Pro Basketball Betting — Clippers Welcome Paul Back to Lineup Against 76ers

It might make for a much more dramatic story if we could tell you that the Los Angeles Clippers went straight into the dumpster when they lost their superstar point guard, Chris Paul. But the fact is, the Clippers more than held their heads above water while he was out of the lineup. On Sunday night, Paul is expected back from the injured list as the Clippers take on the Philadelphia 76ers in pro basketball betting action that is slated to get underway at 9:35 PM ET at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

The Clippers are not in a bad position in the Western Conference. They have a record of 35-18 straight up, which puts them in fifth place, percentage points behind the Houston Rockets. But higher places within the West are certainly within reach for the Pacific Division leaders, and getting Paul back certainly gives them lofty ambitions.

The word “ambitions” is definitely not something that is associated with the 76ers right now. They are languishing in the East, with of 15-36 straight up record that makes them a non-contender in a grouping where there is a lot of mediocrity. These teams have gone in different directions as far as covering games against the basketball pointspread is concerned; the Sixers are only 20-31 versus the number, while the Clippers have been very solid, with a ledger of 30-23 against the points.

With the return of Paul, NBA handicappers may have to pay a bit of a premium with the favorite, as the folks at Bookmaker are giving the Sixers a lot of points:

Los Angeles Clippers -16
Philadelphia 76ers +16

Over 220.5 points -110
Under 220.5 points -110

Paul went out with a separation of his shoulder on January 3, but it was not long after that injury that the Clippers went on a 10-2 run, spearheaded, of course, by power forward Blake Griffin, but also anchored to an extent by Paul’s backup at point guard, Darren Collison, the quick UCLA product. Naturally, there is going to be something of an upgrade on both the offensive and defensive ends with Paul back in action; after all, he does lead the league in assists, with 11.2 per game and is a member of the NBA’s All-Defensive team, as he is one of the acknowledged masters of the “steal.”

Of course, pro basketball bettors have seen Griffin raise his game to a new level as required. In fact, he is now the first person in the history of this franchise who have scored 30 or more points in a game three times in a row. Granted, his 43 points were to no avail in a 116-112 loss to Miami that took place on Wednesday, but he did make the difference on Friday night as the Clippers beat the Toronto Raptors 118-105. Bookmaker customers should not discount the complementary talents of DeAndre Jordan in the middle either; he had 18 points and 13 rebounds in that game, and has been mentioned by many NBA betting followers as one of the major snubs for the All-Star game. Indeed, it is pretty tough to leave a guy who leads the league in both rebounds and shooting percentage out of that big event. Jordan does not necessarily take high-risk shots, but he has been 65.3% accurate and is pulling down 14 boards per game. He has also registered 2.3 blocks per contest, which places him fourth in the NBA.

Players like that have kept the Clippers going in the absence of Paul, but against the Sixers, a team that has allowed 110 points per game and lost 15 out of 18, it may be a little bit more difficult to extend the lead without one of the league’s top three point shooters on board. JJ Redick is dealing with a hip injury, and he will not see action on Sunday night. So this team, which has won 21 of 25 games at the Staples Center straight-up, will have to deal with working Paul back into the swing of things AND covering a very large number in the pro basketball betting lines at the same time.

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