The Denver Nuggets (40-18) visit the Los Angeles Clippers (39-19) in one of the top matchups on the Friday NBA schedule. Nikola Jokic and company will look to further their standing as the No. 2 team in the Western Conference. Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers, currently in the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference standings and one game behind Denver, aim to improve their NBA playoff picture outlook by protecting their home floor.
Tip-off is at 10:30 p.m. ET at Staples Center. Sportsbooks list the Clippers as 5.5-point home favorites, holding steady from the opener, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 219 in the latest Nuggets vs. Clippers odds. Before making any Clippers vs. Nuggets picks or NBA predictions, see what SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and last season it returned a whopping $4,280 on its top-rated spread and money line picks. It's already returned well over $3,000 in profit on all top-rated NBA picks during the 2019-20 season and entered Week 19 a blistering 47-30 on all top-rated spread picks this season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Nuggets vs. Clippers spread: Clippers -5.5
- Nuggets vs. Clippers over-under: 219 points
- Nuggets vs. Clippers money line: Clippers -230, Nuggets +190
- DEN: The Nuggets are 9-5 against the spread in the last 14 games
- LAC: The Clippers are 5-5 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Nuggets can cover
The model has considered that it might be tough for the Nuggets to pull off a road upset, but Denver does have strengths to focus on in this matchup. The Nuggets are a strong offensive team, ranking in the top 10 of the NBA in overall efficiency, and Denver is also very good at avoiding turnovers. Jokic should be able to feast on a Clippers' front court that is vulnerable to size, and the All-NBA big man is averaging 20.8 points, 10.0 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game this season.
Mike Malone's team is also one of the best in the league at securing offensive rebounds, which could produce extra possessions against the Clippers. Defensively, the Nuggets are also above-average in an overall sense, with the ability to limit the Clippers' shooting efficiency and create turnovers at an effective level.
Why the Clippers can cover
Even so, Denver isn't a lock to cover the Clippers vs. Nuggets spread. The model has also considered that, while Jokic is a tremendous piece, the Clippers have the best player on the floor in Leonard and another top-tier piece in Paul George. Leonard is averaging 27.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game in his first season under a new roof, and George adds 21.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest.
The two forwards haven't been on the floor together as much as the Clippers would like but, at full strength, Los Angeles is a top-tier offense, and they can also rely on elite-level metrics in offensive rebounding and free-throw rate. Denver is a below-average defensive rebounding team, and things could open up for the Clippers to crash the glass, especially when Jokic is off the floor.
How to make Clippers vs. Nuggets picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, with Michael Porter Jr. and Marcus Morris projected to outperform their scoring averages. The model also says one side of the spread hits in almost 60 percent of simulations.
So who wins Nuggets vs. Clippers and which side of the spread hits in almost 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Clippers vs. Nuggets spread you need to jump on Friday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.