The Boston Celtics have one final test before the NBA All-Star break -- and it's a doozy.
Jaylen Brown has a calf contusion in addition to lingering ankle injuries but expects to play (despite A. Sherrod Blakely's objections), which shows how he and the Celtics view this game after the Houston Rockets snapped their seven-game winning streak Tuesday night.
Do the full-strength C's have enough firepower to even their season series with the Clippers? Here are our betting predictions for Celtics-Clippers, as well as our pick against the spread for New Orleans Pelicans vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, the only other game of the night.
UPDATE (6:55 p.m. ET): Brown won't play Thursday night, after all, as the Celtics have ruled him out.
#NEBHInjuryReport update: Jaylen Brown has been downgraded to OUT.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 13, 2020
(All odds provided by WestGate Superbook.)
Los Angeles Clippers at Boston Celtics, 8 p.m. ET
Moneyline: The Clippers haven't lost back-to-back games since November and have won four of their last five games against Eastern Conference opponents. Even without Patrick Beverley, I like the Clippers (+105) as road underdogs.
Point Spread: L.A. has covered the spread in five of its last six trips to Boston, and old friend Marcus Morris will be eager to deliver a "revenge game." Leonard, George and Morris power the Clippers (+1.5) to victory.
Point Total: All signs point toward the UNDER on the 227 point total: The under has hit in eight of the Clippers' last 11 road games and eight of the Celtics' last 11 games overall.
Darren's record picking the Celtics' moneyline, point spread and point total: 72-41-1 (63.2% success rate)
NBA Lock of the Night
Oklahoma City Thunder at New Orleans Pelicans (-2.5): Turns out Zion Williamson is pretty good! The Pelicans have won five of their last seven games with the rookie sensation in the lineup, and they'll ride the home crowd to victory against a Thunder team coming off back-to-back losses.
Darren's record picking NBA locks against the spread: 37-38-1 (48.7% success rate)
Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Clippers-Celtics, which begins Thursday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.
Celtics vs. Clippers odds: Best NBA picks with Jaylen Brown ruled out originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston