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NBA Odds, Pick, Prediction: Clippers vs. Kings Betting Preview (December 22)

NBA Odds, Pick, Prediction: Clippers vs. Kings Betting Preview (December 22) article feature image

Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Paul George

  • With Paul George back, the Clippers are a 6.5-point favorite over the Kings on Wednesday night.
  • George should give the Clippers an offensive boost, which Tyrese Haliburton has done with many Kings in health and safety protocols.
  • Roberto Arguello breaks down the matchup and delivers his pick for bettors below.

Clippers vs. Kings Odds

Clippers Odds-4.5
Kings Odds+4.5
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Editor’s Note: Reggie Jackson and Luke Kennard are now out for the Clippers, so the spread bet on the Clippers now has no value, but the Haliburton point total still has value. 

The Los Angeles Clippers face the Kings on Wednesday night in the third matchup between these teams this season. While the Clippers are 4.5-point road favorites, the Kings have beaten the Clippers twice so far as they took both games in a home-and-home in early December.

If the Kings hope to get their third straight win over the Clippers, they will need a gritty performance as they are without a handful of key contributors due to Health and Safety protocols plus their head coach Alvin Gentry.

The Clippers have one player out due to Health and Safety protocols (Marcus Morris Sr.), but Paul George is back in the fold after returning Monday from a two-week absence due to an elbow injury.

Both teams will look to find some momentum in this matchup as the Kings have lost five of their last seven while the Clippers have lost three straight games. Let’s break down the matchup.

Clippers Offense Should Hum With Paul George

If the Clippers win and cover, it will be because George has a big night while some of their shooters around him take advantage of the Kings’ poor defense that will lack chemistry due to a myriad of player absences. Along with Morris, Isaiah Hartenstein is out with an ankle injury.

George struggled to shoot them ball from beyond the arc prior to sitting out with his elbow injury, but he impressed in his return on Monday against a pesky Spurs perimeter defense as he scored 25 points and shot 3-of-9 from deep.

His presence should help the Clippers manufacture higher quality looks for teammates like Nicolas Batum, Luke Kennard, Terance Mann, and Reggie Jackson against a Kings defense that ranks 28th in the NBA in Defensive Efficiency (113.9).

Tyrese Haliburton Stepping Up for Kings

De’Aaron Fox, Alex Len, Davion Mitchell, Terence Davis, Neemias Queta, and Marvin Bagley III all remain in Health and Safety protocols as of Wednesday morning. Richaun Holmes is also questionable with a nagging eye injury.

Outside of Fox and Holmes, most of these players are contributors off the bench, so this means that starters Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, and Tyrese Haliburton will have a smaller margin for error than usual. The Kings will only have three players available on Wednesday who are shooting at least 31% on 3s (on at least one 3-point attempt per game): Haliburton (41.4%), Barnes (39.2%), and Hield (37.8%).

Since Fox has been absent, Haliburton has picked up the slack as the team’s starting point guard as he has averaged 24 points and 10.6 assists per game. In the 27 other games he has played this season, Haliburton had recorded 20 or more points just once and 10-plus assists just three times. In the last three games, he has recorded at least 20 points and 10 assists in each game.

Clippers-Kings Pick

While the Kings have beaten the Clippers twice this season, one of those games came with George sidelined while the other came right before he sat out with an elbow injury as his shooting had already begun falling off a cliff — he shot just 5-of-21 from the field in that game.

With George healthy for the Clippers facing a Kings team that lacks cohesion defensively and scoring depth offensively, the value on L.A. as a 6.5-point favorite at FanDuel. The Clippers’ defense (fourth in Defensive Efficiency) should have answers for this divisional opponent and should also be plenty motivated to get a win coming off a three-game losing streak and an embarrassing 24-point home loss to the Spurs.

The Kings don’t have the defensive personnel to bother the Clippers on the perimeter like the Spurs did, especially with Davion Mitchell out, and they also don’t have an imposing interior presence like Jakob Poeltl inside to take advantage of a mediocre Clippers frontcourt. Take the Clippers at -6.5 with value down to -7.

Additionally, if you can find props for Haliburton’s scoring, there’s value on him to score over 18 points. I tailed Action Network NBA analyst Joe Dellera’s pick for Haliburton to score more than 15 points on Monday, but as of Wednesday morning, props for Kings players have not been posted. There is also value on his assist total to hit the over up to 8.5 assists, but I feel stronger about a play on his point total.

Pick: Tyrese Haliburton Over 17.5 Points

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