While most games with the Utah Jazz involved would have low posted totals, this particular total vs. the Toronto Raptors seems too deflated, perhaps giving the ‘over’ value Wednesday.
While we get that the home team has played great defense this young season while being offensively challenged, we still feel that this posted total seems a bit too deflated Wednesday night vs. a team that can score, giving value to the ‘over’ when the Toronto Raptors (7-5, 8-4 ATS) pay a visit to those Utah Jazz (5-5, 7-3 ATS) at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, UT at 9:05 ET in a game available on ROOT.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 187 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -114.
Gave Undefeated Warriors Tough Battle
The Raptors are playing the second game of a back-to-back and they gave the undefeated Golden State Warriors all they can handle in a fast-paced game in Oakland last night before succumbing 115-110 while covering the spread as 9½-point underdogs. Thus Toronto has started its current Western road trip 0-2 after a 107-101 loss to the Kings in Sacramento on Sunday, so they would love to put this game in the Win column before facing the two Los Angeles teams.
The Jazz have been off since Sunday when they were the narrow winning NBA picks 97-96 over the Hawks down in Atlanta as three-point road underdogs, putting an end to a three-game losing streak and getting Utah back to the .500 mark. The Jazz are winning with defense, ranking third in the league in points against allowing 91.8 per game, and one of their best defenders in center Rudy Gobert returned for that last victory after missing the prior two games.
Still a Low Total
But even with that being said though, all Utah games are averaging a combined 187.3 total points this young season, which is right at this posted total, but they are not facing an average offense in this case with Toronto ranking eighth in the league in scoring at 102.7 points per game. Moreover, the Raptors have now reached the 100-point mark in five straight games while averaging an impressive 107.8 points during this span!
And then there is the other end of the Toronto equation, which is what has been the disappointing performance of its defense in recent games. The Raptors signed a great defender in free agency in DeMarre Carroll away from the Atlanta Hawks in an attempt to improve the defense, and they appeared to do just that during the infant stages of this season, especially during a 5-0 start.
However, that aspect of the Toronto game has apparently disappeared just as the scoring has picked up offensively, with the Raptors allowing over 100 points in four of the last five games while allowing an unacceptable average of 103.4 per game. Thus, the last five Toronto contests have averaged a combined 211.2 points, which is about 24 points higher than this posted total!
Gobert Still Gimpy?
And while the Jazz did get Gobert back in Sunday, he was clearly not at 100 percent while continuing to nurse a sprained ankle. The injury did not bother him much offensively though as he recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. The more relevant effects were felt on defense as could not react as quickly as he usually does, although having two days off since that game could have Gobert back to normal tonight.
Then again, those last two days were not really “off” with the Jazz returning home from a four-game Eastern road trip, and the first home game back from extended road trips like that often result in lethargic efforts, at least in the early stages, and that lethargy oftentimes manifests itself on the defensive end.
Considering Utah’s opponent here, a slow start defensively can lead to Toronto opening up a fairly big early lead, which would in turn take the Jazz out of their comfort zone by forcing them to play at a faster pace, which again seems conducive to an ‘over’ in a game with such a low total.
An ‘over’ Series Recently
Finally, this has been an ‘over’ series in recent years as it has 6-1 in the last seven head-to-head meetings, including both meetings last season going ‘over’ the total very easily with the Raptors winning both games, first 111-93 here in Utah and then 123-104 up in Canada. The ‘over’ is also 4-1 in the last five meetings in Utah.
While we respect what the Jazz are doing defensively, this total simply seem too low vs. a team like Toronto so go ‘over’ when the Raptors visit Utah at Salt Lake City on Wednesday.
NBA Pick: Raptors, Jazz ‘over’ 187 (-114)