The Los Angeles Clippers odds are to win the NBA Championship in 2023. It’s been an underwhelming 2022-23 season for the LA Clippers compared to their preseason expectations. Most books had them listed as the third-most-likely team to win the NBA Finals behind the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, failing to correctly project how often their two best players – Kawhi Leonard and Paul George – would be missing from the lineup (Kawhi has missed 42% of the team’s games, Paul George 26%). Now, LA is in a fight to avoid the Play-In Tournament and the need to win an extra game or two to qualify for the Western Conference Playoffs.
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Clippers NBA Title Odds
As long as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are healthy, the Clippers remain a legitimate threat to reach the NBA Finals, but they’ll need to figure out how Russell Westbrook fits into the rotation without disrupting the chemistry the team built after trading for Eric Gordon, Bones Hyland, and Mason Plumlee. If the Clippers make the Playoffs via the Play-In Tournament they’ll still be one of the scariest seven or 8-seeds the Western Conference has ever had. Just two seasons ago they took the Phoenix Suns to six games in the Conference Finals despite missing Leonard for the entire series.
The Western Conference is full of parity this year, seeds 4-13 have been separated by five games or less for most of the season. It also got notably better after the week of the trade deadline. In just a few days, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving moved from East to West and there was a clear shift in power, which will happen when two of the top 15 players in the league leave one conference for the other. Durant’s arrival in Phoenix caused the books to raise their projections of the Suns all the way to the second-highest odds to win the championship, going from +1300 on Feb. 1 to +450 after the trade deadline. With the Grizzlies experiencing injuries and Ja Morant’s off-court issues, it’s looking more and more like a run through the West to reach the NBA Finals Teams will go through either the Denver Nuggets or Phoenix Suns.
- F Kawhi Leonard
- G Paul George
- C Ivica Zubac
- G Terrance Mann
- F Marcus Morris Sr.
- F Robert Covington
- G Russell Westbrook
- G Norman Powell
- F Nicolas Batum
- C Mason Plumlee
- G Eric Gordon
- G Bones Hyland
- G Amir Coffey
- G Brandon Boston Jr.
- G Xavier Moon
- G Jason Preston
- F Moussa Diabate
Who are the best players on the Clippers?
Kawhi Leonard: Drafted 15th overall by the San Antonio Spurs in 2011, Kawhi quickly made a name for himself as one of the best defenders in the league when he earned NBA Finals MVP honors for his performance guarding LeBron James. Even LeBron’s frustrations were obvious in that series, highlighted by the moment the cameras caught him audibly cursing in frustration when he saw Kawhi check back into the game to defend him.
While initially known mostly for his lockdown defense, Kawhi increased his point total each season over his first six years of his career. By 2016, he was a top-ten scorer averaging 25.5 points per game and the unquestioned leader of a Spurs franchise without legendary big-man Tim Duncan for the first time in 20 years.
In 2017 he played just nine games for San Antonio before shutting it down for the season with an injured right quadricep. It was an injury that would eventually cause a major rift between Kawhi and the team’s players and staff, which would in turn end his time with the Spurs. Many within the organization publicly commented that Kawhi’s camp was mishandling his injury, criticizing his loyalty to them while he continued to miss games for which they thought he should be available.
The drama continued into the team’s 2018-19 campaign when Kawhi continued to sit out despite admitting he was ready to play and demanded a trade from the team. San Antonio recognized a lost cause and traded Kawhi, the foundation of their franchise, to the Toronto Raptors for DeMar DeRozan, kicking off one of the most improbable NBA title runs in the league’s history. In 24 postseason games with Toronto, Kawhi averaged 30.4 points with 9.4 rebounds in just under 40 minutes per game en route to his second NBA Finals MVP award, cementing himself as one of the greatest postseason performers of his generation.
It still wasn’t enough to keep Kawhi in Toronto as he would leave town for the Los Angeles Clippers the next offseason, just a few months after delivering the franchise its first-ever championship. He also managed to influence his new team’s foreseeable future before even stepping foot on the floor when he directed Clippers’ owner Steve Balmer to trade future All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and a historic 5 future first-round draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Paul George.
Four years later, Los Angeles has reached the Western Conference Semifinals twice and the Conference Finals once, but has yet to make an NBA Finals appearance. This season, Kawhi’s health (or consistent lack thereof) will once again determine the team’s ceiling. Since his trade to LA, the Clippers have a 68% winning percentage when Kawhi takes the floor and a 48% winning percentage when he does not.
