The Los Angeles Clippers take on the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night as the NBA’s seeding games continue in Orlando.
Los Angeles is currently 2nd in the Western Conference team standings behind their cross-town rivals Lakers while the Nuggets are in third place behind the two L.A. teams. The Clippers are 1.5 games up on Denver and a win here will clinch the second spot in the Western Conference.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers have shown inconsistent form in Orlando as they have slit their first six games in the bubble tournament. But L.A. has not played at full strength here as absences, injuries, and rest have prevented them from showing their true form. They can lock the #2 seed in the West if they win this game.
In their last assignment, the Clippers suffered a 129-120 loss against the Brooklyn Nets. Kawhi Leonard scored a team-high 39 points and issued six assists while Ivica Zubac grabbed 15 rebounds. However, the Clippers played without starters Paul George and Patrick Beverley while also missing the services of Montrezl Harrell.
Harrell has yet to play in Orlando and the Clippers’ biggest challenge in the bubble tournament has been their lack of size off the bench. Harrell averaged 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds before the suspension and his production was missed. He is now in Orlando but is expected to play his first game on Friday against the Thunder.
The Clippers are scoring an average of 116.4 points per game this season while allowing their opponents to put up 110.0 points per game. LA. has a 46.6% field goal percentage and they are pulling down 47.6 rebounds per game. The Clippers are also issuing 23.7 assists per game while also averaging 4.8 blocks and 7.0 assists per game.
Odds from BetOnline as of 08/11/2020
Like the Clippers, the Denver Nuggets are just 3-3 in Orlando. Denver is currently in third place in the West behind the Lakers and Clippers. The Nuggets are trying to hold off the Houston Rockets who are 1.5 games behind them after Tuesday’s games. Denver is also just 1.5 games behind the Clippers but with only two to play, keeping the Rockets off them should be their priority.
The Nuggets had another exciting game against the Lakers on Monday. They lost on a three-pointer by Kyle Kuzma with 0.4 seconds left to play. The Nuggets had a good lead when they played their reserves in the final period. LeBron and company got hot and the #1 team in the West escaped with a three-point win. PJ Dozier scored 18 points while Michael Porter Jr. added 15 for Denver.
Porter has been a huge revelation in the bubble tournament. Denver’s 2018 first-round pick missed his rookie season due to injury. Porter averaged just nine points per game before the suspension of the season but while in Orlando, he has put up 23.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game while shooting 56.8% from the floor and 46.3% from behind the three-point area.
The Nuggets are averaging 111.3 points per game while giving up 108.9 points per contest. Denver is shooting the ball at a 47.4% accuracy and they are hauling down 44.2 rebounds per contest. The Nuggets are also putting up 26.6 assists, 4.5 blocks, and 8.1 steals per game this season.
The Clippers are 6-4 SU in their last 10 games played. The Clippers are 5-1 SU in their last six games played on the road, 93- SU in their last 10 games played against the Western Conference, and 4-1 SU in their last five games played against the Northwest Division. The Nuggets are 5-5 SU in their last 10 games played. Denver is 3-3 SU in their last six games played on the road, 11-5 SU in their last 16 Wednesday games, and 1-4 SU in their last five games played against the Pacific Division. Head to head, the Nuggets are 6-4 SU in their last 10 games played against the Clippers.
The Clippers hold a 1.5 games advantage over the Nuggets with two games remaining. They can clinch the second seed in the West with a win here. Meanwhile, the Nuggets are 1.5 games up on the Rockets who lost to the Spurs on Tuesday. Denver gave the Lakers all they can handle in their last assignment but lost on a buzzer-beater by Kyle Kuzma.
Montrezl Harrell has returned to the bubble but he won’t be playing in this game. With Patrick Beverley and Landry Shamet also out, the Clippers will be undermanned. Denver has its own injuries to worry about with Gary Harris out. Jerami Grant and Will Barton are also questionable here but I think Denver has enough depth to give the Clippers a good test.
The Clippers are the better team here, and that’s obvious. But with the playoffs looming, I doubt if Rivers will unleash his stars at full strength. I won’t be surprised if Leonard doesn’t play his regular minutes here. I’ll take the plus money here.
Prediction: Boston Celtics
Other Bets to Make
The Clippers are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games played. Los Angeles is 7-0 ATS in their last seven games played on the road. The Nuggets are 1-4 ATS in their last five games played. Denver is 3-3 ATS in their last six games played on the road, and 4-1 ATS in their last five games played against the Western Conference. Head to head, the Nuggets are 6-4 ATS in their last ten games played against the Clippers.
Odds from BetOnline as of 08/11/2020
The Nuggets have outscored the Clippers by an average of 4.2 points per game in their last 10 meetings and 2.67 points per game in their last three assignments. These teams split their first two meetings of the season but I like Denver’s chances here. The Clippers have not shown their true form in the bubble. Kawhi Leonard looks like he’s in playoff form already but I can’t say the same for the rest of the team. Denver’s had their own issues but they have played in some hard-fought games in Orlando. I expect the Nuggets to give the Clippers a tough time here. I think this will be a close game and I won’t take my chances. I’ll go with the plus money here.
Prediction: Nuggets +5.5
The total has gone over in four out of the last five games played by the Clippers but the under is 19-16 in their last 35 games played on the road. The total has gone over in each of the last six games played by the Nuggets. Denver has seen the total go over in four out of their last six games played on the road Head to head, the under is 2-1 in the last three meetings between these two teams.
Odds from Bet365 as of 08/11/2020
This bubble tournament has seen plenty of high-scoring games and this one should be one of them. The Nuggets have been very bad on defense and they have ranked last in the league in defensive rating in the last six games at 121.5 points per 100 possessions. The Clippers and Nuggets are also in the Top 5 in offensive rating during that period. Both teams are missing some personnel but they have plenty on their teams who can offset the absences. I like these teams to hit the over on Wednesday night.