Jazz to Handle Warriors; Suns-Mavs Looks Like an Ugly 'Under'

jazz

Jordan Sharp

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 2:52 PM UTC

Tuesday, Apr. 10, 2018 2:52 PM UTC

We cashed another pair of picks Monday, and our profits keep soaring as the regular season winds down. Tonight's slate is smaller, but there is value despite a high volatility level.

2017-18 record: 157-142-4

NBA: Tuesday's Double DribbleWarriors vs. JazzFree NBA Pick: Jazz -6½Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The Golden State Warriors and Utah Jazz likely won’t meet in the playoffs, with the Warriors having fallen to the second seed. That means a Golden State loss tonight means nothing, whereas a Utah win would mean everything to the Jazz. The Warriors should and probably will sit or taper their starters in this meaningless game only four days from the start of the playoffs, but for the Jazz the pathway is clear.

Utah is playing for the privilege of hosting a Game 1 in the first round, and they can do it by winning out. They got a ton of help Monday when Denver beat Portland, and if Utah wins tonight they will clinch at least the fourth seed in the West.

However, Utah could beat Portland on the final night of the regular season to move up to the third seed. That would mean Utah could set up a second-round series with the Warriors, which is probably not desired by anyone in Salt Lake City. If you can wrap your head around all this covert playoff jockeying, you can extract a hypothesis for how this game will unfold.

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The Warriors, with nothing to play for tonight, could rest half their team or play them sparingly. Seizing on this, with your NBA picks, expect the Jazz to win at home and cover the number on the NBA odds board.

However, in a cruel bit of irony, Portland tanks the final game of the season Wednesday against the Jazz, and by beating the Warriors tonight, Utah forces themselves into a matchup with the defending champs if they can advance past the first round.

Utah has to win tonight to guarantee home-court advantage in the first round. Nothing is guaranteed in the Western Conference first round other than Houston and Golden State winning, so Utah is going to take this opportunity to grab a guaranteed home game to start the first round.

Suns vs. MavericksFree NBA Pick: 'Under' 208½Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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With one more loss, the Phoenix Suns will guarantee themselves the best draft lottery odds. However, the Dallas Mavericks are also jockeying for lottery odds, and a loss for them would almost surely give them a shot at the top three lottery odds.

The race to the bottom is on tonight, and you can tell all of this by looking at the lengthy injury reports for both teams. With neither team wanting to win this game, they are going to sit out half of their rosters whether they are actually injured or not. Some starters from both sides have already been ruled out, and we could get more news of guys sitting out as we head into the evening.

With the potential for this game being played with very little true NBA talent, the "total" on the NBA odds board is looking like a fine wager. Normally, meaningless games will have higher scores as teams play less defense. However, with all the guys who will or could sit this one out, there might not be enough offensive firepower for either team to put up 90 points.

Some of the guys playing in this game will be playing for their careers, or a job next season. Most of the guys playing will likely be going all out on defense, wanting to show their worth, which will lead to less offense and lower scoring.

Even when these teams played one another earlier in the season, the scores were low. The "under" has easily cashed in both of their meetings, and with the likelihood of there being hardly any offensive talent on the floor tonight, take the "under" with your NBA picks in what should be an awful game.

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