Keep Mining Nuggets With Flat Jazz On Tap

Thursday, February 28, 2019 4:06 AM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019 4:06 AM UTC

The Utah Jazz had to play Wednesday night, making the Denver Nuggets the right NBA pick for Thursday’s matchup in the Mile High City.

Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Feb. 26: 14-12 ATS, 0-4 ML (minus-9.35 units), 18-8 Totals

Utah (34-26 SU, 31-27-2 ATS) vs Denver (42-18 SU, 33-27 ATS)

Thursday, 8:00 p.m. ET, TNT

Free NBA Pick: Nuggets ATS

Best Line Offered: Youwager

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Nikola Jokic is everything you could want in an MVP. Just ask the Oklahoma City Thunder; Jokic dropped the hammer on them Tuesday night, scoring 36 points and barely missing a triple-double as Denver (–3.5 at home) won 121-112. And there was much rejoicing.

Jokic and the Thunder will be at it again Thursday night when they host the Utah Jazz, and this time, we’ve got an extra reason to put Denver in our NBA picks: The Jazz played the Los Angeles Clippers at home Wednesday night, winning 111-105 as 10-point home faves. That means they should be worn out by the time they land in Denver – making them an easy fade as 6-point puppies on the NBA odds board as we go to press.

Basketball Weakens Legs

Since we’ve already talked plenty about the Nuggets, let’s focus on Utah and what they bring to the table: defense, and not much else. The Jazz are third overall in defensive efficiency at 103.8 points allowed per 100 possessions, but only No. 17 on offense at 107.2 points scored/100. And when you get tired, defensive effort is usually the first thing to go.

At least they don’t have to worry about Dante Exum (minus-3.1 BPM). He was supposed to make his return last week against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but those plans were kiboshed on game day, after we put Utah in the “fade” column. Final score: Utah (+4 away) 148, Oklahoma City 147 in double overtime. Basketball, she iz a cruelle mistresse. Always wait for the morning shoot-around before making your picks in real life.

Doubting Thomas

Okay, one more piece of business for the Nuggets: Isaiah Thomas is back. He’s played four games for Denver thus far, and hoo boy, it’s not good – not from a defensive standpoint, at least. Thomas has a minus-5.5 DBPM to go with his minus-0.7 OBPM in 68 total minutes. That’s a small sample size, but concerning nonetheless. Let’s hope he doesn’t get too much burn on Thursday.

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Damn I miss you Chyna

— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) February 28, 2019

No burn notice for Trey Lyles (minus-3.2 BPM) in this matchup. He showed promise for the Nuggets last year after coming over from Utah in the Donovan Mitchell trade, but that’s a deal Denver would probably like to take back – even if Mitchell (minus-0.3 BPM) has a lot of work to do before he’s truly ready for prime time. Lyles is out indefinitely with a hamstring injury and isn’t expected back for a couple of weeks, so we can breathe easy for now. He’s a good Canadian kid; he’ll be fine. May the sphere be with him.

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