Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers Preview (1/24/23): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

The Los Angeles Clippers (25-24) take on the Los Angeles Lakers (22-25) Tuesday night. Luke Kennard and John Wall are out for the Clippers, while Anthony Davis, Rui Hachimura, Lonnie Walker IV, and Austin Reaves are out for the Lakers. LeBron James is questionable, but it’s likely he suits up.

Who will win the battle for Los Angeles? Odds, predictions, key matchups, and starting lineups are below.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers Betting Odds

The Clippers are rightfully favored as the spread is -5 with a -195 moneyline. The Lakers moneyline can be had at +175; for that to be profitable long-term, they must win at least 37% of the time here. The 229.5 over under is on the higher end for Tuesday games. It’s worth noting that the Clippers are 37-17 ATS in the last 54 meetings and have won the last nine games versus the Lakers.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers Prediction

I grabbed the Clippers at -4.5 and over 229.5 total points; I would definitely still play it at -5.

The Lakers are a team that relentlessly attacks the rim, pushes the pace for transition opportunities and has poor spacing. They rank 1st in finishing at the rim frequency, 2nd in pace, and 26th in 3PT%. LeBron James and Russell Westbrook are their only ball handlers, and both struggle to convert pull-up jumpers. Outside of those two, this Lakers roster glaringly lacks playmakers and self shot creation. Cuts are frequent as a result, and they are effective in this department.

Unfortunately, the Clippers defense is built to neutralize these strengths. They rank 8th in finishing at the rim defense, 3rd in cut defense, and 14th in transition defense (per ShotQuality). Their slow, grinding pace often halts speedy offenses in its tracks, and open space is rare given their lengthy roster. LeBron James will see a revolving door of capable, tall defenders like Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Marcus Morris.

The Clippers are extremely vulnerable to three-pointers, but the Lakers utterly lack the personnel to capitalize. Per BBall Index, they are dead last in 3PT Shot Making, which measures how well a team is shooting given the degree of difficulty for their attempts. The Lakers also rank 30th in ShotQuality’s Spacing metric.

On the other side, this often lifeless Clippers offense struggles to attack the paint and achieve transition opportunities. Their lackluster guards cannot effectively initiate a pick and roll, which has led to a shaky, inconsistent offense. However, they are an absolutely deadly three-point shooting team that ranks 5th in open three rate and 2nd in catch and shoot three-point SQ points per possession (per ShotQuality).

Enter the Lakers, who are 20th in opponent open three rate, 25th in opponent catch and shoot three SQ points per possession, and 23rd in opponent off the dribble SQ points per possession (per ShotQuality). They bleed high quality threes allowed, which is horrifying for them considering the opponent. Add in the fact that Kawhi Leonard is finding his old form, and the Clippers offense may finally turn in an explosive game.

Overall, given the matchup history and strengths/weaknesses, the Clippers are a solid bet to cover the spread. I would sprinkle a little on over 229.5 total points, but the main option here is Clippers ATS.

Betting Trends

  • Clippers are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games overall
  • Lakers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall
  • Clippers are 37-17 ATS in the last 54 meetings
  • Clippers are 9-0 in the last 9 meetings

Key Matchups

Which team will win the key matchups? Check out below for these vital battles.

Kawhi Leonard Offense

Over his last seven games, Kawhi is averaging 29.9 PPG on an absurd 54/53/93 shooting split. While the efficiency is unsustainable, he’s looking crisp and back to his old self. That’s massive for the Clippers because they often need Kawhi to bail them out of their broken plays. If he can hit contested shots and create in isolation, then the offense would have far less empty possessions – a problem that has harshly plagued them. He also faces a Lakers defense that doesn’t roster wing defenders.

Thomas Bryant Spacing

Bryant isn’t an everyday producer, but the Lakers center can have outbursts of offense. Against the Blazers on Sunday, he scored 31 points on 12/15 from the field and 4/5 from deep because Bryant was able to take advantage of Nurkic’s poor mobility. The Lakers need Bryant to do the same versus Zubac and draw him away from the rim. It would open up the paint for LeBron’s drives – a necessary foundation of their offense.

Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineup

PG: Terance Mann
SG: Paul George
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Marcus Morris
C: Ivica Zubac

Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup

PG: Dennis Schroder
SG: Patrick Beverley
SF: Troy Brown Jr
PF: LeBron James
C: Thomas Bryant

Key Injuries

Los Angeles Clippers Injuries: Luke Kennard (O), John Wall (O)

Los Angeles Lakers Injuries: LeBron James (Q), Anthony Davis (O), Rui Hachimura (O), Lonnie Walker IV (O), Austin Reaves (O)

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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