The Los Angeles Clippers will take on the Los Angeles Lakers in a duel of Southern California teams. It’s time to continue our NBA Odds series and make a Clippers-Lakers prediction and pick.

These teams have had fairly similar seasons. The Clippers have been performing about as expected without star forward Kawhi Leonard, earning a mediocre 11-11 record on the season so far. In a surprising turn of events, they’ve dropped their last three contests despite playing a couple subpar opponents in the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings.

The Lakers, on the other hand, have won two consecutive games heading into this one. Head coach Frank Vogel’s squad hasn’t come close to their preseason expectations, but they finally have a winning record and a playoff seed in the West. This should be a great game between two playoff-caliber teams.

Here are the Clippers-Lakers odds, courtesy of FanDuel.

NBA Odds: Clippers-Lakers Odds

Los Angeles Clippers: +2 (-110)

Los Angeles Lakers: -2 (-110)

Over: 218.5 (-110)

Under 218.5 (-110)

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Why the Clippers Can Cover the Spread

This Clippers squad hasn’t been the most explosive on offense, but their defense has been one of the best in the entire league. They allow a mere 104 points per game, the sixth-best number in the NBA. The Clippers also hold their opponents to a 43.8% shooting percentage, another great number. The Lakers have struggled a bit on offense despite their talent, so this staunch defense has a chance to o slow them down at the very least.

The Lakers seem to be one of the more injury-prone teams in the NBA, with a number of key health issues hitting them this season. There are some key roles players still out and the Lakers’ stars have been a bit banged up, though it does look like those stars will play. Still, they might not be at 100%.

Why the Lakers Can Cover the Spread

It seemed as if LeBron James wasn’t going to be able to play in this game because of health and safety protocols. But The King was cleared on Thursday. He’s probable with his abdominal injury and ready for this big matchup. Anthony Davis is also probable with a thumb injury.

The Lakers’ offense hasn’t been all that imposing this season despite their raw talent, but they are excellent when they get out in transition. They rank as the 11th-best team in the NBA when it comes to scoring on fast breaks, an area that the Clippers have a lot of trouble stopping. Assuming that James plays in this game, the Lakers should be a little too much for the Clippers offensively.

While there are some stats that point to defensive struggles, the Lakers haven’t actually been all that bad on that side of the floor. They are limiting their opponents to an average shooting percentage on 3-pointers and 2-pointers, as well as an average shooting efficiency rating. Those numbers indicate a solid matchup against a Clippers team that has struggled on offense for much of the season.

Final Clippers-Lakers Prediction & Pick: 

With James and Davis both probably here, it’s tough to stay away from the Lakers. The Clippers have dropped three straight games and now have to face an intimidating Lakers squad in a stadium that should be filled with Lakers fans. Take the Lakers with confidence.

Final Clippers-Lakers Pick: Los Angeles Lakers -2 (-110)