Lakers vs. Clippers NBA Pick
The Lakers visit the Clippers on Sunday in the third contest between this season. The Clippers won the first two meetings, so the Lakers have a lot to prove and will come out looking to make a statement in this potential playoff preview.
FiveThirtyEight has the Clippers as 4.5-point “home” favorites and most sportsbooks have them at -2.5. That’s a big 2-point difference and this profit margin tells us that the Clippers have value. Is Clippers -2.5 the right NBA pick?
Los Angeles Lakers (48-13) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (43-19)
Sunday, March 8 at 3:30 PM ET (ABC), STAPLES Center
Lakers Have Size Advantage
Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard give the Lakers a considerable advantage when it comes to size and length. They didn’t take advantage of this in the first two games against the Clippers this season. The Lakers won’t win this game unless their frontcourt dominates at both ends of the court.
The Lakers rank second in the NBA with 53.6 points in the paint per game. The Clippers outscored them in the paint in their two previous contests and the Lakers just can’t let them do the same here. Anthony Davis has to have a big game against Ivica Zubac and Montrezl Harrell.
The Clippers can win if the Lakers rely on James and Davis to do it all. They have a deeper team and the Lakers need their role players to step up.
Clippers Are On Fire
With their 120-105 road win against the Houston Rockets on Thursday, the Clippers moved to 43-19, one game over the Nuggets for second place in the Western Conference.
“I mean the sky’s the limit,” Kawhi Leonard recently said when asked about what the Clippers are capable of when they play focused and inspired basketball. “We have very talented players, we got some youth, veterans, and when it’s all put together, I feel like we can be one of the top teams. It’s just about keeping and sustaining our health and trusting each other and just taking it one game at a time.”
Sustaining health is the key to this team. The Clippers are still capable of competing when key pieces are missing from the rotation. However, they are also more susceptible to blowing leads or outright losing to less talented opponents. The Clips are 10-0 when they are fully healthy. Six of the victories have come during the current six-game winning streak.
Betting Trends and Prediction
The Over is:
4-0 LAL’s last four games as an underdog
4-0 in LAL’s last four games as a road underdog
4-1 in LAL’s last five road games against a team with a home winning percentage above .600
6-2 in LAL’s last eight road games against a team with a winning home record
10-4 in LAL’s last 14 road games
5-1 in LAC’s last six home games against a team with a road winning percentage above .600
16-6 in LAC’s last 22 home games against a team with a winning road record
5-2 in LAC’s last seven games against a team with a winning straight up record
9-4-1 in LAC’s last 14 games following a straight-up win of more than 10 points
The Clippers have six players averaging double figures and the Lakers are more than capable of putting up tons of points, mostly because of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The Clippers are playing their best basketball of the season on offense and James and Davis will get their looks. I like this game to be a shootout.