Clippers vs. Hawks NBA Odds & Picks: How to Navigate Important Absences

Clippers vs. Hawks NBA Odds & Picks: How to Navigate Important Absences article feature image
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Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Trae Young.

  • There will be no Kawhi Leonard or Paul George for the Clippers, and maybe no Trae Young for the Hawks.
  • The massive absences and potentially injury news creates a lot of doubt surrounding Tuesday night's game, but Joe Dellera has ideas of where to find value.
  • He dives into the Clips without their dynamic duo and what it would take for him to back Atlanta.

Clippers vs. Hawks Odds

Clippers Odds +1.5
Hawks Odds -1.5
Moneyline +100 / -120
Over/Under 221.5
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass
Odds as of Monday night and via BetMGM.

The Clippers take on the Hawks in what many expected to be a battle of two explosive offenses, but with both teams nursing injuries, where can we find some betting value?

Los Angeles Clippers

It never fails. Just as I was just talking about how the Clippers have seemingly avoided the injury bug this season and how exciting it has been to wait Kawhi Leonard and Paul George really gel offensively, we have multiple players out of this contest.

Both Leonard and George will miss this contest due to health and safety protocols, while Patrick Beverley has been ruled out with a sore right knee. On the plus side, Marcus Morris has been removed from the injury report after missing the previous game due to a stomach illness. All of this means more minutes for Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard and Lou Williams.

This season, the Clippers are +7.7 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass. This number is in large part due to their starting lineup that boasts a +26.6 mark.

What about when Leonard and George are both off the court? It’s a very small sample size, but the Clippers are -39.1 points per 100 possessions, giving up 145.7 points per 100 on defense. That’s mind numbingly bad.

Let’s look at last season because there’s a slightly bigger sample size. In all possessions without Leonard and George the Clippers were +0.6 points per 100 possessions.

The problem is that the Clippers are a bit thinner this season. Montrezl Harrell is not there to run pick and roll with Williams, while Landry Shamet also provided valuable minutes off the bench.

Looking at the players available for tonight’s game, Williams and Morris should see the largest increase in usage.

This season with the Clippers, Morris’ usage is 19.3%, per Cleaning the Glass. But I think we can expect usage numbers closer to last season when he was on the Knicks (23%). With New York, he averaged 19.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game against 10.5, 4.1 and 1.4 with the Clippers. I’ll be looking at Morris’ props.

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Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks also have some notable injury problems. Trae Young (back), Clint Capela (hand) and Danilo Gallinari (ankle) are all listed as questionable, while Cam Reddish (Achilles) is listed as probable. Keep tabs on their status using our Labs Insiders Tool. Young and Capela missed Sunday’s game, and Gallinari has been limited to less than 20 minutes in the past two games.

If Young and Capela are forced to miss this game, the Hawks are in trouble. Atlanta is +4.3 points per 100 possessions as a whole, but when both Capela and Young are off the court, it is -10.4 points per 100, per Cleaning the Glass.

How do you even try to fill in that kind of gap? Well, Atlanta’s other young talent should see an uptick in usage. Reddish, Kevin Huerter, John Collins and DeAndre Hunter, are next in line. Considering Reddish is listed on the injury report, I’ll focus on Huerter, Collins and Hunter.

On the season, Huerter averages 11.7 points, 3.8 boards, and 3.4 assists; Collins averages 16.8, 7.4 and 1.6; and Hunter averages 17.4, 5.8 and 2.1.

In Sunday’s game against the Bucks, Hunter (41 minutes) and Collins (37) saw massive workloads, while Huerter stayed around his season average of 29. Considering Hunter dropped 33 points and Collins poured in 30 on increased usage on Sunday, they are the likely duo to assume the bulk of the Hawks’ scoring responsibility if Capela and Young cannot play.

Clippers-Hawks Pick

Based on an increase in usage without Kawhi and George I think Morris will see usage closer to his time with New York. I’ll be playing close attention to his scoring prop once it’s posted.

For the game, I think this is a stay-away game until we receive some sort of word about Young and Capela. Even though the Clippers have not been particularly effective without Kawhi or George, they still may be talented enough to beat this Hawks team, whose Offensive Rating drops by over 10 points when Young is off the floor, per NBA Advanced Stats.

If Young plays, I’ll take the Hawks, but otherwise I’ll look at props.

Pick: Hawks -1.5 (if Trae Young plays)

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