NBA Playoff Betting June 18, 2021 – Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

Injuries have been the biggest winner in the NBA playoffs. The next biggest winner could be the Los Angeles Clippers, who can advance past the second round of the postseason for the first time with a win over the Utah Jazz in Game 6 of their Western Conference semifinal on Friday. Playing without Kawhi Leonard in Game 5, the Clips upset the No. 1 overall seed on the road to seize control of the series. Leonard will miss Friday’s game and could be out longer with a knee injury. Paul George picked up the slack on Wednesday scoring 37 points with the Clips winning outright as an 8.5-point dog. They are catching points again with Utah a 1.5-point favorite on the opening line to extend the series to a seventh game.

Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers
Date and Time: Friday, June 18, 2021, 10 p.m. ET
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Opening NBA Odds: Utah -1.5, O/U 219.5
Jazz at Clippers Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

The Clips were a slight underdog in Game 5 until news of Leonard’s injury surfaced. The spread ballooned to 8.5-points yet they managed to stay the course knocking off the best team in the league during the regular season, 119-111. It was the largest spread in a Clips game for or against this postseason. After dropping their first three home games this postseason LA has responded by winning the last three going 3-0 ATS. They beat Utah in Games 3 and 4 by a combined 40 points. The Jazz hadn’t lost three games in a row all season until this series. And they certainly haven’t looked like the best team in the NBA getting outscored by an average margin of 16 points in the three setbacks. After scoring at least 112 points in six consecutive games the offense went stagnant. The Jazz failed to reach that number and are averaging 107 points over the last three contests, though the OVER is 2-1 in that span.

Utah Jazz

How quickly a series can change. Utah looked unstoppable with a pair of payout wins in the first two games. They’ve struggled mightily since and even lost their homecourt edge with a Game 5 defeat. While all the injury news has swirled around Leonard, the Jazz are facing their own demons on that front. The ailing backcourt of Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley has zapped efficiency from the offense. Conley has yet to play in the series and is questionable to make his debut on Friday. Meanwhile, Mitchell acknowledged that the ankle injury that forced him to miss the final 16 regular season games and playoff opener has worsened.

“It’s tough, but I got to find a way. Otherwise, I’m going to be home. And I said last year, and said it during the year, we didn’t do all this to lose in the second round, so we’ve got to figure it out,” Mitchell said. Mitchell scored 21 points in Game 5, his lowest output of the postseason and the first time he failed to reach the 30-point mark in the series. While six players scored double figures in Game 5, it was an inconsistent effort. The Jazz managed just six buckets in an 18-point third quarter that left them trailing the rest of the way.

Los Angeles Clippers

Playing with a lot of emotion in Game 5 after learning that Leonard could miss the rest of the postseason, the Clips and especially Paul George responded. Now the reality of being without one of the best players in the league and a former Finals MVP will set in. George pledged to lead his team in Game 5 and he delivered. But he got plenty of help as the Clippers collectively dug deep to take the series lead. “This was the biggest game of our season especially being down our best player. We knew coming into this we had to play together. We had to step up,” George said.

And George led by example dropping 37 points with 16 rebounds. You need massive efforts from everybody to make up for the 30.4 points Leonard is averaging this postseason and the Clips got that. Marcus Morris had 25 points and Reggie Jackson added 22 as the Clips shot 51 percent from the floor. More impressive was their defense without Leonard. They held the Jazz to 0-10 shooting during a third-quarter stretch allowing them to take the lead that they never relinquished.

Bet Jazz at Clippers at BookMaker.eu

If we’ve learned anything from this postseason so far it’s that we’ve learned nothing. It’s been a strange time and momentum ends when the final buzzer sounds. Utah knows what it’s up against and they will play with a sense of urgency. And I think the reality of not having Leonard will catch up with the Clips.

NBA Score Prediction: Jazz 116, Clippers 109

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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