After pulling off only the third undefeated month in NBA history, the Los Angeles Clippers are sitting pretty with the best record in the league headed into 2013. But will their run of 17 successive victories survive past New Year’s Day?
First up is a trip to Denver, followed by two meetings with Golden State split by an in-house duel with the Lakers. The Nuggets are possibly the greatest obstacle of the three, with a 9-1 record at home so far and an offense which, before a freak 81-72 loss to Memphis last Saturday, had racked up over 100 points six times in seven games. But one of those came on Christmas Day when LA cruised to a 112-100 win over Denver.
"We're going to lose at some point,” admitted Clips forward Caron Butler and tonight they’re +1 on the handicap at 1.91. In a game that could go either way, better to go over the total points line of 205.5.
The Clippers’ success has achieved the once impossible task of over-shadowing the Lakers in Los Angeles but there are signs that the established power will, at the very least, start to steal back some of the limelight. They’ve won six of their last seven while averaging over 107 points with much of that improvement fuelled by the return of Steve Nash.
Kobe Bryant remains exemplary but Dwight Howard has started to resemble his former self and that comes just in time for a tough January that sees the Lakers take on Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Houston and the Clippers. First up are the Philadelphia 76ers who were beaten 111-98 by the Lakers last month and who arrive off losses to Portland and Golden State.
The Sixers, rated at +8-5 on the handicap at 1.91, are still capable of running teams close. But on current form, take under the total points line of 202.0 at 1.91.
Bet of the Day: Take over the total points line of 205.5 in Clippers-Nuggets at 1.91.