The Los Angeles Clippers and the Denver Nuggets square off in Game 2 of a best-of-seven series on Saturday evening. The Nuggets aim to even the series after a loss in Thursday's Game 1, with the Clippers looking to take more control with another victory. Will Barton (knee) is out of action for the Nuggets. The Clippers report no injury concerns in advance of Game 2.
This matchup in the 2020 NBA Playoffs tips at 9 p.m. ET from AdventHealth Arena in Orlando. William Hill lists Los Angeles as the nine-point favorite, up half a point from the opener, in the Clippers vs. Nuggets odds. The over-under is set at 224, up 2.5 points. Before making any Nuggets vs. Clippers picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it's already returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 60-33 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,400 on those picks alone. It's also a sizzling 10-2 on top-rated picks since the NBA's restart in July. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Clippers vs. Nuggets spread: Clippers -9
- Clippers vs. Nuggets over-under: 224 points
- Clippers vs. Nuggets money line: Clippers -440, Nuggets +360
- LAC: The Clippers are 6-4 against the spread in the last 10 games
- DEN: The Nuggets are 5-5 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Clippers can cover
Kawhi Leonard is the best player in the series, and that gives the Clippers an inherent advantage. Leonard, fresh off a 2019 NBA Finals MVP award, leads the way for L.A. with 32.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game so far in the postseason. He is flanked by Paul George, averaging 18.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per game in the playoffs, and the Clippers are leading the NBA Playoffs 2020 in points per possession. L.A. scored 1.22 points per possession in Game 1, capitalizing on opportunities against a porous Nuggets defense, and L.A. also leads the postseason in both effective field-goal percentage and true shooting percentage.
Defensively, the Clippers are also elite, ranking in the top five of the NBA in points allowed per possession in the regular season. In Game 1, L.A. held Denver to less than one point per possession and, with myriad options to throw at Jamal Murray in an attempt to slow him down, the Clippers can focus even more on slowing Nikola Jokic.
Why the Nuggets can cover
Game 1 was undoubtedly frustrating for the Nuggets, as they failed to generate traction on either end of the floor. However, Denver can take solace in having one of the game's best offenses, as the Nuggets finished in the top five in points scored per possession in the regular season. Mike Malone's team also lands in the top five in offensive rating during the playoffs, with Murray averaging 29.1 points and 6.3 assists per game and Jokic averaging 24.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest.
Denver had a quick turnaround after a grueling, seven-game battle against Utah and, with a bit more time to prepare, the Nuggets should be in better shape for Game 2. Beyond that, the Nuggets excel on the offensive glass, ranking in the top three of the NBA in grabbing 27.9 percent of available rebounds after missed shots this season. That is an area of potential focus for Game 2 and beyond.
How to make Clippers vs. Nuggets picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, with Leonard and Murray projected to exceed their regular-season scoring averages. It also says one side of the spread hits 60 percent of the time. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Nuggets vs. Clippers? And which side of the spread hits in 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Clippers vs. Nuggets spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $5,000 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.