On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Clippers (20-21 SU, 18-23 ATS) will host the Denver Nuggets (20-18 SU, 16-22 ATS) at the Crypto.com Arena. Which team will be able to build upon their recent wins?
Nuggets vs. Clippers Betting Odds and Lines
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Point spread: Clippers +3 (-110)
Moneyline: Nuggets -153 / Clippers +133
Nuggets vs. Clippers Injury Report
All injury reports are at the time of writing. Keep an eye on any late changes as the injury reports are fluid until tip.
The Nuggets are not dealing with many Covid issues, as Will Barton is the only player on the roster that is in Health and Safety Protocols. Other than that, Markus Howard (Knee Sprain), Vlatko Cancar (Foot Surgery), PJ Dozier (ACL), Michael Porter Jr. (Back) and Jamaal Murray (ACL) are out.
The Clippers, on the other hand, are dealing with some Covid issues. Luke Kennard and Justice Winslow are both in the NBAs Health and Safety Protocols. Other than those absences, Isaiah Hartenstein (Ankle), Paul George (Elbow), Jason Preston (Foot) and Kawhi Leonard (ACL) are out.
Nuggets vs. Clippers Preview
Clippers Trying to Right the Ship
Prior to defeating the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday, 106-93, the Clippers had both lost and failed to cover in three straight games. They were blown out by the Timberwolves, Suns and Grizzlies back-to-back-to-back.
In that win against the Hawks on Sunday, the Clippers had seven players in double digits including Nic Batum, Marcus Morris Sr., Reggie Jackson, Amir Coffey, Serge Ibaka, Eric Bledsoe and Terrence Mann.
With the absences of Kennard, Paul George and Hartenstein the Clippers are being forced into diversifying their scoring while maintaining their strong play on the defensive end. Los Angeles is 4th in Defensive Rating and 27th in Offensive Rating.
Their identity is, rather clearly, to win games defensively with a balanced offensive attack. They rank 4th in opponent shooting efficiency, 4th in opponent FG% at the rim and 3rd in opponent effective 3P%.
Nuggets Looking for Third Straight Win
The Nuggets have won both of their last two games, failing to cover in a 99-95 win against the Thunder and covering in a 121-111 win against the Kings last Friday.
Prior to that, though, they lost and failed to cover in back-to-back losses to the Mavericks on the road and the Jazz at home.
Denver has been a fairly middle-of-the-pack team this year, ranking 17th in Defensive Rating and 18th in Offensive Rating. However, they have improved defensively as the season’s progressed, as they were 27th in Defensive Rating in the Month of November.
In December, they ranked 13th in Defensive Rating and are 12th so far in January. But with that has come a drop off offensively. They were 11th in Offensive Rating in November, but were 20th in December and are 17th thus far in January.
Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers Suns Prediction
It’s no fun betting against Nikola Jokic, who is averaging 26.4 points and 15.2 rebounds in January. In the last meeting between these two, Jokic had 26 points to go along with 22 rebounds, a 103-100 win for Denver on December 26th.
In that meeting, though, the Clippers shot well below their season average from three. While they average nearly 36% from three, they only went 8-26 from three in that meeting and still kept the game close.
The Nuggets, on the other hand, shot 36.6% from three, where their season average is closer to 34%.
With that said, I think the Clippers matchup well with a Nuggets team that wants to get buckets down low. Ivica Zubac notched a double-double in their previous meeting, and I expect him to have a similar impact tonight.
The Nuggets had to shoot above their average, get 26 and 22 from Jokic and have the Clippers shoot terribly from beyond the arc. I think the Clippers will play more like their normal selves tonight and build off of their win against the Hawks on Sunday.
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