Jazz vs. Spurs NBA Picks: Good D's Set the Tone for an 'Under' Tonight

Jordan Sharp

Monday, December 14, 2015 4:57 PM GMT

The Jazz are in the Western Conference gauntlet right now, and after playing tough and almost beating the Thunder last night in overtime, the Jazz come in as +12 ½ road dogs on the NBA odds.

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NBA Pick: UNDER 186½ 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

Jazz Playing Tough Tunes
Utah had it rough before the season even began by losing their young point guard, Dante Exum to a knee injury. Now they are dealing with another knee injury to Rudy Gobert, and while it isn’t as serious as the ACL tear to Exum, the Jazz will be without the presence of their rim protector for a while. Tonight they have the nearly impossible task of trying to beat the Spurs on the road and off a back to back, but while I am weary of the spread in this one, the total seems like a good play.

The Spurs’ defense has been nothing short of fantastic this season, and while no one outside of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green is an outstanding defender on that team, their team defense and schemes are some of the best in the NBA, and it’s been that way for some time. However, with the depth they have it makes their defense even better, and against a short-handed Jazz tonight, the Spurs might roll out another game where they limit a team to less than 90 points. They have done that in 16 of their 25 games this season, and with Utah’s pedigree of being a slow paced and good defensive team, the under seems like the best play tonight.

The Jazz are 3-1 cashing the under on the second half of a back to back, and they play at the slowest pace in the NBA. The Spurs on the other hand have the best defense in the NBA, with a Defensive Rating of 91.9, and their opponents averaging only 88 points per game against them. Even though the total has lost some of its value since it opened, as of press time for this article, NBA odds still had the total number at 186, and other shops were still sitting around 185½, which is more than enough value for these two teams to go under.

 

The Sharp Pick
These two teams are a combined 29-17-1 this season cashing the under, and it should be the perfect storm once again for them to cash it again against one another. The Jazz have cashed the under in eight of their last 12 games overall this season, and they have cashed the under in eight of their last 12 road games as well. The Spurs have been known to lay an egg once in a while, but against a tired team that plays a style they like, the Spurs should have no issues.

They are not the type of team that plays down to their competition. We all saw them allow only 68 points to the Sixers just about a week ago. While the Jazz are a much better team than the Sixers, and might even threaten to make the playoffs in the West if Gobert can get healthy, I can’t see them getting above the 90 point mark in this one. The Spurs are just too good defensively, and they both are just too slow on offense. Don’t be scared away from the low total, follow the movement and take the under as your NBA pick tonight.