The Utah Jazz have hit the best stretch of their season winning 9 out of their last 12 games. While the playoffs are a longshot, a victory tonight appears automatic as they face the worst team in the NBA in the New York Knicks. The Knicks haven't beaten a Western Conference team all season and are coming off of a 106-78 loss to the Denver Nuggets. Does this betting pick look as easy as it appears?
Tip-off is scheduled for tonight at 9:00 pm ET at Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City Utah. According to the NBA odds, the Jazz are a 13.5 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 183.5.
The Jazz really have nothing to hang their heads about as they have a very bright future with the likes of Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Rudy Gobert to name a few while the New York Knicks have a lot of work to do in the off-season.
Phil Jackson wanted room in the salary cap and he got. In return, the Knicks are posting their worst season of all time. Although New York will be in the draft lottery, they aren't assured of the #1 pick as the team with the 3rd worst record in the NBA has won most of these drafts. Nevertheless, the Knicks will receive a franchise player for their poor effort this season.
How Much Will New York Lose By?
After hearing the Knicks game on the radio last night and hearing that they had an early lead against the Nuggets, I assumed that this was a winnable game. After all, the Nuggets are an awful team themselves and just got rid of their head coach Brian Shaw. Eventually, the same thing happened that always happens; the New York Knicks get blown out. Playing an opponent who is playing their best best basketball of the season in the Utah Jazz, it's just a matter of how many points will Utah win by.
Lately, the only thing that the Knicks have found out is that Andrea Bargnani still has plenty of game left. He's starting to play like he did when he was a member of the Toronto Raptors and averaging 20 points per game.
New York will most likely get rid of him to free up some more salary cap room, but for now, they need him or they'll be losing games by 40 points on a nightly basis. Alexi Shved is another player that the is a pleasant surprise. He hasn't been able to stick with an NBA team, but the guy has skill and good size. He's hoping to stay with New York next season. In his last 5 games, he's averaging 14.4 points per game and this is his chance to impress Phil Jackson and thus far, he's done a great job.
When you're a bad team for so long, you accrue draft picks and make some good moves along the way like picking up Derrick Favors from the Nets. Favors has been paying off in a major way as he's the 2nd best option offensively for the Jazz, averaging 16.2 points and 8.2 rebounds.
During the recent trade deadline, the Jazz traded Enes Kanter and the consensus was that the Thunder made out like bandits as they got rid of a disgruntled Reggie Jackson to the Detroit Pistons. Losing Kanter has actually been a blessing for the Jazz as Rudy Gobert hasn't had to share playing time and has been a flatout beast as of late. Gobert has massive size and has turned himself into one of the best rebounders in the game.
How will the Knicks defend against Gobert and deal with him on the boards? Bargnani is 7 foot tall, but is strictly an offensive player. Gobert on the other hand, is averaging 10 points and 15.2 rebounds in his last 5 games. While he doesn't have the best offensive skills on the team, the center position is the most lopsided matchup in tonight's game and expect Gobert to have a huge game.
I see these high betting spreads and think how the opponent can possibly cover them? It's becoming clear that the Knicks are so bad, that they need to be faded for the rest of their miserable season. Expect Utah to cover the spread with your NBA picks as they've been playing at a really high level.
NBA Pick- Utah -13.5 at 5Dimes