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Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers Betting Preview

The regular-season opener between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night will look much different than it would have last season. There have been a number of huge additions for both teams, and both will be contenders for the Finals.

The Lakers added a superstar in Anthony Davis and a veteran presence in Dwight Howard and will likely see an increase in production from Kyle Kuzma when he’s healthy (he’ll sit out the opener with a nagging foot problem). This will be Davis’ first time playing for a contender, and the combination of he and LeBron James should be entertaining all season.

The Clippers will counter with the talents of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who will not be playing due to injury. Around these stars is a reliable second unit featuring Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell. Their presence off the bench should give the Clippers an upper hand when comparing the Clippers and Lakers’ scoring abilities and shooting.

Lakers Look To Rebound From 2018-19

Los Angeles ended on a sour note last season by missing the playoffs. It was the first time since 2005 that James missed the playoffs. This is a much deeper team and now has two legit superstars. This team will not miss the playoffs.

Davis will be the best player James has ever played with. Their two-man game should produce highlight after highlight. They will miss Kuzma but will have other players who can take over the tertiary scoring option.

The Lakers were one of the worst defenses in the NBA last season. Davis and Howard are now in the fold to protect the rim, so points may be hard to come by when they’re on the floor.

Clippers Title Contenders

This LA team was already good last year. Now they have added two of the best players in the league in Leonard and George. While George will miss at least 10 games due to double shoulder surgery, this team should be the better of the two LA teams. The Clippers won 48 games and made the postseason without the two stars.

They are definitely the deeper of the two teams and should be able to handle the injuries much better than the Lakers squad, but they are a little more banged up for this first battle. They have talent and role players up and down the roster, but without George, Leonard will be asked to handle more of the scoring. He handled it well throughout the playoffs last year, but it could be a lot to ask against a Lakers team in what is basically a road game at Staples Center.

The Line

The Lakers are 2.5-point favorites. The total is set at 225.5. After initially opening as a 1.5-point favorite, the Clippers have since moved to two-point “home” underdogs vs. the Lakers, and that can be attributed mainly to injuries. The total opened at 227, which seems fair considering the NBA trend of high-scoring games, but moved down after the Kuzma and George injury news.

Free Betting Pick

If both teams were healthy, I would go with the Clippers here. In the long run, the Clippers end up with more wins, but without George, I like the Lakers to start the season with a win. I also like the under in this game, as the Lakers should be better defensively with rim protectors Davis and Howard.

This is close until the end of the fourth quarter with the James and Davis combo just too much to stop down the stretch. Lakers 110, Clippers 105.

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