Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Clippers Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds -- 11/01/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Where to watch: Bally Sports Southern California, Bally Sports Oklahoma

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: NL
BetMGM: NL
Caesars: NL

Season record
Thunder: 1-5
Clippers: 1-4

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Thunder - Clippers preview and analysis


Recent form
Thunder: lost 103-82 at Warriors on Saturday
Clippers: lost 111-92 at Blazers on Friday

Life without Kawhi Leonard has not been a fruitful endeavor for the Los Angeles Clippers to start the season.

After a competitive first two games against the Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies, the Clippers have found themselves at the hand of three consecutive blowout results, most recently a 19-point loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Revenge, thy name is Damian Lillard.

Most times, even a struggling Clippers team would be considered a dominant opponent over a rebuilding Oklahoma City Thunder team. But the Clippers are in that weird area right now where we can't trust them because their best player isn't around. And now they take on the young Thunder that just beat the Los Angeles Lakers at home a few days ago.

The Clippers seemed to be going in the right direction with their first win of the season last Monday against the same Blazers they just lost to. Such should be the concept for the Western Conference finalists from last season.

Despite the fact Paul George had 42 points, herein lies the problem: George can have a stellar game, but no one else can pick up the slack. Luke Kennard was the only other player to score in double figures. For context: The rest of the Clippers' starters COMBINED for 16 points on 6 of 29 shooting.

"We'll grow. With more time to get practice, more time to get games, we'll know how to play out there with one another," George said.

Meanwhile, the normally-good L.A. defense couldn't stop the depth of the Blazers, led by Lillard's 25 points. Three of their other starters combined for 40 points. Math tends to dictate that if you have three guys that nearly outscore one, you're in good shape.

Now to be fair, the Clippers should win this game. The Thunder are no longer the Thunder we grew up hoping would become an NBA powerhouse. The rebuild is underway, and Oklahoma City is off to a start of losing five of six following a 21-point loss to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

We need to pour one out for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The poor young man is having to go through this whole rebuild by himself. He had 15 points and five rebounds and a minus-23. But perhaps there's some help on the way -- albeit a while -- with No. 6 overall pick Josh Giddey being an all-around pest.

Giddey had only 10 points, but he had six assists to go with four rebounds and he leads the team in assists.

The kid is 19 years old, so the future may be bright for OKC. Right now, just pain and no playoffs.

Prediction


You'd think the Clippers don't have a problem in this game, and I'd stick by this. Struggling to contain Lillard is one thing. Trying to slow down two young guards should be a much easier time. Clippers by 16

Betting trends


The Thunder are 9-2 ATS following consecutive games of attempting 10 or more free throws than their opponent.

The Thunder are 5-1 ATS the past three seasons following a combined score of 190 points or less.

The Clippers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 following a road loss of 10 points or more.

Projected starting lineup


Thunder:
PG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
SG: Luguentz Dort
SF: Josh Giddey
PF: Darius Bazley
C: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

Clippers:
PG: Reggie Jackson
SG: Eric Bledsoe
SF: Paul George
PF: Nicolas Batum
C: Ivica Zubac

Statistical leaders


Thunder:
Points: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander -- 22.0
Rebounds: Darius Bazley -- 6.5
Assists: Josh Giddey -- 5.7
Blocks: Darius Bazley -- 1.0
Steals: Josh Giddey -- 1.3

Clippers:
Points: Paul George -- 27.6
Rebounds: Paul George -- 7.8
Assists: Eric Bledsoe -- 4.0
Blocks: Nicolas Batum -- 0.8
Steals: Paul George -- 3.4

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert basketball picks today. And if you enjoyed this Oklahoma City Thunder - Los Angeles Clippers prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NBA projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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