Nuggets (-1) vs. Clippers
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
The Clippers and Nuggets meet in a preview of the Oct. 17 NBA regular-season opener tonight at the Staples Center (10:30 p.m. ET). See below for betting tips, an expert free pick, and predicted score.
The line has crossed the fence as the Nuggets are currently 1-point favorites following the Clippers hanging the number during the initial offer. Close to 53 percent of the wagering tickets across the major online sportsbooks are backing Denver. The total has shifted from 227.5 to 226 with the public on 60 percent of the action.
The exhibition period has proven wildly different for both franchises. Denver, although 3-0, is “disjointed” to use the synonym uttered by head coach Michael Malone following a dismal display at Pepsi Center against Perth over the weekend. “The starters; we have to find a way to click.”
The issue is the teamwork of Gary Harris (17.5 ppg) and Jamal Murray (16.7 ppg), the team’s second- and third-leading scorers from last year. Both have missed parts of the preseason due to injury, and failed to connect in extended periods sharing the court together. Neither, in fact, has hit double figures yet in points. Malone hinted he will field the two in bunches in the final two exhibition games to build some “synergy.”
Thanks for joining us, #ClipperNation.
? Scenes from tonight’s open practice. pic.twitter.com/OG8aHMhEyo
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) October 9, 2018
The Clippers, meanwhile, have also won three straight, buoyed by some rim-stopping defense. They are yielding 93.0 points per game headed into their final tune-up. The team is completely retooled without the likes of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan not on the roster. Head coach Doc Rivers is making clamping down the priority. This is no longer Lob City folks.
L.A. will be without forwards Tyrone Wallace (hip) and Luc Mbah a Moute (calf) to injuries.
Malone and Rivers have clashed head to head 10 times. The average combined score is 216.7 points, and this is minus the new defensive philosophy taking center stage in L.A. The UNDER, in fact, has cashed in four of five with the Clip catching points on the NBA oddsboard.