The Clippers (22-10) have lost two of their last three games including a 118-112 loss to Oklahoma City on Monday night. Kawhi Leonard did not play in the game due to a sore left knee but he is expected to suit up on Wednesday. Paul George is in a bit of a shooting slump, making just 36% of his field goals over the last two games. George did not play in the first meeting between these two teams, a 112-102 Clippers win back on opening night. Patrick Beverly is expected to play with an injured groin.
The Lakers (24-6) enter a bit banged up, with Lebron James and Anthony Davis both popping up on the injury report. James is dealing with injured ribs while Davis tweaked his knee. Both are expected to play on Wednesday. James did not play in the Lakers’ last game, a 128-104 loss to the Nuggets on Monday night. The Lakers have dropped three straight overall on the heels of a seven-game winning streak. Kyle Kuzma has provided a spark off the bench with double-digit scoring efforts in three of his last four games.
ESPN’s FPI gives the Lakers a 59.4% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for the Christmas Day matchup between the Clippers and Lakers.
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Clippers vs. Lakers Game Details
Date: Wednesday, December 25
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: STAPLES Center (Los Angeles, California)
Spread: Lakers -2.5
This line opened at Lakers -1.5 and has been bet up to Lakers -2.5 despite the majority of the bets and money coming in on the Clippers. This indicates a slight reverse line move favoring the Lakers.
- Clippers are 22-10 SU and 18-14 ATS this season
- Lakers are 24-6 SU and 16-14 ATS this season
- Under is 17-15 in Clippers games this season
- Under is 17-13 in Lakers games this season
Analysis & Picks
When these teams played on opening night, it was a very evenly matched game, with both teams holding a double-digit lead at one point. The difference in the game was the Clippers shooting 51.9% from the floor and their fourth-quarter defensive effort, holding the Lakers to just 17 points. I think we will see a similar type of game this time around, the team that plays better down the stretch will be able to pull away late. Adding Paul George will certainly create another dynamic element for the Clips offense, but the fact that the oddsmakers still set the market with the Lakers as the favorite is enough for me to believe they will get the better of this matchup. Lebron and company have improved their play significantly since the start of the season and I think they have enough to get over the hump here in what should be an entertaining affair in Hollywood.
PICK: Lakers -2.5
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith