Teams that had plenty of success in the Western Conference a year ago meet when the Los Angeles Clippers visit the Denver Nuggets to close out the NBA Christmas Day 2020 schedule. The Clippers (1-0) were 32-16 in conference games and posted a 22-14 mark on the road. The Nuggets (0-1), meanwhile, were 29-16 against the rest of the West and 26-11 in home games. Denver leads the all-time series, 97-81.
Tipoff from Ball Arena in Denver is set for 10:30 p.m. ET. Los Angeles is a 3.5-point favorite in the latest Clippers vs. Nuggets odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under is 226. Before making any Nuggets vs. Clippers picks, check out the NBA predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks last season. The model is up nearly $8,100 over the past two seasons. Last year, it went a stunning 61-33 on top-rated picks against the spread, returning almost $2,500 on those selections alone. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Clippers vs. Nuggets spread: Clippers -3.5
- Clippers vs. Nuggets over-under: 226 points
- Clippers vs. Nuggets money line: Clippers -165, Nuggets +145
- LAC: Only team in the NBA to have four players average at least 18 points per game last season
- DEN: Since Michael Malone was named coach, the Nuggets have improved their win total in four of five seasons
Why the Clippers can cover
Los Angeles was red-hot in the opener against the Lakers, hitting 47.3 percent of its shots from the floor, including 35 percent from three-point range. Center Serge Ibaka played a major part in the win, scoring 15 points, including hitting 5-of-7 shots, including 2-of-3 from three-point range.
Ibaka appeared in 55 games for Toronto last season and averaged a career-high 15.4 points and 1.4 assists. He became the only player in league history to reach 500 or more career three-pointers and 1,500 or more blocks.
Also playing a key role for the Clippers is guard Patrick Beverley, who scored 10 points in the opener. Against the Lakers, he hit 44.4 percent of his shots from the floor, including 40 percent from three-point range.
Why the Nuggets can cover
Despite that, Los Angeles isn't a lock to cover the Clippers vs. Nuggets spread. That's because Denver is among the NBA's elite and is looking for a third consecutive Northwest Division championship. Center Nikola Jokic was the Nuggets' top scorer a year ago, averaging 19.9 points per game. In 73 games in 2019-20, he also averaged 9.7 rebounds, seven assists and 1.16 steals in 32.0 minutes of action. He posted 13 triple-doubles, which is second all-time in franchise history for a season.
In the opener against the Kings, he scored a game-high 29 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and dished out 14 assists.
Also leading the Nuggets is guard Jamal Murray, who played in and started 59 games in 2019-20. He posted career-highs in points (18.5), assists (4.8) and grabbed four rebounds per game. Against Sacramento on Wednesday, he scored nine points, while grabbing four rebounds and snagging two steals.
How to make Clippers vs. Nuggets picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total. In fact, it's calling for 221 points. It's also generated an against-the-spread pick that cashes in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick here.
So who wins Clippers vs. Nuggets? And which side of the spread cashes in well over 50 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 was up well over $5,000 on its NBA picks last season, and find out.