Clippers vs. Heat Odds, Pick, Prediction: Key Injuries Impacting Over/Under (December 8)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers, Tyler Herro #14 Miami Heat.
- The Miami Heat are home favorites (Spread: -6) against the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday night.
- L.A. is playing the second half of a back-to-back and the Heat are looking to snap a two-game skid.
- Jacob McKenna dives into the Clippers vs. Heat odds and gives his pick and prediction below.
Editor’s Note: Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard will rest in Thursday’s game against the Miami Heat. For real-time injury updates, check out our FantasyLabs NBA news page.
Clippers vs. Heat Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Los Angeles Clippers continue their four-game road trip on Thursday when they travel to Miami to take on the Heat in a back-to-back.
The Clippers have dealt with some injuries this season, but have managed to stay afloat and are 14-12 after an overtime loss against the Magic on Wednesday.
Miami is in a similar spot in regards to injuries and is in 11th place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 11-14.
The Heat have eight guys listed on the injury report for this matchup, many of whom play key roles. Will the Clippers take advantage of that and bounce back from Wednesday’s loss, or will the likely undermanned Heat defend their home court?
Shorthanded Clippers Still Defend Well
Even without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the court for large chunks of time to begin the season, the Clippers have been able to keep their head above water and own a winning record.
It hasn’t always been pretty, as seen in Wednesday’s loss to the Magic, but LA has gotten to this point by playing stellar defense.
The Clippers rank fifth in the NBA in Defensive Rating (109.8), a great summary of what they are able to do on that end of the floor. TeamRankings also has the Clippers listed fifth in Opponent Field Goal percentage as they are holding opponents to just 45.4% shooting.
Additionally, LA has a strong defensive presence on the perimeter and has limited opponents to just 34.4% on 12.2 attempts per game from beyond the arc. The Clippers can clearly be a headache for their opponent.
However, the Clippers don’t compliment their stellar defense with much production on offense and rank 28th in Offensive Rating (108.3). That rating has slid to 107.2 in the past three games, a sign things aren’t getting much better.
Heat Injuries Have Led to Inconsistent Offense
Injuries have played a large role in Miami’s slow start and it doesn’t appear the injury bug is going to leave this team alone any time soon.
The most notable name on the injury report is Jimmy Butler, who just returned from injury on Dec. 2. It doesn’t appear Butler’s knee injury is causing him issues, but it is clear that the Heat are staying cautious with their franchise player. He is listed as a game-time decision and is a candidate to take the night off for rest.
Joining Butler on the injury report are Victor Oladipo, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Dewayne Dedmon and Max Strus. That is in addition to Gabe Vincent, who has already been ruled out. Miami’s depth could be heavily depleted for this matchup.
Having that many players sidelined is bad news for any team and will likely lead to very little production, but it is especially bad for the Heat as they struggle with their offensive output while fully healthy.
Through 25 games, the Heat rank 26th in Offensive Rating, scoring 109.1 points per 100 possessions. That is largely due to the fact that Miami is shooting just 33.7% from behind the arc and 44.9% from the floor overall.
Both of those percentages rank toward the bottom of the NBA and in Miami’s past three games, we have seen those percentages fall even further to 32.7% and 43.6%, respectively. The Heat are trending in the wrong direction and without many of their key contributors on the floor, I don’t forecast them getting back on track in this game.
I think the biggest factor in this game is going to be the Miami injuries, which should keep this game rather low scoring.
I doubt all of the names listed above will miss this matchup, but the fact that there are so many names listed is a cause for concern. When you combine that with the fact that L.A. was pushed to the brink in an overtime loss on Wednesday, I think it is likely we see very little offense.
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