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Nuggets vs Clippers prediction NBA odds pick Nikola Jokic out

Defending NBA champs Denver Nuggets lose reigning MVP Nikola Jokić for a game, face LA Clippers in Western Conference showdown.

The Denver Nuggets, the defending NBA champions, have faced some early challenges, losing four of their last six games. To make matters worse, their reigning MVP, Nikola Jokić, will be sidelined for at least one game due to lower back pain.

The Nuggets are set to take on the Los Angeles Clippers at Arena in what promises to be an intriguing matchup between two of the Western Conference's top teams. Despite the absence of Jokić, the line for the game has seen significant movement, with the Clippers currently favored by 10.5 points.

The Clippers, who are currently one game below .500, are coming off a win against the Dallas Mavericks, with Paul George leading the way with 25 points. Meanwhile, the Nuggets managed to cover the spread in their recent victory against the San Antonio Spurs, ending an 0-8 skid against the spread.

Jokić, who has been averaging 28.2 points and 13.5 rebounds per game, will be sorely missed by the Nuggets. Additionally, point guard Jamal Murray is also set to miss the game, adding to Denver's injury woes.

In their previous meeting, the Nuggets emerged victorious against the Clippers, but L.A. managed to cover the spread. The Clippers have also been successful as favorites this season, winning seven of their 11 games in that position.

While the Clippers at -7.5 may be tempting, the absence of key players for the Nuggets makes it a risky bet. Instead, a safer option could be to back the Clippers at -6.5 in the first half, as they are likely to start strong before resting their stars.

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