And just like that, the NBA is back! The NBA Finals just ended on Oct. 11, and teams were only given a few preseason games to warm up, but we’re already seeing the 2020-21 season underway — and it’s just Dec. 22! With the NFL nearing the playoffs, this is an exciting time for sports bettors.
The LA Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers are ready to defend their city. The only problem is they both play for the same city, so only one team will do it properly. It’s an exciting matchup with a 10 pm ET tip-off inside Staples Center in Los Angeles.
On one hand, you have the Lakers — a team that’s looking to defend its championship from last year with a new-and-improved team. On the other hand, you have the Clippers — a team that ended last season with a huge disappointment in the playoffs and looks ready to claim revenge this season.
Can the Clippers End Last Year’s Disappointment?
The LA Clippers didn’t do so well in their three preseason games, losing all three — two of them to the Lakers. After losing three straight to the Denver Nuggets to end their season last year, they’re desperate for a victory. It’ll take a total team effort to get the job done.
Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are keys to making that happen, but they need Marcus Morris Sr., Patrick Beverley, Serge Ibaka, and Lou Williams to chip in. It’ll also be interesting to see how Luke Kennard transitions in Los Angeles and whether Ivica Zubac can provide quality minutes in his second full year with the team.
Will the Lakers Defend Their Championship?
The Lakers had a much different preseason than the Clippers. They won all four of their matchups — two against the Clippers and two against the Suns. They seem more powerful than ever and look like they aren’t playing with a bunch of pressure or weight on their shoulders this year.
They were able to snatch up Montrezl Harrell in free agency, who blossomed off the bench with the Clippers the past few years. He’ll become a tone-setter when on the court, which is scary considering this team also has LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma, Marc Gasol, Denis Schroder, and more!
Betting Odds & Lines
Who do you think is going to open their regular season with a much-needed victory on Tuesday? FanDuel Sportsbook has the Los Angeles Lakers as 2.5-point favorites over the LA Clippers. It also has the over/under listed at 222 total points.
Free Betting Pick
This is going to be a fun game to watch, which everyone will have the opportunity to do since it’ll be televised on TNT. Harrell has already played his former team twice in the preseason, but now he gets to open the regular season against them, too!
I think the Clippers are going to play well against this Lakers team, but I think the Lakers are just too powerful at the moment. It’ll be close, but the Lakers will ultimately walk away victors.
Watch out for Talen Horton-Tucker because I think he has the ability to be the difference-maker in this one.
Final Score Prediction 127-119, Los Angeles Lakers.
Free Pick: Los Angeles Lakers (-2.5)
For more picks, check out our picks page.