The NBA officially resumes its 2019-20 regular season on Thursday, July 30th, with a two-game schedule. The Jazz and Pelicans start things off, but the game of the night sees the Battle of Los Angeles shift to Florida.
Both LA teams are still vying for the top seed in the Western Conference, although with home court advantage no longer being up for grabs, it’ll be interesting to gauge how teams play this league restart.
The Clippers and Lakers probably still want to get into a groove, though, and neither side wants to give in to the other. If you plan on betting on the NBA restart, dive into this Clippers vs. Lakers prediction breakdown to gain some insight on this matchup.
Clippers vs. Lakers Odds
Clippers to Win+105
Lakers to Win-125
The Lakers open this contest as light favorites, as most NBA betting sites have this one appropriately priced as a virtual pick’em.
Bovada has the Clippers offering the most value thanks to their +105 moneyline, while their total is also the lowest you’ll find online.
Clippers vs. Lakers betting odds are subject to change, but the early consensus is that the Lake Show are favored. This game is also expected to be quite close, while there should be a reasonable number of points.
This is all slightly surprising, of course. The Lakers won’t hold any home court edge (not that they ever did, with both teams operating out of the Staples Center), and they could be without some bodies.
On paper, the Clips offer considerable value. They own the series lead (2-1), they rank 4th in efficiency, and they have the 5th-best defense in the NBA.
Kawhi Leonard anchors an extremely stacked Clippers team that has the ability to slow down LeBron James, while the Clippers even boast the best scoring bench in basketball.
They’ll be facing a very good Lakers defense (3rd), but the other LA team will be without Bradley, who is still a strong perimeter defender. The potential absence of Dwight Howard, who has cited a devotion to the Black Lives Matter movement as a reason for refraining from the NBA bubble, could also be felt.
From a matchup perspective, however, the Lakers have turned into the tougher team to defend. The Lakers managed to win the most recent meeting, while both losses to the Clippers were relatively close.
King James and Anthony Davis combined for 58 points in a 112-103 win in March, but it was the defensive end of the floor where the Lakers truly excelled.
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George matched the star power with a combined 58 points of their own (of course), but the Clippers shot 39% as a team and just 22% from long range.
If the Lakers are going to keep pressing on offense and deliver like that on defense, they may come out as the better team. It also doesn’t hurt that they’re the top shooting team in the NBA, as well as a top-5 defense against the long ball.
Prediction and Pick
All year long, I pegged the Clippers as the more complete team, and I still think that’s probably going to be the case. The Lakers only lose some depth with Bradley out of the equation and Howard potentially sitting out, too.
However, the Lakers start everything with their top two stars — both of which contribute to an elite defense and an insanely efficient offense. If that continues, the Lakers are still one of the best teams in the NBA, and per most NBA sportsbooks, the team to beat.
The Lakers may not necessarily win the 2020 NBA Finals, but they’ll be extra motivated for this game, and giving LeBron James three months to get fresh has to be disastrous for the rest of the league.
Look for the Clippers to be the first casualty in the Lakers’ return.
Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.
When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.