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Los Angeles Seeks Elusive Win in Utah

Paul George and the Los Angeles Clippers are small moneyline underdogs in NBA betting odds for their Game 5 matchup against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.

The Clippers (53-30 SU, 45-36-2 ATS) are two wins away from their first trip to the Western Conference finals, but they’ll need to win at least one game in Utah in order to get there. LA has lost its last seven road games vs the Jazz (58-23, 46-33-2) and opened as a 2-point underdog.

Los Angeles Clippers vs Utah Jazz
  • Date/Time: June 16, 10 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Vivant Arena
  • TV Coverage: TNT
  • Opening Odds: -2 | O/U 223.5 (Line History)
  • Clippers vs Jazz Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Jazz were 2.5-point chalk in the first two games in Salt Lake City, and that might be where this line settles after oddsmakers opened Utah as a 2-point favorite. The total had dropped 1.5 points from the opener by the time of writing Tuesday night.

Editor’s Note: With breaking news Wednesday morning that Kawhi Leonard is expected to miss Game 5 due to a knee injury, the spread has jumped to Jazz -7 at most sportsbooks.

Los Angeles News & Notes

The Clippers’ best basketball in these playoffs has come when they’ve brought a sense of urgency, evident in their 6-2 SU record when trailing a series or facing elimination. LA dominated Monday’s Game 4 from the opening tip, holding Utah to 13 first-quarter points and building a 29-point advantage in the first half.

But will the Clippers let down a bit now that they’ve rallied to tie the series? That’s what they did in Round 1 against the Mavericks, dropping Game 5 at home after winning the previous two games in Dallas to overcome a 2-0 series deficit. So far in the postseason, LA is 0-3 when it is tied in a series, and the Clips have yet to hold a series lead.

Several of the Clippers’ role players have stepped up their game to turn the series around — Marcus Morris Sr. scored 22 first-half points on Monday and hit five three-pointers — but it’s no coincidence that LA is getting improved production from Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

Both of LA’s superstars scored 30-plus points in each of the Clippers’ two wins at Staples Center, becoming just the fifth set of teammates in the last 44 years to each score at least 30 in back-to-back playoff games.

Utah News & Notes

The Jazz may have overcome Mike Conley’s absence to win the first two games of the series in Utah, but they could certainly use him now. Without Conley, who remains day to day with a hamstring injury, Joe Ingles has had to move into the starting lineup, weakening a Utah bench that was one of the team’s greatest strengths this season.

Jazz starters have outscored LA’s starters by 6.5 points per game in this series, but whenever Utah has at least one bench player in the rotation, the team has been outscored by an average of 14 points per contest.

If you’re looking to capitalize in live betting, wait until Derrick Favors comes into the game to replace Rudy Gobert. LA has outscored Utah by 20.6 more points per 100 possessions when Favors is on the floor than when Gobert is patrolling the paint. Jordan Clarkson, who was the favorite to win Sixth Man of the Year at one point this season, hasn’t been effective off the bench either, shooting 37 percent from the field.

Donovan Mitchell has carried the Jazz offense with 37 points in each of the last two games, although Utah hopes it found some answers in the second half of Game 4. The Jazz hit 51.4 percent of their shots and compiled 14 assists in the final two quarters, compared to just 35 percent shooting and five helpers before the break. It’ll be interesting to see if they can build on that momentum as the series returns to Salt Lake City, where the Jazz have won nine of their last 11.

Betting Pick: Jazz -2.5

This is a short price to back a Utah squad that is 35-6 SU at home this season and should be the hungrier squad.

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Shark Bites
  • The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Los Angeles’ last 15 road games.
  • Utah is 6-0 ATS in its last 6 games as a favorite.
  • Los Angeles is 0-7 SU in its last 7 road games vs Utah.