The NBA Playoffs Western Conference semis continue Saturday night with Game 2 of the Denver Nuggets versus Los Angeles Clippers series. The second-seeded Clippers had an easy job in the opener and will look to increase their lead, but the Nuggets’ fighting spirit promises some exciting basketball in Game 2.
We’ve prepared the must-read NBA betting tips and trends along with the latest odds update for Saturday night’s Nuggets vs. Clippers showdown, so let’s take a closer look.
The Nuggets cannot count on Will Barton (knee), while the Clippers are coming in full strength.
LA opened as a firm 8.5-point fave with a total of 222.0 points on BetAmerica. The Clippers were listed as 9-point favorites in a 120-97 victory over the Nuggets this past Thursday, and the opener went in the under of a 223.5-point line.
What’s at Stake?
The Nuggets could be in trouble if they suffer another loss. They’ve already overcome a two-game deficit in the first round, but the Clippers are way more dangerous than the Nuggets’ previous rival.
Denver was 3-1 down against the Utah Jazz, but the Nuggets found a way to regroup and win three straight games. However, they could struggle with fatigue after playing all seven games in the first round, and that’s a big problem against a deep team like the LA Clippers.
The opening contest of this series was a one-way street. The Clippers pulled off midway the second quarter and never looked back, building an 18-point lead at halftime. They finished the game with 57.1% shooting from the field and 41.7% from beyond the arc.
On the other side, the Nuggets shot only 42.2% from the field and 25.0% from downtown. They struggled mightily against the Clippers’ aggressive defense while surrendering 66 points in the paint.
The Nuggets will have huge problems to defend the rim in this matchup. Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell love to play pick-and-roll, while Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will continue to attack the rim. Kawhi had 29 points on 12-for-16 shooting in Game 1.
Nikola Jokic accounted for 15 points on 6-for-14 shooting along with only three rebounds and three assists, while Jamal Murray added 12 points and six dimes. Murray had a couple of 50-point displays in the previous round.
The Clippers are now undefeated in three straight encounters with the Nuggets, covering the spread on all three occasions. The under has hit in four of the last six meetings between these two foes.
I’m pretty sure the Clippers are going to win this series, and I think we won’t see more than five games. The Clippers are a much better defensive team than the Nuggets which should make all the difference.
Denver is certainly capable of playing solid D, but if both Kawhi and Paul George put on a strong performance, the Nuggets won’t stand a chance. Furthermore, I think the Nuggets will have serious problems with fatigue even though they love to play at a slow pace.
Hereof, I’m backing the Clippers to win Game 2, but covering an 8.5-point spread could be a tricky job. Buying a couple of points and taking -160 odds should be a smart move if you’re satisfied with wages.
I would stick with the alternative spread and avoid the totals. The 222-point line makes me uncomfortable, and I think the final score will be just around it. As I’ve said, the Nuggets prefer a slow pace, but the Clippers will look to speed up the tempo every time they can.