In the 2019-’20 season, the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers gave us four thrilling regular season matchups. Now, with the new season about to tip-off with another matchup between the inner city rivals, we’re exciting to look at the NBA odds and make a Clippers-Lakers prediction.
This Clippers-Lakers showdown is sure to enthrall viewers and bettors alike. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and company are ready to begin their title defense against the one team that many bet to topple the Purple & Gold in the playoffs, only to lose in the second round.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening lines.
NBA Odds: Clippers vs. Lakers Odds
Los Angeles Lakers -2.5 (-110)
Los Angeles Clippers +2.5 (-110)
Over 219.5 Points (-112)
Under 219.5 Points (-108)
Why The Lakers Could Cover The Spread
Every season, a LeBron James-led team has lofty NBA odds set for them. This year’s Lakers are no exception.
The Purple & Gold enter the season with the highest predicted win total. There will be few games where the Lakers are not bookmarked as favorites.
Tonight is no different. The Lakers face one of their more dangerous opponents, but they still deserve to be favored here.
It’s not smart to weigh preseason games too much, but the reigning champions did open eyes in their two matchups with the Clippers.
The Lakers handily defeated their neighbors not once, but two times in the preseason. And this was WITHOUT LeBron James or Anthony Davis.
When LBJ and AD eventually took the floor, Los Angeles won two more against Phoenix, including a come from behind win. The rally was led almost entirely by the Lakers bench in their last warm-up matchup.
Despite the quick turnaround, the Lakers look to be in form already. More importantly, their role players are clicking as well. This will be a key boost to their confidence against the rival Clippers.
When you factor in the absence of Marcus Morris and the increased Lakers depth with Dennis Schroder, Wesley Matthews, and Marc Gasol, it seems likely the champs cover this small spread.
Why The Clippers Could Cover The Spread
Last year, the Clippers came out of the gates strong against their inner city opponent. In the opening day matchup of the 2019-’20, LAC emerged with a statement 112-102 win.
Of course, the rosters looked much different that evening. The Lakers have improved since then, but the Clippers didn’t lag too far behind them in beefing up during the offseason.
Serge Ibaka will space the floor significantly better than Montrezl Harrell, unclogging driving lanes for Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. The former Raptor is also a shot blocking threat, something Harrell never provided. This is a key improvement against the Lakers, who averaged the second most points in paint in the 2019-’20 season.
Lakers supporters will point to the closing run their team went on against the Clippers to bolster their case. The Lakers lost the first two of the series to the Clips a season ago, but they won the last two matchups.
When you factor in the spread, the Clippers went 3-1 last year against the Lakers. The only loss came on Mar 8th, 2020, when the Lakers won 112-103 as underdogs.
In the other three matchups, the Clippers won twice as underdogs and covered the +4 spread in the last regular season meeting.
It’s unlikely that this game gets out of hand. Neither team wants to be embarrassed by a rival on the first day of the season.
In a game that figures to be close, and one the Clippers can win outright, the 2.5 points could make a difference.
Final Clippers-Lakers Prediction
In the end, it comes down to who has the momentum entering the season for me. After a solid preseason where their role players (especially Talen Horton-Tucker) impressed, I’m going to roll with the Lakers to pull out a win in the opener and cover.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: LAL 111, LAC 103