Clippers vs. Nuggets Odds, Pick, Prediction: All Signs Point to Denver
AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images. Pictured: Jamal Murray (27), Aaron Gordon (50) and Nikola Jokic (15) of the Denver Nuggets.
- The Clippers hit the road Thursday night to face a red-hot Denver squad.
- The Nuggets, despite losing last time out, have won seven of 10. Meanwhile, Los Angeles is looking to snap a three-game skid.
- Jacob McKenna looks at the odds and offers up a betting prediction 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 kick off a short two-game road trip on Thursday with a trip to Denver to take on the Nuggets.
Los Angeles comes into this game with a 21-18 record, but the Clippers have a few question marks on the injury report and with their play over the past week or so. Meanwhile, Denver finally has all of its key players healthy and has won seven of its past 10 games.
Both LA and Denver lost their most recent games, giving each team a chance to correct things in this matchup. Will the Clippers be the team that does that despite being on the road, or will the Nuggets defend home court and get their 25th win of the season?
Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers just went on a stretch of playing eight straight Eastern Conference teams. In that stretch, we saw them play at an underwhelming level, going 4-4 and losing the last three games.
Despite the recent collapse, the Clippers have played decent basketball against Eastern Conference foes this season, going 10-7. However, their success against Western Conference opponents is much lower, which is a cause for concern.
The Clippers are just 11-11 when playing against teams in their own conference. The main reason for that record is that the Clippers have been totally stagnant on the offensive end of the floor, as evidenced by their 107.5 Offensive Rating in those games.
LA’s Offensive Rating against the West ranks last in the NBA this season, and it is also down from its rating of 113.3 against the Eastern Conference. It is certainly one of the stranger trends to occur this season, and having it come into play during a three-game losing streak isn’t ideal.
Luckily for the Clippers, they own the third best Defensive Rating against the West this season at 109.9, but Paul George is questionable for this matchup and his absence could certainly impact production on that end of the floor.
The Denver Nuggets have dominated many of the opponents they have faced this season, a big reason why they enter this game as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. That dominance is on display even more on their home court.
That rating is so high because Denver is shooting the ball with a tremendous amount of efficiency. According to NBA.com, the Nuggets lead the NBA in field goal percentage at home this season (52.1%). Denver also ranks first in three-point percentage at 41.9%.
Additionally, Denver ranks fifth in the NBA in points per game in the paint at home with 55.5, showing it can handle anything that is thrown at it, on the perimeter or inside.
Clearly the Nuggets can expose any defense, and when this team is fully healthy it’s a scary sight.
The Nuggets and Clippers have already faced off once this season, a November game in which Denver won 114-104. I think it is likely we see a similar outcome in this matchup.
A major key for this matchup is going to be the status of Paul George, who is questionable with a hamstring injury. That is the same injury that caused him to miss a few games already this season, and LA has struggled without him on the floor as they are just 4-6, averaging 106.3 points per game and shooting just 43.8% in his absence (per Statmuse).
Even if George suits up, the Clippers’ struggles against Western Conference opponents and their loss to Denver earlier this year is hard to ignore. I think the Nuggets are in a much better position to take control of this game, and I like this spread up to 6.
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