2016-2017 NBA Previews – Clippers Odds
Looking for 2016 Los Angeles Clippers Predictions? We’ve got your back. The Los Angeles Clippers’ 2015-16 NBA season came to a crashing end in the playoffs against the Portland Trail Blazers. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin both went out in Round 1 with year-ending injuries, and the team dropped four straight contests after taking a 2-0 lead against its Western Conference foe.
Los Angeles Clippers Season Preview
Head Coach: Doc Rivers
2015-16 Record: 53-29
Clippers Odds to NBA Title: +2500
Clippers Odds to Win Conference: +1200
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Entering 2016-17, L.A. is set to face the question of whether it’s time to break up or finally break through to the next level.
The Clippers have been on the cusp of both extremes for two years now, and it just might be time to decide how long the current core can stick together despite not making a single conference finals since the Paul-Griffin era began.
Los Angeles Clippers Strengths:
As many questions surround the Clippers’ Big Three and how successful it can be, there’s no denying that this is where the team’s strengths lie.
Paul, despite having lost a step and now on the wrong side of 30 (31), is a perennial All-Star who can impact a game on both ends of the court.
DeAndre Jordan has become one of the best rim-protectors in the game and is no longer someone who simply chases hollow blocked shot stats.
Blake Griffin’s game has also developed. Once upon a time he was a dunking machine without a jumped; now he has a reliable mid-range game and can bring the ball up the court without fear of dribbling off his feet out of bounds.
J.J. Redick, although not a player who instantly converts L.A.’s Big Three into a Big Four, has given this team another scoring option in the backcourt alongside Paul (and Jamal Crawford).
He averaged 16.3 points per game last season, and although he’s never going to be mistaken for an All-Defense performer, the team still managed to record the fourth-highest Defensive Efficiency rating in 2015-16.
Los Angeles Clippers Weaknesses:
Small forward has been, and continues to be, a problem for Los Angeles. Entering the 2016-17 campaign, Luc Mbah a Moute holds the starter spot with Wesley Johnson and Alan Anderson behind him.
That’s hardly a rotation that should give fans in L.A. confidence at the position.
Backup point guard is going to be another spot that comes with questions. The truth is that Raymond Felton, the team’s current backup 1, proved he’s not completely worthless during his time with the Dallas Mavericks.
At the same time, he’s struggled to stay motivated in the past, and if he falls victim to that again, it’s up to Doc Rivers’ son Austin Rivers to provide a spark when Paul hits the bench.
Looking back to the Big Three, Jordan has proven to be an offensive liability when not dunking the basketball.
He limits how creative the offense can be, and his free-throw shooting (or more specifically: his inability to shoot free-throws) takes him out of games when his defensive presence would be beneficial.
Los Angeles Clippers Betting Prediction: 55-27
Las Vegas has set the over/under for L.A.’s season win total to 56.5. Although we’re calling that a bit high at this juncture, we’re not thinking it’s off by much.
Despite the concerns that come with being a Clippers fan, one thing is certain: This team has star power.
In the NBA — the league that relies most heavily on star power (see: LeBron James making six straight NBA Finals) — that’s as important as just about any other factor.
The truth is that this season is Golden State’s to lose with Kevin Durant joining forces with Stephen Curry, but the Clips find themselves in the next tier down out West.
Barring significant injuries, L.A. should be a lock for home-court advantage in the postseason — if not the second seed behind the Warriors.
2016 NBA Gambling
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