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Clippers vs Celtics NBA betting picks and predictions: L.A. to head into break on high note

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The Celtics are short home favorites over the Clippers on Thursday night as both teams play their final game before the All-Star break.

We build the blueprint for betting this marquee matchup on the NBA basketball odds board, from our favorite bets for the side and total to some quick-paying picks and prop plays.

QUICK HITTER

The Clippers have been treading water of late and enter off a 110-103 road loss to the Sixers on Tuesday. Los Angeles has dropped two of its last three straight up and three of five ATS and has slipped to third place in the Western Conference standings.

Boston had its seven-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday night in Houston as James Harden and Russell Westbrook combined for 78 points in a 116-105 Rockets victory. The Celtics received a balanced offensive effort with all five starters scoring in double-figures. Gordon Hayward led the way with 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Both teams have defended well in the early stages of the game, especially Boston, who are ranked fourth allowing just 26.5 points in the first quarter this season. The first-quarter Under is 6-4 in the last 10 games for the Clippers. With the All-Star break looming, both teams will get off to a slow start.

Pick: Under 57.5 First Quarter

FIRST HALF

Jaylen Brown limped off the floor in the fourth quarter against the Rockets but is probable to suit up on Thursday with a calf injury. Brown is averaging 21.3 points on 51.5 percent shooting over his last 10 games and is a key cog in the Celtics’ rotation.

The Clippers have been a profitable first-half bet on the road this season and are 15-11-1 ATS. Both teams will enter this game hungry coming in off a loss, but Los Angeles is a little healthier and has had recent success in this series winning the last two matchups in Boston. Take the road team to win the first half outright.

Pick: Clippers First Half ML (+100)

TEAM/PLAYER PROP

Paul George is coming off one of his worst offensive games of the season scoring just 11 points on 3-of-15 shooting against the Sixers. However, George did grab 12 rebounds for the second time in his last five games.

The Celtics allowed 45 rebounds to an undersized Rockets lineup on Tuesday including 18 combined from guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook. The backcourt boards will be open for business again on Thursday night with George muscling up on the glass.

Pick: Paul George Over 6.5 Rebounds

TOTAL BET

Boston continues to rely on its defense as eight of the last 11 games staying under the total. They committed 18 turnovers against the Rockets and scored fewer than 23 points in two of four quarters. The Celtics are ranked second allowing just 105.7 points per game this season.

The Clippers have also been stingy of late with four of the last six games going Under. Los Angeles won the prior matchup between these two teams 107-104 as the game stayed under the relatively low total of 217.5. The Under is 15-12 in Clippers’ road games this season. Expect this one to stay beneath the total.

Pick: Under 227

SPREAD BET

Marcus Morris scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds against the Sixers in his second start with Los Angeles since being acquired in a trade from the Knicks before the deadline last week. Morris played just 22 minutes in his debut Sunday against the Cavaliers but saw 35 minutes of action against Philadelphia.

After missing the win over Cleveland due to rest, Kawhi Leonard returned to the floor against the Sixers and dropped 30 points. It was Leonard’s first 30-point performance since reaching that plateau in nine straight games from Jan. 10 through Feb. 1. Leonard is averaging 27.1 points per game this season.

The Celtics have struggled at home in this series, dropping two straight against the Clippers at TD Garden. Los Angeles has won four straight overall and is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings. Boston appeared to run out of gas in the fourth quarter against the Rockets and that could carry over into Thursday. Los Angeles is a good bet to head into the All-Star break on a winning note.

Pick: Clippers +1.5

Canucks vs Golden Knights picks and predictions for Game 1

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Perhaps no team has been more fun to follow during the NHL playoffs than the Vancouver Canucks, and hockey bettors can still get the Canucks at +1,300 to hoist Lord Stanley’s cup. Vancouver is coming off a thrilling series win against the defending champion St. Louis Blues, but now a much more difficult challenge awaits. The Vegas Golden Knights are +350 favorites to win it all, and they’ve certainly looked the part while dropping only one playoff contest.

Game 1 of this series gets underway Sunday, so we’re here to bring you our NHL picks and predictions in this Western Conference semifinal showdown.

Vancouver Canucks vs Vegas Golden Knights betting preview

Starting Goalies

Canucks: Jacob Markstrom – playoffs – 7-3, 2.44 GAA, .929 SV% (season – 23-16, 2.75 GAA, .918 SV%)

Golden Knights: Robin Lehner – playoffs – 5-1, 2.44 GAA, .904 SV% (season – 19-10, 2.89, .920 SV%)

If this game was actually played in Las Vegas, then Markstrom could easily spend a few hours performing with Cirque du Soleil. The 30-year-old dazzled against Blues with an eye-opening array of acrobatic saves and an impressive 7-3 record. He’ll need to provide more of the same against a dangerous Vegas squad.

