NBA Picks: Bet Lakers To Cover +11 vs. Clippers On Christmas Day

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, December 24, 2015 4:01 PM GMT

Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015 4:01 PM GMT

The Staples Center comes alive on Christmas Day as the Clippers and Lakers exchange baskets instead of gifts and allow us an opportunity to cash in our NBA picks.

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NBA Pick: Lakers +11

Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Los Angeles Clippers (16-13 SU, 10-16-3 ATS)
Chris Paul had 32 points and 10 assists but it wasn’t enough to overcome a fourth quarter rally by Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder as the Clippers were edged 100-99 on Tuesday night. Westbrook was the ninth player to drop 30 or more points on the Clips in 29 games with Stephen Curry of the Warriors doing the deed twice this season. Blake Griffin and J.J. Reddick added 15 points apiece in the losing effort.

Veteran Josh Smith was a healthy scratch against the Thunder on Tuesday night as head coach Doc Rivers sat him for taking too many jumpers and ostensibly playing outside the coach’s offensive system. The verdict is still out whether or not Smith will be suited up on Friday to take on the Lakers. Rivers’ frustration is not confined to just his players but the referees as well. Rivers was incensed that Oklahoma City’s Dion Waiters was not whistled in the final two minutes of their game on Tuesday night when he clearly grabbed J.J. Reddick’s jersey as he launched a three-point shot that would have put the Clippers up by five but ultimately missed the mark. The veteran head coach wants a “coach’s challenge” instituted in the final two minutes of every game to correct any wrongs that may occur when the game is on the line. Good luck with that Doc.

 

Los Angeles Lakers (5-24 SU, 10-19 ATS)
The Lakers have dropped eight of their last 10 games and if you have been adding them to your NBA picks recently there is no question you want to leave plenty of coal in the team’s stockings as they have failed to cover the NBA odds in four of their last six. This is Kobe Bryant’s swan song and unfortunately he hung around a few seasons too long as his team has spiraled downward which coincided with his fading ability. Once a superstar of LeBron proportions Bryant has become an old guy with some game left, just not enough to propel his team to anything but also-ran status.

LA is mired in the muck of all the major statistical categories averaging only 96.7 PPG (26th), allowing 107.6 PPG (30th), 42.6 rebounds (22nd) and 18.4 assists per game which ranks them 27th in the league. The Lakers have seemingly gone to sleep for large portions of their games this season. Case in point was the 22-0 run that the Thunder went on in LA’s most recent game on Wednesday night which led to a 120-85 drubbing in front of the home crowd. The Lakers are now 2-8 straight up and 3-7 ATS at the Staples Center.

Must Read: Betting Trends To Get The Most Out Of Your Christmas Day NBA Picks

Betting Analysis
This will be the first meeting of the season between the co-tenants of the Staples Center and the Clippers are 6-0 straight up and 5-1 ATS over the last six meetings. The last time they met, which occurred last season, it was a “home-and-home” affair that saw the Clips crush the Lakers 106-78 on the front end and then edged them 105-100 on the back end. This season the disparity between the two clubs from the City of Angels is still imbalanced though the Clippers do not look like the powerhouse they were last season.

The Clips are 5-2 ATS in their last seven contests playing on three or more days of rest. The Lakers are 17-36-2 ATS in their last 55 games vs. Western Conference opponents and 4-12 ATS in their last 16 home games. The Clippers are 9-3 ATS in the last 12 meetings against the Lakers and it should be another easy notch in the win column. However, the Clippers have not been playing terrific basketball as of late losing their last three and even their recent wins have not been dominant. While I like the fact that the Clippers have had three days of rest headed into this tilt with their fellow Angelinos, I’m not sure if they are worthy of being double digit favorites even against a woeful team like the Lakers.

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