Suns vs. Clippers NBA Picks and Predictions for Monday

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Brandon Boston Jr. #4 of the L.A. Clippers. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The Suns are right back to their winning ways after taking their last two games. Now they welcome in a banged-up Los Angeles Clippers team and NBA oddsmakers have the Suns laying -3 on the road. Let’s take a look at the NBA odds and decide which way to lean at top betting sites.

Phoenix Suns vs. L.A. Clippers

Monday, December 13, 2021 – 10:30 PM EST at Staples Center

Banged up Rosters

Most teams are fighting through health and safety protocols right now, but the Suns and Clippers are both dealing with regular ole NBA injuries that are clouding our ability to handicap this game. On the Suns’ side, they are still without Devin Booker but have been out since the Warriors game last week with a hamstring issue.

On top of their best player being out, arguably their second-best player, Deandre Ayton, missed the Suns’ last game against Boston with a non-Covid illness and he is listed as questionable for Monday’s game in L.A.

On the other side, the Clippers also have their fair share of injuries. Not only have they been missing Kawhi Leonard all season, but now Paul George is hurt with a sprained elbow and he has not played in the Clippers’ last two games.

George is doubtful for Monday so he’ll likely miss his third straight game and on top of all this, Nicolas Batum is questionable with a sprained ankle. Batum had been out for nine straight games before making his return last Wednesday, only to hurt his ankle.

Batum’s status for this game is big, but not as big as Ayton's. According to Basketball-Reference, the Suns are three points worse on offense when Ayton isn’t on the court. While JaVale McGee had a monster line against the Celtics without Ayton, he likely won’t be able to do that again against a much more formidable frontcourt of the Clippers.

That being said, with both teams missing their main offensive threats and with more firepower questionable, there is still value in this line.

The Sharp Pick

While both teams are without their stars tonight, the Clippers’ ability to replace George (especially if Batum is able to play) is a lot better than the Suns’ ability to replace Booker.

L.A. is at home and has a ton of wing depth they can call on without George. If Batum plays and Ayton has to sit out again, that will put the icing on the cake for this one.

While I do think the Suns are battle-hardened enough to take this game, I think the Clippers take the first half. These two teams have very good first-half and full-game defenses, but if the Suns are missing their two best players, I could see them faltering some here on the road.

L.A. has held opponents to just 100.9 points per 100 possessions in the first halves of their home games this season and I expect that to be the difference-maker here.

Even though the Suns own the league’s best road defense in the first half, if Booker and Ayton are both out and not giving them easy buckets on the other end, that defense will suffer some against a similarly good defensive team.

NBA Pick: Clippers +1.5 1st Half (-110) with Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Clippers +1.5 1st Half (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.