The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Clippers in their last meeting to extend their lead atop the West, and will seek to do the same again in the second leg of Thursday's NBA bubble debut doubleheader.
With a prohibitive 5.5-game lead and only eight contests left before the playoffs, the Purple and Gold can clinch the West in short order. Even in lieu of a home-court edge, the No. 1 seed would probably help to avoid a more difficult first-round playoff matchup.
Proceed further for a betting preview from abe Insights on this latest Clippers-Lakers battle for L.A., which provides relevant advanced stats, additional wagers information and the best odds to help you make the better bets.
Date: Thursday, July 30
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Implied Probabilities: Clippers 34%; Lakers 67%
Spread: LAL -5
Moneyline: LAC +190; LAL -200
It's no secret both teams are shorthanded in this one. Starting with the Clippers, supreme scoring threat Lou Williams is out, along with super sub forward Montrezl Harrell. Point guard Patrick Beverley is questionable, per USA Today's Mark Medina.
As for the Lakers, All-Star Anthony Davis got poked in the eye during a scrimmage over the weekend and is questionable to play. Floor general Rajon Rondo suffered a fractured thumb and is still out for weeks. Veteran guard Avery Bradley opted out of the bubble.
60.3 vs. 57.5: Both squads have multiple stars who can create offense on their own. However, the Lakers do have a distinct advantage in assist percentage, ranking 13th in the Association, whereas the Clips come in at 23rd.
23.7 vs. 19.9: The Clippers get to the line at a higher rate than any squad in the Association. Their opponent ranks only 19th, so it may be on LeBron James to drive to the basket more often, despite his emergence as the NBA's assist leader this season.
38.3 vs. 33.7: Player Impact Estimate can be helpful in deciding who'll win. It underscores depth and how strong the top of the roster is. In this instance, we see the combined totals for LeBron and AD, followed by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
It isn't Williams or even George who has the second-highest PIE on the Clippers roster. Harrell (14.5 to edge PG-13) is indeed a sixth-man extraordinaire, much like Williams has been for much of his career, and is an extremely efficient scorer of 18.6 points per game.
Davis seems most likely to be in action, which is rough news for the Clippers. Despite the defensive brilliance of superstars Leonard and George, they don't have anyone with the blend of size and finesse to optimally defend Davis, but to be fair, few have that skill set.
There's always the chance that Leonard, George or both could take over offensively out of necessity with Williams sidelined. After all, Rondo and Bradley are two of the most experienced and stout perimeter defenders. Well, when Rondo is locked in on that end of the court, that is.
If this duel is meant to live up to the hype and be competitive at all, Leonard and George must be aggressive. Their typical free-throw advantage won't be as significant sans Williams, who averages 5.4 attempts from the charity stripe in 2019-20.
Unless Davis is a last-minute scratch from the Lakers starting five, it's unlikely the moneyline will move much to benefit favorite bettors. Given the underdogs' lingering star power, expect sportsbooks to see more action on the Clippers moneyline.
As for the spread, well, the Lakers at -4 are a solid bargain, provided Davis plays extensively. This provides for a very straightforward hedging strategy, which may be a nice way to ease back into NBA betting and enjoy a hopefully high-quality matchup.
When the Clips are underdogs in 2019-20, they have a 3-9 record in hitting the Over point total, per TeamRankings.com. Their chemistry will probably be out of sorts with so many key absences, so wagers are bound to lean in the direction of the Under.
Note: Odds current as of 2:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 30.
Back to top