The Los Angeles rivals will face off for the second time this season as the Lakers are set to “visit” the Clippers on Sunday night. The last time these two teams saw each other was back on opening night. The Clippers came away with a 116-109 victory on December 22nd of last year. These teams have dealt with a lot of ups and downs in 2021, but still sit in the top half of the Western Conference coming in. It’s time to continue our NBA odds series and make a Lakers-Clippers prediction and pick.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Lakers-Clippers odds.
NBA Odds: Lakers-Clippers Odds
Los Angeles Lakers +10.5 (-110)
Los Angeles Clippers -10.5 (-110)
Over 212 Points (-110)
Under 212 Points (-110)
Why The Lakers Could Cover The Spread
The Los Angeles Lakers came out of the gates strong this season and have since slipped. It’s been difficult to find sustained success without either LeBron or AD on the floor for an extended period of time now. Los Angeles has fallen all the way to fourth in the west and there’s no reason to believe that they won’t continue to slip until they get their guys back. Andre Drummond and Jared Dudley have both dealt with injuries as well. Drummond’s freak injury in his Laker debut was grueling, but shouldn’t keep him out of a primetime affair with their crosstown rival.
The Lakers have seen some nice contributions from some key pieces recently. Dennis Schroder has taken charge and taken over as the leading scorer for his squad. He has also received great help from big man Montrezl Harrell, especially of late. Harrell had scored at least 18 points in seven straight games before Friday’s victory against the Kings. He is shooting 64.6% from the field during the recent stretch. Offense is definitely necessary, but this Laker team lives and dies on the defensive end of the floor. They are currently the second best scoring defense in the league, which is promising against a Clipper team that hasn’t broken 100 points in either of their last two losses.
Why The Clippers Could Cover The Spread
The Los Angeles Clipper currently sit in third place out west and have been one of the best teams in the league all season. The Clippers have played well of late, going 7-3 over their last 10 games. They have lost two straight and will look to get back on track against a depleted Laker squad. Los Angeles has been the best shooting team in the NBA. They are currently first in the league in three-point percentage, first in free-throw percentage, and seventh in field-goal percentage.
Los Angeles is led by their two All-Stars Kawhi Leonard (25.9 ppg) and Paul George (22.5 ppg). Both of these guys had stellar opening night performances against the Lakers and have put together solid seasons this far. Leonard and George went for 26 and 33 points in the December win against LA, respectively. The Clippers hold a strong edge over the Lakers on the offensive end and don’t see much of a drop off on the defensive side of the ball. Los Angeles is currently sixth in the league in scoring defense. They will look to take advantage of a Laker team that has lost five of their eight games without LeBron.
Final Lakers-Clippers Prediction & Pick
The better team in tonight’s matchup is not in question. As this Lakers-Clippers prediction goes, one side is far and away the better team. I don’t believe that they will be more than 10 points better than the Lakers in this game, though. In a primetime matchup, you know intensity will be high and tempers will flare. Drummond probably back on the court will be a huge plus for the Lakers as Serge Ibaka will be out again for the Clippers tonight. The Lakers have the defensive edge and possess enough offensive firepower to keep up in a low scoring affair. The key will be the production from Kyle Kuzma, who dropped a season high 30 points on the Sacramento Kings in the recent Laker win.
FINAL PICK: Los Angeles Lakers +10.5 (-110)