The Utah Jazz are down 3-2 to the Los Angeles Clippers despite the No. 4 seed missing star Kawhi Leonard in Game 5. Leonard is likely out for the series and could be gone much longer if the Clippers’ fears of an ACL tear are confirmed.
Paul George has stepped up in Leonard’s absence, scoring 37 points and grabbing 16 boards in a Game 5 win. The Jazz also helped Los Angeles significantly by going cold from behind the arc in the second half. After hitting 17 triples in the first half, Utah shot 3-24 from deep after the break.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Jazz are +137 to win the series. They are favored (-2) in Game 6 likely due to Leonard’s absence, but George is showing he’s capable of carrying a team. Even if George’s recent performances are worrying for prospective bettors, the Jazz offer tremendous value at this line.
Utah went 31-5 at home during the regular season. Game 5 was its first home loss with Donovan Mitchell on the floor. Take the ridiculously poor three-point shooting into account and this result was likely an anomaly. Jazz guard Mike Conley is inching closer to a return and if the series did come down to a Game 7, he’d be likely to take the court even if he wasn’t fully healthy.
The Clippers put together a great performance without Leonard, but counting on them to repeat that game is also tough. Game 5 basically came down to the third quarter, where Utah went 0-10 from deep and the Clippers hit 5-11. That’s unlikely to happen again.
Depending on how bettors feel about Game 6, the Jazz are a great value play. Mitchell should be more efficient and Utah’s perimeter shooting shouldn’t slump too much over an entire half. George will command extra attention from the Jazz with Leonard out. All these ingredients are shaping up to put the Jazz in a great spot for Game 6. If they’re able to take Game 6, bettors can feel confident about Utah winning Game 7 at home.
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