Friday night NBA and we will see the Utah Jazz travel to the Pepsi Center to take on the Denver Nuggets. The game has a start time of 9:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised Locally. Current Vegas betting odds have the Denver listed as 1.5 point favorites, while the total is set at 189.
Analysis: The Utah Jazz had been hot for a while, but they now come in having lost their last 3 games in a row. For the year the Jazz are now 31-40 overall and while that would be good for a playoff spot in the East, in the West they are 9.5 games out of the 8th and final playoff spot. The Jazz have gone 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a losing home record, but just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. The Jazz have been a bad offensive team this year, ranking 26th in scoring (94.7 ppg), 17th in shooting, 15th in 3 point shooting and 27th in FT shooting. Defensively the Jazz have been excellent, ranking 1st in points allowed (95.0 ppg), 15th in defensive FG% and 26th in 3 point defense.
The Denver Nuggets had been much better ball since they fired their coach, but now they come in having lost 4 of their last 5 games, which includes a bad 99-95 home loss to the Sixers on Wednesday night. Overall the Nuggets are 27-45, which includes a 16-20 mark at home. Denver has gone 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games playing on 1 days rest, but just 14-35-2 ATS in their last 51 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. The Nuggets have been an average offensive team this year, ranking 15th in scoring (100.2 ppg), 26th in shooting, 29th in 3 point shooting and 25th in FT shooting. Defensively the Nuggets have not been good at all this year, ranking 27th in points allowed (103.8 ppg), 20th in defensive FG% and 10th in 3 point defense.
Pick: Gotta go with the Under here. Utah is not a team that gets sped up, no matter what venue they are playing at, while their defense has been excellent this year. The Jazz are first in the league in points allowed and have allowed 84.9 ppg in their last 15 games, allowing more than 92 points just twice in that stretch. Now they face a Denver team that was held to just 85 points in their last home game to a Sixers squad that was playing on the 2nd of BB nights. Denver will find it tough to score here and while their defense is nothing special they will be facing a Utah squad that really slows the pace on offense and they do average just 93.4 ppg on the road. The last 6 games played here between these teams have all gone Under the total and I expect this one to follow suit.
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Handicapping Tips: Late Season NBA Betting
Teddy Covers and Steve Fezzik from Pregame.com give tips and insight for handicapping the dog days of the NBA season.