Free NBA picks for tonight's matchup between the Denver Nuggets and the LA Clippers. SBR's Joe Gavazzi walks you through this matchup to help you decide if there is NBA betting value to be found in both this game's total and spread.
Denver Nuggets at LA Clippers (-16) 10:35 ET
Take Denver Nuggets
At 10:35 ET, the Denver Nuggets travel to Los Angeles to face the LA Clippers in a game that holds significance only for the home team. The Nuggets enter tonight at 30-50 SU, solidly locked into 12th place in the Western Conference with no playoff berth on the horizon. But the Nuggets, to their credit, have not stopped playing. At the conclusion of last night’s 4-game home stand, Denver had turned in 3 solid efforts. That included a 119-101 victory over the Lakers, a 144-143 OT loss to Dallas, and a 122-111 win last night vs. Sacramento. Clearly, they have been able to put the ball in the basket the last 5 nights. Now, they travel to face a red hot Clipper team, who is on a run of 12-1 SU, but just 8-5 ATS. In fact, in that winning streak, the Clippers have covered just 1 of 6 on this court. These teams have met 3 times this season with the Clippers standing 2-1 SU but just 1-2 ATS. That makes the 2-year series’ record just 4-3 SU, but 3-4 ATS for the Clippers.
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The LA Clippers enter tonight’s contest with a mark of 54-26 SU. Due to tiebreaker advantages, that is good for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. Yet, they are 1 of 4 teams along with the Spurs, the Grizzlies and the Rockets, who all have 26 losses and are vying this week for the 2nd through 6th seed in the West, depending on the outcomes of the final 2 games. There is little question that the Clippers are playing their best ball of the season with the inside-outside tandem of PG Paul and Blake Griffin leading the way. Along with the interior force that is Jordan and the outside shooting of Redick, this is a team that is poised to make a post-season run. That is especially true now that key 6th man, Crawford, has returned to the lineup from a calf injury.
The Nuggets have been reborn since interim HC Hunt replaced Brian Shaw on March 3rd. Denver has responded positively to Hunt, saying that they hope he will be retained. They are also showing it on the scoreboard with a 10-11 SU record.
The Clippers have more to play for as the season winds down. That need has been more than compensated for in the NBA odds. With the Clippers slated to play at Phoenix tomorrow night in the season finale, there is little reason to think they go out of their way for a blowout victory against an opponent who has played them competitively the last 2 seasons. Reflected in that is the fact that the Nuggets are 6-3 ATS as double digit road dog this year, while the Clippers are just 8-12 ATS as double digit home chalk.