NBA Picks: Nuggets vs. Jazz Odds Preview

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 1:34 PM GMT

Wednesday, Apr. 3, 2013 1:34 PM GMT

The Utah Jazz are battling the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, as they prepare to host the Denver Nuggets Wednesday night.


Let’s take a closer look at the NBA betting odds for this high-profile affair at EnergySolutions Arena, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET on NBATV.

Home stretch

Denver would be the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference if the 2013 NBA playoffs opened up today, as it snapped a two-game losing streak with a 109-87 victory over the Brooklyn Nets last time out, while going UNDER the total for a fifth consecutive contest.

The Nuggets are 16-12 straight up (SU) and 17-10-1 against the spread (ATS) in April the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 17-8-2 in that situation.

Playoff basketball

Utah enters the most important seven-game stretch of its 2012-13 NBA season, as its tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth and final playoff sport out West, which has likely caused most online sportsbooks to add a little juice to the point spread.

The Jazz have won five games in a row by averaging 108.6 points on 52 percent shooting, while the OVER is 6-1 in their last seven contests.

Rested

There’s no question that these two teams enjoy a strong home-court advantage due to the altitude in both Denver and Salt Lake City, but the visiting side will be well rested entering Energy Solutions Arena Wednesday.

The Nuggets are 8-4 SU and 7-5 ATS when playing on three or more days rest the last two-plus seasons, including SU wins in both opportunities in that situation this year.

Favoritism

NBA handicappers will definitely have an interest in laying this smallish number on the SBR odds page, considering the favorite is 33-16-3 ATS in the last 52 meetings in this series, but it’s important to note that the Nuggets have covered the number in six of the last eight games.

Utah is 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS as a home favorite of three points or less during the 2012-13 campaign, with the UNDER going 4-2 in that situation.

[gameodds]5/223737/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Nuggets as one of their NBA picks, as I established the Jazz as one-point home favorites in this affair.  Denver will be playing without the services of point guard Ty Lawson (heel), but Andre Miller is a capable backup—averaging 12.7 points and 7.3 assists in six starts this season.

NBA Pick:  Denver Nuggets +2.5 at Pinnacle

Take a look at our NBA Picks of the Day for more free plays.
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