Clippers vs Spurs Prediction, Pick Tonight: Best Bet Monday (Nov. 20)
Victor Wembanyama #1 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots the ball during the game against the LA Clippers on October 29, 2023 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jim Poorten/NBAE via Getty Images)
Clippers vs Spurs Prediction, Picks for Monday, Nov. 20
Here's everything you need to know about Clippers vs Spurs on Monday, Nov. 20 — our expert prediction and betting pick for today.
The Clippers play the Spurs in San Antonio on Monday night and both teams could really use a win. The Clippers were on a six-game losing streak before their In-Season Tournament win against the Rockets on Friday—their first win since acquiring James Harden.
Despite the victory, Los Angeles still hasn’t won a game on the road this season, but it’s best shot will come against the Spurs who haven’t won since Nov. 2, as they enter this contest following losses in eight-straight.
Let's get to our Clippers vs Spurs prediction and pick.
Clippers vs Spurs Prediction
Pick: Spurs 1H +4.5 (-110)
The James Harden experience has not been a successful one for the Clippers so far. Before the Rockets game, Russell Westbrook offered to come off the bench in hopes of easing the commotion of having four superstars sharing the court at the same time. It seemed to work for the first quarter, with L.A. leading 29-23 after 12 minutes, but Houston mounted a comeback by outscoring the Clippers 27-19 in the second as L. A. failed to cover the first half spread once again, making them 0-4-1 since the trade.
Harden has been a huge negative both offensively and defensively at this point in the experiment, at least before last game. On Friday, Harden had a +21 plus-minus—the first time all season he had a plus-minus that wasn’t in the negatives. That could certainly be a result of the lineup change, but it could also be the roster coalescing after a few games of getting used to each other. As Harden said himself, he IS the system. But so far, the system appears to be broken. According to pbpstats, Harden reduces the team's offensive efficiency by -8.2 points when he’s on the court, while opposing offenses improve by 13.5 points. We’ll need a bigger sample to really know if this will work or not.
Despite lacking size upfront, the Clippers have been making a conscious effort to crash the offensive boards, ranking ninth in Offensive Rebound Rate (32.5) their last five games.
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As bad as the Clippers have been, the Spurs have been worse. Devin Vassell has missed the last two games with a groin injury and is doubtful again for Monday's contest, but their troubles aren’t Vassell-related. They’re a young team and growing pains should be expected, but no team wants to lose this many games in a row.
Despite their struggles, San Antonio has come out the gate strong all season and whether or not they win has come down to their ability to hold a lead in the second half. Their 9-4 first-quarter spread record is fourth-best in the league and they’re 7-6 ATS in the first half. Not bad for a team that has the worst full-game ATS record in the league at 4-9.
One explanation for these disparate records could be that teams might need time to adjust to the sheer length of Victor Wembanyama’s eight-foot wingspan. Or simply that teams don’t take them seriously because of their difficulty winning games. Or it could just be an anomaly and the result of a relatively small sample size.
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Clippers vs Spurs Picks, Odds
While the sample is admittedly small, I think there’s something to be said for the way the Spurs have played lately; there’s a sense of desperation to end the losing streak. They almost beat the Grizzlies on Saturday in a game they were leading 68-51 at halftime. If not for an offensive meltdown of epic proportions, they might have done it, too. Zach Collins made a 3 with 10:01 left in the game to take a 96-93 lead, but the Spurs didn't score again until the 4:39 mark and by then it was too late.
I lean to the Spurs in this spot, desperate for a win and with the Clippers coming off an emotional first win since the Harden trade, but I can’t trust them for the full 48 minutes. In the last five games, since this losing streak has really gotten underway, the Spurs are 5-0 ATS in the first quarter and 4-1 in the first half. Meanwhile, the Clippers are 0-4-1 in the first half and just 18-28 off a win since last season. I’ll take the Spurs 1H +4.5 and I like them down to +3.5.