The Clippers hold the best record in the NBA at 16-5, and they are 13-8 against the spread. Their last game was a blowout victory against the New York Knicks.
The Nets stand at 13-9, but they are 9-13 against the spread. They are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Washington Wizards.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Clippers-Nets odds.
NBA Odds: Clippers-Nets Odds
Los Angeles Clippers -2 (-108)
Brooklyn Nets +2 (-112)
Over 241.5 Points (-107)
Under 241.5 Points (-113)
Why The Clippers Could Cover The Spread
The Clippers’ biggest advantage in this game is the fact that they play strong defense and the Nets don’t.
Over their last eight matchups, Brooklyn has held their opponent to under 120 points a total of once. What makes the weakness even more glaring is the fact that Brooklyn wasn’t exactly facing offensive juggernauts.
Against the Cavaliers, Brooklyn gave up a total of 272 points over two games. Cleveland has scored the second-least points in the league.
The Thunder, a team that has struggled to score all season and holds the third-lowest offensive rating in the NBA, dropped 125 on Brooklyn.
So, what can we expect tonight from Brooklyn against one of the top offenses in the league?
The Clippers lead the NBA in both field-goal percentage and three-point percentage. It’s tough to imagine Brooklyn limiting an offense that averages 114.5 points per game.
On the other end, the Clippers have an answer to Brooklyn’s electric offense. If any team is equipped to deal with Brooklyn’s Big 3, it’s Los Angeles.
The Clippers have held opponents to the eighth-lowest percentage from deep, and hold the tenth-best defensive rating.
This Brooklyn offense can’t be completely stopped, but it can certainly be slowed. The Clippers have a shot at doing just that tonight.
Why The Nets Could Cover The Spread
While Brooklyn has struggled immensely on defense, the offense has been spectacular.
The Nets offense sits atop the league in points per game, averaging 122.2 a night.
Since trading for James Harden, Brooklyn has looked nearly impossible to guard, scoring under 120 points just once in nine matchups.
More importantly, the Nets have proven they can beat a quality defensive team, triumphing over Milwaukee just over two weeks ago.
In that matchup, Kevin Durant and company didn’t do much to slow the Bucks offense, but they opened up enough of a cushion to hold onto the lead and eventually get the win.
Brooklyn should have a similar strategy tonight. They won’t be stopping the Clippers, but if Los Angeles goes through a cold stretch, the Nets can hit the gas and never look back.
The absence of Patrick Beverley tonight will help the Nets’ cause. Taking Beverly out of the equation should give Harden and Kyrie Irving more space to operate on the perimeter.
Look for the Nets to come out determined after a heartbreaking loss and rack up points yet again.
Final Clippers-Nets Prediction & Pick
In all but one of the Clippers’ losses, they failed to hit their average scoring figure of 115 points a game. When Los Angeles loses, it’s because they can’t break a defense. I can’t see the Nets slowing down the Clippers offense today. I’ll back the Clips to play enough defense and light up a Brooklyn squad that hasn’t slowed anyone down.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: LAC 129, BKN 121 (LAC -2)