Clippers vs. Suns Betting Predictions February 16: Mega-Deep LA To Enter Break With Win

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Paul George of the Clippers celebrates a lead with Kawhi Leonard of the Clippers during game against the Suns on April 08, 2021. Harry How/Getty Images

NBA Pick: Clippers -1.5 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Clippers -1.5 (-110)
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The NBA’s last game before the All-Star break is an important one from the Western Conference as the Los Angeles Clippers visit the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.

Which side of the 1.5-point spread is the best NBA pick at the top-rated online sportsbooks? We also have a total play. 

Remember, fans from the City of Angels who want to wager on this game should check out our top-rated California betting sites

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns 

Thursday, February 16, 2023 – 10:00 PM EST at Footprint Center 

A pretty crazy sports week in the Phoenix area (Super Bowl 57, the WM Phoenix Open on PGA Tour, and a new Arizona Cardinals head coach) wraps up Thursday night with the Los Angeles Clippers visiting the Phoenix Suns in the second game of a TNT doubleheader and the final tip before the All-Star break. 

It’s the third of four regular-season meetings.

The Suns won each of the first two in Los Angeles by oddly similar scores: 112-95 and 111-95 back in the 2022 portion of the schedule.

Clippers stars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard played in one game each. Those were so long ago that John Wall was still a part of the LA rotation. He’s long gone now. Devin Booker averaged 24.5 points in the two games and former Clipper Chris Paul, 11.0 points and 12.0 assists.  

Phoenix leads the all-time series 96-75 in the regular season and is 58-27 at home, winning the past three in the desert. The Suns beat the Clippers 4-2 in the 2021 Western Conference Finals. Not out of the question that they meet there again if the West playoff bracket works out right. 

LA is 1-4 ATS on the NBA picks in the past five meetings.  

Clippers About 10 Deep Now 

I absolutely love what the Clippers did ahead of the Trade Deadline in landing Miles Plumlee from Charlotte, Eric Gordon from Houston, and Bones Hyland from Denver (replacing Reggie Jackson, John Wall, and Luke Kennard).

LA has to be the deepest team in the NBA, and its bench probably would beat a handful of other teams’ starters. None of that will matter playoff-wise unless Paul George and Kawhi Leonard stay healthy. 

Both are expected to play here with eight days off. LA comes off a 134-124 win over Golden State on Tuesday. Leonard has been on fire of late and continued that with 33 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. His seven made three-pointers tied a career-high, and he has scored 30 points or more in four of his last seven games. George had 20 points and eight assists. 

Norman Powell added 24 off the bench, and all three guys I mentioned above made their team debuts off the bench. Plumlee had eight pounds, five rebounds and three assists in 17 minutes, Gordon seven points, three rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes, and Hyland six points, four rebounds and two assists in 16 minutes.

Westbrook Could Be In The Mix As Well

That LA bench may only get better after the break if Russell Westbrook decides to sign with the Clippers after he is bought out by the Jazz. Chicago also is an option for the former MVP.  

Thanks in large part to George and Leonard, the Clippers rank tied for fourth in the NBA in opponent points per game (111.2), tied for ninth in opponent FG% (47.0), and 10th in defensive rating (112.6).

Offensively, LA has scored at least 100 points in 19 of its past 20 games. Since Jan. 6, the Clippers are fourth in the NBA in offensive rating (119.2) and second in three-point shooting (39.8%). All the pieces are there.  

Los Angeles is 6-2 ATS in its past eight road games. 

Suns Still Waiting On Durant 

Of course, the Suns made the biggest deal ahead of the Trade Deadline for Kevin Durant, but it cost them some depth for now in losing starters Mikal Bridges, a vastly underrated player and terrific defender, and Cam Johnson.

Durant won’t play here or for at least a little while after the break as he recovers from a knee injury.  

Phoenix ideally will finish as high as second in the West and avoid the No. 1 Nuggets until the West Finals.

If the playoffs started today, the No. 4 Suns would host the No. 5 Clippers in Round 1. Thus, the season series winner – which obviously can only be the Suns; another tiebreaker would come into play if the Clippers win Thursday and the final meeting -- could hold a potentially crucial tiebreaker if the teams finish in the 4-5 spots but with the same record.  

Phoenix is Playing Well But is Shorthanded for The Moment

Phoenix returned from a long road trip Tuesday and handled the Kings 120-109 – Durant was cheering on from the bench. Devin Booker scored 32 points, and Deandre Ayton had 29 points and 11 rebounds. Booker moved to fifth on the franchise’s all-time scoring list. He needs two more made three-pointers to pass Steve Nash for first on the franchise's all-time three-point field goal makes list. 

Chris Paul had 19 assists, the second-most in a game this season behind 21 from James Harden and the second-most in NBA history by a player over the age of 37. Paul also passed Oscar Robertson for the fourth-most 15-assist games in NBA history (112). T.J. Warren also came over from the Nets in the trade and made his debut with five points off the bench. 

On top of Bridges and Johnson being gone, the Suns remain without injured guards Cameron Payne and Landry Shamet, although both should be back after the break. Veteran forward Terrence Ross was recently bought out by Orlando and has joined the Suns. He might debut in this one. Ross averaged 8.0 points per contest on a 43.1% mark from the floor while hitting 38.1% of his threes with Orlando.

The Betting Picks

Tough to fade Phoenix at home, but it is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 following a double-digit win, and it can’t match up right now depth-wise with the Clippers – assuming Leonard and George play.  

The under is 6-0 in the past six between the teams, and that’s our lean as this total feels about 3-4 points too high at the current NBA odds

NBA Pick: Under 224.5 (-110) at BetOnline 

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Under 224.5 (-110)
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