The NBA betting action goes on Thursday, May 6, with the battle of Los Angeles, as the Lakers and Clippers meet for the third and final time this regular season. The Clippers have a chance to sweep the Lakers for the first time since the 2015-16 season, so I’ve prepared the best betting pick for this Western Conference showdown.
The Lakers will miss LeBron James (ankle) and Dennis Schroder (medical protocols), so the reigning champs opened as 8-point underdogs on BetMGM Sportsbook. The Clippers have easily outlasted the LeBron-less Lakers in their previous encounter, 104-86, covering a 10.5-point spread.
The reigning champions beat Denver to snap a three-game skid
The Los Angeles Lakers (37-28; 29-35-1 ATS) are coming off a huge 93-89 victory to the Denver Nuggets this past Monday. It was their second win in the last eight games overall, as the Lakers put an end to a three-game losing streak as 4-point home underdogs.
Anthony Davis led the way for the Lakers with 25 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 10 points and seven boards. The Lakers put on a strong defensive performance to hold the Nuggets to just 43.9% shooting from the field and 25.0% from beyond the 3-point line.
With seven games left on their schedule, the Lakers are tied with the Mavericks for the No. 6 seed in the West. They are only one game ahead of the seventh-seeded Portland Trail Blazers, so the Lakers desperately need to get things going down the stretch and avoid the play-in tournament.
The Clippers outlasted Toronto to stop their three-game slide
As well as their city rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers (44-22; 36-29-1 ATS) were riding a three-game losing streak before Tuesday’s 105-100 home victory over the Toronto Raptors. They failed to cover an 11.5-point spread, so the Clippers are now 0-5 ATS in their last five outings at any location.
Paul George and Marcus Morris accounted for 22 points each against the Raptors, while Reggie Jackson had 18 points and five assists. Kawhi Leonard was quiet in 33 minutes on the floor, finishing with 13 points and five dimes.
The Clippers lost pace in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and are 3.5 games behind the Jazz and Suns. They hold the third spot, but the Denver Nuggets are only half a game behind them. The Clippers are still without Serge Ibaka (back).
- 1-6-1 ATS in the last eight games overall
- 1-4-1 ATS in the last six games as a visiting team
- 5-1 ATS in the last six games against the Lakers
- 8-3 ATS in the last 11 tilts against the Pacific Division
The Lakers are in a must-win situation, but without LeBron James, they will have a mountain to climb against the Clippers who also need a win in order to stay ahead of the Nuggets and retain the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.
The Clippers have dominated the Lakers lately, going 14-6 straight up in their previous 20 encounters. Also, the Clippers are 5-1 ATS in their last six matchups with the Lakers. Therefore, I’m following the betting trends here. The Lakers miss LeBron a lot, while the Clippers can count on all their key players.
Pick: Take Los Angeles Clippers -8.0 at -110
Nine of the Clippers’ last ten games went in the under including the previous six. On the other side, the under is 5-3 in the Lakers’ last eight games overall. Also, the under is 5-1 in the last six matchups between the Lakers and Clippers, so I would follow the betting trends when it comes to the totals.
Honestly, I don’t feel comfortable with a 211.5-point line, but the Lakers have to bring their best defense if they want to upset the odds. The reigning champs own the best defensive rating in the NBA (106.8 points per 100 possessions), while the Clippers are 10th in the league with 111.6 points allowed per 100 possessions.
Pick: Go under 211.5 points at -110