LA Clippers Head into Game 1 as NBA Betting Favorites vs Utah
Three of the four Western Conference first-round series look like they could end in five games. The most even matchup is clearly the No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers against the No. 5 Utah Jazz. The Clippers only earned the right to have home-court advantage in this series on Wednesday night. They will be basketball betting favorites for Game 1 and the series.
Utah at LA Clippers NBA Playoffs Betting Prediction & Pick for Game 1
Why Bet On Utah?
Derrick Favors (knee) said he is “100 percent confident” in his knee. “I did a lot of treatment. I did a lot of work on it,” Favors said. “We had different guys who’ve been out all year. It’s finally coming together at the right time. Everybody is relieved about that.” Favors has been in and out of the lineup all season and only played 15.5 minutes per game in his last three active games. I’d take that with a grain of salt.
Wednesday’s game vs. San Antonio was just the 14th time all season that the five guys who are supposed to be the Jazz’s starters played in the same game. Utah entered that game 11-2 when all five starters play.
“We’ve been hurt,” said Favors, who’s missed 32 games this year due to his ailing left knee. “We’ve had different guys who’ve been out all year. It’s finally coming together at the right time. I’m pretty sure everybody is relieved about that.”
Earlier this week, Rudy Gobert became just the 12th player in NBA history to record 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 200 blocks in the same season. The NBA didn’t start recognizing blocked shots as an official stat until 1973-74, so Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell aren’t in the group Gobert just joined.
The group is still impressive: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (four times), Shaquille O’Neal (three), Hakeem Olajuwon (three), Tim Duncan (two), Elvin Hayes (two), Dwight Howard (two), David Robinson (two), Artis Gilmore (one), Bob Lanier (one), Bob McAdoo (one) and Dikembe Mutombo (one). Gobert ranks first in the NBA in offensive rating (129.6).
Utah was 1-3 vs. the Clippers this year. The Jazz are the fifth team in NBA history that have had a win total in the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s over four straight seasons. It will be their first playoff appearance since the 2011-12 season. The Jazz return three players (Alec Burks, Favors, Gordon Hayward) from that roster. Boris Diaw (108 games), George Hill (75 games), Joe Johnson (101 games) and Shelvin Mack (21 games) also bring playoff experience to this year’s squad.
Why Bet On LA Clippers?
The Clips won three of four meetings vs. Utah. They last played on March 25 and L.A. won 108-95 at home. Los Angeles turned things around in the fourth, scoring the first eight points for an 80-70 lead. Jamal Crawford had six in a row to push the Clippers’ lead to 103-84. He was 9 of 9 at the free-throw line for the game. Blake Griffin added 15 points and DeAndre Jordan had 15 rebounds for the Clippers. The Clippers hit 10 3-pointers on Monday vs. the Rockets, lifting their season total to 831 — a new franchise record. Los Angeles became the 16th team in 2016-17 to set a new single-season franchise record for 3-pointers.
The Clippers are 24-13 against teams with a .500+ record this season. DeAndre Jordan shot a career-high 71.3% from the field, the second-highest single-season mark in NBA history (Wilt Chamberlain, 1972-73 – 72.7%). Jordan leads the NBA with 10 games of 20+ rebounds this season. Doc Rivers passed Mike Dunleavy (215) for most regular season coaching victories in franchise history with the team’s win over Houston on Monday.
The Clippers are 44-17 when they have scored 100+ points, and 25-6 when they have held their opponent under 100 points this season. L.A. is 27-4 this season when they have shot 50% or better from the field.
Over their last 12 games, the Clippers have ranked second in the NBA, scoring 115.7 points per 100 possessions, a marked improvement from their first 69 games, in which they ranked seventh, scoring 109.1 points per 100 possessions.
This postseason will mark J.J. Redick’s 11th consecutive playoff appearance in as many professional seasons. Among active players, only Tony Parker (16 consecutive seasons) has a longer streak of consecutive postseason appearances to begin their NBA career. Redick has led the NBA with a 54.2% three-point field goal percentage since March 16th.
Utah at LA Clippers NBA Playoffs Betting Pick Game 1: Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers are playing lights-out right now, but Utah is a great team when it has everyone healthy. Jazz cover the opener and maybe win outright.