NBA Pick on Jazz and Clippers to stay ‘under’ the Total

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, December 29, 2014 7:37 PM GMT

Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out a total that simply does not add up and therefore offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Monday.

 

In a game with a high probability that only one team will be doing a lot of the scoring Monday night, look for the teams to stay ‘under’ the relatively high posted total when the Utah Jazz (10-20, 5-11 away) pay a visit to the Los Angeles Clippers (20-11, 12-4 home) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA at 10:35 ET in a game available on ROOT.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 203½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -102.


Looking to Bounce Back for Loss to Toronto
While Golden State still has the best record in the NBA at 24-5, the Clippers remain in range while just five game behind the Warriors and in second place in the Pacific Division, helped by a 100-86 head-to-head win over the Warriors here at Staples on Christmas night. However, Los Angeles now looks to bounce back from a loss to the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Raptors, here on Saturday.

The Jazz are in fourth place in the Northwest Division with their 10-20 record, but it should be pointed out that they are playing their best basketball of the season right now as they have been the winning NBA picks in four of their last five games with the Utah defense holding opponents to 94 points or less in all four of the wins. And that is a good thing considering the offense is still having its difficulties.


One of Lowest Scoring Teams in NBA
Unfortunately, not much was expected offensively from the Jazz this season and that has indeed come to pass as Utah is 23rd in the NBA in scoring with its 96.1 points per game, 17th in field goal percentage at 45.6 percent and 25th in three-point shooting at a dismal 33.0 percent, so the 10-20 mark should not come as a surprise.

The defense had also been struggling before this recent stretch, and that unit is still 17th in points against at 100.2 per game and a horrific 28th in field goal percentage allowed at 47.3 percent. However, at lead the Jazz are showing improvement in that regard, not only by holding their last five opponents to 89.4 points per game but also by limiting them to 42.0 percent shooting.

Granted the most recent win was just an 88-71 win over the dreadful Philadelphia 76ers, but the defensive performances were more impressive in the wins over Memphis, Orlando and Miami. Also the Jazz are on a 3-0 ‘under’ run.


Nine-Game Home Stand
The Clippers have an excellent chance to make some headway on the Warriors while in the midst if a nine-game home stand, a home stand that got off to a great start with the head-to-head win vs. Golden State, although it was then followed by the hiccup vs. Toronto.

The Clips have not played good defense for the most part this season ranking 20th in points against at 101.1 per game and 24th in field goal percentage allowed at 46.2 percent, which cannot make their defensive minded coach Doc Rivers very happy. Then they have games like they did while holding the high-powered Warriors to 86 points on 42.5 percent shooting to show what they are capable of defensively when they put their minds to it.

Remember that the Clippers did rank fourth in the NBA in points against in Rivers’ first year at the helm two years ago at 94.6 per game with many of the same players they have today, so it is a bit curious why they now only show that kind of defensive form every now and then. In any event, the Utah offense is capable of making mediocre defenses look good, so the Clippers should make their share of stops tonight.


Clippers Dominate Jazz Head-to-Head
The Clippers have dominated this head-to-head series winning the last 11 meeting straight up, and what is interesting about that streak in regards to this total is that Utah has only reached 100 points once in the last seven meetings.

With this posted total over the 200 mark, a similar output by the Jazz here could easily result in an ‘under’ and we are expecting just that when Utah visits the Clippers on Monday.

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NBA Pick: Jazz, Clippers ‘under’ 203½ (-102)