Free NBA Picks: Warriors vs. Jazz ATS & Total Plays

Matthew Jordan

Monday, January 12, 2015 8:27 PM GMT

The Golden State Warriors continue to maintain the best record in the NBA and they put a six-game winning streak on the line, on Tuesday at Utah. The Warriors are -7 on NBA odds with a total of 202.

Jazz Struggling Thus Far in 2015
Utah  has dropped two straight games, four of six in the New Year, and looks to avoid its first three-game skid in a  month. The Jazz played pretty well in Friday's 99-94 loss in Oklahoma City but not so much the next night in Houston, falling 97-82. The Jazz had an incredible 31 turnovers, 16 of which were Rockets steals. Gordon Heyward, Utah's leading scorer, was held to just nine points on 2-for-10 shooting. Center Enes Kanter returned after missing four games with an ankle injury and had 16 points and six rebounds.

Utah has played nine straight games without guard and fourth-leading scorer Alec Burks, and he will miss the rest of the season following shoulder surgery. Many around the NBA were shaking their heads when the Jazz gave Burks a four-year, $42 million extension back on Halloween. Burks is a decent player but not at that price. Utah is now committed to paying three players at least $10 million per season in Hayward, Derrick Favors and Burks. None of those guys can be considered a star, but the Jazz know they aren't going to lure many free agents to Salt Lake City so they have to overpay their own guys to keep them off the free-agent market.

The Jazz are 20-18 against the NBA betting spread this season and 15-23 'over/under.' Utah has covered just one of its past five at home.

 

Team to Beat in NBA?
The Warriors have three fewer losses than any other team yet lead the West by just a game over Portland entering this week -- the West is a joke it's so deep. Golden State has surged into the favored role at Bovada to win the NBA title at +500 along with the Chicago Bulls. The Warriors are +275 to win the West.

Golden State enters on a six-game winning streak, all at home and all in blowout fashion. The Warriors concluded that homestand with a 112-94 rout on Friday of Cleveland, which didn't have LeBron James. Klay Thompson had 24 points against the Cavs and Stephen Curry continued his MVP campaign with 23 points and 10 assists. Curry is responsible for on average 41.5 points per night (points plus assists), No. 2 in the NBA to Houston's James Harden. Draymond Green, a revelation this season, was two assists shy of a triple-double against the Rockets.

The Warriors won those six games by an average of 22.2 points to become only the third team in league history to go unbeaten on a homestand of at least six games and outscore foes by an average of at least 20 points. The other two clubs were the 1988-89 Cavaliers and 1995-96 Bulls of 72-win fame. Golden State coach Steve Kerr was a member of that Bulls club. Golden State is 19-2 with injury-prone center Andrew Bogut in the lineup this season and 9-3 without him. Bogut is a key to Golden State's defense and the Warriors hold opponents to 91.6 points per 48 minutes when he's on the court compared to 101.1 points per 48 when Bogut is on the bench.

The Warriors are 23-11 against the spread and 15-19 'over/under' on NBA odds.

 

Last Meeting
Golden State was a 12.5-point favorite on NBA odds when it hosted Utah on Nov. 21 and the Warriors won 101-88, staying 'under' the 207.5-point total. The game really was never close as the Warriors  led 28-13 at the end of the first quarter, 54-32 at the half and 85-57 entering the fourth. Andre Iguodala led Golden State with 17 points while Harrison Barnes had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Utah, which took nearly four minutes to score its first point, was led by Kanter's 18 points. Starting point guard Trey Burke was just 1-for-8 from the field with two points. In what might have been an NBA first, three Australians played in that game: Bogut for Golden State, and Dante Exum and Joe Ingles for the Jazz. The Warriors have won five straight overall against Utah, sweeping the Jazz last season for the first time ever. Golden State has won two straight in Salt Lake City.

This shapes up as a possible trap game for the Warriors off their long homestand and then having to play back in Oakland on Wednesday night against Miami. The Jazz have covered six of their past eight vs. teams with a winning record and because of this I'm backing them, they are a solid NBA pick. Golden State has failed to cover its past four road games. The 'under' is 5-0 in Utah's past five after a loss. It is 4-1 in the Warriors' past five vs. teams with a losing record.  

NBA Free Picks:  Utah +7 and 'under' 202 points at BetOnline

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