Wizards vs. Clippers Odds, Expert Pick & Prediction: Los Angeles Should Cover at Home (December 17)

Wizards vs. Clippers Odds, Expert Pick & Prediction: Los Angeles Should Cover at Home (December 17) article feature image

Rob Carr/Getty Images. Pictured: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers, Jordan Goodwin #7 of the Washington Wizards.

  • The Los Angeles Clippers are 6.5-point favorites entering their Saturday matchup against the Washington Wizards.
  • The Wizards have been reeling and lost eight in row prior to this game. Will that streak end today?
  • Jacob McKenna looks at the Wizards vs. Clippers odds then gives his pick and prediction below.

Wizards vs. Clippers Odds

Wizards Odds+6.5
Clippers Odds-6.5
Time4 p.m. ET
TVNBA League Pass
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Washington Wizards will continue their six-game road trip Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles where they'll take on the Clippers.

The Wizards have had an underwhelming season up to this point, largely due to some key injuries. As a result, Washington enters this matchup riding an eight game losing streak with an overall record of 11-18 and sits in 12th in the Eastern Conference.

The Clippers have had to deal with some injuries of their own, but as a team they've had much more success compared to Washington. They enter Saturday with a record of 17-14.

Both L.A. and Washington have some impact players listed as questionable for this matchup, which has been the case for the majority of the season. Will the Wizards be the team that overcomes those injuries and snaps out of their funk, or will the Clippers defend their home court and walk away the winner?

Let's dive into the Wizards vs. Clippers odds and determine the best pick and prediction in Saturday's matinee matchup.

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Wizards Defense Has Fallen Off a Cliff

The Wizards have played horrendous basketball as of late, winning just one of their last nine games. Some of that can be attributed to Bradley Beal being out the lineup with a hamstring injury, but it's hard to believe that inserting him back into the lineup would be the cure-all for this team.

The most glaring issue for Washington has been their performance on the defensive end of the floor. In their last 10 games, the Wizards have seen their Defensive Rating slide to 121.0, a rating that ranks 29th in the NBA in that span of time. They were ninth in the NBA prior to that skid, allowing 110.0 points per 100.

As a result, the Wizards are surrendering an average of 122 points per game in their last 10 games, while simultaneously allowing their opponents to shoot 50.3% from the floor overall and 38.7% from behind the arc. All three of those stats rank in the bottom four of the NBA, proving that the Wizards provide very little resistance on the defensive end of the floor.

However, the Wizards have been provided solid offensive production in their last 10 games. NBA.com has Washington listed with an Offensive Rating of 115.2 in their last 10 games, a rating that ranks 10th in the NBA in that time frame and is a significant increase from their season Offensive Rating of 110.9.

Beal got a full practice in before this game, a sign that he will likely return to the lineup. His presence will certainly help when it comes to the Wizards' offense, but this appears to be a team that can't stop anyone from scoring regardless of who they have on the floor.

Clippers Clamped Down When Stars Are Healthy

The Clippers have been up and down to this point in the season, with much of their unpredictability coming as a result of injuries to Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.

Luckily for L.A., it appears that Leonard (and potentially George who is questionable) will suit up for this matchup, a great sign for a Clippers team that is looking to climb the standings in the Western Conference.

George and Leonard both sat out the Clippers' most recent game against the Phoenix Suns, a game in which the Clipper lost by a score of 111-95 and shot 38% from the floor overall. That game clearly isn't indicative of how good this Clippers team can be, and when George and Leonard are both on the floor L.A. is an entirely different team.

Before their loss to the Suns the Clippers were riding an impressive three-game win streak, with wins over the Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, and this Wizards team. In that stretch of time, L.A. posted an Offensive Rating 109.4, a slight increase from their season rating of 108.4 ahead of that stretch.

More impressively, the Clippers saw their Defensive Rating improve to 97.3 during that three game streak. That rating ranks second in the NBA in that time behind only the Houston Rockets, which shows how dominant this Clippers team can be on the defensive end of the floor while healthy.

Wizards-Clippers Pick

It is likely that we see Beal make an appearance in the lineup again for this matchup, but I don't believe that his emergence back onto the floor will be enough to get the Wizards out of their slump.

Beal has been out since Dec. 4, but prior to his absence the Wizards had lost six of seven games dating back to Nov. 23. In that seven game span Washington posted a Defensive Rating of 120.7, showing that his presence isn't helping them on that end of the floor.

There is no doubt that Beal improves Washington from an offensive standpoint, but against a Clippers team that has George and Leonard on the floor, I think that his production is going to be limited. I like the Clippers to put together a solid performance at home in this one.

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Nick Sterling
Jul 21, 2024 UTC