Christmas Day Betting Preview: Clippers vs Nuggets
The Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets will square off on Christmas Day as part of the NBA slate.
It’s becoming a yearly trend that every Christmas the NBA is giving us a strong schedule of games to showcase its premier talent across the league. What’s most exciting about this year is it will be the first week of the season for viewers to catch these teams in action with the NBA season tipping off three days before Christmas on December 22.
The last game on the Christmas day slate features a rematch of the Western Conference semifinals where the Denver Nuggets crawled back from a 3-1 deficit to upset the L.A. Clippers. The Clippers opened up their season in L.A. on a road game, spoiling the Lakers’ ring ceremony. The Nuggets open up their season on Wednesday night at home against the Sacramento Kings.
L.A. Clippers Preview: This team will go as far as Paul George takes them
Following last season’s bubble disappointment at the hands of the Nuggets, Paul George suffered some damage. He struggled mightily in the payoffs, then complained about the challenging situation by putting all the blame on the former head coach Doc Rivers and the way he utilized him in the offense. This all led to questions and concerns surrounding the Clippers entering this season. George signed a long term extension right before season’s start, locking him up for the next 5 years.
The Clippers on paper look funky and non traditional, but this team has enough talent alone to win a ton games and make the postseason. They looked pretty impressive on opening night beating the Lakers 116-109. Paul George was nearly unstoppable in the season opener on Tuesday night going for 33 points on an efficient 13-18 shooting, 26 points coming in the second half. Kawhi Leonard poured 26 points into the win as well. It’s a step in the right direction for PG-13 and the Clippers early on.
Denver Nuggets Preview: Can the Nuggets continue to grow from last year’s run?
A few months ago the Nuggets found themselves coming out of nowhere in the Orlando bubble. At one point this team was on the cusp of losing in the first round ,and then all the sudden making history in overcoming two 3-1 deficits on their way to the Western Conference Finals. The biggest question mark still surrounding this team is can they defend at an elite level that will take them to a championship.
The Nuggets have built this team the right way over time and can run about 9-10 deep. With a healthy roster top to bottom and even coming off a short turn around since the bubble, this team will make some noise because of their talent. Expect a big leap out of Michael Porter Jr. in this upcoming season and early season MVP favorite, Nikola Jokic. Head coach Mike Malone does a terrific job getting these guys prepared, and many seem to like them as the second best team in the Western Conference.
Clippers vs. Nuggets Betting Odds & Lines:
This looks like a game the Clippers desperately want to put on the back burner after blowing a 3-1 series lead to Denver but in reality, this is just another seasonal match up to both teams vying for a win. The Nuggets are at home with a talented and young roster that are looking to improve upon last season’s postseason finish. The Clippers are out to prove they are a championship contender and no longer the laughing stock of the media and league.
Bookmaker has the Nuggets as one point favorites at home. I would take the Clippers at +1 in this game, even on the road. The Clippers are ready to put last season’s drama and story behind them, and they have a golden opportunity to do it on Christmas day.
Free Betting Pick:
The Clipper stars have played in these kinds of exciting games in the past with Kawhi averaging a tune of 23.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game in four previous Christmas day games. Paul George has appeared in three Christmas day games before, averaging 23 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game.
On the other end, Jokic and Murray have only played in one Christmas day game together dating back to a year ago where they played the New Orleans Pelicans. Murray wasn’t spectacular in last year’s showing scoring only 8 points, dishing out 4 assists, and snagging 10 rebounds. Jokic played a good game underneath scoring 23 points, dishing out 4 assists and grabbing 10 rebounds on the night, but were still stunned by the Pelicans 112-100.