Clippers vs. Jazz Expert NBA Betting Analysis and Free Pick

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Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz. Chris Gardner/Getty Images/AFP.

The Los Angeles Clippers (16-12) take their four-game winning streak on the road to take on the Utah Jazz (19-7) this Wednesday evening on ESPN. This is the first matchup between the two since the Clippers stormed back from a 2-0 deficit to eliminate the Jazz in the second round of the playoffs. And what about the NBA odds?

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah Jazz

Wednesday, December 15, 2021 – 10:00 PM EST at Vivint Arena

The Jazz (15-11 ATS) are a 9.5-point favorite over the Clippers (13-15 ATS) at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks. The Clippers are on a good run, but the Jazz are on a seven-game win streak themselves. Can Los Angeles keep it to single digits for the cover? Utah is 5-6 ATS and 7-4 SU when favored to win by at least 10 points this year.

Clippers: Keys to Four-Game Winning Streak

On Monday night, the Clippers ended a three-game homestand with arguably their most impressive win of the season. As a 3.5-point underdog, they handed the Suns just their fifth loss of the year, winning 111-95 and leading for nearly 45 minutes of game time.

While the Suns were without Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, the Clippers were without Paul George (elbow) and Nicolas Batum (ankle), not to mention Kawhi Leonard’s season-long absence as his ACL recovers. That just made the upset more surprising as George has carried so much of the load this season.

George is questionable for this one, so you may want to wait for the inactive list to see where the line closes. But the Clippers did manage to win their last three without him. During this four-game winning streak, the Clippers are shooting 41.6% from three (third-best during that time) and the defense remains great, ranked third in defensive rating.

The Clippers got the best of the Suns with an all-around team effort. The Clippers shot 55.1% from the field, their second-best game of the season. The Suns only shot 37.5% from the field, so it was Los Angeles’ biggest shooting disparity game of the season. The Clippers remained hot from three and just had three of their top six games all year in 3P%.

Terance Mann shined in his third start of the season, scoring 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Mann had that memorable 39-point explosion in the clinching Game 6 against Utah last year in the playoffs. He should get meaningful minutes in this one regardless of if he starts or not.

But George’s availability would be a big boost to whether the Clippers can handle this one on the road. In the four playoff wins against Utah last year, George averaged 31.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game.

Jazz: Keys to Seven-Game Winning Streak

After an 8-5 start, the Jazz are rounding into form and have won 11 of their last 13 games, including 7 straight. They just went 4-0 on a road trip and return home where they are 9-4 this season. However, Utah is only 7-6 ATS at home this year after going a league-best 27-14-1 ATS at home last season.

But during the last seven games, Utah’s offense has been on fire, leading the NBA in offensive rating at a blistering 128.1. The difference in offensive rating between No. 1 Utah (128.1) and No. 2 Houston (120.4) is basically the difference between Houston and No. 11 New Orleans (112.8). The Jazz are at 63.3% in eFG% as the three-point shots have gone in an NBA-best 44.4% of the time during the last seven games. This is also the best rebounding team in the NBA this year while the Clippers rank 22nd in rebound rate.

During the win streak, Donovan Mitchell is averaging 29.4 points and shooting 54.2% from the field and 44.8% from three. He has made at least four threes in his last five games, and he has finished at least a plus-7 in all seven games.

Five of Utah’s last seven wins have been by at least 22 points, which incredibly includes three straight road wins by at least 22 points. The Jazz did not do this against scrub teams either. They smoked the 76ers in Philadelphia despite them having their big names. They also crushed a 15-13 Washington team.

Of the 58 teams in NBA history to win three straight games by at least 22 points, only seven of them extended their streak to a fourth game, and none made it to a fifth. The Jazz are only the seventh team to win three straight on the road like this. So, this streak is in historic company for a team that had the best record in the regular season last year.

Prediction

Chances are this game will be closer than 22 points this time, but I still like the Jazz to cover at home. There may be some added motivation after last year’s playoff outcome for Utah, which won the first two games of that series at home before Los Angeles came back.

But with George’s uncertainty and how good the Jazz have been at shooting, I am going to ride the Jazz to another cover for your NBA picks this Wednesday.

NBA Pick: Jazz -9.5 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Jazz -9.5 (-110)
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