Clippers vs Nuggets Prediction, Picks Tonight | Best In-Season Tournament Bet
Via Dustin Satloff/Getty Images. Pictured: Paul George #13 of the Los Angeles Clippers brings the ball up the court during the second quarter of the game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on November 08, 2023 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
Clippers vs Nuggets Prediction, Picks for Tuesday, Nov. 14
Here's everything you need to know about Clippers vs Nuggets on Tuesday, Nov. 14 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today.
The Clippers have still yet to win a game since acquiring James Harden from the Sixers, and Tuesday night certainly doesn't promise to be an easy task. LA will be tasked with containing one of the best offenses in the NBA, and they'll need to do so in a game which will mean a lot to Denver given it's part of the NBA's in-season tournament.
Let's get to our Clippers vs Nuggets prediction and pick.
Clippers vs Nuggets Prediction
The Clippers' offense was humming along prior to acquiring James Harden. They found themselves just inside the top 10 in the NBA before three abysmal performances versus the Knicks, Nets and Grizzlies, and while they did manage to post a 128 offensive rating against the Mavericks is was surely one of the worst defensive performances this team has ever had under Ty Lue.
Still, this team rates in the top 13 in the league since the trade, and it had to go up against some formidable defensive units in the past four games. Things actually have been rather solid on the defensive end, and with that I do think the Clippers are just a touch underrated by the market and by the public.
We've seen the Nuggets take a big step backwards offensively following the injury to Jamal Murray, despite the wins, so I think a disciplined Clippers side which has had just one minor hiccup on the defensive end should hold them at bay enough in a low-scoring game to keep this one close.
While it's easy to just look at the performance of this unit on both ends in evaluating the Clippers, there are two other things that stand out in the first four games with Harden in the fold. This team is beginning to slow down its pace rather significantly, posting a season-low Pace rating of 94 last time out, and this team has also ranked just 15th in rebounding.
Now, LA has had its fair share of injuries to start the season, but given the fact that this frontcourt has remained intact it's worth looking at the rebounding numbers we've seen to this point. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard have both taken a step back in that area, though once again these four teams that have knocked off the Clippers (minus the Mavs) are all good rebounding groups. Unfortunately for LA, the Nuggets rate well on the glass and on defense, so this matchup is going to be equally as tough on Ty Lue's bunch.
Aside from an injury to Mason Plumlee, there is nothing else to report on that front.
In a similar vain, the Nuggets are almost completely healthy entering this matchup. Vlatko Cancar has been missing for the entire season, and Murray will miss his fourth straight game after suffering a hamstring injury against the Bulls a couple of weeks back.
The early returns have been just fine, with Denver rating 10th in defensive efficiency in the three games since the Murray injury, but once again with a small sample size we have to take a look at the matchups in which the Nuggets were able to thrive on that end. The Bulls, Pelicans and Rockets are all rather offense-averse, and the win over the Warriors — which came in close fashion — was a game in which playmaking forward Draymond Green was absent due to personal reasons.
This should be the Nuggets' first real test on defense against a team with a wealth of offensive talent. Reggie Jackson has been the man to stand in for Murray in his absence, and he's never been a guard known for his defense. That may open the door for Harden to have his first big breakout game for his new team.
Clippers vs Nuggets Picks, Odds
It's probably going to take a while for the Clippers to figure things out with "the system" that is Harden joining the fray, but I think this is as good a time as any for them to get their first win.
Harden has averaged 26.9 points per game when facing off with Jackson in his career, going for 29 or more in three of their last five meetings. The Nuggets were also notorious for their lackluster play on that end last year, and without Murray to help anchor that perimeter attack I think the Clippers should find some better footing in the fifth game with Harden at the helm.
Given the pace the Clippers are operating at with their new point guard, and the fact that the Nuggets are 26th in Pace in the three games without Murray, it's fair to expect a grind-fest here between these two Western Conference powers.
In a slow game which should feature the Clippers' excellent defense, I think the points are worth grabbing with the road underdogs. The Clippers are a respectable 50-51 against the spread when getting points under Ty Lue, and while the Nuggets have gone 61-50-1 ATS since the start of last year they're just 45-42-1 ATS as favorites.
This should be a good spot to buy low on the Clippers.