The Clippers and Jazz meet in a pivotal home-court advantage determining matchup. Who comes out on top??
While you were sleeping (or more likely watching the NCAA Tournament madness between Wisconsin and Florida) Devin Booker went out and dropped SEVENTY for the Phoenix Suns. SEVEN-OH. SEVENTY. That’s a number we can go seasons and seasons without seeing a play approach, and Booker is certainly the most anonymous to ever flirt with that stratosphere. Not saying he can’t eventually BE in that stratosphere, but when you look at the highest offensive explosions in the modern three-point era, the names are: Kobe, David Robinson, then Devin Booker. Following him are Michael Jordan, Tracy McGrady, Melo, Karl Malone, Shaq, LeBron. And that’s it for people who have scored SIXTY since the three-point line was introduced. Obviously, further back we get Wilt and the like, but I think you get the point. Booker joined some insanely elite company last night.
Aside from that, not a great night for me as the Pacers got beat at home by visiting Denver and dealt me a second-consecutive NBA loser. It’s time to put a bad few days in the rear view mirror and get back a few winners the next few days. Let’s start now.
Today’s NBA Pick:
Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers -4
Looking at Clipper results over the past few months gets a little tricky. Few teams have more of a random smattering of injuries, rest games, opponent’s resting games (last week’s Cleveland 108-78 victory over the Cavs J.V.). But assuming everyone is playing it straight tonight for Los Angeles, and all indication are they will be a full power, it’s hard to bet against them at home this afternoon against the Jazz.
Utah is still missing Derrick Favors, and Rodney Hood is listed as “questionable” – other than that, it appears to be mostly all systems go for the Jazz as well. However, it may not be enough given their recent road returns. They have dropped four straight on the road straight up and are a miserable 8-15 ATS on the road in their last 23 trips.
Here’s the show stopper – Utah is 2-17 STRAIGHT UP in their last 19 games against the Clippers. Sure, a few of those were before Utah turned the corner in their rebuild, but that is four straight years of DOMINATION. Now the Clippers are healthy, at home, rested, and playing for the all-important home court advantage in the likely #4/#5 matchup with today’s opponent.
Neither team has been great ATS over the last few weeks, but again, it’s a weird time in the NBA season so some “fake news” creeps into our data (like the +30 win over Cleveland last week – very misleading without context….). To me, the important thing is: healthy Clippers team at home, motivated to win an important game against a team they have straight-up OWNED the last half-decade. I’ll take the Clippers and lay the four or four and a half (shop lines, I’ve seen this from -4 to -5.5)
Today’s Pick: LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS -4