Clippers vs Lakers Picks, Prediction Today | Sunday, Jan. 7

Clippers vs Lakers Picks, Prediction Today | Sunday, Jan. 7 article feature image
Credit:

Via Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images. Pictured: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers looks on against LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first quarter at Crypto.com Arena on November 01, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

Clippers vs. Lakers Prediction, Picks for Sunday, Jan. 7

Sunday, Jan. 7
9:30 p.m.
League Pass
Clippers -4.5 (-110)

Here's everything you need to know about Clippers vs. Lakers on Sunday, Jan. 7 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today.

When the Lakers defeated the Clippers 125-120 on Nov. 1, both teams were 3-2 on the NBA season. Fast forward two months later, and these teams have gone in opposite directions.

Yes, the Lakers (17-19) won the inaugural In-Season Tournament, but was it all worth it if the pursuit derails their championship aspirations?

The Lakers are just 3-10 since the In-Season Tournament ended and have lost four straight games. They won't get any sympathy from a Clippers team that's 22-12 and riding high on a five-game winning streak.

It's no secret that the Clippers have always felt like second-class citizens in Los Angeles. In this preview, I'll share why the Clippers are always motivated to beat the Lakers.

Let's get to our Clippers vs. Lakers prediction and pick.


Clippers vs. Lakers Prediction

Pick: Clippers -4.5 (-110)

Clippers Finding Their Rhythm

Although the Clippers acquired James Harden via trade on Oct. 30, he didn't debut with his new team until Nov. 6. As a result, Harden didn't play in the earlier meeting.

The Clippers lost five straight games after Harden started playing for them, and social media began to point the finger at the 15-year pro.

However, it took some time for Harden to gel with his new teammates as he finally got his first win with the Clippers on Nov. 17. Since then, the Clippers have been tied with the Celtics for the best mark in the league at 19-5.

While Harden certainly helps, the key to the Clippers' success has been the availability of their star forward Kawhi Leonard.

Leonard has played in 30 of the Clippers' 36 games compared to just 52 games in each of his last two seasons. He looks fully recovered from an ACL injury that even kept him out for an entire season.

Harden gives the Clippers a third superstar alongside Leonard and Paul George. The Clippers also have tremendous depth, with Normal Powell (averaging 13.3 points) and Russell Westbrook (averaging 11.1 points) scoring in double figures.

Overall, the Clippers are incredibly balanced and one of four teams ranked in the top 10 for both Offensive and Defensive Efficiency.


Lakers Defense Slumping

With the Lakers' In-Season Tournament win, LeBron James added to his long list of accomplishments for the G.O.A.T debate. However, that success hasn't shown up in the standings.

The Lakers are currently 11th in the Western Conference, which means they wouldn't even qualify for the Play-In Tournament.

For the Lakers to have any success, their defense has to step up and get back into form. Per TeamRankings, they're currently 11th in Defensive Efficiency, allowing 110 points per 100 possessions. Over their past three games, however, that number is up to 117.4, ranking 25th during that span.

Offensively, the Lakers are just 23rd in Efficiency. The teams below the Lakers are the Bulls, Wizards, Hornets, Pistons, Spurs and Trail Blazers. That's not the kind of company you want to have around if you plan to challenge for an NBA title.

They're in even bigger trouble if they can't rely on their defense improving from their poor showings of the past week.


Clippers vs. Lakers Picks, Odds

Sunday, Jan. 7
9:30 p.m. ET
League Pass
Clippers Odds
SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline
-5.5
-110
232.5
-110/-110
-218
Lakers Odds
SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline
+5.5
-110
232.5
-110/-110
+180
Odds via DraftKings . Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Lakers are digging themselves a hole which might already be too deep. The Warriors are ahead of the Lakers in the 10th seed, and they'll likely improve with Draymond Green set to return after being reinstated.

When you look at the Lakers and the other teams ahead of them in the standings, they don't have a definitive edge.

They can't seem to find that switch that propelled them to the In-Season Tournament win. Furthermore, there are also reports about a disconnect between the players and head coach Darvin Ham.

Maximize your Clippers vs. Lakers action with our PointsBet promo code.

If those reports are accurate, then perhaps things have to get even worse for the Lakers before they can get better.

The Clippers don't need any extra motivation when it comes to playing the Lakers. Our Action Labs database, which dates back to 2005, shows the Clippers are 46-26 straight up against the Lakers over that span.

Before the November loss, the Clippers won 11 straight in the series while covering the spread in 10 of those 11 games.

If the Lakers are dealing with off-the-court issues, then this mountain just got a bit higher to climb. I'll lay the 4.5 points with the Clippers at PointsBet.

Pick: Clippers -4.5 (-110)

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.

Sportsbook Promos
See All
Legal Online Sports Betting

bet365 Bonus Code TOPACTION: Pick $1K Insurance or $150 Bonus in 10 States for All Thursday Action, Including Oilers-Stars

Sean Treppedi
May 23, 2024 UTC