NBA play-off picks, basketball

Lakers at Clippers: James and Co to edge city rivals

Date: 0330, 23/10/2019

Venue: Staples Center

TV: Sky Sports Main Event/Arena

Los Angeles will host one of the most eye-catching NBA matches of the season on opening night as the Lakers take on city rivals Clippers at the Staples Center.

The Clippers took the series 3-2 during the 2018-19 season but after a busy summer for both teams, the Lakers and the Clippers will be desperate to get off to a perfect start by defeating their their bitter rivals.

This mouth-watering contest should not disappoint but we believe the influence of LeBron James will be the difference.

The Lakers edging to victory at a price of 3/4 is our first Lakers at Clippers prediction.

A look At Los Angeles Clippers’ Betting Odds

The Clippers finished eighth in the Western Conference last season and will be on the hunt for progression this time around after an exciting free agency period.

Kawhi Leonard, the reigning NBA Finals MVP after guiding the Toronto Raptors to their maiden title, returned to his home town alongside six-time NBA All-Star Paul George as summer additions at the Staples Center.

It will be intriguing to see how the pair will combine on the court with both players traditionally playing in the small forward position.

Leonard is likely to move across to shooting guard alongside Lou Williams – who topped the Clippers’ assist list last season – and Montrezl Harrell starting as big man.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who played every game of the 2018-19 campaign and made the most steals for the team, and Danilo Gallinari were traded to get George to the club but their absences means Patrick Beverley could have more influence in the backcourt this season.

He is struggling to make the opening game after sustaining an injury in pre-season and that could hamper the points scored in the match.

Three of the last five matches have seen 226 total points or less and, looking at the 91/100.

A look At Los Angeles Lakers’ Betting Odds

One of the biggest stories of the free agency was Anthony Davis’ arrival at the Lakers, which will see him partnering James in Los Angeles.

The 26-year-old already has become a six-time NBA All-Star and been the NBA blocks leader in 2014, 2015 and 2018.

The link-up up play between the star duo has already started to blossom in pre-season and Lakers fans will be excited for a play-of push this season after missing out in James’ first campaign.

Davis’ good friend and former team-mate DeMarcus Cousins has joined the Lakers but suffered a serious knee injury during training, which will come as a huge blow for Frank Vogel’s team.

The Lakers made another big-name addition in veteran Dwight Howard at centre and with Rajon Rondo knitting the play together at point guard, Vogel’s star-studded side could be a dark horse for the NBA title.

It will prove to be a battle between the Lakers’ quality against the Clippers’ team cohesion.

We reckon Vogel’s outfit will edge it by two or more points at 83/100 in the last of our Lakers at Clippers betting tips.

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