NBA Picks: Letdown Game For Jazz? Take The Points With T-Wolves +9

Matthew Jordan

Friday, April 1, 2016 2:20 PM GMT

Friday, Apr. 1, 2016 2:20 PM GMT

If Utah hopes to snag one of the final two playoff spots in the Western Conf, it simply can't lose home games to bad teams like Minnesota. The Jazz are -9 on BetOnline NBA odds with a total of 194.

Timberwolves Have Bright Future
Minnesota (25-50) will return to its usual place in the NBA Draft lottery as it has the fifth-worst record in the NBA. But this will be a coveted coaching job this offseason if the Wolves don't bring back interim coach Sam Mitchell; he took over before the season started because Flip Saunders was battling cancer, which eventually killed him. While Minneapolis isn't exactly a great place to live in those NBA winters, unemployed coaches like a Tom Thibodeau would salivate over this gig because there's a ton of young talent in place in Karl-Anthony Towns, the lock Rookie of the Year for  this season, Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine and Ricky Rubio. Can you imagine if the Wolves win this year's lottery and were able to add LSU's Ben Simmons or Duke's Brandon Ingram to that group? Better beat this team now because it's going to be very good in probably two more seasons.

But the Wolves weren't very good on Wednesday as they were clobbered 99-79 at home by the Los Angeles Clippers. Minnesota shot just 34.5 percent from the field. LaVine was 0-for-6 and scoreless. Rubio was 2-for-9 and Wiggins 3-for-9. Towns was the only starter to reach double-figure points as he had 16 to go with 11 rebounds. That was his 46th double-double of the season, tied for fifth in the NBA. He could finish as high as second on that list but Detroit's Andre Drummond has already clinched that title.

Will Kevin Garnett get back on the court this season? The future Hall of Famer has missed the past 30 games with a sore right knee. It's not looking good for him to step on the court again before presumably retiring. Starting center Nikola Pekovic has missed 26 in a row with a sore ankle. The Wolves probably would like to trade him this offseason, but no team would give much up until seeing him healthy again.

On the season, Minnesota is 35-39-1 against the spread on NBA odds and 42-32-1 'over/under.'

 

Jazz Need Every Win They Can Get
Utah (37-38) is battling Houston and Dallas for the final two spots in the  Western Conference playoffs and the right to lose to either Golden State or San Antonio in the first round. So this is a game the Jazz simply must win. The remaining schedule is: at Phoenix, vs. San Antonio, vs. LA Clippers, at Denver, vs. Dallas, at LA Lakers (Kobe's final game). Three pretty easy road games and the Spurs could rest their guys in that game next Tuesday.

The Jazz really deserved to upset visiting Golden State on Wednesday but lost 103-96 in overtime, their second near-miss at home vs. the Warriors this season. Utah led most of the fourth quarter of this one but missed 10 of 14 free throws in that quarter or it would have won. The Jazz allowed the Warriors to grab an offensive rebound of a Klay Thompson missed 3-pointer with about 20 seconds left, and Thompson got another chance and connected with 15 seconds remaining to tie it. The Jazz's Shelvin Mack, who missed a crucial free throw before Thompson's make, and Gordon Hayward both missed potential winning shots. Then Steph Curry took over in overtime.

"For us, I think we were deflated when it did go to overtime," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. Yeah, no kidding.

Utah lost one of its best players, forward Derrick Favors, in the third quarter with right knee soreness. He had 15 points and seven rebounds before leaving and a big reason why  Utah was able to build a 10-point lead. Favors said he was fine after the game but is questionable here. It's possible that Utah gets back guard Alec Burks. He hasn't played since Dec. 26 due to a leg injury.

The Jazz are 37-38 ATS on NBA picks this season and 30-43-2 O/U.

 

Season Series
Minnesota won the first  meeting 94-80 at home on Dec. 30 behind 25 points and 10 rebounds from Towns and 17 assists from Rubio. On Jan. 29 in Salt Lake City, the Jazz won 103-90. Rodney Hood had 22 points and Favors 20 points and nine rebounds. On March 26 in Minneapolis, the Jazz won 93-84. Favors had 19 points and Hayward 16 of his 18 in the fourth quarter. The visiting team has actually won seven of the past 10 meetings.

Utah probably is going to suffer a major letdown here off the near upset of the Warriors. Plus the Jazz may not have Favors. Take the points and go 'under.' Minnesota is 5-1 ATS in its past six on the road and has covered five of its past six in Salt Lake City. Utah is 4-11 ATS in its past 15 playing on one day of rest. The 'under' is 8-2 in Utah's past 10 overall.  

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2883594, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,93,92,238,169,19], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
Free NBA Pick: T-Wolves +9 and/or Under 194
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

comment here