Clippers vs. Warriors Betting Preview: Can Golden State Cover Double Digits?

Action Network contributor Kenny Ducey breaks down how to bet Wednesday's matchup between the Clippers and Warriors.

Clippers vs. Warriors Odds

Clippers Odds +10
Warriors Odds -10
Over/Under 223
Time 10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

It seemed things were really moving in the right direction for the Clippers with three straight wins, but injuries have once again thrown cold water on an otherwise great story.

With the Clippers’ depth put to the test here on Wednesday, is there any way in against the Golden State Warriors? Is Golden State any more trustworthy? Let’s get to the bottom of this one.

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The Clippers Are Perpetually Shorthanded

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Kawhi Leonard is injured. The two-time Finals MVP rolled his ankle late in L.A.’s win over the Utah Jazz on Monday, and despite telling reporters that he’d be fine he is not, in fact, fine.

Leonard will miss this one with an ankle sprain and joining him on the bench is Paul George, who’s dealing with a hamstring injury, and Luke Kennard. Now you understand why a shaky Warriors team is nearly a double-digit favorite.

The loss of Leonard is rather significant. The Clippers own the third-worst offense in the NBA, producing 107.4 points per 100 possessions. With Leonard on the floor this season, that number is 114.2. L.A. also has a Net Rating of 4.3 with George on the floor this year and is a -5.9 without him.

I know you, the reader, knows that the Clippers are a worse team without Leonard and George, but the difference is truly staggering. Throwing Kennard into the mix makes this even more arduous.

The bad news here is that the Clippers, who already struggled to shoot the three ball, ranking 14th, are going to really struggle to convert from deep without these three. The good news it that while they’ve struggled to rebound this season, the Warriors are ranked in the bottom three of the NBA in that category, thus giving L.A. at least one advantage.

Warriors Are Still Inconsistent

Just a few days ago, the Warriors were in a similar spot with injuries. They rested nearly their entire starting lineup in a blowout loss against the Pelicans. Now, there’s just one name remaining on the injury report ahead of Wednesday’s game, and it’s Andre Iguodala.

Now, the death star isn’t pointed at Earth, and the fate of the universe isn’t on the line, so we can simply ignore that absence. Let’s instead talk about how the Warriors, who own one of the worst defenses in the NBA, are going to cover a 10-point spread against the Clippers.

Just two times in the last six games have the Warriors held opponents under 117 points per 100 possessions, and those two teams were the New York Knicks and the San Antonio Spurs. That’s not really saying much at all. The issue? Getting a hand up to contest shots.

Golden State’s numbers against contested looks are, at worst, at the league average. It is, however, ranked eighth-worst in contested shots per game inside of 10 feet, thus leading to one of the worst field goal percentages on defense in that zone. It continues to get worse when you look inside of six feet, too.

The issue? The Clippers rank third-best in field goal percentage inside of 10 feet at 61.3%. They’ve opted to shoot 3s bit more this season despite fleeting success, but without three of their best shooters it would behoove them to attack this very weak Warriors frontcourt.

Clippers-Warriors Pick

While I am generally not a huge believer in this Clippers team without the help of their two best players, and without Kennard, I find it hard to lay 10 points with a team that is still overmatched inside. The Clippers should do work on the boards here and convert looks close to the basket, keeping this one close.

If asked to lay 6.5 with the Warriors, I think I’d rethink this. The Clippers can keep it to single digits.

Pick: Clippers +10 (-110)