Utah at LA Clippers NBA Playoffs Odds & Preview for Game 5

Posted by Kenny Bell on Monday,April 24, 2017 12:55, EST in

The Utah-LA Clippers first-round Western Conference playoff series has become a battle of attrition. The Jazz lost star center Rudy Gobert in Game 1 to injury, only to see him surprisingly return in Game 4. The Clippers, meanwhile, lost their own star, Blake Griffin, to a season-ending injury. The Clippers are -2.5 point NBA odds favorites without Griffin for the crucial Game 5 on Tuesday back in L.A.

Utah at LA Clippers NBA Playoffs Odds & Preview for Game 5

When: Tuesday, April 25, 10:30 PM ET
Where: Staples Center, LA
TV: TNT
Radio: Utah / Los Angeles 
Stream Option: NBA.tv
NBA Odds: Clippers -2.5 (196.5)

Why Bet On Utah?

The Jazz evened the series with a 105-98 home win on Sunday. Joe Johnson scored 28 points to help Utah to tie the series at 2-all. It was Utah's first home playoff win since 2010. Johnson, who hit the winning shot in Game 1, scored 11 straight Jazz points during a crucial stretch in the fourth quarter, including a pull-up jumper for a 91-90 lead with 3:55 remaining after Utah trailed by seven with 7:37 left. The Clippers never led again after controlling the game for most of the night.

Gobert hurt his knee early in Game 1 and was thought to perhaps miss the series but was back in Game 4 and had 15 points and 13 rebounds. Gordon Hayward was battling food poisoning and left for good in the first half. Jazz coach Quin Snyder said Gobert had a significant impact despite not being 100 percent. Gobert averaged 14.0 points, 12.8 rebounds and a league-high 2.6 blocks per game during the regular season.

“The biggest thing was his defensive rebounding,”; Snyder said. “We were able to secure more balls. That really hurt us the last game.”

Derrick Favors shifted to the bench with Gobert active on Sunday, posting 17 points on 7-of- 10 FGs and 3-of- 6 FTs, with six rebounds, two steals, one assist and zero turnovers in 24 minutes. Favors averaged 34.3 minutes in the first three games of the series out of necessity, but that workload clearly took a toll on him. His scoring declined in each game and he simply didn’t have it in Game 3 on Friday.

Rodney Hood started the second half of Sunday’s game in place of Hayward, finishing with 18 points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal and zero turnovers in 35 minutes. Dante Exum made his playoff debut on Sunday with three points and one assist in 12 minutes of action. The Jazz struggled to contain Jamal Crawford and Raymond Felton, even after Snyder went to Exum over guys like Shelvin Mack (five minutes) and Raul Neto (seven minutes).

Why Bet On LA Clippers?

Even if the Clippers win this series, and I’m not so sure of that in the wake of Gobert’s return, they are going to lose in the next round to Golden State without Griffin – it probably would be the same result even if he did play. So has Griffin played his final game as a Clipper? He’s set for free agency.

In Friday’s Game 3, Griffin left after suffering an injury to the plantar plate of his right big toe in the first half. He finished with 11 points and six rebounds in 18 minutes. The team initially thought it was just a bruise but he’s done for the playoffs. It’s the second straight postseason that Griffin has been lost to injury. He was injured in the 1st Round of last year’s postseason as well, when he aggravated a left quadriceps injury in Game 4 against the Trail Blazers, forcing him to miss the final 2 games of that series (Clippers lost both of those games as the series ended in 6). It’s notable Chris Paul also missed both of those games with a broken right hand.

In the 10 regular-season games the Clippers played without Griffin but with Paul and DeAndre Jordan, the team was 8-2. L.A. was 30-15 without Griffin (broken hand/suspension) in the 2015-16 regular season and 9-6 in 2014-15. Griffin was the Clippers’ leading scorer and second-leading rebounder this season, averaging 21.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game.

Marresse Spieghts started for him in Game 4, finishing with five points on 2-of- 8 shooting, four rebounds, one assist and one 3-pointer in 21 minutes. Paul will need to step up with Griffin out and did it all during Sunday’s Game 4 defeat, posting 27 points, 12 assists, nine rebound, one steal, one 3-pointer and just two turnovers in 38 minutes. He was particularly effective in pick-and- roll sets, for which Utah had few answers, and Snyder is sure to throw new wrinkles at him in Game 5.

J.J. Redick played a game-high 42 minutes during Sunday’s Game 4 loss, but he finished with just 12 points and four turnovers. Jamal Crawford scored 25 points off the bench.

Utah at LA Clippers NBA Playoffs Game 5 Betting Pick: Utah Jazz

That prediction is as long as Gobert got out of Game 4 fine and Hayward is 100 percent recovered.