Paul George: Paul George’s career has a comparable story arc to his teammate Kawhi Leonard if you remove the two NBA Finals trophies and Finals MVPs on Kawhi’s resume. Drafted 10th overall by the Pacers in 2010, George was considered a project for NBA coaching staffs on offense, but a lockdown-wing defender right away. By his fourth season in the league he was a two-time All-Star averaging 22 points, seven boards and two steals per game.
George led the Pacers to back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals against LeBron James and the Heat’s “Big 3,” from 2013-14, but lost in seven games and six games respectively in those series. Unable to get past the first round of the playoffs over the next few years, the Pacers caved to George’s trade demands in 2017, sending him to Oklahoma City to form a “Big 2” for the Thunder with Russell Westbrook. That tandem would only last two seasons before Kawhi would help facilitate George’s arrival in Los Angeles with the Clippers, though not before George would have his best season in 2018-19, setting career highs in points (28.0), rebounds (8.2) and steals (2.2) per game. He would’ve led the league in scoring that season too were it not for James Harden’s absurd 36.1 points per game with a 40% usage rate, second-highest in NBA history.
Much like Kawhi, George’s time in LA has been successful when he’s on the floor, it’s simply a matter of whether or not he can stay on it, missing 110 games since joining the Clippers. When he plays, the team has won 64% of its games and when he hasn’t, that number drops to 49%.
The Odds Finder tool on TheLines.com allows you to easily search between Los Angeles Clippers team and player props. To view all of the available props in one chart use the search bar below.
Clippers current season
The two reasons the LA Clippers were considered such strong contenders to win the NBA Finals before the season started were Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. It seemed universally agreed upon that as long as they were both healthy and playing alongside one of the deepest rosters in the league, the team’s ceiling would always be an NBA championship. Even as they slogged their way to a 20-15 record through Christmas the Clippers were still ranked third by sportsbooks as most likely to win the Finals (+700) and the favorites to come out of the Western Conference.
It wasn’t until it lost nine of 11 games in early January that the team’s title odds dropped down to +1300 to win the championship and it fell below the Warriors, Grizzlies, Nuggets, and Suns as the team most likely to make it out of the Western Conference. With the roster clearly in need of improvement, the front office made a number of quality moves the week of the trade deadline, bringing in guards Eric Gordon and Bones Hyland, and veteran big-man Mason Plumlee to provide a backup center for Ivica Zubac. In the deals they made, the Clippers lost point guard Reggie Jackson (now on the Denver Nuggets) and three-point-specialist Luke Kennard (now on the Memphis Grizzlies).
Their transactions seemed to work. In four games with both Leonard and George in the lineup following those trades, LA won all four, posting a 124 offensive rating heading into All-Star weekend.
When they returned, Russell Westbrook had signed with the team and they went on to lose their next five games, dropping from the 4-seed down to the eighth and posting a 112 offensive rating during that time. They also struggled hugely during clutch time over those five games, posting a -23 net rating. Clutch time is defined as a situation where neither team has a lead of more than five points during the last five minutes of the game and can be a telling stat for how a team will perform at the end of close games. It’ll be crucial the Clippers improve in those situations if they plan to win tightly-contested playoff games.
The Clippers were one of the busiest teams around the trade deadline, doing a lot more buying than selling. The team shored up its reserve unit with the arrivals of Eric Gordon and especially Mason Plumlee, who has transitioned seamlessly from Charlotte-Hornets starter to Ivica Zubac’s backup. Before Plumlee got to the team, its second unit was allowing the fifth-most rebounds to its opponent and the seventh-most points in the painted area.
With one more move still left to make, Russell Westbrook signed a one-year contract with the team, starting at point guard in his first game available, which happened to be a double-overtime thriller and the second-highest scoring game in NBA history. It would appear Russ’s high-octane pace had an immediate impact on his new team.
How to bet on the Clippers
Wagering on the moneyline is the simplest type of NBA bet, solely based upon which team wins the game outright. See the below example involving a game between the LA Clippers and Dallas Mavericks.
The negative number on the Clippers moneyline (-140) indicates oddsmakers have them listed as favored to win. It would take a $140 wager to win $100 profit, plus the $140 originally posted for the bet. A $100 on the Hawks would net $175 in profit if they can pull off the upset.
Books will also set a point spread for NBA games, which considers the margin of victory rather than just the winner and loser. Take the below point spreads in a game between the Clippers and Denver Nuggets:
Clippers +4.5 (-115)
Nuggets -4.5 (-115)
The Nuggets are favored by 4.5 points, indicated by the “-4.5.” They need to win by at least five points to cover the point spread and cash the bet. As underdogs, the Clippers can lose by up to four points or win the game for a bet on them to cash.
The (-115) odds listed next to each team’s point spread show the return on a correct bet in American Odds. Both teams have the same -115 odds so a $115 bet on the winning team pays the bettor $100, plus the $115 wagered. A $100 bet on the would earn the bettor $86.96 plus the initial wager if it hits.
Point Total (Over/Under)
A bet on the point total is determined by the combined number of points scored by both teams. Books will provide a set number to allow bettors to choose whether the final combined scores of each team will be higher or lower. For example, if the point total in a game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers is set at 235 points and ends with a final score of 121-110, a bet on the under would cash out.
Betting on games while they’re in-play is known as live betting, which can be a fruitful strategy for those who prepare ahead of time. Take a game that has the Clippers (-250 on the moneyline) as favorites in their matchup with the Golden State Warriors (+200 on the moneyline). A $100 bet on the Clippers before the game starts would only make a $40 profit. You also know that the Clippers often start slowly when they play at home and there’s a good chance the Warriors are able to keep things close early in the game. Using that info, you could hold on to your bet until the game is in motion to see if the odds on the Clippers moneyline shift in your favor.
If the Warriors come out firing and claim an early lead, oddsmakers will move the line to reflect the current score, increasing the value of a bet on the Clippers to win, upping your profits on a correctly (and well-timed) bet.
Live betting is also where “hedging” your bets can come into play, a tactic by bettors where they make one bet before the game starts and then an opposing bet while the game is live as a way to recoup their potential losses. Let’s say you bet on Los Angeles (+180 underdogs) to win a game against the Chicago Bulls (-200 favorites), but at halftime the Clippers are down by 10 points. The live odds for a moneyline bet on the Bulls now only pays you back one-third of your money, or -300. By giving up on the Clippers and betting on the Bulls moneyline at -300 during halftime, you’re hedging your initial bet on the Clippers in an attempt to recover some money from a seemingly lost cause.
Parlays and Teasers
Parlay and Teaser bets combine multiple different bets together for an increased payout as long as all of your selected bets are successful.
A parlay is slightly more straightforward than a teaser. For example, the Los Angeles Clippers moneyline (-140) against the Miami Heat seems like a good play, as well as the Cleveland Cavaliers (-200 on the moneyline) to defeat the Houston Rockets. You can parlay both of those outcomes together and increase the odds on your return to +157.
A teaser allows bettors to move multiple point spreads or totals in their preferred direction. Let’s say you like the Clippers (-4.5) in their matchup with the Sacramento Kings as much as you do the Minnesota Timberwolves (-5.5 favorites) to defeat the Utah Jazz. You can tease both lines by four points (most books offer anywhere from four-to-six point teases) to shift the lines to Los Angeles (-0.5) / Minnesota (-1.5). Now, both teams need to win by four fewer points than the original lines for your bet to cash.
Futures bets are placed on props in the longer-term future. Team win totals, award winners, and player performances are common future bets.
Previously the Buffalo Braves and San Diego Clippers, the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1984 where they’ve been treated as the Lakers’ “little brother” since their arrival. Still without an NBA Finals appearance on their resume, the Clippers sustained 30 years of awful basketball from 1976 through 2005, winning 40 or more games just three times during that span.
In 2006, Elton Brand led LA to the city’s first Conference semifinals, losing to Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns in seven games (the Buffalo Braves made it to the Conference semis three times in the 1970s). One season later the Clippers were back to their losing ways, failing to reach the postseason for five straight years until Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan joined Blake Griffin in LA to form the trio fondly knowns as “Lob City.” Under head coach, Doc Rivers, this high-flying version of the Clippers reeled off six straight playoff appearances. Despite two straight seasons with 55+ wins from 2014-15, Paul and company could never get past the Conference Semifinals and once the Warriors began their streak of NBA Finals runs in 2015, the Lob City era was steadily ending.
When Kawhi and Paul George teamed up under new owner Steve Ballmer in 2019, the Clippers immediately soared up the projections as one of the favorites to reach the NBA Finals, only to lose in the Bubble to the Nuggets in the second round. One year later, Kawhi would stay healthy just long enough to help the Clippers reach seven games in the conference semifinals against the Utah Jazz before partially tearing his right ACL. Paul George stepped up heroically in Game 7 to lead the Clippers to the franchise’s first-ever Conference Finals and even pushed the Phoenix Suns to six games before running out of gas.
At +2200 the books are giving Los Angeles a 4.3% chance to win the NBA championship.
With the Playoffs in reach, oddsmakers are offering odds to bet on Los Angeles to reach the Western Conference Playoffs, an 87% chance.