NBA Playoffs Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Clippers vs. Nuggets Game 6 (Sunday, Sept. 13)
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Kawhi Leonard and Jamal Murray.
- The Los Angeles Clippers take on the Denver Nuggets in Game 6 of their NBA playoffs series.
- Our analyst Brandon Anderson has his eye on the under, as scoring has started to fall off in the series.
- Check out Anderson's full preview and analysis with updated odds, picks, and predictions ahead of tip.
Clippers vs. Nuggets Game 6 Betting Odds
|Clippers Odds||-8.5 [BET NOW]|
|Nuggets Odds||+8.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-360/+300 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||214.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
It’s never really felt like the Denver Nuggets have had much of a chance in this series, and yet, here they are still fighting and pushing for a second straight 3-1 series comeback.
Remember, this Nuggets core has played in four playoff series these last two years, and all of the previous series went to seven games. Denver loves drama. Does it have one more Game 7 push in it?
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We pretty much know what Denver is at this point, but what did its two wins this series have in common?
Offense. Denver scored 110 and 111 in its two wins. The Nuggets are averaging just 96.3 PPG in their three losses. It hasn’t really been a consistent offense. It’s just one quarter in each win. In Game 2, Denver rushed out to a 44-25 first-quarter lead, then scored 66 points the rest of the way before holding on to win. On Thursday, the Nuggets trailed 80-73 after three but outscored LA, 38-25, in the final period to steal a win.
That’s an average of 41 points in those two great quarters and only 23.2 in the other six. In fact, the Nuggets are averaging 23.8 points per quarter the entire rest of the series, outside of those two winning quarters. Two 12-minute periods have kept Denver’s season alive.
You might attribute that to shooting variance, and that’s always part of it in a make-or-miss league. But both of these quarters of hot shooting coincided with a lousy effort from an overconfident Clippers team that thought they already had the series win and didn’t show up on defense. Of course, easier looks lead to better quarters. Denver also cranked up its defensive energy in those periods. Naturally, it’s easier to play good defense after made baskets.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers continue to be thoroughly underwhelming. I’m not sure they’re particularly worried about this Nuggets team even after blowing a chance to close them out.
And really, that’s precisely the problem with this team. All season long and now halfway through the playoffs, it still feels like we haven’t seen the best of this Clippers team. Early on, we said it was because everyone was new and unfamiliar. Then, it was because they were saving themselves for the playoffs. Now, it’s because some of the key players missed time in the bubble. At what point is this team just what it is — talented but overconfident and inconsistent?
The Clippers carry themselves with the aura of the 2018 Warriors, who relied on talent above all else and always felt like they could flip the switch even after sleepwalking through games. But Lou Williams is not Klay Thompson. Montrezl Harrell is not Draymond Green. Talent is not enough for LA, and its continued mental swoons have cost it four times in these playoffs. And it’s not out of the water yet. Los Angeles is one more hot Denver quarter from a Game 7, and then anything can happen.
The Clippers are the better team. They’ve been better for 18 of 20 quarters, and they weren’t better the other two because they lost focus and thought they had the series in the bag. Barring something shocking, they should win this season. But their presumed elite bench has become a serious problem as Trez and Lou continue to struggle. Ivica Zubac is not enough inside, and the guard rotation of Reggie Jackson and Landry Shamet has been totally marginalized.
The Clippers may not need answers against Denver, but they’d be much better off next week if they can find them now.
Betting Analysis & Pick
We hit a big score in Game 5 playing Denver live in-game once the Clippers got ahead and overconfident. Their Warriors attitude is nothing if not predictable.
But that Game 5 collapse should leave a focused (enough) LA team eager to get things out of the way. It’s an early Sunday afternoon start, so I could be talked into one last push out of the gates by Denver and a Nuggets first-quarter pick. But the Clippers are the better team and have been all series, and I suspect they will do enough to take care of business here.
I’d pick the Clippers if I had to grab a side, but the line is high enough for Denver to keep it close in a comfortable LA win. Instead, I’m playing the under here. We detailed Denver’s scoring woes, and the Clippers are scoring only 107.0 points per game themselves this series. The series under is 4-0-1 with the tie coming after Denver’s final outburst in Game 5.
Add in that early tip and a Clippers defense that should be more engaged and focused, and I don’t think we’re going to see many easy points here. Scoring continues to drop as the playoffs go on, so I’ll take the under down to 211.5 here as needed. Bring on the LA-LA series we’ve waited all season for.