NBA Picks: Profit Off These Teams' Misery, Bet 'Under' in Clippers vs. Denver

Jason Lake

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 11:43 AM GMT

Everything's gone belly-up for the Los Angeles Clippers. Where did things go wrong, and is there any reason not to put the Denver Nuggets in Tuesday's NBA picks?

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Nov. 23: 3-4 ATS

 

Great horny toads, the Los Angeles Clippers are awful. What happened? They won their first four games, everything looked peachy-keen, and then the wheels fell off: 2-7 SU and ATS in their last nine games. Sunday's 91-80 loss at home to the Toronto Raptors (+6.5) was about as ugly as it gets. Toronto was up by 29 points at halftime. Emotions boiled over in the Clippers dressing room after the game.

Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets (6-8 SU, 7-7 ATS) were the latest victims of the defending champions, losing 118-105 to the Golden State Warriors and barely missing out on a matador cover as 12.5-point home dogs. Who will prevail this Tuesday (9:00 p.m. ET) when they meet at the Sponsored Cola Center? The NBA odds say it'll be the Clippers; they opened as 7-point road faves.

 

Better Call Paul
Sadly for us, we were on the Clippers near the start of this meltdown, when they lost 109-105 to the Houston Rockets (+5 away on the closing line). Naturally, the Rockets went into their own epic tailspin right afterward. Anyway, enough bad beat stories. This is about the Clippers and their shortcomings.

At least one of their issues has already been addressed. Lance Stephenson (6.4 PER, –4.5 BPM) has been pulled from the starting rotation after a poor start with his new employers. Alas, the man replacing Stephenson, Paul Pierce (8.0 PER, –2.0 BPM), hasn't been doing much better since his reunion with head coach Doc Rivers.

As for Josh Smith (11.0 PER, –0.7 BPM), he's provided the Clippers with some much-needed defensive jam off the bench, but his offense has been so bad, Smith has been a net negative in L.A. His was one of the voices heard arguing with an unnamed assistant coach after the Toronto loss. So much for ubuntu.

 

Faried for My People
The Nuggets are a cohesive unit by comparison. This is their first year under head coach Mike Malone, who was unceremoniously turfed by the Sacramento Kings last year despite a good start to the season. It might take a while for Malone to put his defensive stamp on the Nuggets; they're No. 25 in the league in defensive efficiency at 105.3 points allowed per 100 possessions, just a shade worse than the Clippers at No. 22 overall (104.3).

Denver might also have to scrape by on Tuesday without one of its best players. Kenneth Faried (20.5 PER, +0.6 BPM) is doubtful to face the Clippers after picking up a mysterious left ankle sprain over the weekend. Depth is already a problem with center Jusuf Nurkic (knee) yet to play this year and swingman Wilson Chandler out for the season after undergoing hip surgery. We're going to punt this one and put the UNDER in our NBA picks, looking to cash in on both teams' misery. May the schadenfreude be with you.

Free NBA Pick: UNDER 207 at Bookmaker

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