Clippers vs. Celtics NBA Best Bets for December 29

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Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP

The Clippers and Celtics clash in an East-West showdown. Here is betting advice for the game. Top sportsbooks have released their NBA odds for tonight’s game between the Clippers and Celtics. The Clippers have been constant losers of late. They’ve dropped five of their last six SU and four of their last six ATS. 

Two of those losses were quite embarrassing: 104-103 to Oklahoma City and 116-92 to San Antonio. Boston has been losing, too, but mostly against tougher competition. For reasons that I will explain, you should play the spread for this game.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Boston Celtics

Wednesday, December 29, 2021- 7:30 PM EST at TD Garden

Making Sense of L.A.'s Absences 

Both teams will be fairly difficult to recognize tonight. Breaking down tonight's absences will yield insight into the best sports betting option. For the Clippers, Paul George is out with an elbow injury. So, along with Kawhi, the Clippers miss their two most important players.

Nicolas Batum will also miss tonight's game with an ankle injury. He merited hype during last season's playoffs with the offensive spark and the general versatility that he provided. His normally efficient three-point shooting would have been helpful tonight along with that of George and Kawhi.

Fellow high-volume shooter Reggie Jackson is out due to COVID. He is the team's second-leading scorer behind George since Kawhi hasn't played this year. In sum, the Clippers miss their top three players and all of their top shooters except for Luke Kennard.

Kennard, though, has been cold. He's 3-for-17 from deep in his past three games combined. Last year, L.A. was the NBA's most efficient team from behind the arc. But currently, it lacks the personal to replicate this efficiency, which gave its offense an important added dimension and balance.

Making Sense of Boston's Absences 

Like the Clippers, Boston misses its top player. Jayson Tatum has been ruled 'out' for tonight's game due to COVID. The Celtics execute a relatively high frequency of isolation plays largely because of Tatum, who is a terrific individual scorer frequently tasked with generating points on his own.

Moreover, point guard Dennis Schröder is out for the same reason. Fellow point guard Marcus Smart is listed as 'questionable' with a hand injury. Observe for your best bets that there are, however, important health-related positives for Boston. Shooting guard Josh Richardson should be back.

Richardson has typically operated as a catch-and-shoot guy from behind the arc, allowing ball-dominant distributors -- which will be primarily Payton Pritchard tonight -- to create for him and others.

He does have a nice first step and he is able to use especially his quickness off the bounce to create for himself and others. Still, his three-point shooting has been particularly efficient, lately. He's 12-of-20 from behind the arc in his past three games. This efficiency offers Boston a source of scoring that the Clippers miss given their absences and given Kennard's cold streak.

Moreover, Jaylen Brown is healthy. Unlike the Clippers, Boston enjoys the presence of its second-best scorer. Like Tatum, Brown is gladly a heavy iso guy. He's a multi-level scorer and a high-volume, efficient three-point shooter.

Of course, Brown has cultivated a highlight reel of his rim-attacking. His energy at the basket -- and of course his quickness in isolation, which gives him greater opportunities at the basket -- will hurt a Clipper defense that relies heavily on the rim protection of Ivica Zubac and Serge Ibaka. With Brown, especially, Richardson, and others, the health situation clearly favors the Celtics.

Making Sense of Recent Results 

Los Angeles has failed to exceed 105 points in five of its last six games. It scored 108 in a blowout loss to Brooklyn in the one exception. Along with George's relative lack of productivity, the Clippers miss too many weapons to pose a meaningful offensive threat.

Hence, this meager scoring continued against opponents like Oklahoma City and Sacramento. As for Boston, its offense has been strong enough to almost upset the defending champs on their home court.

I recommend keeping this very recent near-upset in mind when you consider the Celtics' latest loss against lowly Minnesota. In that game, Brown was unusually inefficient while the Timberwolves were unusually strong from behind the arc.

In view of tonight's game, I consider this loss to Minnesota a blessing. Boston just got its clunker out of the way and is in a great spot to bounce back against a depleted and emaciated Clipper squad. For the above reasons, invest in Boston with your NBA picks.

NBA Pick: Celtics -6 (-115) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Celtics -6 (-115)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.