The Brooklyn Nets have a narrow lead in the Eastern Conference and they’ll look to secure their spot at the top against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.
Bettors have been looking forward to this contest, but some of the shine has been taken off with the exclusion of Kevin Durant and Paul George.
The superstars won’t be on court, but NBA betting odds have framed the Nets as slight favorites.
- Game: Brooklyn Nets (22-9) at Los Angeles Clippers (17-16)
- Location: Crypto.com Center
- Day/Time: Monday, 10:30 p.m. ET
Brooklyn Nets vs Los Angeles Clippers
Nets Continue to Rise
Even without two of their biggest superstars in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Brooklyn Nets continue to step up.
Their win on Christmas Day against the Los Angeles Lakers was a testament to that and it was their fifth win from the last six games.
However, bettors haven’t been feeling as good. The Nets are only 14-17 against the spread and 5-5 over the last 10 games.
We’re not surprised by the spread statistics given the sportsbook lines, but the Nets find themselves as only -4-point favorites against the Clippers.
It’s a low line, but it would have been much bigger if Durant was confirmed to play. The offensive onus is now on James Harden, who can do the heavy lifting.
Harden should enjoy being the primary scorer, which takes him back to his Houston Rockets days.
The Nets don’t have George or Reggie Jackson to contend with, so they won’t be worried about giving up 120 points. They rank second in the NBA for field goal percentage on defense, which could tip the scales in their favor.
Clippers Doing it Tough
Not only are the Los Angeles Clippers only one game above .500, they’re dealing with serious injury and Covid concerns.
George could be done for the season and he was sorely missed in a 103-100 defeat to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.
Scoring just 100 points isn’t going to get it done against most NBA teams, but when Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Boston Jr. are your top scorers, it’s not surprising.
The Clippers had a chance to score an upset win as the +4 betting online underdog, but a poor fourth quarter sealed their fate.
“We’re missing our best closer,” Clippers small guard Terance Mann told ESPN. “We got to a close game and nearly stole it.”
The Clippers have won back-to-back games against the spread, so despite poor recent form, it’s not all bad news.
They have the fifth-best defense, so if they can limit Harden to under 35 points, they’ll have a shot to cover the number.
Nets to Fill the Pockets
It’s not easy to bet on the Nets without Durant on the floor, but the Clippers are harder to back without George.
We have more faith in the Nets to get the job done on the road with Harden doing most of the work. He’s due for a huge performance and the Nets have more depth at their disposal.
They’ll be keen to extend their conference lead over the surging Bulls, so it’s an important game.
Pick: Brooklyn Nets -4