The teardown of the “Lob City” Clippers era was supposed to send the franchise into a deep rebuild period, but thanks to savvy front office management and coaching, Los Angeles is already a playoff-caliber team.
Few could’ve imagined such a quick turnaround when Chris Paul left town in the summer of 2017. Just a few short months later, Blake Griffin — fresh off signing a new five-year contract with the Clippers — was dealt to Detroit. Then came the final nail in the coffin with DeAndre Jordan‘s departure in 2018 free agency.
No Paul, Griffin, or Jordan? Apparently, no problem. At least that’s what head coach Doc Rivers has to be thinking. He’s the lone holdover from the Lob City era — which is the most successful run in the franchise’s history despite constant second-round playoff exits — and Rivers is making patchwork out of a no-name roster.
The Clippers make up for their lack of star power in sheer depth. Rivers can get valuable minutes from every single player on the 12-man active roster, a rarity in the NBA. Collectively, they play with a chip-on-your-shoulder attitude that makes them tough to overlook.
And the best might be yet to come, too. Los Angeles has ample cap space available to sign a big-ticket free agent in 2019. With Jerry West in their front office, the Clippers sales pitch suddenly has more merit to it than ever before.
Trust us, these aren’t your dad’s Clippers anymore. It’s time to add Los Angeles to your betting rotation. For those that wrote this team off, we have you covered. This guide is littered with best-value tips when wagering on the Clippers, including lines, standings, stats, and advice.
LA Clippers Next Game
Find out who the Clippers are matched up with next below. You’ll also find up-to-the-minute betting lines for the upcoming game.
For most NBA teams, home-court advantage matters greatly, but so much with this Los Angeles team. They’re the clear “B” team of the city compared with the Lakers. Road games against the Clippers and their tepid fanbase just doesn’t evoke that much fear in foes.
Plus, the “City of Angels” is littered with out-of-town transplants. It’s not uncommon for a road team to have more fans at Clippers games than the hometown team themselves, especially if it’s a big-market team like the Knicks or Celtics.
Here you can dissect the Clippers’ entire 82-game schedule. Use this widget to form a long-term betting strategy. Is there a tough stretch where Los Angeles could slip up? Or the opposite, where the Clippers can benefit from a string of games against beatable teams?
Our advice is always to look a few weeks ahead, not months. The NBA season lasts six months, and thanks to injuries and midseason transactions, you risk getting too ahead of yourself.
LA Clippers Standings
There’s long been a power imbalance between the two conferences in the NBA, however, that rift seems to get bigger each offseason. Unfortunately for the Clippers, they play out West, where locking up a playoff seed is noticeably more difficult than the East. Monitor the wild wild West playoff race below. Los Angeles could end up as high as a five seed to as low a tenth place — that’s how competitive things will be in the conference.
Making matters worse, the Clippers also compete in the Pacific division. Guess who else plays there? Yep, the Golden State Warriors. Few things are guarantees in betting, but the Dubs winning the division crown is one of them.
No-Name Clippers, No Problem
We’ve alluded to this earlier, but it’s worth saying out loud now: the Clippers are good, but not great. They’re certainly playoff contenders, but anything after that is a stretch. This rules them out as serious futures bet plays. With Golden State around, Los Angeles isn’t winning the Pacific division, little less the Western Conference, anytime soon. Of course, this could all change if West works his magic and lures a superstar in free agency, but let’s not count our chickens yet.
For now, Los Angeles is a very capable everyday team to bet on, though. Its versatility up and down the roster makes them a tough matchup against most NBA teams. Whereas most teams rely on one or two main rotations throughout a 48-minute game, Rivers has an abundance of lineups. Which one he utilizes in a given game largely depends on that opponent or in-game situation.
This type of unpredictability doesn’t always bode well for the betting public, who love consistency. However, taking a gander at the advanced metrics will offset this variable. After all, if you’re going to beat the sportsbooks, you’ll need to be well-studied.
Perhaps the most critical metric you need to be keenly aware of is the five-player lineup rating. Every different rotation Rivers employs is given their own offensive and defensive efficiency ratings. These stats carry more weight than general per-game averages that lack context.
Obviously, before tip-off, you’ll have no idea what rotation(s) Rivers will utilize that game. However, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each lineup really pays off when live betting.
If Rivers rolls out his most defensively-efficient unit, it might be time to bet the in-game under. Or what if a trend emerges and Rivers begins re-using the same group at the end of games? You’ll be more well-versed in that lineups pros and cons the normal better.
All in all, don’t sleep on the Clippers. This franchise is on the upswing and most bettors don’t know it yet. Don’t fall into that category.
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