Los Angeles Clippers (21-18) at Denver Nuggets (24-13)
Game Info: Thursday, January 5, 2023 at 10:00 p.m. EST (Ball Arena)
Betting Odds: Nuggets (-6.5) / Over/Under (224.5)
Pick: Nuggets (-6.5)
Tonight, the top-seeded Denver Nuggets welcome in the Los Angeles Clippers in a Western Conference clash on TNT at 10:00 p.m. EST inside of the Ball Arena. In what could be a matchup we see in the playoffs in a few months, this should be a riveting matchup between the two West powerhouses.
Los Angeles slumps into this game still dealing with injuries from their two superstars in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, losing their last three games in the process. Both of them are listed as questionable for this game. Three nights ago they made an emphatic comeback at home against the Miami Heat after being down 20+, but after after a few key fourth quarter turnovers, they ended up losing by 10. They are only 7-10 ATS coming off of a loss, so they will try to improve on this record as they near the crucial midpoint of the season. Recently, as stated by Reggie Jackson in his post game interview a few nights ago, they have struggled to keep guys off of the offensive glass. If this continues, they will be behind all night as the Nuggets thrive on this type of play. Looking on the bright side though, even after all of the injuries they have had to deal with all season so far, Tyronn Lue still has his team sitting in the 6th seed as they try and get on a roll before the all-star break to create some room from them and the bottom of the pack.
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As shown in their record that puts them atop the West at the moment, the Denver Nuggets have been stellar all season long. It all starts with Nikola Jokic, who is in the midst of another MVP caliber season, as he is averaging close to a triple-double with 25.6 PPG, 10.8 REB, and 9.8 AST. He has led his team to winning 10 out of their last 13 games, and in two of those, put in 40 on his own. An interesting stat to take into consideration in this game is the fact that they are also 4-1 ATS this year when they have 2-3 days of rest (this game will be played on two days of rest). Coming off of an embarrassing loss at the T-Wolves last game where Head Coach Michael Malone spoke to the media about his players lack of effort, the Nuggets will be confident in coming home and getting a win against the Clippers who they have dominated of late.
A few betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- Denver has beaten Los Angeles in 6 out of their last 7 encounters
- Denver is 10-7 ATS as the home team this year
- The Clippers are only 2-3 ATS when they are on 2-3 days of rest this season
This is a game where I see Denver getting back on track to stay atop the West. Every game is critical for both teams as the season moves along, but I think it is more important for the Nuggets to try and grab home court advantage throughout the Playoffs if they can. With the Clippers battling injuries again in this one, even if one of George or Leonard are active, they will not be 100%. This bodes well for a Denver squad who plays in front of a packed house every night. Jokic will find it easy to get what he wants again against a team he is familiar with, as he helps his team secure a pivotal win in elevation at Ball Arena. Give me the Nuggets by double digits here.
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