There are revenge games and then there’s what took place between the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers the last time these Western Conference rivals squared off. Absent the big three of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Aaron Gordon, former Clippers Reggie Jackson and DeAndre Jordan led the way in a fourth-quarter comeback for the ages.
The rematch on Wednesday, December 6 figures to look entirely different, as at least Jokic, Gordon, and perhaps even Murray are back in action. Can Los Angeles beat the NBA odds and finally earn a win against its foil from the Mile High City?
My free NBA picks for the Nuggets vs. Clippers expect Denver to add to its incredible winning streak against Los Angeles.
Nuggets vs Clippers odds
Nuggets vs Clippers predictions
The name of the game in the modern NBA is amassing talent. But if that was the end of the story, the Los Angeles Clippers might be closer to the top tier of the Western Conference, where the Denver Nuggets reign supreme. While the Nuggets don’t own the best record, nobody is pretending that (when healthy) they’re not still the team to beat.
The Clippers still have a lot to prove after the James Harden trade, and for every step forward, there seems to be a few steps back. Their offense simply remains confoundingly bad for a team with Harden running high pick-and-roll with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard working off the ball.
There are still too many lineups with three non-shooters on the floor, and they still sometimes close with Harden and Russell Westbrook together. Los Angeles is yet to find a consistent formula on either end that makes sense.
L.A. showed guts in beating the Golden State Warriors, but it took some self-inflicted wounds for the Clippers to steal that game. The Nuggets simply do not beat themselves the same way.
Denver has dealt with injuries and absences to all of its star players, and while it hasn't played incredibly in those circumstances, it's a tier above the Clippers — as long as Nikola Jokic is in the game. The Nuggets do lose their best punch if Jamal Murray — officially questionable with an ankle injury — isn’t available to play, but Reggie Jackson has filled in admirably as Murray’s replacement.
The Nuggets are 11-1 straight up against the Clippers straight up since 2021. I’m not a huge fan of some trends like these because NBA teams can fluctuate so much from season to season, but the core players for Denver have been stable, as has the star duo of Kawhi and PG.
In all that time Los Angeles is yet to find a way to even moderately bother Jokic, and I don’t think the additions of Harden or Daniel Theis are going to be what finally does it. The Clippers have shown signs of being an elite defense, but they’re not well set up to defend against Jokic’s dealing damage from the post.
While there are many appealing NBA player props available for this game, I still like the Denver moneyline as my best bet overall.
My best bet: Nuggets moneyline (-101 at Pinnacle)
Nuggets vs Clippers same-game parlay
In a team filled with names that could plaster marquees, Ivica Zubac is the true unsung hero of the Clippers. Everyone on this team is starved for touches, so Zu’s ability to do the dirty work, screen, dive, cut, and rebound — all without demanding the ball — is huge.
Zubac is also the guy who finishes Harden’s pick and rolls, while also turning garbage into gold on the offensive glass. He’s averaging 13 points per game over his last 10 and has only scored below 10 twice in that time.
The Clippers are otherwise not a physical team. Outside of Kawhi, and even then only inconsistently this year, they don’t make opponents feel them on either end. Aaron Gordon is a player who outworks teams on the regular, and I think he’ll do so against the Clippers’ weak rebounders. Gordon has had seven or more rebounds in eight of his last ten games and is averaging 8.1 rebounds in that span.
Best NBA bonuses
No-sweat 3+ leg SGP every day
Bonus bets back if your wager doesn’t win! Claim Now
Get up to $1,500 bonus bets back
If your first bet doesn’t win! Claim Now
Eligible USA locations only. Also, see our full list of best sportsbook promotions for 2023.
21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Nuggets vs Clippers spread and Over/Under analysis
The Nuggets opened as -1.5-point road favorites over the Clippers for Wednesday’s tilt, but interestingly that line has now shifted to where L.A. is a -1 to -1.5 point favorite at most sportsbooks.
If you know the recent history of these two teams, it’s hard for me to justify or rationalize how Denver can’t be considered a significant favorite, even though it's on the road.
The total has come in between 223.5 and 224.5, with little significant movement since. The Clippers have been a surprisingly solid defensive unit this season, ranking sixth in defensive efficiency per Cleaning the Glass, which in part is why the Under is 12-6-1 in L.A.’s games this season. It's been particularly stingy at home, with the Under cashing in seven of its nine games at Crypto.com Arena.
The Nuggets have suitable matchups for each constituent player on the Clippers, and multiple options they can show to both Kawhi and George depending on the situation. L.A.’s offense has also been below expectations so far with Harden running the show, but this is still such a low number that I’m not willing to touch it.
Nuggets vs Clippers betting trend to know
The Under is 7-1-1 in the Clippers' last 9 home games. Find more NBA betting trends for Nuggets vs. Clippers.
Not intended for use in MA.
Affiliate Disclosure: Covers may receive advertising commissions for visits to a sportsbook or betting site.
Nuggets vs Clippers game info
|Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
|Wednesday, December 6, 2023
|10:00 p.m. ET
Nuggets vs Clippers latest injuries
Stay updated with the latest picks, odds, and news! Tap the to add us to your favorites on Google News to never miss a story.