The Los Angeles Clippers have been having something of a tough stretch lately, slipping from the top of the Western Conference down to third behind the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers despite amassing an impressive 18-8 record so far. They’ll look to get back to their impressive early season form in Chicago against a fringe playoff team in the Eastern Conference in the 10-14 Bulls.
Free Picks: Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Kawhi, Clippers Look Score Big In Chicago Against Bulls (Season Betting Record: 29-31)
While their 10-14 record puts them in 10th and right in the thick of the playoff race in the Eastern Conference, the Bulls’ record would slot them as the second-worst team in the Western Conference. Nonetheless, the Bulls have been one of the best against the spread teams this season, going 14-10 ATS so far, which includes a 9-3 ATS record against Western Conference foes like the Clippers. The Bulls are just 1-7 ATS as favorites, which means they have gone an astounding 13-3 ATS this season as the underdog.
Zach LaVine has been unconscious during this recent two wins in three games stretch for the Bulls, topping 35 points in three straight games while averaging 40.0 points on 59.2 shooting from the field. The Bulls are unfortunately without Lauri Markkanen once again, but they have been doing alright without the big man this season, going 5-5 when he’s not in the lineup.
The Clippers, meanwhile, continue to be without Paul George, who is sidelined indefinitely as he deals with bone edema in his right foot. Unlike Chicago, L.A. has not been great without their star in the lineup this season, dropping four of five games before their win against Minnesota on Wednesday night without PG. Even then, they still had to battle back from a 13-point deficit to win and failed to cover in the end.
Because of the murky and contradictory nature of the form for these two teams lately, we’re going to stay away from any moneyline or NBA point spread plays for this game. Instead we’ll be looking at a scoring prop for the Clippers.
While the current form of these teams is up in the air, there’s no debating that the Clippers are one of the best and most efficient offenses in basketball with 115.0 points per game (fifth) and a 48.1 clip from the field (fourth). Lucky for them, they’re going against the Bulls, one of the worst defenses in the league. Chicago has allowed opponents to score 115.8 points per game (fourth-most) at a 47.5 mark (seventh-highest) this season. We like the Los Angeles Clippers over 115.5 total points prop at decent -130 odds as one of our top picks for today.
He hasn’t been putting up numbers quite like LaVine, but Kawhi Leonard has been doing his thing recently, scoring 28+ in three of his past five games while also averaging 28.5 points per contest when his mate PG is out of the lineup this season. Leonard’s points prop is sitting at that exact figure, 28.5, for this Friday night tilt against Chicago.
This matchup has actually been one of the more lucrative for the Klaw over the years, averaging 22.6 points per game against Chicago in 12 career showdowns, his fifth-highest mark against any opponent. Another caveat working in Leonard’s favor is the turnover tendencies of these teams: Leonard scores 5.0 points per game off of turnovers, more than any player in the NBA other than PG, and it just so happens that the Bulls are turning the ball over 15.7 times a night, more than any other team in the Association. Take the over on Leonard’s 28.5 points prop at solid -120 odds as another of our best bets for today.
- Kawhi Leonard has scored 22.6 points a game against Chicago in his career, 5th most of any opponent
- Chicago is 27th in opponent points per game, allowing 115.8 a night
- Chicago is 24th in opponent field goal %, allowing teams to hit at a 47.5 clip against them
- Los Angeles is scoring 115.0 points per game this season, fifth in the NBA
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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.