Clippers, Rockets to cover as Tuesday NBA underdogs: Best bets for Dec. 27

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Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green celebrates making a three point shot against the Miami Heat during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

Each day, one of our experts will offer up a best bet (or two or three) that mobile sportsbooks are offering. It might be a traditional spread bet, a player prop or one of the various odds boosts that books offer.

Here are our best bets for Tuesday, Dec. 27:

TOP PLAY

The play: NBA: Los Angeles Clippers (+4) over Toronto Raptors

The odds/bet: -110 ($33 to win $30)

The book: Caesars Sportsbook

Time/TV: 7:30 p.m. (NBA League Pass)

Our take: The Clippers have their dynamic duo back to full strength in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, which is why we’re puzzled that they’re getting four points tonight.

The Raptors are back healthy after they had several players battle injuries, much like the Clippers did with George and Leonard. But the Clippers appear to be a great value here considering they have the two best players on the floor and a deep roster to go with them.

Pascal Siakam and Fred Van Vleet are no slouches and should keep the Raptors in it, but Leonard should be extra motivated against his former team and will have no minutes restrictions after sitting out the Clippers’ previous game for rest purposes.

ROCKETS TO COVER AGAINST CELTICS

The play: NBA: Houston Rockets (+14.5) over Boston Celtics

The odds/bet: -110 ($11 to win $10)

The book: Caesars Sportsbook

Time/TV: 7:30 p.m. (NBA League Pass)

Our take: The Celtics settled the debate as to who’s currently the best team in the NBA with a dominant Christmas Day victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, so they don’t have much to prove tonight against a rebuilding Rockets team.

While the Celtics will almost certainly beat the Rockets, they won’t need to push star players Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to their max considering that they could likely still beat the Rockets without them, which is why we’re taking the underdog here.

14.5 is one of the widest NBA spreads we’ve seen all year, so we’ll fade the chalk favorite that the public will be all over since this is a classic letdown spot for a team coming off a statement win.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Monday’s best bets

  • NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Indianapolis Colts over 44.5 (LOST $33)
  • NFL: Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen over 60.5 receiving yards (WON $10)

Monday’s profit/loss: -$23 (1-1)

Total for the week: -$23 (1-1)

Total for December: -$65.20 (21-27)

Total for 2022: +$141.70 (333-358)

NOTE: If a line or odds are minus, it considers the juice one must lay to place the bet. Ex: Team A is -160 on the money line, one would have to bet $160 to win $100 (or $16 to win $10). OR Team B is a 5-point favorite at -110, one would have to bet $110 to win $100 (or $11 to win $10.)

Conversely, on positive lines, if Team C is +140 on the money line, $100 would bring in $140 (or $10 to win $14).

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