Los Angeles Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: Predictions, Starting Lineups (12/21/23)

The Los Angeles Clippers (17-10) encounter the Oklahoma City Thunder (17-8) this Thursday (12/21/23). Get Clippers vs. Thunder moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Prediction

Both teams need to combine for two made threes by the time the game clock strikes 8:59, which is roughly about nine to twelve possessions depending on the teams.

The Thunder are giving up the fourth most open plus wide open three-point attempts per 100 possessions, the most corner three-point attempts, and the second largest catch-and-shoot three-point frequency (via NBA.com). Their tendency to over-help inside is a driving force behind these flaws, which will persuade Los Angeles to drive-and-kick. Plus, Chet Holmgren is absolutely erasing shots around the basket and deterring slashers; he has 15 blocks over his past two games.

Los Angeles sits in a perfect position to exploit them. They rank fifth in three-point percentage, and they own a 41 3PT% across their past ten games. James Harden and Paul George have both been dynamic from behind the arc. Overall, the Clippers likely thrive from deep in this matchup and could hit two threes by themselves.

On the other end, Los Angeles’ three-point defense isn’t porous, but Oklahoma City possesses the shooters to capitalize. The Thunder are third in three-point percentage, and every starter is at least capable of knocking down a three. Chet Holmgren in particular is a player to watch here, as Ivica Zubac will not want to step out to the three-point line to contest. A classic pick-and-pop could grant Holmgren clean looks throughout the game.

Overall, both teams are excellent from three, and Oklahoma City’s defense is vulnerable against the outside shooters. Getting plus money on this bet is definitely worth the risk.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Prediction: 2 or More 3PM in the First 3 Minutes (+108 FD)

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Los Angeles Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Best Odds

The Thunder are six point favorites, and it’s worth noting that Oklahoma City easily leads the NBA in cover percentage since October 2021. Meanwhile, Los Angeles must win this game about 32 percent of the time for their +210 moneyline to be profitable in the long run.

Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineup

PG: James Harden
SG: Norman Powell
SF: Paul George
PF: Terance Mann
C: Ivica Zubac

Oklahoma City Thunder Starting Lineup

PG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
SG: Lu Dort
SF: Josh Giddey
PF: Jalen Williams
C: Chet Holmgren

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Injuries

Kawhi Leonard and Mason Plumlee are out for the Clippers, but Paul George makes his return from a one game absence. Oklahoma City has no injuries listed on their report, so they will be at full strength.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Key Matchups

Josh Giddey 3PT Shooting

Giddey’s outside shooting struggles have persisted into this season, as he possesses a lowly 31.3 3PT%. Opponents are often placing their center on Giddey and having them completely sag to protect the paint. As a result, 92% of Giddey’s three-point attempts are classified as wide open (per NBA.com). If he can hit the open shot to start the game, then it would be a massive boost for the prop.

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2021-22 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs about analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions and NBA Analysis Network.

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