The Battle of LA – Betting Analysis on the Lakers vs. Clippers Matchup

December 28, 2018 | insideinjuries | No Comments

The Clippers and Lakers will face off on Friday night, but the matchup will look a lot different without Lebron James in the lineup. James suffered a groin injury on Christmas day. Scans revealed relatively good news – there is no significant damage and he is considered day-to-day. The Lakers have said they will be cautious in bringing him back, which is the smart decision at this point in the season. If they follow that, he won’t suit up on Friday night and could miss at least a few more games.

James has a recent history of various lower body muscular strains to go along with his many back problems. He hasn’t had any serious groin injuries, which is certainly a good thing as repeat injuries are a red flag, but there is still some cause for concern. Lebron’s Injury Risk jumped from 9% to 29%, moving him into the High Injury Risk category. After collecting all of the information we can on his groin injury, the Inside Injuries algorithm has calculated a three week Optimal Recovery Time. Now, that doesn’t mean he will actually miss that much time, but his groin won’t be fully healed until he hits that mark. Groin injuries are easily aggravated and tough to play through, so James will need to take things slow in the recovery process.

Now let’s take a look at the Overall Injury Risk of both teams heading into their Friday night matchup. The Lakers come with a higher Team Injury Risk, largely due to James’ groin injury. The team’s IRC currently sits at 26%, which is High. The Clippers are an Elevated Risk at 19%. Avery Bradley is the player on the Clippers that we are most concerned about going forward as his Injury Risk sits at 38%. Lou Williams (24%) and Danilo Gallinari (22%) are behind him.

The HPF (Health Performance Factor) is pretty close for the Lakers and the Clippers, with the Clippers having a slight advantage. HPF is an indicator of how well we expect teams to play based on current injuries. The Clippers come with a solid 79.4% HPF, right on the edge of the Peak category. The Lakers aren’t too far behind at 73.6%, which is Above Average.

The spread currently sits at -5.5 in favor of the Clippers. If Lebron ends up playing on Friday night, which sounds highly unlikely, that of course changes things and could push things in the Lakers favor. But right now our algorithm is suggesting that the Clippers will cover. The over/under is 229, and our algorithm says to go with the over. Without Lebron in the Lakers lineup, their defense won’t be nearly as effective and disruptive. The Lakers are a top 10 team in rebounds per game, and Lebron leads the way with 8.3 (7.4 defensive rebounds per game). That’s a huge void for Lebron’s teammates to fill.

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