Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers – NBA, September 3, 2020

By Admir Aljic in NBA
| September 3, 2020 1:01 am PDT

The Denver Nuggets managed to come from a 3-1 deficit to win the Round 1 series against the Utah Jazz, something they never did in franchise history. They are facing another tough task when they take on the Los Angeles Clippers, who are the favorites to get past this round and reach the Western Conference finals. Doc Rivers’ side beat the Dallas Mavericks in six games in Round 1 and is looking to open this series with a victory. The Game1 tip-off is set at 9 PM ET.

These conference rivals have met three times this season, including once in the Orlando bubble, and the Clippers are leading the series 2. Take a look at my Nuggets vs. Clippers betting prediction for Game 1.

Odds for Nuggets vs. Clippers

BET ODDS
Nuggets +8.5 -110
Clippers -8.5 -110
Nuggets to win +320
Clippers to win -357
Over 223 -110
Under 223 -110

The sportsbooks are giving the Clippers a big advantage in the opening game of the series, and they set the spread at -8.5, which is a bit high in my opinion, considering Denver’s form of late.

The total is set at 223, and you might consider betting Over in this one because it’s hard to expect a low-scoring game like it was the case in Game 7 between Denver and Utah.

Nuggets Analysis

This generation of Nuggets did something that no generation managed to do before – to win the series after trailing 3-1. That is a great accomplishment for Denver, but to be completely honest, they were guilty of being in such a situation in the first place.

Gary Harris played a crucial defense on Donovan Mitchell with seconds to go, but Torrey Craig failed to score on a layup on a fast-break. The Nuggets had a two-point lead at that moment, and that miss could cost them greatly, but Mike Conley couldn’t hit a game-winning triple for the Jazz on the other end, and Denver got away with an 80-78 victory.

Nikola Jokic dominated the game with a double-double of 30 points and team-high 14 rebounds, along with four assists. Jamal Murray added 17 points and four dimes, while Michael Porter Jr. had ten points, nine boards, and two steals.

Clippers Analysis

The Clippers had problems with the Dallas Mavericks in the first four games of the series but were convincing in Game 5 and Game 6 to seal the deal. Even though many expected the Clippers to have an easier job in the opening round of the playoffs, they did make it through, and that’s all that counts in the end. Doc Rivers’ team controlled the boards in Game 6 (52-42) and secured a 111-97 win.

Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with a double-double of 34 points and game-high 14 rebounds, along with team-high seven assists, and game-high five steals. Paul George posted 15 points, nine boards, and seven dimes, Ivica Zubac recorded a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Reggie Jackson had 14 points and five boards.

Prediction and Pick

The Clippers are the favorites here, but if it was another situation, I’d back the Nuggets to cover the spread. However, they are definitely emotionally drained after a lengthy series with the Jazz, and I don’t think they will recover in time to pose a big threat to the Clippers in Game 1.

The situation will change in Game 2, though, but for now, I am going with Los Angeles to open this series with a win.

Pick
  • Los Angeles Clippers -8.5
    -110

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