Jazz vs. Clippers Preview: Can Utah Snap the Losing Streak?

Action Network NBA betting contributor Jacob McKenna previews how to bet Tuesday's matchup between the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers.

Jazz vs. Clippers Odds

Jazz Odds -1
Clippers Odds +1
Over/Under 217
Time 10 p.m. ET
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Utah Jazz will end their six-game road trip in Los Angeles when they take on the Clippers Tuesday night.

Utah enters this matchup as the fifth team in the Western Conference, sitting one game behind the Dallas Mavericks with an overall record of 45-30. The Clippers have not had the same level of success, but still find themselves in the playoff picture with a record of 36-39.

The recent road trip has not been kind to the Jazz as they have gone just 1-4 in their first five games. However, prior to the road trip starting, Utah beat this Clippers team by a score of 121-92. Will we see that version of the Jazz in this one, or will their late season slump continue?

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Jazz Looking to Get Back on Track

The Jazz have once again put together stellar numbers, positioning them as one of the NBA’s best offenses.

Entering this matchup, Utah has posted the best Offensive Rating in the NBA at 116.1, which is just slightly ahead of Phoenix, Atlanta and Memphis. The Jazz have also shot 47% from the field and 36.3% from behind the arc in 75 games, two more categories in which they rank within the top seven.

However, as previously mentioned, Utah is just 1-4 in its past five games, showing that there have been some bumps in the road down the stretch.

In that five game stretch, the Jazz have suffered losses to the Mavericks, Charlotte Hornets, Boston Celtics, and Brooklyn Nets by an average of 14 points. Their Offensive Rating has fallen to 113.5, and their Defensive Rating has taken an even larger hit and risen to 121 from their season rating of 110.2.

Some of that has been due to the fact that Rudy Gobert, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Hassan Whiteside have all missed time recently. Luckily, Gobert and Bogdanovic have a chance to suit up for this one which could help balance things out and get this team back on track.

Will Paul George Return For the Clippers?

One of the biggest surprises about this game is the Paul George has been upgraded to questionable. George has not played since Dec. 22 as he rests an elbow injury, and his presence on the floor would do wonders for this Clippers team.

L.A. has played a total of 43 games since George was announced out, and in that span of time they have gone 19-24 overall. The Clippers’ offense has not played anywhere close to the level we have been accustomed to seeing over the years, as they have an Offense Rating of just 109.2 during George’s absence, which ranks 25th in the NBA.

Defensively speaking, L.A. has remained relatively stable. Their Defensive Rating entering this matchup is eighth best in the NBA at 109.5, and in their last 43 games without George that number has fallen slightly to 112.8.

However, in their last five games, all of which have resulted in a loss, LA has given up an average of 118.6 points per game and has allowed its opponents to shoot 48.5% from the floor overall and 42.2% from behind the arc. If George returns, it will give the Clippers a larger defensive wing on the perimeter, which could go a long way in alleviating some of their issues on that end of the floor.

Jazz-Clippers Pick

Neither one of these teams has played well as of late, and there are a few injury factors to consider.

However, even if Paul George does return, it is likely he will face some sort of minutes restriction. On the other hand, Gobert and Bogdanovic have missed significantly less time and would both likely be put right back into their usual roles.

Furthermore, Utah is up 2-0 in the season series against the Clippers, and has gotten almost everything they have wanted as they are shooting 50.5% from the floor and 38.3% from deep. I think as Utah gets healthier they will get back to their old ways, which is why I bet them as the underdog in this matchup. I’d still bet them as a slight favorite.

Pick: Jazz -1