Watching Game 7 of the NBA Playoffs series is always a special occasion, and the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers will put on a show Thursday night in the bubble, battling for the spot in the Western Conference Finals.
We bring you all the betting tips and trends for Thursday’s clash along with the latest odds update and our best betting pick, so let’s take a closer look.
The Nuggets are without Will Barton (knee) this postseason, while the Clippers are coming in full strength. Denver PG Jamal Murray played through an injury last Sunday and will be ready to go in Game 7.
The Clippers are listed as favorites here, as well as in the previous six games of this series. They opened at -315 moneyline odds on DraftKings, while the Nuggets are +270 underdogs on the same platform. According to BetAmerica, the Clippers are 7.5-point favorites with a total of 207.5 points.
What’s at Stake?
It’s a win-or-go-home situation for both Denver and LA. The Clippers are searching for the first conference finals in franchise history, while the Nuggets haven’t been in the Western Conference Finals since 2009 and a Carmelo Anthony era.
The Nuggets were down 3-1 against the Utah Jazz in the first round, but they found a way to overcome a huge deficit. They were down 3-1 against the Clippers, too, so you have to admit that Denver is at a pretty familiar spot.
The Clippers had a couple of chances to finish the job, and we’ll see how they cope with pressure. They blew a 16-point lead in Game 5 and a 19-point lead in Game 6, so the Clippers’ self-confidence is not at a high level.
Both Denver and Los Angeles struggled to shoot the ball well through this series, but the Nuggets put on a show in Game 6. They made 54.1% of their field goals and 48.0% of their 3-pointers to clinch a 111-98 victory.
Nikola Jokic had a monster game, posting 34 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists, while Jamal Murray added 21 points and five dimes. These two guys will be key for the Nuggets’ offense in Game 7, but they also have to continue with a solid defensive performance.
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George led the way for the Clippers last Sunday, combining for 58 points and seven triples out of 14 attempts. Lou Williams had 14 points and three steals off the bench, but the rest of the Clippers was just awful.
Los Angeles used to dominate its rivals due to a great depth, but the Clippers’ bench is underperforming at the moment, while the Nuggets’ second unit is doing a good job. Kawhi and George will continue to torture Denver, but they need more help from their teammates in order to eliminate the Nuggets.
Five of six encounters in this series went in the under along with a push, and I expect to see another low-scoring affair. The Nuggets average only 93.0 possessions per 48 minutes, managing to force the Clippers into half-court basketball, so my top betting pick here is the under on the totals at -110 odds.
After a couple of huge comebacks, the Nuggets should have a psychological advantage over the Clippers, but I’m staying away from the spread and side bet. The Clippers have a couple of superstars in Kawhi and George, so they should have enough firepower to see off the Nuggets’ challenge.
Anyway, I’m sticking with the totals, but you should know that the Clippers are 4-1 ATS in their previous five encounters with the Clippers.