Toronto Raptors vs Los Angeles Clippers Preview (3/8/23): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

A non-conference bout between the Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Clippers will take place on Wednesday. Check out our betting picks for this matchup to see which team we believe will cover the spread, as well as updated injury news, current odds, and projected starting lineups for both teams.

Toronto Raptors Vs. Los Angeles Clippers Betting Odds

The Toronto Raptors are four-point road dogs against the Clippers in Los Angeles. The injury report is relatively light, as Otto Porter Jr will be out for Toronto, while Norman Powell is sidelined for Los Angeles.

Toronto Raptors Vs. Los Angeles Clippers Prediction

Defense has been a staple for the Los Angeles Clippers in previous seasons, ranking seventh in defensive efficiency last season and tenth the year prior.

Further, the Clips ranked fourth in opponent eFG% during the 2021-22 campaign. As a matter of fact, in six of the past seven seasons, they have been in the top ten in opponent eFG%.

However, this season has been a different story, with the Clippers in the bottom half of the league in defensive rating and efficiency.

Interestingly enough, Los Angeles has had Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, two spectacular perimeter defenders, available for a large portion of this season, yet it has still struggled mightily. What is the issue?

Lack of communication and cohesiveness in both transition and half-court defense has killed this team at times. Per CleaningTheGlass, the Clippers rank last in transition efficiency (points allowed per “play.”)

Unfortunately for Los Angeles, Toronto thrives in the fastbreak, scoring the most points off of turnovers in the league. While the Raptors don’t push the ball much off of made shots, they will look for a quick bucket off turnovers and missed shots.

The Clippers rank 18th in the NBA in turnovers per game with an average of 14.3; however, during their recent 1-5 stretch, they have averaged roughly 17 per game. If Los Angeles continues this trend, Toronto has a clear advantage in transition opportunities, where it thrives.

The only concern for Toronto is whether or not it can defend the three-point line at a reasonable level; it ranks next-to-last in opponent 3P% this season, an area where the Clippers have been solid, especially in recent games. With Jakob Poeltl roaming in the paint and protecting the rim, a positive regression should be expected, as Raptors wings can trust they will be covered in case of a blow by. The Raptors plus the points is a good play.

Betting Trends

  • Toronto is 14-19 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • Los Angeles is 13-18 ATS at home in 2022-23
  • The combined over record of these two teams is 68-65 in 2022-23

Key Matchups

Our key matchup of this game belongs to Scottie Barnes and Kawhi Leonard. Leonard has been on a tear recently; can Barnes slow him down, or will it be more of the same for the “Klaw”?

Scottie Barnes vs. Kawhi Leonard

Few players in the NBA match up with Kawhi Leonard from a physicality and strength standpoint, but Scottie Barnes is arguably one of those players. Barnes is just a second-year player, but at 6-foot-8 and 225 pounds, with quick feet, great length, and impressive anticipatory skills, he has proven to be a high-ceiling defender.

However, Kawhi seems to have returned to pre-injury form, at least on the offensive end, averaging 31 points, six rebounds, and three assists on an unconscionable 57/59/90 shooting split in his past five games.

There seems to be no stopping Leonard at this moment, and Toronto’s perimeter defense as a whole has been concerning all season. Even if Barnes gets a hand in Leonard’s face on every shot, it likely still won’t matter. Advantage: Klaw.

Toronto Raptors Starting Lineup

PG: Fred VanVleet
SG: O.G. Anunoby
SF: Scottie Barnes
PF: Pascal Siakam
C: Jakob Poeltl

Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineups

PG: Russell Westbrook
SG: Paul George
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Marcus Morris Sr
C: Ivica Zubac

Key Injuries

Toronto Raptors Injuries: Otto Porter Jr (Out)

Los Angeles Clippers Injuries: Norman Powell (Out)

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Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at Lineups.com, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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