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Everything you need to know ahead of Jazz-Clippers Game 1

Everything you need to know ahead of Jazz-Clippers Game 1

Kawhi Leonard carried the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 7 to help overcome a feisty Dallas Mavericks team and advance into the Western Conference semifinals. The Clippers now head to Utah tonight to take on the Jazz in Game 1 of what should be a great second-round series. Utah is favored to win the series at (-139) at DraftKings Sportsbook, which is why tonight’s matchup will be a fun one to watch from a fan and bettor’s perspective. 

Will the Clippers have juice for tonight’s matchup after an epic series against the Mavericks? Let’s take a look at who has the edge in Game 1 and find out the NBA best bets for this playoff matchup. 

Game Preview

Los Angeles Clippers at Utah Jazz (-3.5, 220.5)

Leonard, a.k.a. The Klaw, put on a show against the Mavericks in round one, averaging 32.1 points, 4.6 assists, 7.9 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game. He did that while shooting an insane 61.2% from the field and 42.5% from three-point land. Leonard is one of the best postseason players in the history of the league, so he will be asked to carry the load once again this series. On the other hand, the Jazz possess great balance on both sides of the basketball, so this should be a great battle game-in and game-out.

Donovan Mitchell is the engine that makes the team go, and after missing one game with ankle injury, he started his postseason with a bang as well. Spida averaged 28.5 points and dished out 5.8 assists as Utah took care of business against the Memphis Grizzlies in 5 games.

When it comes to tonight’s matchup, the Jazz finished the regular season with the best home record in the NBA, going 31-5 at Vivint Arena. While the Clippers were 21-15 on the road during the regular season, they did win all their road games in the first round. Offensively, Utah scores almost 3 more points at home than they do on the road, which is a plus for tonight’s game.

The Jazz finished their season with the best record in the league, and for good reason. Offensively, Utah ranked No. 4 in points and offensive rating. The Jazz also ranked No. 1 in total rebounds, three-pointers attempted and three-pointers made. They put on a show from long range in the first round, so the BetQL team expects more of the same tonight. The team passes the ball crisply, which is something you need to do to score against this strong Clippers defense to be successful.

Defensively, Utah also ranks in the top-5 of several key defensive metrics, including No. 1 in assists allowed and three-pointers allowed, No. 3 in points allowed and No. 4 in defensive rating. On that side of the ball, the Jazz are led by their defensive anchor Rudy Gobert. This will be a much tougher test for the Clippers, as the Jazz are much better suited to take on the Clippers than the Mavericks due to their size and toughness.

Los Angeles has just as much balance on both sides of the ball, but will the Tyronn Lue and Co. be a little fatigued tonight? If they want to steal Game 1 on the road, Paul George and others will need to step up to the plate and help Leonard carry the scoring load.

Gambling wise, bettors are expecting Utah to win this game, with 65% of the betting tickets and handle on them.

While the BetQL team likes the Clippers to take this series, this particular game is a let down spot for them. Los Angeles comes into this game on short rest, off a grueling seven-game battle with Dallas and now plays a rested Utah team at a higher altitude. It’ll be a back and forth battle tonight, but look for the Jazz to pull away late.

Pick: Jazz -3.5

BetQL Model Predictions & Picks

BetQL’s NBA model has run 10,000 simulations of this game to provide insight on how the game will pan out, and after all those simulations, the model leans the Jazz -3.5. Currently, the point spread of this game sits at +/- 3.5 with Utah as home favorites. BetQL’s model would have placed the line at Jazz -4, meaning there is some betting value on Utah in this game at -3.5. Keep reading below to get picks from the experts at BetQL.   

Against the Spread Pick:

The model is leaning towards the Jazz with a 1-star rating on the game, and projects the final score to be Utah 113, Los Angeles 109. As highlighted with some stats and insights above, it’s hard to argue with the model on this pick. This series will be a fun one, but the BetQL team agrees with the model for Game 1.

The BetQL team is backing the model and betting Utah -3.5, and according to the sharp bettors, they are backing the Jazz as well -- but be sure to check back with BetQL to see the most updated odds, lines and spreads for this game before tip.

Over/Under Pick:

The over/under for this game is set at 220.5 points. The BetQL model recommends taking Over 220.5 for this game. Utah will come out fired up tonight, and both teams rank in the top-10 in points scored. For all those reasons, the BetQL team is backing the site's 3-star pick and taking the over. 

If you want to check out BetQL’s over-under picks for the rest of the NBA playoffs, make sure to check out their site for those picks. 

Prop Bet Spotlight

The BetQL computer model has identified a 4-star prop that the team likes for tonight’s matchup in Paul George under 7.5 rebounds. George averaged 6.6 boards per game during the year; he rebounded the ball well against the Mavericks, which is why this number is slightly inflated. Utah ranks No. 7 in rebounds allowed and has the size to keep PG off the glass.

Pick: We are backing the model and taking George under 7.5 rebounds tonight.

As a Basketball News reader you can get access to BetQL for 30% when you use the code BBN30, check out BetQL and win the rest of your bets for the playoffs

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