Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Monday.
The home team has not lived up to its preseason billing so far this young season and an expected rebounding edge by the young road team could allow an ATS cover Monday night when the Utah Jazz (1-2, 0-1 away) pay a visit to the Los Angeles Clippers (2-1, 1-1 home) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA at 10:35 ET in a game available on ROOT.
The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Utah as a decided road underdog for this contest with the current line at +8½ with odds of -108.
Clippers on Back-to-Back after First Loss
The Clippers were the choice of some experts to reach the NBA Finals this year and the choice of many to exceed 55 wins, but they began this season with two unimpressive wins and they are playing the second game of a back-to-back after getting upset as 9½-point favorites here at home by the Sacramento Kings yesterday for their first loss. For the record, the Clips went just 7-10 straight up with no rest last year and they are already 0-1 ATS in this situation in 2014.
The Jazz have been the exact opposite of the Clippers on a game-by-game basis as they were losing NBA picks in their first two games but then surprisingly blew out the Phoenix Suns 118-91 in an upset Saturday night back home in Salt Lake City. This very young team destroyed the Suns on the boards that game winning the rebounding margin 52-34, and rebounding is actually one of the few things that the Jazz should be consistently good at.
Poor Shooting + High Percentage Allowed = 0-3 ATS
The Clippers have not lived up to their preseason hype yet, albeit through just three games, as they are now 0-3 ATS. That is because they only beat the injury-riddled Oklahoma City Thunder by three points in their season opener last Thursday before beating their dreadful building co-habitants the Lakers by seven points the next night before the surprising loss to the Kings.
The Clips shot just 37.5 percent in the 98-92 loss to Sacramento while playing without Jamal Crawford and are now shooting a disappointing 41.1 percent through three games. Unfortunately they are simultaneously allowing their opponents to shoot a generous 48.4 percent, which cannot make defensive-minded head coach Doc Rivers very happy.
Perhaps most critically in regards to this game is that Los Angeles has an ugly -9.6 rebounding margin while averaging just 34.7 rebounds per game, with both of those figures ranking dead last in the NBA.
Jazz Should Win the Rebounding Battle
Unlike the Clippers, not much at all was expected from the Jazz after winning just 25 games last year, and more than a few experts expect Utah to have the worst record in the West. Well, despite the 1-2 record so far, the Jazz have not really played that badly, or at least have not looked like the worst team in the conference. And these talented youngsters do have the potential to rise up now and then like they did Saturday, although consistency should be a problem.
The Jazz are eighth in the league in scoring with 104.3 points per game thanks to ranking a respectable 12th in field goal percentage at 46.0 percent and second on free throw shooting at 83.8 percent. But what really sticks out in regards to this game is they have surrendered the second fewest rebounds in the league at 37.7 per game and they have had a nice edge on the offensive glass with a +4.7 margin.
Getting that many second chance opportunities is obviously a boon for a decided underdog like this and we see no reason why the Jazz cannot continue to crash the offensive glass here given the Clippers’ early rebounding difficulties.
Probably No Jamal Crawford for LA
Finally, the Clippers obviously missed Crawford and his 19.0 points per game yesterday and he is not likely to return tonight either as he continues to nurse his bruised ribs. Obviously not having the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year hurts the Clippers’ depth and they really have few other options on the bench that can be counted on to provide instant offense when called upon.
Yes, the Clippers could and should win this game outright, but look for the Jazz to give them all that they can handle and drop Los Angeles to 0-4 ATS overall this young season from the Staples Center on Monday.
NBA Pick: Jazz +8½ (-108)