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Aaron Gordon #50 of the Denver Nuggets puts up a shot against Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics during the first quarter at Ball Arena on January 01, 2023 in Denver, Colorado.
Aaron Gordon #50 of the Denver Nuggets puts up a shot against Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics during the first quarter at Ball Arena on January 01, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

The first place Denver Nuggets will host the ice-cold Los Angeles Clippers on TNT Thursday. Here is our Clippers-Nuggets NBA pick based on the top odds.

The Nuggets are expected to be nearly fully healthy, with their preferred lineup of Jamal Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon, Nikola Jokić all set to start together for just the 16th time this season. The Clippers will list Nicolas Batum as out and Paul George as questionable.

Here is our best Clippers vs. Nuggets NBA pick (odds via FanDuel Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

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Clippers vs. Nuggets Game Info

Date: Thursday, Jan. 5, 10 p.m. ET
Location: Ball Arena, Denver, CO

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Clippers vs. Nuggets Odds

Clippers vs. Nuggets Odds Analysis

After opening up at a six-point spread, the public ATS action has been in favor of the Clippers and the line has moved a point. The Nuggets now sit as five-point favorites in this nationally televised game and the total line is set at 228.5, the lowest on this four-game NBA slate, but still about 3 points higher than the opening line after more than 70% of the public action came in on the Over.

Both teams are coming off losses. Denver fell to Minnesota on the road on Monday but are on an eight-game home winning streak. They are 7-5 ATS after a loss and 8-7-0 ATS as home favorites. Los Angeles is sitting on a three-game losing streak and Thursday's mile-high matchup will be its first leg of a road back-to-back. They are 7-10-0 ATS following a loss but 5-3-0 ATS as road underdogs.

Clippers vs. Nuggets Pick

Aaron Gordon 1+ three ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Despite the total on this game being the lowest on the Thursday slate, the Nuggets’ implied team total is a hefty 116.75 points, not very short of their 119.1 average at home this season (top five in the NBA). It, therefore, makes sense to target offense for a Denver starter.

While the need for Aaron Gordon to shoot jumpers diminishes a bit with a fully-healthy Nuggets starting lineup, this line is an overreaction. Gordon has knocked down at least one three in nine of the fifteen previous games where Murray, Caldwell-Pope, Porter, Gordon, and Jokić all started together. In those games, he averaged 2.6 three-point attempts, which is right where his volume is at on the season overall. On Thursday, he gets a dream matchup.

Over their last 15 games (since Kawhi Leonard and Paul George returned from long injury stints), the Clippers have allowed the ninth-most three-point makes to power forwards. On the season, they have allowed the fifth-fewest corner threes per game but the thirteenth-most above the break threes per game. That’s Gordon’s comfort zone; this season, he has attempted 68% of his threes from above the break and shoots 46% from that zone as opposed to just 23% from the corners.

Clippers vs. Nuggets Best Odds

FanDuel (+100)

Over 0.5 threes1+ threeOver 0.5 threesOver 0.5 threesN/A

The bet we are taking on Thursday is for Aaron Gordon to hit at least one three, with only FanDuel providing us plus-money at the moment. As of Thursday afternoon, there are no ladder opportunities available for Gordon to hit multiple threes. However, longshots like this could become available later on in the day, especially with FanDuel running a TNT Thursdays No-Sweat promotion, an opportunity to build same-game parlays in this game and the Celtics-Mavericks game without risk of draining your buy-in.

Clippers-Nuggets pick made 01/05/2023 at 11:45 a.m. ET.

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