After dropping six of their past seven games, the Los Angeles Clippers look to get back on track on Friday night against Denver, the best team in the Western Conference.
Our betting predictions and current odds are listed below, as well as the latest injury news on Paul George and Nikola Jokic and projected starting lineups for both teams. Check it out!
Denver Nuggets Vs. Los Angeles Clippers Betting Odds
The Denver Nuggets are five-point road dogs against the roller coaster Clippers in Los Angeles. Denver has remained fairly healthy but will miss Jeff Green, Collin Gillespie, Peyton Watson, and MVP candidate Nikola Jokic.
Meanwhile, Luke Kennard and Paul George are out for the Los Angeles Clippers. George has missed his past three games, while Kennard has missed two-straight matchups.
Denver Nuggets Vs. Los Angeles Clippers Prediction
UPDATE: Nikola Jokic and Paul George have been ruled out. The new betting slip below reflects the betting changes made from this news. Some information below will be outdated.
Most experts expected somewhat smooth sailing for the Los Angeles Clippers with the return of superstar Kawhi Leonard. After all, the Clippers had a decent season last year despite not having Leonard for the entirety of the season and Paul George for a large portion of it.
Unfortunately, offensive struggles from the 2021-22 season have seeped into this year, as Los Angeles has the third-worst offensive rating in the NBA. The Clippers also rank 28th in points per game, 18th in eFG% (effective field goal percentage), and 24th in FT% (free-throw percentage.)
On the other hand, Denver has met all experts’ expectations and more in the first half of the 2022-23 regular season. Nikola Jokic once again has a case for MVP, as he has shouldered the offensive responsibility of this team.
Still, players like Michael Porter Jr, Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have stepped up to give him enough help to be arguably the second-best team in the NBA.
Jokic has been on a tear recently, averaging 27 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists in his past 17 games. Further, he has posted that on an insane 61/45/82 shooting split.
My confidence in the Clippers is waning, and the potential absence of Paul George for another game makes it even more difficult for me to back Los Angeles in this one.
Denver has been playing with outrageous efficiency on offense, and Jokic has his third-straight MVP award well within his sights. Expect another Denver win.
- Denver is 8-12 ATS on the road in 2022-23
- Los Angeles is 10-11 ATS at home in 2022-23
- The combined over record of these two teams is 37-47 in 2022-23
Nikola Jokic and Ivica Zubac make up the key matchup in this game between the Nuggets and Clippers! Check out our analysis below to see which player has a relative advantage and if it will be enough to lead their respective team to victory!
Nikola Jokic vs. Ivica Zubac
Above, I alluded to the sheer dominance of Nikola Jokic; he’s posted 27/12/11 on a 61/45/82 split in his past 17 games. Few players in the league’s history have been capable of putting up those types of numbers on a consistent basis.
He is truly out of this world.
On Friday night, Jokic will match up against Ivica Zubac, a more than capable interior defender with an individual defensive rating of 109, which is very solid.
These two have battled twice so far this season, and in both games, Zubac has held Jokic to reasonable numbers. As a matter of fact, Jokic has only averaged 15.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 7.5 assists against Zubac this year.
While those numbers are spectacular for most players, they are underwhelming for Jokic. This is a tough matchup for him, and relative to his usual output, I like Zubac here. It still won’t be enough to stop Denver, though. Advantage: Zubac.
Denver Nuggets Starting Lineup
Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineups
Denver Nuggets Injuries: Peyton Watson (Out), Jeff Green (Out), Collin Gillespie (Out), Nikola Jokic (Out)
Los Angeles Clippers Injuries: Paul George (Out), Luke Kennard (Out)