Free NBA Series Pick: Jazz vs Clippers NBA Odds
Looking for Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers free NBA series picks & NBA odds? NBA betting sees the Jazz taking on the Clippers on Saturday April 15, 2017 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NBA basketball playoff matchups so stay tuned for more FREE daily NBA hoops predictions.
(51-31) Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers (51-31)
This first round matchup, with the #4 seed Los Angeles Clippers facing off against the #5 seed Utah Jazz is one of the more compelling matchups in the first round.
The season series was won by the Clippers 3-1, with an average final score of 98-89. Both teams have strengths and weaknesses that can be exploited, and it could lead to a close series.
Utah comes into this series as a potential dark horse to make a deep run in the playoffs. The Jazz may be an overlooked team in the West, without much name recognition on the team outside of Gordon Hayward.
But it’s no easy task to put up 51 wins, and the West is easily the stronger of the two conferences.
Gordon Hayward is one of the best small forwards in the NBA, averaging 21 points and 5 rebounds per game this season. The biggest expectation for this series is for him to dominate at the small forward position, easily the Clippers Achilles heel the last couple of seasons.
However, Hayward has put up pedestrian numbers against the Clippers, averaging just 15 points and 4 rebounds per game. If Hayward can’t get off to a hot start it could mean a quick exit for the Jazz.
Rudy Gobert has been one of the best centers in the NBA this season, averaging a double double and routinely being a defensive presence in the paint. This matchup is not one he will win as DeAndre Jordan is still one of the most athletic defensive players in the league.
Gobert should struggle this series with Jordan and Griffin constantly attacking him on both ends of the floor, and I would be surprised if he put up more than two double doubles in the entire series.
Los Angeles Clippers
It wasn’t just a few years ago that we were calling the Clippers the next great dynasty, then Stephen Curry’s ankles got healed and the Warriors overtook the Clippers as the hot young team in the West.
This series should make the Clippers hungry for a potential matchup against Golden State, and I expect Chris Paul to play at an All-Star level against George Hill and the Jazz.
Outside of a 33 point performance against Utah Chris Paul didn’t do much damage shooting the ball in the season series, but did rack up a number of assists. He should average 17 points and 8 assists in the series.
Blake Griffin will be one of the most sought after free agents in the offseason, and a good playoff run should lead him to the best offers on the market. Griffin is still an explosive leaper, and facing either Derrick Favors or Rudy Gobert wins the athleticism matchup easily.
Griffin also put up two double doubles against the Jazz and I expect Chris Paul to feed him in the post in crunch time.
DeAndre Jordan will be a force on the glass in this series. He averaged nearly 13 rebounds per game against Utah and I don’t see that changing in the playoffs.
Free Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers NBA Series Prediction:
As much as I want to say the Jazz will pull off the upset, the playoffs are all about talent and who has the higher number of stars on their team.
Utah not only loses the position matchups at every spot except small forward, the Clippers have 3 legitimate All-Stars, and one of the best shooters in the league in J.J. Reddick in their starting lineup.
The benches are fairly equal with both teams having a great scoring option off the bench (Jamal Crawford and Joe Johnson), but in a series that comes down to talent and coaching, I’ve got to give the Clippers the edge.
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