LA Clippers vs Toronto Raptors: Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds (12/27/22)

Kawhi Leonard returns after a night off for load management in a game against the feisty Raptors. After beating the Pistons in overtime, they now continue their road stretch on zero days’ rest. Can the Clippers continue to climb the Western Conference standings for a higher seeding as one of the more complete rosters in basketball? Or will the Raptors defense shut down their high-powered offense and send them packing?

LA Clippers vs Toronto Raptors Betting Odds

Oddsmakers favor the home team as they opened the Raptors as a -4.5 favorite. Bettors have been neutral on the spread, leaving them at the current number. They come into this one well rested with their last game taking place on December 23rd. Not only well rested, but potentially rounding back into form at the right time after snapping their losing skid with impressive wins over the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers.

As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a premium as oddsmakers opened the number at 218.5. Bettors have been in disagreement, taking the over up to as high as 220 in some shops. This brings some intrigue as the Raptors offense have made a welcoming bounce back and the Clippers bring back their prolific star player Kawhi Leonard back into the fold. While both are normally known as defensive stalwarts, their identities have taken a shift as of late by bringing in a more explosive offense.

LA Clippers vs Toronto Raptors Prediction

The Pick: Over 219

With that said, I will take the over near the opening number in what will be a thrilling offensive display on both ends. Especially from the Raptors, a team that has mightily struggled at the start of the season but has slowly rounded back into form during their dominant stretch. In their last two wins, the Raptors have scored over 113 points against the Knicks and Cavs. Two impressive defenses that excel in forcing opponents into low quality looks at the rim.

Cleveland especially, sitting at the top of the league in points against. The Clippers are not too far behind and pose as another tough challenge for the Raptors, but their defense is nowhere near as efficient on the road as they are at home. In average points against, the Clippers defense takes an eight-point swing when comparing their home splits to away games. They are also on zero rest and on a two-game road streak which may call for tired legs down the stretch.

The Clippers on the other hand have been one of the more anemic scoring units in basketball, ranking second to last in average points as a whole. They have had a roller coaster of a year, bringing in multiple star players who are capable scorers but have had to balance out load management. This has thrown a wrench into the starting lineups rhythm, but they have shown how efficient they can be in their last few games by increasing that average by as high as 20 points per game. An incredible turn around.

Betting Trends

  • Over is 10-1 in Clippers last 11 road games
  • Over is 5-1 in Raptors last six games overall

Key Matchups

Can Kawhi Leonard provide a much needed scoring effort?

Kawhi Leonard vs Raptors rim protection

While Paul George has taken the mantle as the team’s go-to scorer, having Kawhi Leonard out there will help shoulder the load and ease the pressure off of George. Leonard’s scoring output has taken a dip on restricted minutes in his return from injury, dipping to as low as 16 points per game.

Don’t be fooled though, Kawhi Leonard is still a very capable scorer who is lethal at picking apart the middle of the defense. His mid range efficiency sucks the defense out from the rim, giving their more explosive scorers room to attack for high quality looks. As we near the playoffs, look for Kawhi to be more of a focal point on offense as he gets used to the tempo after suffering a devastating knee injury last season.

Verdict

With the Clippers on no rest and the Raptors offense rounding back into form, take the over at no higher than 220 in what will be a thrilling battle of superstars on both ends.

LA Clippers Starting Lineup

PG: Reggie Jackson
SG: Paul George
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Marcus Morris Sr
C: Ivica Zubac

(Team Callout)

Toronto Raptors Starting Lineups

PG: Fred VanVleet
SG: Gary Trent Jr
SF: OG Anunoby
PF: Scottie Barnes
C: Pascal Siakam

(Team Callout)

Key Injuries

LA Clippers Injuries: John Wall (D)

Toronto Raptors Injuries: Otto Porter Jr (O), Precious Achiuwa (D)

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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