Nuggets vs. Clippers Odds, Pick, Prediction: Bet Kawhi Leonard, L.A.
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Denver Nuggets Forward Aaron Gordon #50, Los Angeles Clippers Forward Kawhi Leonard #2.
- The Denver Nuggets hit the road to face the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday in a matchup that has largely been dominated by the Nuggets.
- With Nikola Jokic out, the Clippers are listed as 4.5-point favorites.
- Corey Parson explains why he's siding with the home team in Nuggets vs. Clippers.
Nuggets vs. Clippers Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Denver Nuggets look to extend their winning streak to five games when they travel to Los Angels to face the Clippers Friday. This is the third meeting between these two teams and the Nuggets have dominated this matchup over the past couple of seasons. Since the 20-21 season, the Nuggets are 7-2 straight up and 5-4 against the spread against the Clippers.
Here’s a look at the Nuggets vs. Clippers odds, including my pick and prediction for the matchup.
The Western Conference leading Nuggets have been rolling lately. They’re riding a four-gam win streak, they’ve won eight of their past 10 and they haven’t lost back-to-back games since the beginning of December.
Nikola Jokic is averaging close to a triple double and Jamal Murray is averaging 20 points per game this month, while shooting over 51% from behind the arc. The Nuggets are who we thought they would be, legit title contenders in the west.
So why are they underdogs tonight against the Clippers who they have made easy work of twice this season?
Nikola Jokic is questionable for tonight’s game — the reigning MVP is nursing a wrist injury. Jamal Murray is probable after he rolled his ankle earlier this week, but he should be able to play tonight. Murray is averaging 19 points, five rebounds and five assists in two games against the Clippers this season and shot over 50% in both games.
The other reason the the Nuggets are dogs? They are playing on the road. This team has done most of its winning this season at home (18-3 SU, 13-7-1 ATS), but that success hasn’t carried over on the road (10-10 SU 8-12 ATS).
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers have one win in their past games and they are 3-7 in the past 10. Seven of those 10 games were played away from Crypto.com Arena. It also doesn’t help that Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Clippers’ best two players, rarely play together.
George will miss his fourth straight game tonight with a hamstring-issue. Leonard is expected to play tonight and he’s coming off his best game of the season. On Tuesday night against the Dallas Mavericks, Leonard scored 33 points while shooting 9-of-12 from the field and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, with nine rebounds, four assists, and four steals.
Leonard has put up 62 points over the Clippers’ past two games and tallied at least 25 points in consecutive games for the first time this season. He is playing his best basketball since returning to the lineup and the Clippers need him out there. With Leonard on the floor, the Clippers have a +8.1 Net Rating. When he’s off the floor, that dips to -4.3.
The Clippers were run off the floor the last time these two teams met and no player in L.A.’s starting lineup played more than 20 minutes because the Nuggets led by 43 through the third quarter. They’ll have something to prove tonight.
According to the Action Network’s public betting data, the Nuggets have the slight edge in terms of betting tickets (51%), but the Clippers are getting a significant amount of the money (96%). I’m going to fade the public and back the Clippers at home. I bet this at -1. but Caesars has the best line at the time of writing.
Pick: Clippers -1.5