The second half of Thursday night’s doubleheader on TNT is a doozy, as Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers visit Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. Not only is this a matchup of teams with NBA Finals aspirations, but they both come into this one on absolute heaters.
The Clippers have won six of their last seven games, with the lone loss coming with Leonard and Paul George out. The Bucks have won seven of eight and their last five in a row, putting up some big numbers in the process.
The Bucks are laying 4-point of chalk at home, but is that giving this fully formed Voltron version of the Clippers enough respect? I break down this super matchup and bring you my best bet in my NBA picks and predictions for the Clippers vs. Bucks.
Clippers vs Bucks best odds
Clippers vs Bucks picks and predictions
Voltron is a perfect metaphor for this Clippers team. Now that they are finally healthy and complete, they look like the super team many expected them to be when Kawhi Leonard and Paul George signed.
In the last six games the Clippers have played with both Leonard and George, they have looked unstoppable. They are 6-0 straight up and 5-1 against the spread, with an average margin of victory of 14.5 points per game.
The Clippers also lead the NBA in offensive rating over that stretch. That's a long way from the team that ranked near the bottom of the pile in that category, and effective field goal percentage, for much of the first half of the season.
The Bucks have been in a similar situation to the Clippers this season. They have been dealing with injuries much of the season and it has resulted in some inconsistent results. Scoring the basketball has been their biggest problem, with the team ranking a shocking 23rd in offensive rating.
But, like the Clippers, they are playing some of their best basketball at the moment with wins in seven of their last eight games and leading the NBA in scoring at 127.6 points per game over that span. That scoring surge has come at a bit of a cost, as the Bucks rank 20th in points allowed over that same stretch.
Giannis has played in the last five of this eight-game stretch, as he’s been dealing with some knee soreness. While the Bucks have cruised in those five games, their toughest matchup in that stretch probably came against the Indiana Pacers, where they were 6.5-point road favorites.
The Voltron Clippers will be the Bucks’ toughest matchup in some time, and there is one place the Clippers could have a big edge, and that’s on the bench. The Clippers' bench has the eighth-best net rating in the NBA while the Bucks rank 17th in that category since the start of January. It doesn’t help Khris Middleton is still on limited minutes and Bobby Portis is out.
I think this game will be a close one, so I’ll be taking the points with the Clippers.
My best bet: Clippers +4.5 (-110 at Betway)
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Clippers vs Bucks spread analysis
The Bucks opened this matchup as 4.5-point home favorites and the Clippers have seen the early money, moving the number down to Bucks -4. Obviously, I’m on the Clippers, and I would take them down to +3.
The Clippers have covered the last five games in which Leonard and George both played. Meanwhile, the Bucks are just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 vs. teams with winning records.
As I said, this Clippers team is likely the best team they have played since around Christmas time, when they played a trio of East contenders in the Celtics, Nets, and Cavaliers. The Bucks went 0-3 ATS in those games.
Clippers vs Bucks Over/Under analysis
When it comes to the total, the number hit the board at 230 and the early money has come in on the Over, bumping the number up to 231. I would be inclined to agree with the early money because of the way these offenses are playing right now.
The Clippers lead the NBA in offensive rating over the last seven games and go against a Bucks team that is allowing 117.5 points per game over the last eight games. The Over is 5-3 in those games.
The Bucks lead the league over their last eight at 127.6 points per game with the Clippers ranking 21st in defensive rating over the last seven games. The Over is 5-2 in those games.
Clippers vs Bucks betting trend to know
The Clippers are 5-0 ATS in their last five games when Kawhi Leonard and Paul George both play. Find more NBA betting trends for Clippers vs. Bucks.
Clippers vs Bucks game info
|Location:||Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI|
|Date:||Thursday, February 2, 2023|
|Tip-off:||10:00 p.m. ET|