The Knights will likely roll with Robin Lehner, who has taken over the spot as Vegas’s starter in the crease—and rightfully so. Still, the Knights have the luxury of having Marc-Andre Fleury as their “backup.” The five-time All-Star matched an NHL record this season with his 14th consecutive playoff appearance.

Injuries

Vancouver: Tyler Myers D (out), Tyler Toffoli RW (out), Micheal Ferland LW (out), Josh Leivo LW (out)

Vegas: Tomas Nosek LW (out)

Betting Trend to Know

Canucks are 0-6 in their last six Sunday games. Find the latest NHL betting trends for Canucks vs. Golden Knights.

MONEYLINE PICK

The Canucks have been a force with the extra man during the postseason, converting 26.2% of their power plays. While the Knights are known for their offensive firepower, it’s their stingy defense that allows them to suffocate opponents—as evidenced by an 86.4% penalty kill during their playoff run. Vancouver is the only team in the league to never beat Vegas in regulation, going 0-11 all time. That’s something I just can’t ignore.

PREDICTION: Vegas ML (-175)

OVER/UNDER PICK

Each team is filled with loads of offensive talent. Vancouver’s Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller have combined for 11 goals thus far. Elias Pettersson has racked up 13 points, tied with Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon for the playoff lead.

The Knights can match Vancouver’s scorers, but they’re more balanced—Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch and Mark Stone have each lit the lamp four times during the postseason. The difference is on defense, where Vancouver has allowed the most high-danger chances of all remaining playoff teams.

PREDICTION: Over 5.5 (-110)

PROP PICK

Though I like Vegas to win, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canucks kept it close and continued their offensive success. I’ll take a flyer on Vancouver scoring at least three goals.

PREDICTION: Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)

Canucks vs Golden Knights Betting Card

  • Vegas ML (-175)
  • Over 5.5 (-110)
  • Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)
NHL Parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NHL Canucks vs Golden Knights picks, you could win $104.93 on a $10 bet?

Use our NHL parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Verlander injury shuffles Astros’ MLB futures odds

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MLB betting got a shake-up Sunday afternoon, specifically on World Series odds and AL pennant odds, with news that Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander could miss the rest of the season – or at least a significant chunk of it – with an arm injury.

Initial reports suggested Verlander had an elbow ailment, but both he and manager Dusty Baker quickly denied that. Baker called it a forearm strain and said that Verlander would be re-evaluated in “a couple of weeks.” The reigning AL Cy Young winner pitched a solid six innings in an 8-2 Opening Day rout of the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

Verlander’s injury led oddsmakers to shuffle futures book odds on the defending AL champions. Covers checked in on the MLB odds moves with a couple of Las Vegas sportsbooks.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ World Series odds?

At CG Technology books, risk analyst Rich Zanco said the Astros quickly moved from +1,200 to +1,800 in World Series futures. The SuperBook at Westgate also had Houston pegged +1,200 prior to Sunday’s news and initially went to +1,600, then dialed it a little further to +1,800.

However, there were apparently buyers on the Astros at that point, prompting the SuperBook to reel the price in to +1,400.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ American League odds?

In AL pennant futures, the Astros initially moved from +600 to +800 at The SuperBook, then ticked back to +700.

World Series odds

Team Odds to win
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +350
Houston Astros +600
Atlanta Braves +1,600
Minnesota Twins +1,600
Tampa Bay Rays +1,800
Washington Nationals +2,000
Cleveland Indians +2,000
New York Mets +2,000
Chicago Cubs +2,000
Oakland Athletics +2,000
St. Louis Cardinals +2,500
Cincinnati Reds +2,500
San Diego Padres +2,500
Philadelphia Phillies +3,000
Chicago White Sox +3,000
Los Angeles Angels +3,000
Milwaukee Brewers +4,000
Boston Red Sox +5,000
Arizona Diamondbacks +6,000
Colorado Rockies +8,000
Toronto Blue Jays +10,000
Texas Rangers +10,000
Pittsburgh Pirates +20,000
Detroit Tigers +20,000
San Francisco Giants +30,000
Seattle Mariners +30,000
Miami Marlins +30,000
Baltimore Orioles +30,000
Kansas City Royals +30,000

Odds courtesy The SuperBook