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Nuggets vs. Clippers Prediction: Nuggets Can Move Into First in the West

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published April 4, 2024
12 min read

The Denver Nuggets (53-23) will have the opportunity to steal sole control of the best record in the Western Conference if they can beat the Los Angeles Clippers (47-28) on the road on Thursday evening.

Although Denver is coming off back-to-back wins, they still deeply miss the production from guard Jamal Murray, who has now played since March 21 because of a knee injury. Murray is questionable to rejoin his teammates but could still sit as the team prioritizes his health ahead of the postseason. 

The Clippers are no longer the team that had the best record in basketball over a couple of months in the middle of the season—not even close. They’re 6-7 over their last 13 games and only have one win against a top-six eight in the West since the middle of January. 

Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite pick for the Nuggets vs. Clippers matchup on Thursday.

Nuggets vs. Clippers Prediction 2024 04 04

Nuggets vs. Clippers Betting Odds for Thursday, April 4

The Nuggets are 34-40-2 (46 percent) against the spread and 11-16-1 (40.7 percent) ATS as a road favorite. They also covered three times in their last nine games.

The Clippers are 35-40 (46.7 percent) ATS and 0-2 ATS as a home underdog. They were way off the mark in recent months and covered in just seven times in their last 26 games.

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Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Denver Nuggets -3.5 (-115) -165 Over 218.5 (-110)
Los Angeles Clippers +3.5 (-105) +135 Under 218.5 (-110)

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Nuggets vs. Clippers Prediction

Denver Nuggets Preview

At full strength, the Nuggets look close to unbeatable in a seven-game series. Their unrelenting offensive efficiency coupled with an improved and top-10 defense makes them a terror for any team in the league.

Although the team is 4-2 since Murray went down with his knee issue, they lost two of their three games against winning teams, both in the West (the Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves).

The Nuggets rank 10th in point differential per 100 possessions over the last 10 games with a mark of +6.7. While the offense took a step back without Murray, the defense carried them and ranked seventh in defensive efficiency during that span.

The team also stepped up its effort on the boards and ranked sixth in rebound rate since Murray’s injury. Michael Porter Jr. and Nikola Jokic both grabbed 16 rebounds their last time out against the San Antonio Spurs, a career-high for Porter and another dominant performance by Jokic. 

Denver won two of three meetings with LA this year, including one in the City of Angels. However, they have not met since December 6, when the Clippers were the hottest team in basketball and the Nuggets had not put their foot on the gas.

One of the Clippers’ biggest impediments to success over the past few years was their lack of production on the inside. As such, and because he’s the best player in the world, keep an eye on how Jokic approaches this matchup. He averaged 17 rebounds over his last two games and averaged 27.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 8.1 assists on 57.5 percent shooting in March.

Los Angeles Clippers Preview

The Clippers just can’t seem to get it right. What started as the formation of a superteam back in 2019 has resulted in no hardware, no accolades, no trips to the finals, and a bunch of unmet expectations.

This year appeared to be the one that they could rewrite the history books with a deep run in the playoffs, potentially to a championship. But after ripping off a record of 26-5 from December 2 to February 5, they are just 13-13 in the time after.

The Clips were 20th in net rating (-2.9) over the last 10 games and allowed the fifth-most points per 100 possessions during those games. They also ranked 25th in rebound rate but still held onto their three-point shot, making 38 percent of their attempts.

With the season on the brink of a total collapse but an opportunity to get a Nuggets team potentially down its second-best player, the Clippers will head into battle without their best player, Kawhi Leonard. The 32-year-old is out with a knee problem, leaving Paul George and James Harden to do the heavy lifting.

George scored 41 points against the Charlotte Hornets two games ago but scored 18 on Tuesday and 12 in the game before. Harden, meanwhile, scored a measly six points in back-to-back games and averaged 12 points, 9.8 assists, and 5.3 rebounds since March 9.

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Nuggets vs. Clippers Betting Pick

We’d give more consideration to taking the Clippers if Leonard was playing, but he isn’t, and we have to go with the Nuggets.

The Clippers’ inconsistency in performance, health, and overall approach are great markers of their history over the past few seasons. Conversely, Denver’s workman-like attitude and commitment to excellence make them more dependable, even if they are down Murray.

Take the Nuggets here as they continue to prepare for another push at a championship.

How to Watch Nuggets vs. Clippers, April 4

  • When: Thursday, April 4 @ 7:00/10:00 p.m. PT/ET

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

  • TV: TNT

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AUTHOR

Grant Mitchell

528 Articles

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.

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