NBA Predictions: Nuggets at Jazz Odds
by Dave Schwab - 11/11/2013
This Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz will face off against one another this Tuesday night at the EnergySolutions Arena in a battle of two Western Conference teams trying to shake off a disappointing start to the new season. Tip off for this Northwest Division clash is set for 9 p.m. (ET), and the game will be broadcast nationally on NBA TV.
Expectations were running high in Denver heading into a new season, but after posting just one straight up victory in their first five games, there are many more questions than answers with this team right now. The Nuggets fell to 1-4 on the year with last Friday night’s 114-103 loss to lowly Phoenix as 9.5-point favorites on the road.
Utah missed the playoffs by just two games last season at 43-39, but it has sunk to the bottom of the conference in a hurry this year with a 0-7 SU start. Its latest setback was a 115-91 pasting by Toronto this past Saturday as a nine-point underdog on the road. The total in that game went “over” the 187.5-point line.
Nuggets at Jazz Betting Storylines
Denver is also 1-4 against the spread in its first five games, and the total has gone over in three of those contests. Always known for their ability to put points on the board, the Nuggets are only ranked 16th in the NBA in scoring with an average of 98.4 points a game. Their defense has been sketchy at best; allowing an average of 105.2 points a game, which is ranked 26th in the league.
Ty Lawson has led the way with team-high 22.6 points and 6.8 assists, but it is obvious that the Nuggets are not the same team with Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler out of the lineup. Gallinari will be out a few more weeks while rehabbing a torn ACL, but Chandler could be on the court on Monday night after missing the first five games with a sore hamstring.
It is hard to explain Utah’s poor start after a promising 2012-13 season. The main problem has been an offense that is ranked dead-last in the league in scoring with an average of 87.7 points a game. The team as a whole is shooting just 40.1 percent from the floor and a dismal 23.6 percent from three-point range. It cannot even capitalize on free throws with a 70.7 percent conversion rate from the foul line.
The team leaders consist of Gordon Hayward with 19.1 points and 4.7 assists and Derrick Favors in rebounds with 9.6 a game. Enes Kanter is second on the team in scoring with 16.4 points while pulling down another 7.7 rebounds a game. Utah is allowing an average of 100.7 points a game on the other end of the court, which is ranked 20th in the league.
Nuggets at Jazz Betting Tends and Futures Odds
BetOnline has opened the Nuggets as three-point road favorites with the total line set at 196.5.
The Nuggets are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 games and 1-6 ATS in their last seven games on the road. The total has gone over in six of their last eight road games.
The Jazz are 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games, but 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games against a team with a SU losing record. The total has gone over in five of their last seven division games.
Head-to-head in this Northwest matchup, Denver is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings overall and 4-1 ATS in its last five trips to Utah. The total has gone over in three of the last four games played in Utah.
NBA Predictions: Denver at Utah Betting Picks
The edge in this game clearly goes to Denver as the Jazz strike me as one of those teams that is looking to pile up the losses in anticipation of next year’s draft even though this season is just a few week’s old. While you cannot go wrong with a play on the Nuggets to cover the three points on the road, in the absence of any solid offense from either team, my top pick is “under” on a fairly generous total line.
Read more articles by Dave Schwab