Lakers vs. Clippers Odds & Picks: The Biggest Game of Their Respective Seasons

We find ourselves in the midst of the final regular season week of NBA basketball. With that comes some teams shutting starters down, while others are scratching and clawing to clinch seeding, avoid the play-in, and get home-court advantage.

Both the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in the thick of the playoff race, fighting neck-and-neck to get into the top six spots in the West.

As things stand ahead of this matchup, the Lakers and Clippers are tied record-wise, both sitting at 41-38, with the eventual winner of this matchup gaining a one-game lead in the sixth seed. The Clippers will hold the tie-breaker with the Lakers regardless of the outcome here, as they sit with a 2-0 record against the Lakers this season, but that doesn’t diminish the importance of this game.

Both teams have flashed encouraging ceilings this season and while the Lakers are technically the “away” team and coming in on the second leg of a back-to-back after an overtime game last night, I still have faith that they’ll take care of business on Wednesday.


Lakers Clippers
Spread +4.5 -4.5
Moneyline +150 -185
Over/Under 232.0

Lines and odds accurate at the time of publication


Lakers +4.5 (-110, DraftKings)

It was reported late Tuesday night after the Lakers’ win that both Anthony Davis and LeBron James’ status for Wednesday is up in the air with no guarantee that they’ll play. While we’ve gotten these reports throughout the entirety of the season on back-to-backs with this team, I have a hard time believing either of these players sits out given the gravity of this game.

With a win, the Lakers jump into a top-six position in the West, giving them complete control on the rest of their season with a one-game lead on the Clippers. If they win tonight and win out over the rest of their games, they’re locked into a playoff (not play-in) spot. After missing the playoffs last year, I expect LeBron to be gunning for this exact goal tonight.

The Lakers have also been surging since the trade deadline, ranking first in the entire league in defensive rating (110.9), ninth in the entire NBA in plus/minus (+4.2), and just outside the top 10 in pace (11th). Inserting Jarred Vanderbilt into their rotation and coupling him with Davis in the frontcourt has turned them into one of the best interior defenses in the NBA. 

The insertion of Austin Reaves into the starting lineup has also been a revelation for this team, as he’s averaged 18.4 points, 6.9 assists, and 3.6 rebounds on 55.1% shooting (47.8% from deep) over his last seven games.

With so much working in favor of the Lakers coupled with the continued absence of Paul George for the Clippers, getting the Lakers at +4.5 feels like a massive discount with the sportsbooks assuming a star sits. I’m betting against the grain here and counting on the stars to show up and show out in the biggest game of the season.

Risk: 1.1 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit (playable to +2.5).

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