Suns vs. Clippers Game 4: Anticipate a High-Scoring Affair in LA

Action Network contributor Austin Wang details how to bet Suns vs. Clippers Game 4, including updated odds, picks and predictions for Saturday's game.

Suns vs. Clippers Odds

Suns Odds -7.5
Clippers Odds +7.5
Over/Under 227.5
Time 3:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Los Angeles Clippers will look to even up the series at home against the Phoenix Suns in Game 4. However, it was announced on Friday evening that they’ll be missing superstar Kawhi Leonard for the second consecutive game.

The line jumped from -6 to -7.5 upon the release of that news. The Clippers were able to cover the closing line of +8 without Leonard in Game 3, though that took a valiant 42-point effort from Norman Powell.

Here’s a look at the odds, as well as a betting pick and prediction for Suns vs. Clippers Game 4.

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Phoenix Suns

Despite being up 2-1 in this series, there are a few concerning observations about the Suns. First, their stars are playing an incredible number of minutes. Both Devin Booker and Kevin Durant have exceeded the 40-minutes mark in all three games and 37-year old Chris Paul has been cutting it pretty close. That likely isn’t sustainable for three injury-prone players.

That highlights another issue — Phoenix lacks depth on its roster, and it is obvious Monty Williams doesn’t have much trust in the bench. Back-up point guard Cameron Payne has yet to play in this series and his presence would really help.

Finally, despite having three dominant stars, the Suns can’t seem to find a consistent rhythm on offense. Credit the Clippers defense for continuing to bring the pressure. Paul is shooting 15-for-40 (37.5%) from the field, a much lower mark than we are accustomed to seeing. Deandre Ayton had an opportunity to be aggressive and dominant against a smaller Clippers lineup in Game 3, but he shied away from the moment.

Los Angeles Clippers

Leonard being out again doesn’t bode well for the Clippers, who are already without Paul George. Despite covering Thursday, the Clippers are 3-10 straight up and 4-9 against the spread without their two stars this season, per the SDQL at Killer Sports.

In the second half of Game 3, the Clippers went with a small-ball lineup of Russell Westbrook, Powell, Eric Gordon, Bones Hyland and Terance Mann. Small-ball is an understatement here — that was micro-ball. They played fast, put a lot of pressure on the Phoenix defense and I can see the Clippers employing that strategy again in Game 4. Expect Powell to have another big game as he’s established himself as one of the Clippers’ most consistent players.

Eight of the Clippers nine final regular season games went over the total. The Clippers Offensive Rating improved to ninth post-All Star break (compared to 17th for the entire season). Westbrook’s addition has given the Clippers offense a boost as the on/off numbers show the Clippers’ Pace increases by 3.1 possessions per 48 minutes, per Basketball Reference.

Suns-Clippers Pick

Without Leonard, I think the Clippers will go back to the small-ball strategy they used in the second half of Game 3, during which 148 points were scored. This should set up Game 4 to be a high-scoring affair.  Without their best defender (Leonard), the Clippers will need to continue to be creative on offense. I expect the Suns offense to look better against a poorer defensive unit and for Ayton to be much more aggressive around the rim. With the Suns stars playing excessive minutes, I think defense may be an afterthought.

Given what we saw last game, I think this total is short. I would play the over all the way up to 228.

Pick: Over 226 | Play to 228

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