Will Offense Prevail in Jazz-Clippers Playoff Opener?

jazz clippers

Jay Pryce

Friday, April 14, 2017 12:06 AM GMT

Friday, Apr. 14, 2017 12:06 AM GMT

The No. 4 Clippers and No. 5 Jazz face off Saturday night (10:30 ET) in the opener of what should be a competitve first-round series in the Western Conference. It's offense vs. defense in the matchup. Expect the former to shine in Game 1.

Utah Jazz At Los Angeles Clippers (-5, 200.5)

The Jazz are a nightmare matchup for most teams in the postseason. They play at the slowest pace in the NBA and own one of the best rim protectors with Defensive Player of the Year frontrunner Rudy Gobert at center. Their style induces grind-it-out affairs, which often presents its fair share of high-leverage situations for opponents. Offense, however, is Utah’s weakness, and it will doom them in the series vs. the Clippers.

Gordon Hayward, George Hill and Gobert lack the firepower late to topple the top teams in the West. Squaring off against opponents averaging 108 points or more on the year, the Jazz finished 8-12 SU and ATS. They averaged 95.8 points per game while allowing 98.6. L.A. enters this series averaging 108.7 per night, sixth most in the NBA.

With Chris Paul operating the point, the Clippers are 23-1 SU and 15-9 ATS when scoring 105 points at home. Even the best shooting defenses struggle to slow down the Clips at Staples Center. Versus opponents allowing 45 percent or less from the floor, L.A. is 13-5 SU and 11-6-1 ATS, scoring 107.8 points per contest. The Jazz, at 44.3 percent, own the second-best shooting defense in the NBA behind the Warriors (43.5).

Look for the Jazz to stretch the series out with a pair of home victories, but the Clippers to advance to Round 2. L.A. wins Game 1, yet the spread is a tough number to target. Utah is 5-14 SU and ATS as a road underdog this season, though all but six defeats have been by single digits. The franchise is playing right at its average 5.7-point line in this scenario.

The total may hold some wagering value. Game 1 of the 4-5 matchup in the West has seen the 'over' hit in 10 of the last 14 seasons, eclipsing the total by nearly 11 points per game. The Jazz scored 95 points or more in five of their last six away from Vivint Smart Home Arena and put up 209 in their last two vs. the Clippers. When the Jazz score 95 or more on the road, the 'over' is 23-6 this season. L.A. enters with the most efficient offense in the league through its last five games, scoring 119.4 points per 100 possessions. The Jazz will have to speed up to keep up in this one.

NBA Free Pick: 'Over' 200.5Best Line Offered: BetDSI

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