The Daily Sweat: How long can the Clippers keep up the high-wire act?

·5-min read

It feels like the Los Angeles Clippers have been dead and buried about a dozen times already this postseason, and we're not even through the second round. 

The Clippers fell behind 0-2 to the Dallas Mavericks, a situation that has meant eventual elimination for more than 93 percent of teams in that position through NBA history. The Clippers came back to knock off the Mavs, though they did blow Game 5 at home along the way just to add to the drama. 

Here we go again. The Clippers fell behind 0-2 to the Utah Jazz but rallied to win Game 3. Los Angeles is favored by 5.5 points at BetMGM to win Game 4 on Monday night. 

For those who enjoy math, the probability of a 7 percent chance hitting twice in a row are about 0.5 percent. Yet, that's what the Clippers are trying to pull off with back-to-back series wins after being down 0-2. 

The Clippers might benefit from injuries. Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell seems to be playing through an ankle injury, though the team has been coy about the severity. Jazz guard Mike Conley hasn't played at all this series due to injury. That made a difference in Game 3. It mattered in the first two games too, though the Jazz overcame that adversity both times. 

The first two games in Utah were close, and then the Clippers won 132-106 in the third game. The Jazz are a good team, especially with their long-distance shooting, and 5.5 points seems like a lot. Utah appears to be the better play in Game 3 with all those points, but the Clippers have pulled off this Undertaker rising from the grave act before. It should be a good one in Los Angeles on Monday night. The Clippers seem to be a lot more exciting once they dig themselves a hole. 

Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers are trying to even their second-round series against the Utah Jazz. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers are trying to even their second-round series against the Utah Jazz. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Here's a first look at the betting slate for Monday: 

Hawks are desperate too

The Atlanta Hawks looked very good in Game 1. Trae Young controlled the game, their shooters hit from long range and their bigs were not overmatched. 

Then came a pair of Philadelphia 76ers 16-point wins in a row. 

The 76ers took back home-court advantage with their second straight dominant win at Atlanta in Game 3. Philadelphia hasn't been able to knock down threes, and the 76ers have also done a good job limiting the Hawks' fast break. Meanwhile, they have found holes in Atlanta's offense. 

The Hawks are 3.5-point underdogs for Game 4 on Monday night. Unlike the Clippers, the Hawks don't seem like they can come all the way back and win the series. But for Game 4, maybe more threes can fall for Atlanta and the 76ers have to adjust a bit to the loss of guard Danny Green to injury. For both NBA games, the underdog and the points is the best way to go. Though it's a bit scary to trust the Hawks after what we've seen the past two games. 

What about some soccer action? 

Euro 2020's group stage is underway, and there are three more games on Monday. The Czech Republic faced Scotland early, Poland and Slovakia were scheduled to meet at noon ET (Poland is a -125 favorite at BetMGM) and heavily favored Spain (-275) gets Sweden at 3 p.m. ET. 

It's a great international soccer tournament with matches during the morning and afternoon here in the United States, so check out Nick Bromberg's picks and make a few plays. 

Can Canadiens keep it going? 

The Montreal Canadiens are a fun story (especially for one bettor who took them to make the Stanley Cup Final), but they are huge underdogs against the Vegas Golden Knights. When that series starts Monday, Vegas is a -275 favorite at BetMGM for Game 1. 

With the Tampa Bay Lightning's loss to the New York Islanders on Sunday, the Golden Knights are big +110 favorites to win the Cup. No other team is shorter than +300. It'll be a tough series to bet on, unless you think the Canadiens can continue their great run. 

Who cashed tickets on Sunday? 

The Milwaukee Bucks took advantage of Kyrie Irving's ankle injury and got a Game 4 win and cover over the Brooklyn Nets to even that series. Given the injury issues with Brooklyn, the Bucks are 2.5-point favorites for Game 5. That series took a big turn in a few days. 

The Phoenix Suns have been fantastic this season and are waiting on the Jazz-Clippers winner after cruising past the Denver Nuggets for a second-round sweep. The Suns easily covered after Nikola Jokic got a frustration Flagrant 2 in the third quarter and was ejected. 

Favorites were very good in Major League Baseball on Sunday, going 13-2. The team with the longest winning streak in MLB is a surprising one: The Los Angeles Angels, without Mike Trout, have won six in a row. 

What is the MLB slate like? 

No afternoon games on Monday, but there is a healthy 13-game slate. The best game is the Tampa Bay Rays at the Chicago White Sox, with Tyler Glasnow vs. Lance Lynn in a great pitching matchup. Take a hot White Sox team getting a friendly -105 line at home. 

Other sides that look pretty good on Monday: Mets (-115) vs. the Cubs and Jake Arrieta's 4.97 ERA, the powerful Blue Jays (+105) against the Red Sox and Mariners (+110) against the Twins in Kenta Maeda's return off the IL. 

Who is the best bet for Monday? 

Let's go with the Jazz. That line of +5.5 isn't a lot of respect for a team that earned the West's No. 1 seed and has mostly looked good this postseason. They can hit enough threes to at least keep it close, and the moneyline of +180 should be live as well. 

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