The Los Angeles Clippers (30-14) battle the Cleveland Cavaliers (27-16) this Monday (1/29/24). Get Clippers vs. Cavaliers moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction
The Cavaliers boast a formidable team defense that rotates crisply and covers the pick-and-roll well; however, opponents that can target individual mismatches have found success, especially on the wings. They subsequently give up the third most midrange attempts per game and the third largest isolation frequency (per NBA.com).
That’s a red flag against this elite Clippers offense, which leads the league in isolation frequency and takes the 11th most midrange attempts per game. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are isolation savants that enter this contest red-hot. Across Los Angeles’ past fifteen games, they have combined to average roughly 46 points per game on superb 50/46/90 shooting splits.
Cleveland will find it extremely difficult to mark them without sending help, especially since their wing defenders are somewhat undersized. Should Cleveland send doubles, then the Clippers’ stable of elite outside shooters will be lurking. The Cavs pose serious issues for most teams, but this unique Clippers offense is a different beast.
On the other end, Ivica Zubac’s injury is significant for Los Angeles because Mason Plumlee’s lackluster athleticism and timing weakens the backline. Cleveland ranks seventh in three-point attempt rate and routinely settles for jumpers though, so their middling rim pressure isn’t a death sentence for the Clippers here. Los Angeles also has the personnel to switch screens and harass Cleveland’s ball handlers, thus slashing Donovan Mitchell’s ability to hunt.
Overall, Cleveland ranks second in Defensive Rating over their past fifteen games, but Los Angeles is a poor matchup for them. Look for the Clippers to do just enough on defense to win a close game on the road.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction: Clippers -1.5
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Los Angeles Clippers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Best Odds
Since December 1st, the Clippers are 22-4 with key wins over the Nuggets, Celtics, and Thunder. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers own a 14-4 record across their past eighteen games. It’s a matchup between teams with a ton of momentum.
Los Angeles is a slight favorite here; they are 11-10 against the spread on the road this season. On the other side, Cleveland is 11-10-1 against the spread at home.
The Cavs needs to win this matchup at least 47 percent of the time for their +110 moneyline to hold a positive expected value, thus making it profitable in the long run.
Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineup
Cleveland Cavaliers Starting Lineup
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Injuries
Ivica Zubac remains out for Los Angeles, so Mason Plumlee will notch his sixth straight start. Cleveland lacks Darius Garland, Ty Jerome, and Tristan Thompson, but Evan Mobley makes his return after missing 22 games due to a knee injury. He will be on a minutes restriction that limits him to around 20 minutes. Finally, Donovan Mitchell holds a probable tag.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Key Matchups
Russell Westbrook vs. Cleveland’s Guards
Cleveland’s backcourt rotation isn’t above average from an athleticism standpoint, so they likely struggle to handle Russell Westbrook’s explosiveness and straight-line speed. Of the 77 players with at least 300 drives this season, he is second in drive assist percentage (per NBA.com). If Westbrook continues to thrive via drive-and-kicks, then Los Angeles can exploit a Cleveland defense that surrenders the eighth most corner three-point attempts per game.
Jarrett Allen vs. Mason Plumlee
Mason Plumlee is a below-the-rim defender who cannot hang vertically with lob threats. Jarrett Allen averages the 11th most field goal attempts per game as the roller, so he should decimate Los Angeles near the basket. Cleveland needs a big game from Allen on both ends of the court to upset the rolling Clippers.