The Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers face off in NBA action on Friday night.
What looked like a marquee matchup at the start of the season has lost much of its luster with both teams below .500, but at least oddsmakers are expecting a close contest with the Lakers installed as slim 1.5-point favorites.
Here are our best free Clippers vs. Lakers NBA picks and predictions for Friday, February 25.
Clippers vs Lakers odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
This line hit the board on Wednesday with the Lakers at -1.5 and the total at 223 or 223.5. By Friday, the total has dropped to 221 although the line has stayed steady. When these teams previously clashed three weeks ago, the Clippers won 111-110, failing to cover as 4-point favorites against a Lakers side that was missing LeBron James.
Clippers vs Lakers predictions
Predictions made on 2/25/2022 at 11:45 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Clippers vs Lakers game info
• Location: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
• Date: Friday, February 25, 2022
• Tip-off: 10:00 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN
Clippers vs Lakers betting preview
Clippers: Paul George SF (Out), Normal Powell SG (Out), Kawhi Leonard SF (Out), Jay Scrubb PG (Out).
Lakers: LeBron James SF (Questionable), Carmelo Anthony F (Probable), Avery Bradley SG (Out), Anthony Davis PF (Out), Kendrick Nunn PG (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Over is 5-1-1 in the Clippers' last seven games versus a team with a losing record. Find more NBA betting trends for Clippers vs. Lakers.
Clippers vs Lakers picks and predictions
Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.
The Clippers went from championship contender to their previous playoff-allergic selves in less time than it took Jags Twitter to destroy Annie Agar. Kawhi Leonard missing the season with an ACL injury was bad enough, but then they lost the second part of their dynamic duo when Paul George suffered an elbow injury just before Christmas. They traded for Norman Powell to give their offense a boost, and then he promptly broke a bone in his foot.
Yep, it's just been that sort of campaign for the Clippers and the Lakers can certainly empathize with Anthony Davis back on the IL and LeBron James listed as questionable tonight with a knee injury that has been hindering him for the last month.
The Clips did head into the All-Star break with some momentum, going 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS with wins over the Mavs and Warriors and a 31-point rout of Houston. They played scrappy defense during that stretch, while Marcus Morris and Terance Mann emerged as scoring threats.
The Lakers also pulled off a win in their last game before All-Star weekend, upsetting the Jazz 106-101 at home. However, they needed a massive 33-point performance from James to pull off that victory while AD dropped 17 points in 16 minutes before injuring his foot.
The Lakers have gone just 6-12 SU (9-9 ATS) in their last 18 games and are among the Bottom-10 teams in the NBA in both offensive and defensive rating over that span. And that was with LeBron suiting up for 13 of those contests.
We'll hold off on betting this line until James' status becomes more clear, but as of right now, we can't trust the Lakers as slim faves against a Clips team that is at least playing hard on both ends of the floor.
Prediction: Clippers +1.5 (-110)
There might not be many big-name scorers on either team with Russell Westbrook probably being the best of the bunch if LeBron sits out. But the Lakers play at a blazing fast pace (especially with Westbrook running the offense) and are near the bottom of the league in scoring defense with 112.4 points per game allowed. And their defensive rating is even worse whenever Davis is off the court.
Prior to the All-Star break, the Clippers played three straight games against the conference's top defensive teams in the Warriors, Mavs, and Suns. While they were kept in check by Dallas and Phoenix they dropped 119 points on 56 FG% against Golden State and then scored a whopping 142 points when they finally faced a poor defensive squad in Houston last Thursday.
That said, while the Clips have stepped up on offense lately, they've been less than impressive defensively, surrendering 113.7 ppg in 17 games since the middle of January. With the Clippers 7-2 O/U in their last nine games and the Lakers going 5-1 to the Over in their previous six contests against teams with a losing record, back the Over tonight.
Prediction: Over 221 (-110)
Somebody had to emerge as a scoring option for the Clippers and those somebodies have shockingly been Morris and Mann. Morris has scored at least 20 points in six of his last eight games, but the O/U on his points total is set at 18.5 and his scoring output tends to have a fair bit of variance because of how many three-pointers he shoots.
So let's focus on Mann, whose points total is set at just 12.5 a number he has surpassed in five of his last six contests. Mann was shut down by Phoenix last Tuesday but that's the only contest in his last four games where he has scored fewer than 20 points.
Now he takes on a Lakers squad that plays at a speedy tempo and surrenders 23.1 ppg to opposing shooting guards — tied for the eighth-worst number in the league. Expect Mann to be the man for the Clips tonight and take the Over on his points.
Pick: Terance Mann Over 12.5 points (-113)
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