Suns vs. Clippers Game 3 Odds, Picks & Predictions: Our Staff’s Best Bets Thursday’s NBA Playoffs (June 24)

Suns vs. Clippers Game 3 Odds, Picks & Predictions: Our Staff’s Best Bets Thursday’s NBA Playoffs (June 24) article feature image
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Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker.

  • Game 3 of the Western Conference finals tips off Thursday night in Los Angeles.
  • The Clippers find themselves in an 0-2 hole for the third straight time this postseason. Can they overcome the deficit again?
  • Our staff delivers their favorite bets for the crucial Game 3, below.

The Phoenix Suns look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Los Angeles Clippers in Thursday’s Game 3 showdown of the Western Conference Finals.

Chris Paul is set to return for the Suns, who are slightly favored across sportsbooks as of publication of this story. Phoenix earned a 104-103 victory over Los Angeles in a Game 2 thrillerhighlighted by Deandre Ayton’s alley-oop dunk with 0.7 seconds left in the contest.

Our NBA analysts have you covered with their best bets for this game in Los Angeles, delivering three picks. Check out their favorite wagers below.

Playoff Promos: $200 if D-Book scores, more!

Bet $20, Win $200 if Devin Booker scores a point!

Bet $20, Win $100 if your team hits a 3!

And more …

NBA Odds & Picks

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Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers
9 p.m. ET
Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers
9 p.m. ET
Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers
9 p.m. ET

Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Pick
Suns -1
Book
DraftKings
Tipoff
9 p.m. ET
TV
ESPN

Roberto Arguello: The Clippers needed to steal Game 2, as they won the 3-point battle (outscoring the Suns by 21 points and shooting 15.1% better on higher volume); Devin Booker had an off-shooting night; and, Chris Paul was out. Instead, the Suns triumphed and get Paul back for Game 3  on the road.

Expect the Suns to have too much firepower offensively, as they should have at least two of the three following players — Paul, Booker, and Cameron Payne — on the court at all times.

Their elite three-level scoring with Deandre Ayton inside, Booker and Paul in the midrange, and essentially everyone except Ayton from beyond the arc will be too much for the Clippers without Kawhi Leonard, as the Suns win and cover in this Game 3 matchup.

There’s almost no margin for error for Paul George, Reggie Jackson and Los Angeles from beyond the arc, and consequently, I love the value on Phoenix as a 1-point favorite via DraftKings. Take the Suns down to -2 or wait to get them at a better number on the live spread or moneyline.


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Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Pick
Clippers ML (-103)
Book
DraftKings
Tipoff
9 p.m. ET
TV
ESPN

Kenny Ducey: As we saw with the Dallas Mavericks earlier this postseason, it doesn’t matter if you’re severely overmatched if you can shoot the three. Despite having a ridiculously bad defense, the Mavericks took three games from these very Los Angeles Clippers before their shooting eventually fell off toward their poor season-long mark.

Well, the same rule applies here about shooting, only the Clippers actually can sustain it. Los Angeles led the league in 3-point shooting this year at 41.1 percent, which has carried over into the postseason. At home, they’ve knocked down 42.1% of looks from deep in seven games.

Chris Paul’s return should help restore some of the lockdown defense we’ve seen all season and slow the pace, but I still believe in the Clippers based on the fact they should be able to outshoot the Suns. We know how good they’ve been at home, winning 20 out of their last 22 games, but on the road they’ve struggled to score to the tune of a 112.0 offensive rating during the playoffs.

I expect Los Angeles to keep knocking down shots, and for Paul George to return to the level we’ve seen from him really in the past 10 games after a bad Game 2 outing. The margins have been so thin in this series even the slightest dip from Phoenix’s offense could mean a swing they can’t survive, and I think that’s what we see here.


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Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Pick
Suns To Sweep Series (+260)
Book
BetMGM
Tipoff
9 p.m. ET
TV
ESPN

Brandon Anderson: The Suns might be up 2-0 on the Clippers, but they haven’t exactly dominated. Phoenix held on to win by six points in Game 1, then stole Game 2 on the brilliant alley-oop play drawn up for Deandre Ayton with less than a second left on the clock.

With the series headed to Los Angeles and two close wins in tow, normally that would mean leaning toward the Clippers to get a game back here and try to make a series of this. And, of course, they might. Kawhi Leonard is out again, but Paul George has been quite good as the lead of the team and Reggie Jackson has stepped up as well.

However, the rest of the Los Angeles cast is slowly falling away. Marcus Morris and Nicolas Batum are struggling through injuries, removing the Clippers’ special, small-ball sauce dominance. The defense has struggled mightily, getting thrashed in the paint. Los Angeles has responded by playing Ivica Zubac and DeMarcus Cousins more, but that’s not really working either and Ayton is dominating on the floor.

On top of all those problems, the Suns are getting one of their best players back. Chris Paul was transcendent against the Denver Nuggets in the previous round, long ago as that might seem at this point, and he can really only help stabilize this team further. Paul’s return gives Phoenix 48 minutes of elite pick-and-roll handling to taunt Los Angeles with, and it should improve the Suns defense.

Getting Paul back, even in a potentially limited role, is always a big help and a much bigger bonus than home-court advantage.

I do think Game 3 will be close, and that the Clippers will make a strong push. Sportsbooks list this as essentially a coin flip, and I’d make it close to that as well, with slight favoritism going to the Suns. That’s not a tempting enough angle for me to play, though. However, if Phoenix does get the win, that puts the franchise up 3-0 and I think that will finally be the end for Los Angeles.

The Clippers have been incredibly resilient, but the writing would have to be on the wall at that point with Leonard out and half of the rest of the team ailing. I don’t think Los Angeles would have another counterpunch in it at that point, and Phoenix has been excellent closing out a series.

That means that if the Suns win a close Game 3, they have an excellent chance of also winning Game 4 and ending things. I’d give Phoenix around a 55% chance to win Game 3, but if it gets that one and the Clippers are down 0-3, I might push Phoenix as high as 75% or better in Game 4.

That would give the Suns more than a 40% chance of completing the sweep, which makes any price above +150 worth playing. That said, it makes this wager a serious bargain at +260 odds.

Even if I’m betting on a coin flip in Game 3, the second half of my two-game parlay is not an independent coin flip. I think this is Los Angeles’ last stand and I’ll lay the +260 in hopes of Phoenix finishing off its foe for good.


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