The Los Angeles Clippers will finish off a three-game road trip when they set up shop in the City of Brotherly Love on Friday night against the Philadelphia 76ers. Both of these teams are expected to make serious pushes towards the final prize this season, so seeing how they size each other up will be very interesting, especially if all of the top players are present for the hand.
Free Picks: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Clippers And 76ers Meet As Both Teams Near Full Health (Season Betting Record: 82-88)
Like basically every other team in the NBA this season, both the Clippers and the 76ers have had injury issues to deal with in the past couple of months. Philly had to go without Joel Embiid—who was an MVP candidate at the time of his injury—for 10 games after he suffered what seemed to be a serious knee hyperextension a few weeks ago.
Thankfully for his team, Embiid didn’t suffer any serious damage, and he has picked up right where he left off before the injury. While Embiid is back for the Sixers, Tobias Harris is now on the injury report and very uncertain to play on Friday. Harris isn’t a loss as significant as Embiid, but he’s still an important source of scoring and spacing for Philly, who sorely need spacing considering their two top players rarely threatening from outside.
The Clippers, meanwhile, have had their own ailments. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard have been in and out of the lineup basically all season. The only consistent thing about their appearances is that they have been inconsistent. George, however, is pretty sure to be good to go for this clash with the Sixers, and Leonard could be ready to roll as well.
They have been without Serge Ibaka, who is dealing with a back issue, for some time, so they have figured out how to deal with that absence. Considering the caliber of this opponent, we would think that Leonard will lace them up on Friday night, and when both George and Leonard play, the Clippers are 27-9 straight up this season.
It’s honestly strange to see the Clippers listed as such heavy underdogs against an Eastern Conference team, even if it is the cream of the crop. That’s why we like the Clips to cover their +4.5 NBA point spread at pleasant -118 NBA odds as one of our best bets for today.
Apart from a pair of games against the Lakers and a game against the Nuggets in January where Philly had just eight players, the Sixers have gone 3-7 ATS against the top eight teams in the Western Conference, not to mention a 2-5 ATS mark in their last seven contests against all West Coast opponents.
The Sixers have also dropped their last four straight games at home against the spread while the Clippers have come away triumphant both straight up and ATS in their past four games on the road. Tyronn Lue’s boys have also been top notch when they’re on a regular schedule, boasting a 22-14-1 ATS mark on a single days’ rest this season (fifth in the NBA) and an 18-11-1 ATS record when playing a team on equal rest (fourth).
It is also worth mentioning that PG is coming into this contest on a certified heater. The man that went through all of it during last season’s Orlando bubble has been having a stellar bounce back season, and his most recent stretch has been arguably the best of his career.
George has been darn near unstoppable over the past week and a half, putting up 34.3 points per game on 55 percent shooting from the field and 60 percent shooting from downtown over his past four outings. That scoring volume is his second highest over a four-game span since December of 2015, and he’s certainly in range to tie his career high of five straight games of 30+ points on Friday night.
That’s all before mentioning that George has owned his counterpart on the Sixers, Ben Simmons, in head to head matchups. George has won four of five clashes while putting up 24.2 points per game in those games, so we also like him to cover the over on his 24.5 points prop at standard -125 NBA odds as another of our top picks.
- Los Angeles is 11-3-1 ATS in their last 15 games
- Los Angeles has won the last two meetings SU and ATS
- Philadelphia is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. the Western Conference
- Paul George has scored 34.3 points per game over his past four outings
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The Los Angeles Clippers will renew hostilities with the Dallas Mavericks, who they dispatched in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
The Denver Nuggets and the league’s presumptive NBA MVP will look to get off to a strong start against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1.
The Golden State Warriors will host the Memphis Grizzlies in the final play-in game, which will determine the Western Conference’s eighth seed.
The Washington Wizards will host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night with the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference on the line.
Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve.