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Lakers vs. Clippers Prediction: LeBron OUT for Battle of LA

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published January 23, 2024
5 min read

LeBron James will not play Monday as the Los Angeles Lakers (22-22) and Los Angeles Clippers (27-14) meet in another edition of the battle for Los Angeles.

The Clippers have been one of the best teams in the NBA ever since they successfully integrated James Harden into their lineup. Meanwhile, the Lakers also recently rekindled their early-season form and produced impressive wins, though they’ll be at a huge disadvantage without LeBron. 

Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite picks for the Lakers vs. Clippers matchup on Monday.

Lakers vs Clippers Predictions

Lakers vs. Clippers Betting Odds for Tuesday, Jan. 23

The Clippers are favored by 8.5 points over the LeBron-less Lakers. The Clippers dominated the matchup over the past decade but are 0-2 against the purple and gold this season.

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Los Angeles Lakers +8.5 (-110) +280 Over 229.5 (-110)
Los Angeles Clippers -8.5 (-110) -350 Under 229.5 (-110)

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The Lakers are frustratingly inconsistent. At their best, they’re a dominant defensive team with extreme length and versatility, two of the best interior scorers in the world, and an array of three-point shooters. 

However, they often find themselves mired by offensive stagnation and a lack of effort and concentration. They allow 22.6 wide-open three-point field goal attempts per game, the worst mark in the league.

The key in the Lakers’ recent surge has been crescendoing performances by D’Angelo Russell,  who filled the role of a third scorer. Russell averaged 27.2 points and 6.4 assists over his last five games, during which the Lakers managed three wins, including two against the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Lakers entered the top 10 in defensive rating earlier in the season but are only 18th in the new year. They also turned the ball over at the second-highest rate despite producing the third-best assist percentage during that span.

LA’s biggest problem is staying on top of the controllables. In addition to giving up more open threes than any team, they rank 25th in opponents’ fastbreak points and 26th in second-chance points allowed.

The purple and gold are 2-2 without LeBron this season. They beat the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs but lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz.

Anthony Davis averaged 28.3 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists in the four games without his co-star. He’ll be under heavy pressure to continue his defensive dominance while also scoring 30+ points and leading the offense for four quarters.

The Clippers faced far fewer problems than the Lakers. After initially going on a five-game losing streak immediately after Harden’s arrival, they’re a league-best 24-7 since November 17.

The Clips have the fourth-highest point differential per 100 possessions (+5.6), behind only the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, and Thunder. They’re also fourth in the Western Conference and two games behind the first-place Timberwolves. 

LA’s best asset has been its consistency. Despite having injury-prone players such as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, and recently, even Harden, they found a way to keep their stars on the floor and won 10 of their last 12 games. Their last game saw them go on a 22-0 run to close a game against the Brooklyn Nets, one they were losing by 11 over halfway into the fourth quarter but somehow won by 11 points.

The Clippers create tons of space with their offensive actions and individual scoring abilities. They’re red-hot shooting the ball and make 39.8% of their threes, which is on pace to be the 10th-best team percentage since 2000.

LA isn’t an outstanding defensive team but has great individual defenders and can lock in for key moments. They also rebound fairly well and are decent in clutch time, making them one of the most well-rounded teams in the league.

Despite their outstanding record, the Clippers are only 22-19 against the spread (but also 15-7 ATS in their last 22 outings). Meanwhile, the Lakers are 20-25 ATS.

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Lakers vs. Clippers Prediction and Betting Pick

The Lakers can stay competitive in this game if Davis is able to dominate the interior as he should, given the Clippers’ lack of a defensive matchup for him. However, he averaged just 22.4 points in his last five meetings with the Clippers and will need the inconsistent Russell to also have a big night just for the Lakers to have any hope.

The Clippers’ ability to light the net on fire from outside combined with the Lakers’ woes both at and guarding the three-point line could prove to be the crucial difference. If the former gets going, the latter simply does not have enough offense to keep pace.

We expect to see a fight from the Lakers but for the Clippers to eventually go on a decisive scoring run that leads them to a victory and a cover.

Lakers vs. Clippers pick: Clippers -8.5 at BetMGM

How to Watch Lakers vs. Clippers

  • When: Tuesday, Jan. 23 @ 7:00/10:00 p.m. PT/ET

  • Where: crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA

  • TV: TNT

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Image for Grant Mitchell

Grant Mitchell

Sports Betting Analyst, Content Specialist & On-Air Host

Expertise:
NBA
NCAAB
NCAAF
NFL
Online Sports Betting
Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field. In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor in Sports Media and Analytics
Favourite Sportsbook: Caesars Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: FanDuel Casino
Experience:
4 years
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