The Los Angeles Lakers did it! The reigning champs managed to remain in the Western Conference playoff picture with their two superstars out of the mix for the better part of the last 2+ months. Hooray! Unfortunately, LA now finds itself on the precipice of being forced to play its way into the second season with it grasping onto the No. 5/6 overall seed with the Portland Trail Blazers breathing right down their necks. You know darn well the Los Angeles Clippers would love nothing more than to represent the straw that broke the camel’s back and put the defending champs in a position to miss out on the playoffs altogether. Having won and covered the first two meetings at online sportsbooks, I’m not about to put it past Kawhi Leonard and company busting out the brooms and sweeping the season rivalry now that the team is back to almost being fully intact.
This Pacific Division skirmish is set to go down live on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Tip-off is set for 10 p.m. ET from the Staples Center. The game will be broadcast live on TNT. We'll have NBA odds available at BookMaker.eu for this and every game on today’s loaded NBA slate.
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Though the Clippers enter Tuesday night’s home clash with the Toronto Raptors having lost and failed to cover each of their last three games, they’ll host the Lakers having already punched their ticket to the playoffs by way of posting 43-22 SU and 36-28-1 ATS records per the closing NBA betting lines. Tyronn Lue’s squad has been at its best on the Staples Center hardwood where it’s come out victorious in 24 of its 33 games and covered the closing number 20 times. That said, it’s the Lakers that’ve owned the recent rivalry when installed the road team in this matchup. The Clippers won and covered two of the last three times, but it only moved them to 2-4 SU and ATS in the last six with the average margin of defeat coming by 8.0 points per game.
Los Angeles Lakers
“The Brow” came to play on Monday night regardless of having issues with soreness in his injured calf. The big man would go on to score a team-high 25 points on 9 of 19 shooting to lead Los Angeles to the 93-89 outright upset of Denver as 4-point home underdogs. Mind you, LeBron was forced to sit the game out due to his balky ankle acting up. In doing so, the Lakers took hold of the No. 5 overall seed in the West with only seven games remaining on the regular season docket. More importantly, the triumph put an end to an ugly three-game losing and coverless streak that saw them drop decisions to losing teams like the Wizards, Kings and Raptors. If the Lakers are going to avoid having their hated arena neighbor sweep the season rivalry, they’re going to need to get right in the injury department immediately. Check reports to see who will and won’t be suiting up for this one before getting involved financially.
Los Angeles Clippers
Though LA dropped a 110-104 decision to Denver last time out, No. 2 returned to the hardwood and that’s all that matters in the grand scheme of things. Leonard hadn’t partaken in any live action dating back to April 18, so you’ll have to excuse him if he came out a bit rusty. Still, the overall stat line was very impressive as the Clippers main man went on to score 16 points on 7 of 12 shooting which included draining two of his three attempted long range shots. The combo of Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. ultimately proved to be too much with the duo combining for 55 points, 21 rebounds and 12 assists in the Nuggets outright win and cover as 5.5-point NBA betting underdogs. The loss would snap a seven-game home win streak (6-1 ATS).
Los Angeles vs. Los Angeles Prediction
It’s extremely tough to repeat as champions in any sport; even more so in the NBA with only two teams (Lakers/Warriors) winning back-to-back titles since the turn of the century. While the Lakers just so happen to be one of those teams, I’m having a hard time buying in right now simply due to the injury bug ravaging the roster every chance it gets. LBJ and Anthony Davis are already having issues with soreness due to the injuries that kept them out a bulk of games played in 2021. On top of that, LA is also dealing with lingering injuries to Kyle Kuzma, Marc Gasol and Kenneth Caldwell-Pope. Dennis Schroder is also out until late May. With the Clippers as healthy as they’ve been in quite some time, I just don’t see Kawhi and company letting the opportunity to hand the defending champs another crushing blow slide by. While I lean towards the Clippers pre-game, I’d love to see them fall into an early hole and snag LA at a much nicer price on the readjusted live betting line whether it be on the point spread, moneyline or both!
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