For the second time this season, the Los Angeles Clippers will look to erase an 0-2 playoff deficit, this time against the Utah Jazz. It’s time to continue our NBA Playoffs odds series and make a Jazz-Clippers prediction and pick for Monday night’s Game 4.
The Jazz lost their first postseason game with Donovan Mitchell in the starting lineup in Game 3. Utah is 5-2-1 against the spread after failing to cover.
The Clippers stand at 5-5 in the postseason overall, with an ATS record of 5-4-1. They are 2-3 at Staples Center so far this postseason after winning Game 3.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the Jazz-Clippers odds for Game 4.
NBA Odds: Jazz-Clippers Game 4 Odds
Los Angeles Clippers -4.5 (-105)
Utah Jazz +4.5 (-115)
Over 223.5 Points (-110)
Under 223.5 Points (-110)
Why The Jazz Could Cover The Spread
After a late-game injury scare for Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz star is in good enough shape to play in Game 4 and is not listed on the injury report. This is massive news for Jazz fans and bettors, as Mitchell has been the key to the offense in the series for Utah so far.
Similar to what Luka Doncic did to the Clippers in the first round, Mitchell has torched Los Angeles. Spida is currently averaging 37.3 points, 4.3 assists, and 3.7 rebounds per game in the series while shooting 50.6% from the field.
However, it’s not just Mitchell who’s putting up numbers. As the Jazz have done all season, their shooters have continued to knock down the 3-ball.
The Jazz have now launched 139 3-pointers through three games in the series and hit 40.2% of them. Jordan Clarkson and Joe Ingles have been particularly deadly of late, combining to hit 19-of-33 triples through Games 2 and 3.
The Clippers showed in Game 3 they will double and trap Mitchell more aggressively going forward. This will put the pressure on Utah’s shooters, but they have shown they are more than capable of knocking down the 3 all season.
Defensively, the Jazz were solid in Games 1 and 2, but melted down in Game 3. The Jazz can’t afford to give up big games to Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, or else they’re toast.
Paul George scored 31 points in Game 3, the most he has scored this postseason. Considering he’s shooting 44.4% from the field and only 35.6% from 3 in the playoffs, and has shown a penchant for struggling in key matchups, it’s questionable if he’ll keep this up.
Utah has the wing depth to keep up with the Clippers’ star duo. Joe Ingles, Royce O’Neale, and underrated defender Bojan Bogdanovic will all get their turn. As long as they can prevent George from a repeat performance, they’ll keep this game in reach.
Why The Clippers Could Cover The Spread
Even though they’re staring at a deficit, the Clippers have to like where they stand. Both Games 1 and 2 were very winnable for Tyronn Lue’s group.
L.A. held a double-digit lead in the second half before gassing out in Game 1, and then gave Utah a scare in Game 2 by erasing a 21-point deficit and briefly holding a lead in the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately for the Clippers, they were unable to win either matchup. However, it’s clear the Clips know they have the upper hand in this matchup.
If you had to build a team to combat the matchup nightmare that is the Jazz, it would look something like the 2020-21 Clippers.
The Jazz love to shoot the ball, getting 43.2% of their points from beyond the arc, the highest figure in the NBA. The Clippers answer with two of the best wing defenders in the league in Leonard and George, not to mention Marcus Morris and Patrick Beverley.
On the offensive end, Los Angeles wouldn’t mind getting into a shootout. Even if Utah shoots the lights out, the Clips can keep pace with shooting of their own. The Jazz shot 20-of-39 from 3 in Game 2 and still only won by six points. Utah then made 19 3-pointers in Game 3 and lost by 26.
The Clippers finished the regular season with the best 3-point percentage in the NBA, hitting an astounding 41.1% of their triples. In the postseason, four Clippers are shooting 39% or better from deep on three attempts or more.
Los Angeles had its best defensive effort against Donovan Mitchell in Game 3 and should continue to wear down the Jazz star. Considering he is dealing with an ankle that is not 100%, he might have to fall more into the distributor role.
This should give the Clippers and their sharpshooting roster the upper hand in Game 4.
Final Jazz-Clippers Prediction & Pick
This game will be a chess match as both teams try to limit the opposing stars from making a huge impact. The Clippers will force anyone but Donovan Mitchell to beat them, while the Jazz will attempt to make Kawhi Leonard be a facilitator instead of a scorer. In the end, the Clippers hold the advantage of the hot hand and desperation. We saw the Clips turn it on against Dallas, and I expect a similar scene here. Game 5 might be a different story, but a hungry Clips squad with momentum is not one to bet against. I’ll take the Clippers to cover and even the series.
FINAL JAZZ-CLIPPERS PREDICTION AND PICK: LAC 121, UTA 112 (LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS -4.5)