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Lakers Ready to Resume NBA Title Chase vs Clippers

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts between Avery Bradley #11 and Anthony Davis #3 during a 112-103 win over the LA Clippers at Staples Center.

The NBA makes its return Thursday night – and while the complexion of the 2019-20 schedule looks vastly different, one of the first matchups is a familiar one as the rival Clippers and Lakers do battle at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Arena in Orlando. And bettors have seen a glimpse of what to expect moving forward, with the odds for this one fluctuating wildly.

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Los Angeles Clippers vs Los Angeles Lakers
  • Date/Time: July 30, 9 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: The Arena (WWOS)
  • TV Coverage: SSNET, FSPT
  • Opening Odds: Clippers -1.5 | O/U 220.5 (Line History)
  • Clippers vs Lakers Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Clippers kicked things off as a modest favorite but every sportsbook has since pivoted to the Lakers, moving the current Western Conference leaders anywhere from -1.5 to -4.5. The total has dipped from 220.5 into the high 210s.

Clippers News & Notes

For those in need of a memory refresher, the Lakers and Clippers own the top two spots in the West, with the purple and gold juggernaut leading their L.A. rivals by 5.5 games heading into the resumption of play. But the Clippers were playing inspired basketball prior to the COVID-19 hiatus, having won seven of their previous eight games while going 6-2 ATS in that span.

But it’s worth noting that their only SU loss over that stretch came at the hands of the Lakers – and while they have both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George healthy, they’ll be without two key cogs Thursday. Big man Montrezl Harrell is attending to a family emergency and hasn’t returned to the bubble, while sensational guard Lou Williams is in the middle of a 10-day quarantine.

Lakers News & Notes

As a 35-year-old LeBron looks to lead the Lakers to glory in his 17th NBA season, the rest of the conference should be a little worried. Not only did the Lakers record consecutive statement wins over Milwaukee and the Clippers just prior to the break, but a few months off can only help James, who has played the ninth-most regular-season minutes in NBA history.

But not everything is rosy for the Lakers, who come into the restart at +225 to win the NBA championship. Veteran guard Avery Bradley has told the team he has opted out of the rest of the season to be with his family. His absence leaves a significant hole in the Lakers’ backcourt defense and long-range shooting; they’ll try to cope with a combination of Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith.

Betting Pick: Lakers ATS

The Clippers average a whopping 51.5 bench points per game thanks largely to Williams – and with both he and Harrell not in action, it’s tough to see the Clips keeping up with a highly motivated Lakers team.

Shark Bites
  • The Lakers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games.
  • The Lakers are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games against a Western Conference opponent.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 8 of the Clippers’ last 12 games.