The Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers will lock horns for the first time this season, so here’s the best betting pick for their Saturday night’s interconference showdown at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The Clippers opened as 5.5-point favorites on BetRivers Sportsbook, while the totals sit at 222.5 points. They’ve won just one of their previous six encounters with the 76ers, and the Clippers are 0-9 ATS in their last nine matchups with Phila.
The Sixers aim for their fifth win in a row
Although Joel Embiid (knee) has been sidelined since March 13, the Philadelphia 76ers (32-13; 26-16-3 ATS) continue to impress. They are riding a four-game winning streak following a 109-101 victory over the LA Lakers as 5-point favorites this past Thursday, and the 76ers are 10-1 straight up and 9-1-1 ATS over their last 11 outings.
Phila dominated the shorthanded Lakers in the third period, building an 18-point lead ahead of the last 12 minutes, but the Sixers nearly blew it down the stretch. The reigning champs cut down their deficit to three points with 51 seconds left on the clock, but Danny Green made a crucial 3-pointer with 30 seconds to go.
The Sixers are topping the Eastern Conference, a couple of games ahead of Milwaukee and Brooklyn. They lean on a stout defense, allowing 107.3 points per 100 possessions (2nd in the NBA) on 44.9% shooting from the field (3rd). Phila scores 114.8 points per 100 possessions (8th) on 48.0% shooting from the field (8th) and 37.0% from beyond the arc (13th).
The Clippers swept the Spurs to extend their win streak to four games
The Los Angeles Clippers (30-16; 26-20 ATS) are coming off a two-game road set against San Antonio, tallying a couple of comfortable wins as six and one-point favorites, 134-101 and 98-85. In that 13-point victory over the Spurs, the Clippers missed four players including Kawhi Leonard, but Reggie Jackson and Paul George stepped up and combined for 52 points and eight assists.
Los Angeles is a No. 3 seed in the West, three and a half games behind the top-seeded Utah Jazz, and half a game behind the second-seeded Phoenix. The Clippers start a nine-game homestand Saturday and have a nice opportunity to close the gap.
They own the second-best offensive rating in the NBA, tallying 118.1 points per 100 possessions. The Clippers rank seventh in field goal percentage (48.2%) and first in 3-point percentage, making 14.8 attempts from downtown per 100 possessions (4th).
- 9-1-1 ATS in the last 11 games overall
- 6-0 ATS in the last five tilts against the Western Conference
- 9-0 ATS in the last nine games against the Clippers
- 1-4 ATS in the last five home games against Philadelphia
The 76ers have been terrific lately, and I’m looking for more of the same against the Clippers who might be quite shorthanded in this matchup. Anyway, even if Kawhi Leonard suits up, the Sixers should keep it close, of course, if they put on another strong defensive performance.
Joel Embiid’s absence is certainly a big blow for Phila, but with Doc Rivers at their helm, the 76ers work hard on both sides of the ball for all 48 minutes. Rivers led the Clippers in the previous seven years, so I’m expecting him to motivate his boys and find the right game plan.
Pick: Take Philadelphia 76ers +5.5 at -110
The under is 5-1 in Philadelphia’s last six games, and it is 4-2 in LA’s previous six outings overall. While the Clippers prefer to take things slowly, averaging 97.3 possessions per 48 minutes (27th in the league), the Sixers record 100.7 (6th), so the totals seem like a tricky wager here.
I would stick to the betting trends and go with the under. Five of the previous seven encounters between the 76ers and Clippers went in the under.
Pick: Go under 222.5 points at -110