Los Angeles Clippers @ Los Angeles Lakers | NBA Betting Tips and Predictions
The Los Angeles Lakers have lost their last two games and six of their last eight. While technically still alive for the playoffs, their odds of making it are getting thinner and thinner with each loss. The Los Angeles Clippers are hoping to return to the playoffs this season and are hanging on to the No. 7 seed by a thread (a half-game ahead of San Antonio).
Spread: Lakers by 4
Money Line: Clippers +165; Lakers -190
*Odds via BetOnline.ag
Los Angeles Clippers
For most of their existence, the Clippers have been the ‘other’ NBA team in Los Angeles. With the Lakers acquiring LeBron James in the offseason, the stage appeared to be set for that to happen again. But the Lakers have struggled, and it is the Clippers who are in control of their own destiny. They will enter Monday’s game against the Lakers having won their last two and three of their previous four. Their last game was a 128-107 win over the New York Knicks where the newly acquired Landry Shamet set a new team record with seven made three-pointers (all in the first half; 7-10). This game will be the second of eight in a row for the Clippers at the Staples Center and the only one as the visiting team. They will face a playoff-bound team in five of the remaining six games making recording a win over the Lakers even more critical.
Los Angeles Lakers
Getting LeBron James back from injury was supposed to be the catalyst that sparked a playoff surge. But since his return, the Lakers are just 4-7and are now four and a half games behind the San Antonio Spurs for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference (and five games behind the Clippers for the No 7 seed). With 19 games left in the regular season, the Lakers do not have any room for error anymore. The Lakers will enter Monday’s game having lost their last two, an 11-point defeat at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks and a nine-point loss to the lowly Phoenix Suns, a team with just 13 wins so far this season. This season, the Lakers have been known to set the stage for epic come-from-behind wins way too often. They play poorly for three quarters and fall behind by a significant margin and then get their act together in the fourth and try to overcome the deficit. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t.
Los Angeles Clippers @ Los Angeles Lakers Head-to-Head
The two teams have met twice this year already with each winning a game. Consequently, it was the game they were designated as the away team. The Clippers beat the Lakers by 11 in late December, but the Lakers were missing LeBron James, Rajon Rondo, and JaVale McGee. The Lakers beat the Clippers by three in overtime in LeBron’s first game back from injury on February 1. Historically, the Lakers have dominated the series, 101-51. However, in recent years, the Clippers have been dominating the series. Over the six seasons (0212-13 to 2017-18) the Clippers have swept the Lakers three times and won 21 of 24 games.
Odds and Predictions
With how the Lakers have been playing lately it is hard to imagine them beating anyone right now. Losing to the Milwaukee Bucks is one thing; they are the best in the business this season, so everyone is. But when you flop as hard as they did against a team as poor as the Suns—it makes it hard to have faith in them. The Clippers haven’t necessarily been playing great, but they have been playing well—and better than the Lakers. They do not have the personnel to defend James like the Suns did (with DeAndre Ayton), but they have been one of the better defensive teams for the last month (12th; 109.9 defensive rating). The trouble with picking a winner in this game is that you never know when LeBron is going go decide to take over a game and blow up. If he does, Lakers win—but fans shouldn’t count on it. Look for the Clippers to put another nail in the playoff coffin of the Lakers. Take the Clippers (+165) to win over the Lakers (-190). If they don’t win straight up, they will certainly win against the spread (+4). As for the over/under, both teams are likely good for 100+ but can you count on them to go for close to 120 each? Probably not, so go with the under.
Expert Betting Tip
How in the world the Lakers are favored in this one is a mystery. Take the Clippers to win against the spread (+4).