NBA Betting Preview Clippers vs. Raptors- December 31st, 2021

Neither the Clippers nor the Raptors are playing good basketball lately, but they will pay each other on the final day of 2021. Which team will finish this year with a win? Find out below.

Los Angeles Clippers Betting Preview:

The Los Angeles Clippers have had quite a lot of issues this season. From several players being injured to COVID, to other stuff. It’s not been pretty, and the record (18-17) reflects that. But when you put things into perspective, the record is actually pretty decent considering all the stuff that happened. Paul Goerge missed quite some time, so did Reggie Jackson; Kawhi Leonard is still not back, so being able to keep themselves over .500 is fairly solid. They are starting to get some players back, and things should improve. Obviously, everyone is waiting on Kawhi, and only then will we truly know what they are capable of. Until then, it’s about keeping it going.

They will arrive in Toronto after a solid win in Boston that should give them confidence. There was no George in that game, and he should be back here, making them an even bigger threat to the Raptors. They are playing good team defense, albeit lacking on the scoring side. With major players missing time, it’s no wonder, but that should balance itself out a bit, especially when Leonard returns. 

 

Toronto Raptors Betting Preview:

After being absent for a year, the Toronto Raptors are back to playing in Canada, but things have not looked too different. Some roster turnover happened, but the team has a 14-17 record that’s about right in line with expectations. They looked very good when they had a fully healthy team at times, but that has rarely happened this season. A lot of players have missed significant time this season, and recent bouts with COVID-19 did not help them. Their last outing was against the Sixers, who controlled the match from start to finish despite several runs by Toronto. They were close all game long but never found enough to win the match. 

Against the Clippers, it might be a similar struggle as they are not a particularly great offensive team. Some of their playmakers are missing, and it’s unknown whether they will return in time. It will depend on testing and whether they return a positive or negative test. That is why it will be crucial to pay attention to who actually plays before betting anything on this game. 

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Key matchups

Defensive battle

Both of these teams can play pretty good overall team defense, and who plays it better will win. Toronto has been giving up a lot of points recently and against a Clippers team that could prove problematic. I don’t expect a high-scoring affair by any means, and in such a game, the better defense will take the win. 

Outside shooting

One of the ways the Clippers won in Boston was with their outside shooting, and Toronto is capable of hitting threes in strides as well. When they got close to Philly, most of the time with three-point shooting, and which teams shoot it better might just have the edge in this one. 

 

Clippers vs. Raptors betting lines  

Surprisingly Toronto is favored by six points in this contest, but there is a very good reason for it. The team might field its starting lineup for the first time in a while, which could be crucial. The points are set at 210, and that’s a solid number as well. 

Free Betting Pick

In the ever-changing world of the NBA, the lines have moved quite considerably in this one. The raptors are now favored by six because they should have all their players back tonight. Trent and Siakam are back; VanVleet and Barnes are probable, as is Anunoby. Even by six, the Clippers are missing George, and all of that is enough for me to back the Raptors. 

When it comes to the points, I think it might go under because the CLippers tend to play solid defense as a team. The Raptors do the same, but it’s New Year’s, so maybe we will see fireworks. Back the Raptors. 

BetUSASports Free Pick: Raptors by six

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