While the Jazz are slowly cruising to the top spot in the Western conference, the Warriors are just trying to make sure they are playing at home for the play-in tournament. However, this is an important game for both teams, so how should we handicap the NBA Odds to cash a winning ticket?
Utah Jazz vs. Golden State Warriors
Monday, May 10, 2021 – 10:00 PM EDT at Chase Center
The Utah Jazz have been without Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell for the last couple weeks and the machine has not broken. Utah is 2 games up on the Suns for the West’s top spot and they have won five straight games. Tonight could be a defining moment for them if they win.
Utah has a tough test against a hungry and ever-dangerous Warriors team. Golden State is still without Kelly Oubre and Damion Lee, but comparatively, it’s less than Utah is missing. They have also been ramping into playoff mode trying to have a favorable draw in the play-in. Golden State has won and covered four of their last five contests and the under has been a sharp bet on this team since the middle of April. Golden State has cashed under the total in eight of their last 11 games and four of their last five.
If the Warriors are to win this game and continue to hold on to the 8th seed in the West, defense will have to be key.
Without Mitchell and Conley, the Jazz have been feeding the ball to Jordan Clarkson and Bojan Bogdanovic, while Joe Ingles runs the offense.
Slowing down this trio will be key, but it probably won’t happen very easily. On top of that, the Warriors are not very deep down low and slowing down Rudy Gobert on the offensive glass is going to be damn-near impossible.
Even if Golden State is forcing misses from the perimeter, it won’t matter if they can’t keep Gobert from giving his team second chances. With this in mind, I think a play on the total may be the best play, because in the toughest part of the season and with tired legs here, defense may be an afterthought.
The Sharp Pick
I think Golden State is going to play their best defense tonight, but what I’m essentially recognizing is that may not be enough to slow down Utah. Golden State is playing their eighth game in 10 days and it’s also on the front end of a back-to-back for them, as they welcome in the Suns tomorrow. They have been home for a while, but that will hopefully ensure their offense comes to play.
Considering the Jazz have cashed the over in three straight and how they have played against fast-paced teams this season, I think the over is the play here.
Back in March these two combined to score 250 points and despite the injuries on both sides, this has been a trend all season for the Jazz.
Against teams that play in the top 10 in pace in the league, the Jazz are 16-9 cashing the over. They are 8-0 cashing the over in games against the top three teams in pace, which includes the Warriors.
The Jazz don’t mind playing up in pace against these teams because they know they are superior on both sides of the ball to basically all of them.
However, I think the better value for this game is the first half over. The Warriors have been playing at a first half pace of almost 107 possessions per 48 minutes over their last five games. If Utah is matching that, we’ll see one or both of these teams get 60 in the first half.
Utah has averaged 127.8 points per 100 possessions in their last five first halves, so their chances of hanging up a 60-piece on Golden State is high. Both are going to approach this full-force in the first half and offensively, that may mean a ton of buckets. Without Conley to check Stephen Curry, the sportsbooks have set Curry’s prop total at 35 points tonight.
If Curry does a ton of damage in the first half, I’m banking on that being enough to cash the first half over. The Jazz can clinch the number one seed with a win tonight, so expect them to come out focused on offense as well.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.