Clippers vs. Nuggets Odds, Pick, Prediction | NBA Betting Preview
Via Joe Murphy/Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets drives to the basket against the Memphis Grizzlies on February 25, 2023 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee.
- The Nuggets are short home favorites on the second leg of a back-to-back on Sunday night against the Clippers.
- With the Clippers struggling to defend on the perimeter, will they be vulnerable against Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets?
- Jacob McKenna breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Clippers vs. Nuggets Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Los Angeles Clippers will make the trip to Denver for a one-game road trip on Sunday to take on the Nuggets.
Los Angeles enters this matchup with a 33-29 record, good enough for fifth in the Western Conference. However, the Clippers’ first game out of the All-Star break went poorly, suffering a double-overtime loss to the Kings.
After a win on Thursday against the Cavaliers and a loss to the Grizzlies on Saturday, the Nuggets extended their five-game lead in the West, now owning a 42-19 record.
Denver is a perfect 3-0 in the season series against Los Angeles, but the Clippers still have plenty to fight for in this matchup as every game down the stretch is crucial for seeding in the Western Conference. Stick around to see the odds, betting preview and prediction for the Los Angeles Clippers vs Denver Nuggets matchup.
Clippers Defense Struggling
The Los Angeles Clippers went into the All-Star break riding a two-game win streak. However, LA’s first game back from the break was a tough loss at the hands of Sacramento.
In that matchup against the Kings, the Clippers surrendered 176 points. That point total came as a result of playing two overtime periods, but Sacramento managed to score 153 points in regulation in a game that lacked any sort of resistance on the defensive end of the floor.
That has been a common trend for the Clippers since 2023 began and is a major concern entering this matchup against arguably the top offense in the NBA.
Prior to January 1st, Los Angeles owned the fifth-best Defensive Rating in the NBA at 110.0. Since the calendar flipped to 2023, that rating has spiked to 117.9, ranking 25th in the NBA over that span.
Perhaps a surprise to some, that spike can be attributed to the Clippers’ vulnerability on the perimeter. LA ranks last in the NBA in Opponent Three-Point Percentage (40.6%) since January 1st, an area of the floor that this team can’t seem to guard consistently.
Nuggets Looking to Bounce Back at Home
The Nuggets won their first game out of the All-Star break against the Cleveland Cavaliers 115-109 as a 2.5-point underdog.
They then traveled to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies on Saturday. However, Denver lost that game 112-94 to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, a loss that resulted from shooting just 40% from the floor overall and 30% from beyond the arc.
The Nuggets now return home after that short two-game road trip, and they have dominated opponents in Denver all season long.
According to NBA.com, Denver owns the No. 1 Home Net Rating in the NBA this season at +11.3. That is 1.3 points more than the next-closest team (Memphis), proving why this team owns a five-game lead in the West.
That Net Rating is a result of a 121.6 Offensive Rating and 109.7 Defensive Rating. This team has tons of firepower on offense, and when it can complement that with stellar defense, then Denver becomes a handful for any opponent.
Even though we have a motivated Clippers team going up against a Nuggets squad that is playing on the second leg of a back-to-back, I believe that Denver is set up well to have a bounce back performance.
As previously mentioned, Los Angeles has had a hard time guarding the perimeter in 2023. That can cause some problems against any opponent on any given night, but it will likely be a major issue against a Nuggets team that is shooting an incredible 41.3% from behind the arc on their home court this season. That percentage ranks first in the NBA.
Additionally, according to TeamRankings, the Nuggets have been the best team when it comes to covering the spread at home, owning an ATS record of 20-10-1.
Memphis is a great defensive team, so I’m not all that surprised that Denver struggled last night. The Clippers present a much softer matchup on that end of the floor, and I expect the best offense in the NBA to take advantage of it and go up 4-0 in the season series.
Pick: Nuggets -2.5
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