The end of the NBA seeding phase is nearing, and things are starting to heat up seriously. The Los Angeles Clippers take on the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, August 12, and both teams want to finish the regular season at the second spot of the Western Conference standings.
These two foes met each other twice this season, and the series is tied, as each team has been victorious on the home court. This time, they meet at the neutral site in Kissimmee, Florida, so we bring you all need-to-know betting tips and trends along with our best betting picks.
The Clippers are without Montrezl Harrell (quarantine), while Patrick Beverley (calf) is questionable to play Wednesday night. The Nuggets will probably miss Gary Harris (hip) and Will Barton (knee).
What’s at Stake?
The Clippers enter this clash as No. 2 seed in the west. The third-seeded Nuggets are 1.5 games behind, so they have to win here to stay in the race for the second seed.
LA is coming off a surprising 129-120 loss to the Brooklyn Nets this past Sunday. They will wrap up the regular season against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, while the Nuggets meet the Toronto Raptors in their closing game of the regular season. Denver is coming off a 124-121 loss to the LA Lakers last Monday.
The Nuggets beat the Clippers 114-104 as 1-point home dogs on Jan. 12, while the Clippers dismantled the Nuggets 132-103 as 7-point home favorites on Feb. 28. Denver is 5-2 straight up and ATS in its last seven meetings with the Clippers, while three of their previous four encounters went in the under.
While the Nuggets are 3-3 SU and 4-2 ATS in the bubble, all their six games went in the over. The Clippers are 3-3 SU and 4-2 ATS in the bubble, too, and the over is 4-2 in that span.
The Nuggets have been struggling defensively since entering the bubble. Although they play at the slowest pace, averaging 97.2 possessions per 48 minutes, the Nuggets surrender 124.2 points per game in Kissimmee.
On the other side, the Clippers average 100.3 possessions per 48 minutes in the bubble while yielding 113.0 points per 100 possessions. Both teams obviously need some time to gel the things after a long break.
The Nuggets will look to take advantage of Montrezl Harrell’s absence. It’s a big opportunity for Nikola Jokic to step up after tallying just 12 points and a rebound against the Lakers. The Clippers will lean more on their backcourt, and the Nuggets will struggle to cope with Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Lou Williams.
If they continue to play lousy defense, the Nuggets won’t stand a chance against this Clippers team. Also, I would rely on Kawhi Leonard and Paul George’s scoring abilities and take the Clippers to win straight up. The odds are not attractive, but this could be a tight game decided by a few points, so I won’t risk taking the Clippers to cover the spread.
The betting trends are suggesting the over on the totals, although neither team loves to play at a fast pace. Anyway, I would stick with the side bet and avoid the totals, as both teams will be under huge pressure which could affect their shooting.