The NBA’s two Los Angeles teams face each other today as the 8-11 Lakers and the 7-11 Clippers do battle at Staples Center (10:30 p.m. ET Monday).
As a team, the Lakers have mostly performed to expectations thus far this season. However, their defense has surprisingly been much better than their offense. The Clippers, meanwhile, have recently gotten back on the winning side of things after a nine-game losing streak.
Home-court advantage will mean next to nothing for the Clippers today, since most of the fans will probably be rooting for the Lakers. The Clippers did blow out the Lakers a month ago, but Los Angeles has suffered some key injuries since then. These squads are more evenly-matched now.
So which team will claim ownership of Los Angeles on this night? Let’s preview the matchup give our betting predictions and picks in a bid to profit from the USA sports betting sites.
Can the Clippers Get a Bench Spark From At Least One or Two Players?
With Patrick Beverley, Milos Teodosic and Danilo Gallinari all out with injuries for the Clippers, an already shallow roster has become paper thin. Wesley Johnson playing 40 minutes against the Kings on Saturday should tell you all you need to know about this squad’s makeup right now.
The Lakers, meanwhile, are pretty deep. Forward Larry Nance Jr. is slated to return for this NBA matchup, adding some additional oomph to a balanced roster. Assuming Nance takes a bench role in his first game back, Los Angeles will have an excellent trio of him, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle in reserve roles. All three are better than the Clippers’ best sub at this point.
The Clippers need an unexpected big game from someone like Willie Reed, Sam Dekker or Sindarius Thornwell to win this one.
Will Lonzo Ball’s Shooting Struggles at Home Continue?
Ball is the rare rookie (or player, for that matter) to shoot much better on the road than at home. The Lakers point guard shoots just 26.7 percent from the field and 14 percent from three-point range at home, compared to 37.5 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from long distance on the road.
This is a road game for the Lakers in name only. Most of the fans at Staples Center on Monday will probably be rooting for Ball and the rest of the Purple and Gold.
Lonzo’s issues seem to be mental. He can’t let the pressure from Los Angeles fans psych him out. For what it’s worth, he will likely have veteran Lou Williams guarding him for a lot of the game. Ball’s opportunities to score should be plentiful.
Will DeAndre Jordan or Brook Lopez Win the Center Matchup?
The Clippers’ Jordan and the Lakers’ Lopez are both effective centers, but they play very different games. Jordan is very athletic and a great rebounder who dunks everything and doesn’t have much skill with the ball. Lopez is slow and a poor rebounder, but he can shoot threes and play well in the post.
The pair will probably guard each other for most of the game. Jordan will aim to outwork Lopez with activity on the glass and strong screens. Lopez, meanwhile, will try to bring Jordan away from the paint with attempts from three-point range.
Keep an eye on this matchup to see if Jordan’s physicality and explosiveness wins out, or if Lopez’s skill and patience is the difference-maker.
Our Preview’s LA Lakers vs. LA Clippers Betting Picks & Predictions
The Clippers have the two best players in this matchup (Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan), but the Lakers’ depth is worlds better than the Clippers. Lonzo Ball should have a good game, since there’s no true point guard on the opposition. The Clippers’ two most recent wins have come against teams worse than the Lakers.
- The Clippers are 4.5-point favorites, but that seems a bit generous to a squad that isn’t a true home team in this game. Get your best odds of Lakers +4.5 @ -105 with 5Dimes or Bookmaker.
- These are two pretty inconsistent offenses, so picking the over/under is no easy task. However, the Lakers should try to push the pace on the depth-challenge Clippers, who will have to play their regulars big minutes. Go with the over 214pts @ -108 with BetOnline.
Jared is a lifelong sports fan and writer whose specialist subject is NBA. A 2015 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, Jared has been a sought-after freelance sports writer. In addition to his valuable USA Betting contributions, he has also written for other top media outlets.