Despite having a ridiculous amount of talent on their roster, the Los Angeles Lakers are struggling this season. They snapped a three-games losing streak by beating Portland on Wednesday.
The Lakers are two games under .500 and are searching for answers. They will have to find some of them on Thursday against the Los Angeles Clippers, who also have a sub-.500 mark.
Even though both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard have been out, the Clippers have won three of their last five. Which team can win the battle of Los Angeles this time around?
Let’s take a closer look at this NBA game betting preview and see which team is the best betting online in this spot here.
- Game: Los Angeles Lakers (24-27) at Los Angeles Clippers (26-27)
- Location: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles
- Day/Time: Thursday, 10 p.m. ET
- Television: TNT
Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers
Lakers Desperately Need to Play Defense
Any time you are ranked the 27th team in the league in terms of points allowed per game, there is some type of problem. The Lakers built their roster with a lot of offensive firepower, but the problem is that none of them play defense at a high level.
Anthony Davis is probably their best defensive play on the team yet he has missed 21 games due to injury. The Lakers did hold Portland to 94 points in Wednesday’s win.
On the flip side of things, they are turning it over the eighth-most times per game in the league. Many have pinned that on Russell Westbrook, who averages 4.1 turnovers a contest.
Overall, the Lakers need to play better and come into games more prepared. That’s especially the case with LeBron James missing games due to injury. He’ll be out again in this one.
Next-Man-Up Mentality for Clippers
Leonard hasn’t played a game this season and George has missed the last 27. It has been tough sledding for the Clippers without their two superstars yet they continue to stay afloat in the Western Conference standings.
Reggie Jackson leads the team in scoring with 16.5 points per game. However, somebody else badly has to start stepping up as they are 23rd in the league in points per game.
Thankfully, players like Luke Kennard and Terrance Mann have each had nice scoring performances. Neither are stars, though, so it’s hard to count on them to carry the load.
This league is all about superstars and the Clippers are missing their two best players. That will make things tough in this spot.
Lakers Surprising Underdogs
Even though the Clippers have played better with lower expectations, it’s still surprising to see them listed as 3½-point favorites in the sportsbook given that they’re missing their MVPs.
The Lakers still have much more star power with Westbrook and Davis, although the Clippers have a lot more capable depth. This is definitely going to be a close game throughout, but Davis should be the best player on both sides and that should help guide the Lakers.
The over-under is set at 220 and that number seems do-able considering both teams are so-so defensively. Go with the Lakers and over for your NBA picks.