The Los Angeles Clippers will travel to face the Miami Heat in a cross-conference clash. Read on for our Clippers-Heat pick and prediction for Thursday’s NBA matchup.
Editor's note: Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard was ruled out for Thursday's game.
This season hasn’t been the prettiest for Los Angeles, but the team is still in the thick of the Western Conference playoff picture despite missing Kawhi Leonard and Paul George for extended stretches. Norman Powell has already been ruled out, and there are a number of players listed as probable after sitting out Wednesday.
The Clippers are playing the second game of a back-to-back set after going to overtime against the Magic on Wednesday, so there’s a very real chance the team rests one or both of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Neither are on the injury report as of this writing.
The Heat know a thing or two about injuries, as Miami has sported one of the most extensive injury reports for much of the season. The Heat list Jimmy Butler as questionable, Gabe Vincent as out, and a number of players as probable. Butler’s status is the most important to monitor, as his availability could swing the results of this contest.
Here is our best Clippers vs. Heat NBA pick (odds via FanDuel Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
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Clippers vs. Heat Game Info
Date: Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022
TV: NBA TV
Location: FTX Arena
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Clippers vs. Heat Odds
Clippers vs. Heat Odds Analysis
The Heat opened at -5, and the line has moved in Miami’s favor by another point to -6. The moneyline odds opened at +175 for Los Angeles and have gotten slightly longer at +190. Availability of superstars surely factors into the spread and moneyline odds, and we should gain some clarity later in the day.
The total opened at 215.5, but it’s gone down by two to the current 213.5, which means oddsmakers are predicting a low-scoring affair. It’s an understandable prediction given the low-scoring offenses. The Clippers score the fewest points per game at 107.3, and the Heat score the third-fewest at 108.3. The Heat are noticeably better at home, averaging 109.8 points, while the Clippers’ offense averages 110 on the road. It would be irresponsible to bet on a scoring bonanza, but this is an unusually low total, and the teams can eclipse it simply by playing average.
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Clippers vs. Heat Pick
Kawhi Leonard Over 21.5 points/rebounds/assists ★★★★
As mentioned above, it’s still unknown if Leonard will take the court for the second game of a back-to-back set, but if he’s available, we’re all over this prop.
Leonard has averaged just 11.4 points, 4.7 boards and 3.1 assists this season, going Over 21.5 PRA in three of seven games. Encouragingly, he’s hit the Over in each of his last two games, posting 15 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in that stretch.
Health remains a major concern and quality of play has fallen way off compared to prior seasons, but this prop is set dangerously low for a player of Leonard’s caliber.
Clippers vs. Heat Best Odds
FanDuel Sportsbook (-113)
|Not available||Not available||Not available||Over 21.5 (-113)||Over 21.5 (-115)|
This prop is only offered at two major sportsbooks, likely due to Leonard’s history of sitting out back-to-backs. He’s recently said that he hopes to play more moving forward, so we’re going to be opportunistic and strike while the iron’s hot.
Where to Bet on Clippers vs. Heat
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Clippers vs. Heat picks made 12/8/2022 at 12:02 p.m.