Nuggets vs Clippers Odds, Pick, Prediction | NBA Betting Preview (Thursday, April 4)

Nuggets vs Clippers Odds, Pick, Prediction | NBA Betting Preview (Thursday, April 4) article feature image
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James Harden #1 of the LA Clippers & Michael Porter Jr. #1 of the Denver Nuggets looks on during the game. (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

Nuggets vs. Clippers Odds

Thursday, April 4
10 p.m. ET
TNT
Nuggets Odds
SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline
-4
-110
218.5
-110/-110
-164
Clippers Odds
SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline
+4
-110
218.5
-110/-110
+138
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about Nuggets vs. Clippers on Thursday, April 4 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today's game.

The race for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference could go down to the season's final day, with the Timberwolves, Nuggets and Thunder separated by only one game. Although Minnesota and Denver have identical records at 53-23, the Timberwolves are ahead in the standings thanks to a tiebreaker.

According to Tankathon, Denver has the softest remaining schedule of the three, but four of the Nuggets' final six games will be on the road, beginning with a trip to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers on Thursday night.

The injury report could prove vital in this matchup, with both teams listing some key players. Denver point guard Jamal Murray is questionable after missing the Nuggets' last six games with inflammation in his right knee.

As for the Clippers, their fanbase must be holding their collective breath because forward Kawhi Leonard has already been ruled out for a second straight game with right knee soreness.

Leonard's confirmed absence and Murray's possible return have shifted the odds in the Nuggets' favor. Denver is now as high as a four-point favorite after opening at -1.5. The total is also starting to tick up from 218 to 218.5 despite these teams being two of the slowest in the league in terms of pace.

When it gets this late in the season, there are plenty of movements with the point spread and total that won't necessarily make a ton of sense. As a result, I prefer to pivot to the player props market for my best bets in this matchup.

Find my Nuggets vs. Clippers prediction and NBA betting preview below.


Denver Nuggets

While Denver's regular-season goal might be to clinch the top seed, having a healthy Jamal Murray heading into the playoffs is more important. With Los Angeles already ruling out Leonard, Denver might not necessarily need to rush Murray back for this game.

The Clippers are 3-4 in games this season without Leonard, and if we narrow our scope to include games against teams above .500, their record falls to 1-4.

Over the last few days, we've already seen examples of point spread shenanigans around the league. On Tuesday against Oklahoma City, 76ers center Joel Embiid was ruled out on the injury report before being upgraded to questionable roughly an hour before tipoff.

With looming back-to-back games on the road against the 76ers and Celtics, the Thunder already committed to resting their two best players, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams, on the front end of those games. But then on Wednesday, Gilgeous-Alexander and Williams didn't even play on the second leg either, and the point spread moved four points from +8.5 to +12.5.

Consequently, you'll have to forgive me for being skeptical that Murray will play against the Clippers, as this line move feels a bit premature given his uncertainty.


Los Angeles Clippers

I've already explained why bettors shouldn't be so quick to correlate the point spread with Murray playing. I'll now detail why the move on the total is also speculative.

Not only could the pace of play be prohibitive to this game going over the total, but Denver is a top-10 team in Defensive Efficiency, per NBA.com.

Moreover, according to StatMuse, the Clippers are averaging nearly three fewer points (113.6 vs. 116.3) in games where Leonard doesn't play.

If we look at the last 10 meetings between the two teams, the total is 7-3 to the under with three straight cashes. It's worth noting that six of the 10 games stayed under the current total of 218.5.

While it's easy to blindly follow the money with some of these market moves, the underlying data gives me enough reason to pause. With so many moving parts, avoiding the side and total might make sense if you're looking to get involved in this contest.


Nuggets vs. Clippers

Betting Pick & Prediction

There's a possibility that Leonard's injury is even more severe than the Clippers are letting on. It certainly wouldn't be the first time they've held their cards close to the vest.

As a result, I feel more comfortable that Leonard won't play compared to Murray. Based on that information, we can use his absence to find some value in the Clippers' player props.

With the Clippers missing some firepower on offense, they'll need to rebound efficiently to try and keep pace with Denver. Paul George is one player who has been up to the task when it comes to rebounding against the Nuggets.

George averages 5.3 rebounds this season, but in three games against the Nuggets, he's averaging 7.6 boards.

With both teams being in the Western Conference, there's enough of a sample size here to suggest that George takes his game to another level against a quality team like the Nuggets. His rebounding prop is currently available at 4.5 with -140 odds at PointsBet. Given his performances against the Nuggets, that number feels a bit short.

Another prop that offers value is playing Ivica Zubac under 0.5 steals at -115. Zubac averages just 0.3 steals this season, and he registered one steal against the Sacramento Kings in his last game.

Thus, this is the perfect time to go in the other direction in his next game after picking up a steal. Zubac registered at least one steal in just 11 of his 63 games this season, and only once did he finish with a steal in back-to-back games.

The odds are clearly in our favor here, making this under essentially an auto-bet in this spot.

Pick: Paul George Over 4.5 Rebounds (-140) | Ivica Zubac Under 0.5 Steals (-115)

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