76ers vs. Clippers Odds, Pick, Prediction: Side With L.A. If Paul George Returns (January 17)

Action Network contributor Kenny Ducey previews Tuesday's matchup between the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers, including his betting prediction.

76ers vs. Clippers Odds

76ers Odds -1.5
Clippers Odds +1.5
Over/Under 222.5
Time 10 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Philadelphia 76ers continue to roll, but they’ll be faced with a very difficult challenge on Tuesday night if Paul George makes his return to the Los Angeles Clippers as expected.

L.A. isn’t feeling very good about the way it’s playing at the moment, but George sharing the floor with Kawhi Leonard once again has the potential to change all that.

Let’s break down what we can expect in our Sixers vs. Clippers preview and predictions.

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Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixers, to put it bluntly, are a wagon. They’ve won seven of nine and have lost just four times since Dec. 5. While they’ve been able to accomplish the task in front of them during that run, which is to win, they haven’t necessarily been a bettor’s dream.

In fact, they’ve been something of a nightmare. As the wins piled up for the Sixers on an eight-game winning streak last month, the markets began to adjust. As it stands now, Philly is just 2-5 against the spread in its last seven and 4-7 ATS since its big winning streak.

In those 11 games, the Sixers have continued to hit the gas pedal hard on offense, ranking fifth in efficiency, but on defense they’re just 19th. That comes as a big surprise considering this team is fourth in overall defensive efficiency for the season.

The big reason for that is the 3-ball. The Sixers have allowed 38.7% shooting on contested looks in the last 11 games, which is the sixth-worst mark in the NBA. It’s a rather stunning number when compared to their 36% 3-point success rate in general, and certainly a cause for concern heading into this matchup.

Los Angeles Clippers

One thing the Clippers do well is shoot 3s at an efficient rate. They rank ninth in that category to this point, though in the month of January their 33.8% 3-point percentage ranks 20th in the league. Tuesday’s matchup with a weakened perimeter defense could change all that. As could the return of George.

The Clippers’ superstar wing is a tremendous shooter and he’ll surely provide the shot in the arm this Clippers offense needs. While it seemed like it couldn’t get much worse than the 110.1 Offensive Rating the team has posted this season, which is among the lowest in the NBA, that number has fallen even further in January.

George, who has missed the past five games with a hamstring issue, his status has been upgraded to questionable for this tilt. Luke Kennard and John Wall remain out.

We’re going to go ahead and assume George will play, which seems like a safe move considering oddsmakers are certainly expecting him to be active judging by this line.

76ers-Clippers Pick

The Clippers have done well all season long defending the interior. They’ve posted a 61.8% defended field goal percentage inside of six feet and a mark of 58.4% inside of 10 feet, both of which classify as above average.

The Sixers’ strength obviously lies inside with Joel Embiid, and on the flip side the Clippers’ biggest weapon is probably the three ball, which the Sixers have struggled to defend.

It’s anyone’s guess if, or how much, George plays here. Even if we project him out for a modest 20 minutes, however, I think it’s enough of an offensive lift for the Clippers to get over the hump here.

The Sixers are 8-11 against the spread on the road and have had issues covering the spread of late anyway. I think L.A. is due for a big, potentially season-changing win here at home.

Pick: Clippers +1.5