The Denver Nuggets are in dire straits ahead of Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Los Angeles Clippers. Hereof, Friday’s clash between the third-seeded Nuggets and second-seeded Clippers should be a joy to watch, but it certainly brings some very interesting picks and markets.
We have prepared all the betting tips and trends you need to know for the Nuggets versus Clippers showdown in the bubble along with the latest odds update, so let’s take a closer look.
The Nuggets miss Will Barton (knee), while the Clippers can count on all their players.
What’s at Stake?
Denver is in a must-win situation, trailing 3-1 in the series. Interestingly, the Nuggets overcame a 3-1 deficit against the Utah Jazz in the previous round.
The Clippers are one win away from the Western Conference Finals after a couple of straight wins over the Nuggets. While Game 3 was tight and decided down the stretch (LA won 113-107 as an 8.5-point fave), Game 4 was pretty much a one-way street.
The Nuggets struggle shooting the ball, making just 39.7% of their field goals in Game 4 and 46.8% in Game 3. Nikola Jokic is playing well, averaging 24.7 points and 11.0 rebounds through this series, but he needs much more help from his teammates.
The Clippers, on the other side, executed well offensively in Game 3, shooting 54.7% from the field. They shot just 41.8% in Game 4, but that was still enough against the indisposed Denver team.
Kawhi Leonard leads the way for the Clippers. The Claw scored 30 of their 96 points last Wednesday while adding 11 rebounds, nine assists, and four steals to his monster line. Paul George had 32 points on 12-for-18 shooting in Game 3, but he’s been a hit-or-miss this postseason. Back on Wednesday, George tallied just 10 points on 4-for-10 from the field.
If the Nuggets want to force another clash with the Clippers, they need to put on a strong performance on both sides of the ball. They won the second contest 110-101 thanks to a solid defensive work, but Jamal Murray had 27 points, and that’s more than he scored in Game 1 and 3 combined.
The Clippers have dominated the Nuggets lately, winning five of their previous six encounters while covering four times in the process. I’m looking for this trend to continue, but the Nuggets could keep it close, so I’m taking the Clippers as 6-point favorites at -160 odds.
The Nuggets are a young team and will be fired up to prolong these semis, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they make Game 5 very interesting to watch.
When it comes to the totals, we should see a low-scoring affair. As I’ve said, both teams are aggressive defensively and mostly struggle to shoot well. All four games went in the under, as well as 13 of the last 20 matchups between the Nuggets and Clippers.
Therefore, betting on the under seems like a nice option. Still, I would stick with the Clippers to cover a 6-point spread. They are an experienced team that should know how to finish the job here.