Out of the 13 NBA games scheduled to be played tonight one of them features an underdog with a lot of value. The underdog is the Los Angeles Clippers, who will be playing in Utah tonight against the Jazz. This will be the Clippers' second game in a row as they were able to pick up a win last night in Portland. We’ll go over why I like the Clippers so much in this one and get into a preview of the game.
Before we get into the Clippers let’s start by looking at the Jazz, the early-season surprise team that has started to regress a bit of late. Utah is 2-8 in their last 10 games straight up and 3-7 ATS in that span as well. Over those 10 games, the Jazz have been a mess defensively, Utah has the second-worst defensive rating at 119.6 in that span.
In that same 10-game span the Clippers have the fifth-best defensive rating at 109.1 and are ninth in NET rating. Despite the injuries stacking up for LA, they are still finding a way to stay in games and I don’t think that will change tonight as +7.5 point underdogs.
The Clippers are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games off zero days of rest, so they’ve done a good job coming out and competing on back-to-backs. Role players like Norman Powell and Ivica Zubac have stepped up big time recently and with the way the Jazz have been playing on defense, they should have no problem carrying that momentum into tonight.
Powell has been averaging 18.7 ppg off the bench in the Clippers' last 10 games and dropped 32 last night in Portland. Despite missing Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers have guys who can take over scoring wise like Powell or Reggie Jackson.
Another advantage the Clippers have tonight is on the glass. Los Angeles has the third-best rebounding percentage in the NBA over the last 10 games, while the Jazz have the 17th-best. Defense and rebounding will keep the Clippers in this game tonight and why I like them as my best underdog play in the NBA.
Despite losing five games in a row, including a loss to the Clippers, the Utah offense has still been able to score at a fairly high level. The Jazz have the seventh-best offensive rating in the NBA over the last 10 games and breakout player Lauri Markkanen has continued to produce on the offensive end.
Markkanen scored 32 points and was 7 for 11 from three-range in Utah’s most recent loss. Jordan Clarkson has also been able to score at a solid clip since over the last 10 games as well but this Clippers defense is not one a team wants to see when on a losing streak.
Los Angeles is only allowing an average of 107 points per game and holding opponents to a 34% three-point percentage this season. Players like Terrance Mann and Marcus Morris Sr. have been vital defensive pieces to this Clippers team and have helped keep them afloat amid the injury troubles.