- The Clippers are 8-point favorites against Denver in Game 5 of their Western conference semifinal series
- Los Angeles leads the series 3-1 heading into Friday night
- Read below for analysis and a best bet for this potential elimination game
The Clippers are a game away from clinching a spot in the Western Conference Finals, and just one more win against Denver stands in their way.
Los Angeles has truly found their form in this series, and the Clippers vs Nuggets odds favor Kawhi Leonard and co. sailing again on Friday night.
Los Angeles Clippers vs Denver Nuggets Game 5 Odds
|Los Angeles Clippers||-8 (-110)||-340||O 216 (-110)|
|Denver Nuggets||+8 (-110)||+275||U 216 (-110)|
Odds taken Sep. 11th
Clippers Have a Commanding Lead
The Clippers’ 96-85 Game 4 victory was a perfect example of how they want to play. Kawhi carried the offensive load with 30 points, but it was holding an offense that features Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic, and Michael Porter Jr. to just 85 points that really stood out.
Los Angeles is ultimately a defensive team, and producing 90’s-looking score lines is absolutely the goal.
There is, however, one concerning stat from Game 4. Paul George posted just 10 points on the night, and the possibility of him shrinking back into his early-playoff form is present.
In four of the six first round games with Dallas, George had under 20 points. In three of those games he didn’t even reach 15. Things have turned around against Denver, but not completely.
Through four games, George has games of 32 and 22, but he’s also had games of 19 and 10. While he’s reached the 30-point mark in a few games, he hasn’t been the kind of second option that a championship contender needs.
On their way to a potential Lakers series, George will have to step up to match the star pairing of LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the Western Conference Finals.
Murray Cooling Off
The Nuggets 1st-round series was a star-making stretch for Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, who had games of 50 (twice), 42, and 36 in memorable duels against Donovan Mitchell. His status as a household name was upgraded, but against the Clippers, he hasn’t done much to build on it.
In a testament to the aforementioned Clippers defense, Murray has posted games of 12, 27, 14, and 18 points in this series, and the Buckets have not come nearly as easily.
His teammates have struggled to find buckets as well. In Game 4, Jerami Grant had just seven points, and Paul Millsap just three. Nikola Jokic had to fight to an 11-23 day to get to 26 points. This Clippers defense has been absolutely suffocating at points of this series, and Michael Malone has had no answers.
What’s the Best Bet?
While the Clippers are dominant when they are firing on all cylinders, they aren’t always firing. This team played so little of the regular season and seeding games with its full roster, and that inconsistency has a habit of striking back so far in the playoffs.
Against Dallas, the Clippers were clearly the better team. However, whether it was Marcus Morris getting himself ejected, or the all-too-often Game 3 performance where the threes are falling at under 30%, there have been games where they leave the window open for the opponent.
This Nuggets team isn’t going to bow down in this potential elimination game. The series is just at 3-1, and that deficit has been overcome on a couple of notable occasions recently. Against the better, but inconsistent, Clippers, there’s good value on them making this a close game.
The Pick: DEN +8 (-110)