The Phoenix Suns outlasted the Los Angeles Clippers for a Game 1 win on Sunday afternoon, despite playing without their veteran leader, Chris Paul. The star point guard will miss Game 2 tonight, as well, as part of the league’s COVID-19 protocols.
Let’s size up the current odds, matchups, and trends before making our Clippers vs. Suns Game 2 prediction and best bets.
His absence could open the door for the Clippers to avoid their third straight 0-2 series hole to begin a postseason series, as they had dropped the first two games against both Dallas and Utah.
To do so, however, they will have to find a way to win without Kawhi Leonard, who will be inactive for the fourth straight game with a knee injury.
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Clippers vs. Suns Prediction Game 2
The Clippers used a small lineup to great effect to close out the Jazz without Leonard, but Phoenix seemed ready for the modified approach. With Phoenix big man Deandre Ayton having his way with the Clippers inside in Game 1 (20 points, 9 rebounds), will Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue tweak things once again tonight?
Sunday’s game sailed over the posted total of 220 due in large part to a 69-point second quarter and a 75-point third. Phoenix has now scored 120 or more points in four of its last five games, while the Clippers have now played five of their last six games over the total.
Clippers vs. Suns Odds (June 22, 2021)
Here is the current line on Clippers vs. Suns at DraftKings Sportsbook:
|CLIPPERS||+5 (-110)||+165||O 224 (-113)|
|SUNS||-5 (-110)||-200||U 224 (-109)|
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Game 2 Pick
It seems somewhat telling that oddsmakers pushed tonight’s total quickly up to 224 from a closing number around 220 in Game 1. After all, Game 1 was the teams’ first head-to-head meeting this season to reach 220 points and tonight’s total is the first one set above 220.5 in this matchup all season.
There are plenty of defenses for the boost to the total. For one, since Leonard went down, the Clippers have played three straight games to at least 230 points, averaging 238 total points per game, despite not seeing a total set above 221. As such, tonight becomes their joint highest posted total in 15 games, reaching all the way back into the regular season.
Despite the lower posted totals for Los Angeles, the Clippers have now played eight straight games to at least 220 total points. They have also reached at least 220 total points in nine straight games with totals set at 224 and above.
Note: be sure to check out our Clippers-Suns Game 2 prop picks.
The Clippers averaged 121.3 points per game in those nine outings, a number which, if reached, almost guarantees an over tonight. After allowing 120 points to the Suns in Game 1, the Clippers have played eight of their 12 subsequent games to at least 220 total points this season after allowing 219 points or more in their previous game. The 12 next games produced an average of 223.8 points per game, which is two points higher than the team’s season average.
The Suns have scored 113 or more points in seven straight games in these Playoffs and scored less than 106 points in just three of their 36 regular season home games.
Key Stats to Know
After scoring 120 or more points in these Playoffs, which the Suns have done three times, their next games have averaged 224.3 points per game. If you look at their post-120+ point outbursts during the regular season, you will find that their subsequent games averaged an insane 231.4 total points, with 20 of those 25 outings topping tonight’s posted total.
With the league’s fourth and seventh best scoring defenses, the public can easily get teased into the idea that these are elite overall defensive groups. However, much like Brooklyn and Milwaukee’s poorly ranked scoring defenses masked their elite defensive field goal percentages, the low point totals hide mediocre field goal percentage defenses, which rank just 13th and 15th in the league.
A major reason the two hold opponents to so few points per game is the fact that they both prefer to slow the game down, possessing the third and fourth slowest paces of play in the NBA this year. However, that mentality goes out the window with Lue’s Clippers playing small, fast-paced lineups without Leonard. The game inherently has a higher tempo right now and that’s unlikely to change tonight.
What we believe is truly of note, along with the expected style of play this evening, is the fact that Los Angeles and Phoenix were second and fourth in the league in offensive efficiency this season, while being just eighth and ninth in defensive efficiency, respectively.
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Here are a couple of other team notes:
- The Clippers make the fifth most 3-pointers per game in the league, while shooting it better than any team from deep at 41.1% on the year.
- Phoenix makes the 11th most threes per game at home this season, while also shooting the deep ball at the seventh best rate in the league (37.8%).
- Perhaps our favorite team stat, however, is this game pitting the league’s two best foul shooting teams against each other, with each shooting just shy of 84% as a group on the season.
- They do not typically get to the line a ton on average, but in a more wide open game with so much at stake, we should expect an increased number of free points tonight, as well.
Clippers vs. Suns Betting Trends
|Bobby Portis Under 16.5 Points (-106, FanDuel)|
|Khris Middleton Over 27.5 Points (-105, BetMGM)|
|Bogdan Bogdanovic Over 3.5 Threes (-120, DraftKings)|
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Two other notes:
- Phoenix has 21 of its last 29 games over as a favorite, along with having just four under games in its last 17 following an ATS win.
- The Suns have played just 12 games under the number in their last 38 overall, as well as just 17 of their last 53 under following a straight up victory.
Look for tonight to make it 11 head-to-head meeting over in the last 14 between these two in Phoenix.
Our Pick: LAC/Phx Over 224