The LA Clippers are beginning to find their way back into contending for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Now at 10-10 with three wins over their last four games, the Clippers have a real chance to change the narrative surrounding their NBA odds.
First up is a date with the Utah Jazz, who have been struggling mightily without some of their best players. Will we see Utah fold once more against LA?
Let's get right into it with our NBA picks and predictions for Clippers vs. Jazz on December 9.
Clippers vs Jazz odds
Clippers vs Jazz predictions
Utah came out and lost by 50 last game, allowing the Mavericks to score 147 points in a loss on Wednesday. This team narrowly defeated the Trail Blazers at home and also had similarly awful showings on offense against the Timberwolves and Grizzlies.
That’s exactly what I want to fade the Jazz's offense. The Clippers have established themselves as one of the premier defensive teams in basketball, showcasing inspired play on that end for the past three or four weeks. Additionally, the Jazz will once again be without Lauri Markkanen, significantly impeding their ability to shoot from outside—a crucial aspect for a team that has relied heavily on three-pointers this season.
Typically, I favor supporting teams following disappointing performances, such as the one witnessed against Dallas this week. I anticipate the Jazz to display renewed energy, especially with Jordan Clarkson returning to the lineup. However, while the offense should theoretically improve, it's noteworthy that Clarkson has struggled from three-point range this year.
The Clippers also boast one of the most effective 3-point defenses, ranking fourth according to Cleaning the Glass. Conversely, defending the three is one of the few aspects the Jazz have performed at an acceptable level this season, approaching the league average in that regard.
I also expect the Clippers' offense to encounter some challenges on the road against a team that is fairly adept at perimeter defense. I think all that amounts to a low-scoring battle with both defenses having their say, and with that, I’m going to go ahead and back the Under.
My best bet: Under 225 (-108 at DraftKings)
Clippers vs Jazz same-game parlay
While the Jazz and Clippers' last matchup saw both teams combine for 238 points, the Clippers were also forced to give Russell Westbrook 37 minutes of playing time. That hampered their ability to play defense, but on the other end, it was clear that Paul George had a clear matchup advantage against Clarkson.
In the 3:36 that he was guarded by Clarkson — a rather large sample in the context of a game — the team as a whole scored 19 points and George, himself, hit a pair of threes and finished with 36 points in the contest.
George has been shooting with great volume in recent games, particularly from downtown where he’s averaged over nine looks per game over the last four, hitting three or more in those contests. So, that’s where I’m going to land on the second leg of the parlay.
Then, I’m going to back John Collins to keep it rolling for the Jazz. He played sparingly in the blowout loss against the Mavericks as the Jazz tried to counter their small lineup with one of their own, but I think we’ll see him return to his normal complement of minutes against LA with Lauri Markkanen remaining out.
Collins has gone for seven or more boards in each of his last three and totaled 12 against the Clippers the last time these two teams met. LA’s big weakness this year has been on the glass, and in a game that should feature plenty of missed shots, I think we’ll see a strong performance once more from Collins on the glass.
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Clippers vs Jazz spread and Over/Under analysis
Clarkson’s return, along with positive injury news surrounding Kelly Olynyk, could lead to an inspired game here at home for Utah — a team that has struggled on the whole this year but has been capable of putting forth some good performances this season.
The Jazz will certainly come into this one wide-eyed given their win over the Clippers earlier in the season, and even with so much great defensive play on the other side of the floor, this one could get rather complicated.
I’d lean towards taking the Jazz with the points here, though I see the Under as the stronger play.
While 76% of the tickets at DraftKings are on the Over, 65% of the cash is leaning the same way. The Clippers have also commanded 60% of the bets on the spread and 75% of the cash, which is another reason why I’m a bit scared of playing the spread with either side here.
Clippers vs Jazz betting trend to know
The Jazz have hit the 2Q game total Under in 28 of their last 45 games (+8.75 Units / 17% ROI). Find more NBA betting trends for Clippers vs. Jazz.
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Clippers vs Jazz game info
|Delta Center, Salt Lake City, UT
|Friday, December 8, 2023
|10:00 p.m. ET
Clippers vs Jazz latest injuries
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