a SU loss.
  • Boston is 18-5 ATS in its last 23 games as a home underdog.
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of the last 7 meetings.