NBA – Jazz Team Total over 109.5 (-110): 7:30 PM CT on ABC
We’ve been crushing the team totals market in these playoffs, and this looks like another easy one. The Los Angeles Clippers simply haven’t defended well – or played well for that matter – at Staples Center in these playoffs.
In the first round against the Dallas Mavericks, the one-man Luka Doncic show torched the Clippers in Lipstick City for 114 PPG, more than 6 above their season average in points allowed. The Utah Jazz are far superior to Dallas in every offensive statistical category and have averaged 112.2 PPG against L.A. in their five games this season.
After the first quarter of Game 1, this has been an offense-centric, fast-paced series with volume 3-point shooting, a great recipe for clearing a lower team total like this. I don’t see the Clippers suddenly changing how they’ve played this postseason and clamping down on defense, so I’ll trust the hot Jazz offense to get over this number.
NBA – Jazz +4.5 @ Clippers (-110): 7:30 PM CT on ABC
I think the Utah Jazz can keep this close and/or win it outright for a lot of the same reasons from above that make me like the Jazz to clear their team total.
Historically speaking, NBA teams returning home in an 0-2 hole perform pretty well against the number, especially early in the game for first quarter and first half bets. But Playoff P and the Clips just don’t inspire a lot of confidence, especially to back them at this fairly awkward spread, which is usually better to take than to lay from a pure numbers perspective.
Yes, the Clippers responded well when they had their backs against the wall in Round 1, but again that Mavericks team is nowhere near as talented and dangerous as the Jazz are. I’d also note that the Jazz covered the number at a 63.2% clip after a win this season, so they know how to keep the momentum going.
My hope is that Mike Conley returns in this game. But even without him, I think Utah can score easily and keep this a tight game down the stretch.
Tiny Nick is 293-187 ATS (+93.8 Units) on his Locks since joining Zone Coverage.
Every day he will offer his Locks and Degenerate picks. Locks are the games he’s confident in. Degenerates are entertaining but riskier picks.