Game: Los Angeles Lakers @ Los Angeles Clippers
Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Lakers +3, Clippers -3
As the NBA season nears the All-Star break, it’s almost hard to believe that both Los Angeles teams – the Lakers and Clippers – are under .500. If the postseason began today, the Clippers and Lakers would be taking part in the play-in tournament to fight for the seventh and eighth spots in the NBA playoffs.
Tonight, they meet for the second time this season. The Clippers have won the last four straight in the series but will be without their best player Paul George who is out indefinitely with an elbow injury. George was averaging 24.7 points per game. In his absence, point guard Reggie Jackson leads the team with 16.5 points per game average. While the Clippers lineup lacks punch, the Lakers aren’t much better.
What helps the Clippers tonight is that LeBron James will be out of the lineup. He is out indefinitely with a knee injury. Anthony Davis is back in the lineup, but he and Russell Westbrook don’t exactly go together so well. The Lakers lost three straight before beating Portland 99-94 last night. Also starting for the Lakers will be Malik Monk and Stanley Johnson. Surely, that wasn’t the plan when the season started back in October.
This is an interesting matchup because there is technically no road team. Both teams call the Crypto.com Arena home. The Clippers will play as the home team tonight, but that doesn’t offer much of an advantage. It may be somewhat of an advantage for the Clippers seeing as they have won four straight in the series. Not only have they won four in a row, but the Clips have also covered the spread in five straight against the Lakers.
The Clippers have also covered in four of their last five games and seven of their last nine this season. They had covered in four straight before their loss to Indiana on Monday night. The Clippers were a one-point favorite but lost 122-116. The Lakers haven’t been all that good against the spread either. They are 5-5 ATS in their last ten games and 22-30 ATS for the season.
When the two teams played earlier this season, both James and George were in the lineups of their respective teams. The game total went Over. Both teams actually trend Over with the total going Over in six of the last nine Clippers games and in 13 of the last 20 Lakers games. The Lakers are 11th in the NBA in offense averaging nearly 111 points per game, but they are also very poor on the defensive end.
The Lakers are 27th in the league in points allowed per game. They give up an average of 112.2 points a game. More recently, the Lakers have scored fewer than 100 points twice in their last four games, but the Clippers, who are 25th in the league in scoring, have scored 111 points or more in their last five games.