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How to Bet Los Angeles Clippers vs Utah Jazz 2nd Round Series & Game 1

Chris Sheridan

by Chris Sheridan in NBA Basketball

Jun 8, 2021 · 6:31 AM PDT

Rudy Gobert
Rudy Gobert blocks shot. (Photo by Ringo Chiu/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)
  • Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz open their second-round NBA playoff series on Tuesday night
  • This will be a matchup of two extraordinary 3-point shooting teams, but will that necessarily mean high-scoring games?
  • There are NBA gambling trends involving both teams that can help devise a wagering strategy, explained in the article below

The Los Angeles Clippers overcame Luka Doncic, a 0-2 series deficit and a 30-11 deficit in the first 7:30 of Game 3 at Dallas, showing incredible resiliency in winning their opening round series against the Mavericks on Sunday to move on to face the Utah Jazz.

The Jazz bounced back from a Game 1 loss to Memphis at home and won the next four games, taking their rabid fan base to the second round of the playoffs where they will open at home Tuesday night against Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and the rest of the Clippers.

Los Angeles led the NBA in 3-point percentage at an astounding .411 percent, while the Jazz shot .389 but made 1,205 3s over the 72-game regular season, the third-most in NBA history. Their average of 16.7 3s per contest was an NBA record, and they were the only team to hit 10-plus threes in every game in a single season.

So this should be an epic shootout with extremely high point totals, correct? Not so fast.

Clippers vs Jazz Series Odds

Team Odds at DraftKings
L.A. Clippers +112
Utah Jazz -139

All odds as of June 8th

What Should We Look for In This Series?

These teams played three times in the regular season, and the point totals were 206, 210 and 228.

For two teams that shoot the ball so well from distance, those are not exactly very high totals. And that is because these teams are loaded with tough defenders whose mission in life is to make things difficult for opponents on both ends of the floor. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are the two best known on the Clippers (Patrick Beverley is another, but he was benched last series in favor of Reggie Jackson). Rudy Gobert (who will win Defensive Player of the Year) and Joe Ingles are the best at it for the Jazz, and Ingles may start if Mike Conley (right hamstring) is unable to play.

Los Angeles led the NBA in 3-point percentage at an astounding .411 percent, while the Jazz shot .389 but made 1,205 3-pointers over the 72-game regular season, the third-most in NBA history. Their average of 16.7 3s per contest was an NBA record, and they were the only team to hit 10-plus threes in every game in a single season.

Clippers vs Jazz Game 1 Odds

Team Spread at DraftKings Moneyline Total Points
L.A. Clippers +4 (-109) +150 O 220.5 (-119)
Utah Jazz -4 (-112) -180 U 220.5 (-113)

With So Many 3-point Shooters, Will the Score Be Very High?

Utah is 5-0-0 hitting the over thus far in the playoffs, but that was against Memphis – a team built quite differently than the Clippers. Memphis had six or seven players who could be effective on any given night. Los Angeles has two sure things: Leonard and George.

Many of their other players run hot and cold, a lot that includes but is not limited to Marcus Morris Sr., Rajon Rondo, Luke Kennard, Nicolas Batum and Terrence Mann. If all of those guys are clicking, the Clippers are fantastic. But as noted above, the leaky faucet factor is huge with these guys, and they run hot and cold.

Utah and Los Angeles have the two shortest championship prices of the four teams remaining in the West, the Clippers at +500 and the Jazz at +325. Yes, this is strange, but this is not a column about why the Denver Nuggets are a terrific bet at +4000 despite their Game 1 loss last night.

This figures to be more of a defensive battle than one might initially imagine, especially after the Clips shut down everyone not named Luka Doncic in Game 7 at home Sunday.

So What Is the Wagering Strategy? And Why?

With so much 3-point shooting, it would seem natural to take the over. But if you do a deep dive into the numbers involving these teams and delve into the matchups, it makes more sense to go under.

And remember, when you play the under you are always winning – unless and until the over hits. Sharp bettors love unders.

The Jazz are only 19-18-0 hitting the over as a home favorite, while the Clippers are 2-4-0 hitting the over as a road underdog, 19-20-0 as an away team, 9-10-0 with a rest disadvantage. Those numbers, along with the fact that two of the regular-season games between the teams were relatively low-scoring affairs, lead us to surmise that the under is the sensible play.

Also, with Serge Ibaka now doubtful because his back injury flared up after Game 7, there is going to be a tremendous workload for starter Ivica Zubac and new backup-by-default DeMarcus Cousins in trying to contain Gobert, who is averaging 17.4 points and 13.0 rebounds in the postseason, primarily against Memphis center Jonas Valanciunas, who is about 800 times better than Zubac.

So if you want to juice your under wager, take a look at Gobert’s player prop totals, His over/under for points, rebounds and assists is 28.5, and he could go over that without recording a single assist while going against weaker opposing centers than what he saw over the previous five games. Good luck!

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