NBA Odds: Clippers Will Beat Injury-Ravaged Jazz In Monday Preseason Action

Matthew Jordan

Monday, October 17, 2016 4:01 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 17, 2016 4:01 PM UTC

NBA preseason action: It's fantastic! OK, not so much. It doesn't count but you can bet on it and thus here's a preview of Monday night's game between the Clippers and Jazz in Salt Lake City. Utah is -2.5 on Heritage NBA odds with a total of 195.5.



Clippers Are Mostly the Same Team

Los Angeles (2-2) last played on Thursday and beat the visiting Portland Trail Blazers 109-108, the Clippers' highest-scoring game of the preseason. Guard Jamal Crawford, who was named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year last season for a league-record third time, hit the winning jumper with 0.2 seconds second left.

Ah, but it wasn't over. That's because Clippers center DeAndre Jordan apparently thought time had expired because he ran onto the court to celebrate  -- what's the point of celebrating a preseason win like that? Jordan was called for a technical foul. The Blazers made that shot but then couldn't get the inbounds pass and get a shot off to win. Blake Griffin continued his solid preseason with 26 points and five rebounds in 25 minutes. He's leading the team at 17.3 points per game. Two Clippers newcomers, Brandon Bass and Marresse Speights, each had 16 points off the bench. Austin Rivers didn't play due to a minor injury and Paul Pierce, who has announced this will be his final NBA season, sat out as well.

This season might be the last hurrah for the current Clipper group with Chris Paul -- questionable for this game after spraining his thumb during Saturday's practice -- and Griffin both set to become free agents. Might Paul want to go play with good buddy LeBron James? Could Griffin team up with Russell Westbrook in Griffin's native Oklahoma? The Clips kept the core together for one more run by re-signing Crawford, Rivers, Wesley Johnson and Luc Mbah a Moute this offseason. Bass and Speights were the only major additions.

The Clippers have a wins total of 53.5 on BetOnline NBA odds for this season.



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Jazz Rising Power In West?

Utah (2-2) enters off an 111-110 home loss to Phoenix on Wednesday. The Jazz led by as many as 30 points in the first half but were outscored 71-52 after intermission when most of the Jazz starters sat out. It was one of the ugliest preseason games you could ever see with 79 fouls called. Both teams had 53 free-throw attempts, with Utah hitting 41. The Jazz shot only 40.8 percent from the field overall and had 21 turnovers that led to 31 Suns points.

The good news from that was young point guard Dante Exum playing his best game of the preseason offensively with 18 points and three assists  in 27 minutes. Exum missed all of last season with a torn ACL. Rudy Gobert added 17 points and eight rebounds.

Utah played without regulars Gordon Hayward (finger), Derrick Favors (knee), Rodney Hood (hand) and Alec Burks (injury rehab). Hayward is going to miss 4-6 weeks with his broken left finger. The good news is that the injury didn't require surgery. It's a big season for Hayward as he can become a free agent and the Boston Celtics are known to covet him and Boston's coach, Brad Stevens, was Hayward's coach at Butler. Hayward, 26, averaged 19.7 points in 80 starts for the Jazz last season. He has been their leading scorer the past three seasons.

Wednesday's game missed was Burks' third straight missed and Favors' second. Bucks won't play here, while Favors and Hood are doubtful.

The Jazz beat the Clippers 96-94 on Oct. 10 in Los Angeles. That was Utah's first game after losing Hayward. The Jazz's Chris Johnson hit two free throws to Utah a 94-92 lead with 30 seconds left that the Jazz wouldn't relinquish. Hood led Utah with 17 points. Crawford had 16 to lead L.A.

I believe Utah will be a playoff team this season with some good young talent and in adding veterans like Joe Johnson and Boris Diaw this offseason. The Jazz has a wins total of 47.5 on NBA picks.

Lots of missing pieces for Utah so take the Clippers. Go 'under' the total. 

 Free NBA Pick: Clippers +2 (-110)Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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