Clippers vs. Nuggets Game 4 Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Wednesday, Sept. 9)
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE for Getty Images. Pictured: Indiana Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets, right, defends Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George.
Clippers vs. Nuggets Game 4 Odds
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|Clippers Odds||-8 [BET NOW]|
|Nuggets Odds||+8 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-375/+300 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||220.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
To everyone following the Clippers and Nuggets, we might actually have ourselves a playoff series.
Denver is not backing down from Los Angeles, no matter the talent gap. The Nuggets hung around throughout Game 3 before coming up cold in the fourth quarter, sending the Clippers to the victory and 2-1 series lead.
Denver has to win three of four games to advance, so things look bleak. However, that doesn’t mean the Nuggets won’t push all the way. They’ve already bounced back after a Game 1 blowout and are going blow for blow with the favorites. This group has pushed all three previous playoff series to seven games as well, so they’re clearly here for a long fight.
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Los Angeles Clippers
Kawhi Leonard was a monster down the stretch, but it was another poor offensive game by his lofty standards. The Nuggets continue to hound him and even the best difficult shot-makers are going to miss when they’re contested every time.
Paul George kept the Clippers in it all night with his best game of the series, scoring 32 points on 18 shots, including five three-pointers. If he keeps scoring like that, it’s lights out for this series and maybe the next two. Yet, Los Angeles is still struggling to get its secondary players like Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell going.
The Clippers also need Ivica Zubac to stay out of foul trouble in this series. Zubac is defending Nikola Jokic well, but fouled out in 21 minutes.
There are no moral victories in the NBA, but the Nuggets should leave Game 3 encouraged that the team hung in so well despite a 5-of-17 shooting performance from Jamal Murray and a nightmarish offensive performance from Jerami Grant.
Murray will hit some of those shots in Game 4, but Denver needs Grant to drill some open jumpers to keep his valuable defense out there on Leonard.
Denver got a real spark from Michael Porter Jr. in Game 3, who finished with 18 points, 10 boards, three steals and a number of highlight plays. Unfortunately for the Nuggets, he also made some bad plays and remains lost on defense at times, leaving the coaching staff constantly choosing between offense or defense.
Denver might need to lean on Porter and hope the variance goes in it favor. The Nuggets will never win the talent battle, but Porter closes the gap significantly with his upside.
Torrey Craig is mostly out of the rotation and Mason Plumlee is barely playing, so Jokic can eat as many minutes as possible. This rotation has gotten very short and Porter is Denver’s X-factor.
Clippers vs. Nuggets Pick
At this point in the series, Denver has certainly gained our respect, even if they still haven’t gained the same time from Los Angeles. Bottom line, the Nuggets are the more prepared team.
Denver is more focused and better coached for this specific series. In contrast, the Clippers appear to be content just showing up as the more talented team and figuring it out. And unfortunately, it’s a bit of a bummer that it appears to be enough.
However, don’t expect Denver to go quietly. If we throw out Denver’s slow Game 1 start 48 hours after a brutal Game 7 win, the Nuggets have played the Clippers even. Los Angeles has just enough of a late gear to control the series, but it doesn’t feel like the Clippers are eight points better on a neutral court.
I’m not ready to grab a Denver money line, though I do think it has another win in it at some point. I’m not sure the Clippers are going to win games comfortably anymore, either. Eight points is too much respect for a team that’s still in fourth gear against an opponent that won’t go away.
I’ll play Denver +8, figuring Murray and Grant hit a few more shots and Denver gets to the line more than 10 times to keep the Nuggets in the game. This team has earned our respect and, now, our dollars. I’ll play to +7.
THE PICK: Nuggets +8 (play to +7)