Clippers vs. Lakers Odds, Pick, Prediction: Bet LeBron & Co. in Battle of L.A. (January 24)

Clippers vs. Lakers Odds, Pick, Prediction: Bet LeBron & Co. in Battle of L.A. (January 24) article feature image

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers, Kawhi Leonard #2 of the L.A. Clippers.

  • The Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers will revive their cross-arena rivalry with a nightcap matchup at Arena Tuesday.
  • The Clippers are 5-point favorites on the Lakers' "home court" with both teams looking to build on their respective two-game win streaks.
  • Kenny Ducey previews how to bet the matchup below.

Clippers vs. Lakers Odds

Clippers Odds-5
Lakers Odds+5
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

After some extended rough patches, the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers have finally found their groove. On Tuesday, both will meet at the place they call home: Arena.

While both teams are hot, who's the hotter one at the moment? Let's go through this tantalizing matchup and make some picks and predictions for Clippers vs. Lakers.

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Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers had lost nine of 11 games prior to their most recent two-game winning streak, which incoincidentally coincides with the return of Paul George. The wing was back in the lineup for a 10-point loss against the Sixers last week — a game which the Clippers looked much stronger in — and then in his next two games has helped lead the team to victories over the Spurs and Mavericks. The latter has been called the best win of the Clippers' season.

It's hard to argue with that. LA out-rebounded Dallas 46-38 and shot 42.9% from three, limiting the Mavericks to just 37.1% shooting from downtown. That's to be expected considering the Clippers have seen an 0.8% increase in their Rebounding Rate with George on the floor and have shot a blistering 39.9% from three with him on and 35.1% without him.

While those numbers jump off the page, it's important to note that in the 335 minutes that George and Kawhi Leonard have shared the floor this season, the Clippers have posted a 116.2 Offensive Rating and low 105.2 Defensive Rating, good for a +11 per 100 possessions. This tandem has not played consistently all year, but when healthy they've shown why this team was considered a title contender entering the year.

Tuesday marks another game with both of the stars avoiding the injury report, though Luke Kennard and John Wall remain out.

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers, like the Clippers, have won their last two. They're also coming off arguably their best win of the season, though it's a bit more complicated than simply getting a perennial All-Star back.

LeBron James continues to shatter all expectations in his age-38 season, and after his 37-point outing against Portland has now averaged 35.1 points over his last 10 games on 53% shooting. It seems that James has decided to shoot less, averaging 0.4 fewer attempts from deep per game, and that coincides with a 26.2% hit rate from downtown. Instead, James and Lakers have finally found a way to punish the opposition inside and work around their shooting woes.

LA has now covered the spread in nine of its last 12 and in that span has won eight times. In that time, a whopping 59% of its points have come inside the arc, which ranks second-highest in the NBA. It's also inside the top 10 in percentage of points scored from midrange, fifth in transition and third in points in the paint.

While this is all pertinent, none of this information really means much if LeBron James misses this game. He's currently listed as questionable with left ankle soreness, though it seems impossible to take any James injury designation seriously these days.

Clippers-Lakers Pick

The Clippers rank 12th in defended field goal percentage against two-pointers for the season, but  in the last 10 games have graded out as the fourth-worst team in this department, allowing 57.4% shooting on guarded looks.

This is an area they've struggled in all season long, despite the fact that Ivica Zubac has played decent defense down there with a 47% Defended Field Goal Percentage. The fact of the matter is that he's good in one-on-one situations but at times has failed to protect the rim, as evidenced by his 51% field goal percentage in general as the primary defender versus his better number I just referenced as the primary defender contesting a shot.

I have real questions about the Clippers' interior defense here, and against a team that will continue to attack the rim they might run into some issues that even a fantastic George-Leonard pairing can't overcome.

This one has all the markings of a very close game, and I will go ahead and take the points up to +4.5 assuming James is playing.

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