Jazz vs Clippers Free Pick
Jazz @ Clippers (Jazz -4 O/U 224)
NBA Odds, NBA Free Picks, NBA Predictions
If Friday night’s Jazz-Clippers game were a product in a box, you would take the lid off and find a tough, physical battle between two of the league’s best defensive teams. In fact, they are two of the best overall.
Utah has been playing lights out winning 20 of their last 21 games to lead the NBA with a 24-5 overall record. The Jazz have also been good to spread bettors covering their last eight straight and 19 of their last 21 games.
The two teams just played on Wednesday and the Jazz won and covered in a 114-98 victory. Utah’s effort was made a little easier by the lack of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the Clippers lineup. The pair of stars plus Luke Kennard and Nicholas Batum are all listed as questionable for tonight’s game.
With the Clippers having essentially a full roster for Friday, expect their defense to play better than their offense. With George, Leonard, and Kennard all missing games during the week; the Clippers offense may be a bit sluggish especially early in the game.
An interesting statistic shows that in Clippers games when Leonard returns to the lineup, Los Angeles has gone 12-3 to the Under. Also quite interesting is Leonard’s career numbers when returning to the lineup. The Under is 41-24 in the game after Leonard sat out.
Then, we have the Utah Jazz. They are second in the NBA in Defensive Rating at 106.9. Jazz center Rudy Gobert is living proof that the big man is not dead in today’s era of small ball. Gobert is again the front runner for the Defensive Player of the Year award leading the league in Defensive Win Shares (2.1) and Defensive Rating (100.2).
Here’s the kicker though. Since the 2015-16 NBA season, games between two of the league’s elite teams have gone Under 60 percent of the time. The Jazz have the league’s best record. The Clippers are third-best.
Four of the last five Jazz-Clippers games have gone Under, including the game on Wednesday. Going back to 1994-95, when teams face each other in the second game of two consecutive and the first game went Under, the second one has gone Under 57.2 percent of the time.
Expect a defensive battle and the total to go Under on Friday night.