NBA Picks: Warriors vs. Jazz

Steven Suarez

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 1:50 PM GMT

Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 1:50 PM GMT

The Warriors went into the All-Star Break losing five straight games both straight up and against the spread. Will they come out and give the Jazz a run for their money in Salt Lake City tonight?

Odds Overview 

At time of writing, the NBA odds board had Utah favored by 3.5 points, though 3 was also available if you believe backing the home team is the right way to go here. This season the Jazz are 26-27-1 ATS, while the Warriors have gone 27-24-1 ATS.

Given Golden State's horrific defensive performances heading into the break, it's no surprise to see the total at 202.5. The OVER has gone 5-1 in the Warriors' last six overall, but the UNDER is 4-1 in Utah's past five home contests. While the total might be tempting, we have decided to place our NBA picks on the spread tonight.

With the All-Star Break now behind us, be sure to check out the updated NBA Championship Odds.

[gameodds]5/218851/43/us[/gameodds]

Golden State Warriors

The break couldn't have come at a better time for the Warriors. They were having a miserable time, losing five games in a row, with an average margin of defeat of 18.4 points. Ouch.

That said, the competition wasn't exactly the easiest. Golden State fell to Houston twice and lost consecutive road matchups against Oklahoma City, Memphis and a Dallas team that was desperate for a win.

What's gone wrong? Defense. The Warriors were surprising everyone earlier on in the season, ranking in the top ten in defensive efficiency, but they've completely fallen apart in that department.

Hopefully having Andrew Bogut out there without restrictions will start paying off sooner rather than later. He's been on a minutes limit and hasn't been able to play the second game of back-to-backs either, but it looks like that's over and done with with now.

Bogut is one of the best interior defenders in the NBA when healthy, something the Warriors have been missing sorely. David Lee may be an offensive juggernaut, but he straight up cannot defend anyone in the post. Golden State will need all the help they can get against Utah's formidable frontcourt.

Utah Jazz

There's a lot of speculation going around in the Utah camp right now, with both Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap getting their names thrown around in trade discussions.

It certainly makes sense for the Jazz to make a move – they do have young studs Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors waiting in the wings – but only if the price is right. With Mo Williams still out and no one really stepping up in that Utah backcourt, a trade for a productive guard wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

Tyrone Corbin will be hoping his team can remain focused on the present against Golden State tonight. The Jazz went into the break with a 97-93 road win over Minnesota, which came one day after they steamrolled Oklahoma City 109-94 at home.

Jefferson and Millsap continue to play well despite all of the trade chatter, but their performances haven't translated into a lot of cashed tickets for Utah backers as of late.

Coming into tonight's game, the Jazz have gone just 5-8 ATS over their last 13 overall. Meanwhile, over their previous nine at home they've mustered up a 4-5 ATS mark.

NBA Pick

Though a lot of people will be reeled in by Utah's strong record at home, the small chalk, and Golden State's struggles heading into the All-Star Break, we believe the Warriors will make a good account of themselves in this Western Conference showdown.

We are banking on Bogut's presence helping keep the Jefferson/Millsap combo from completely owning the paint all game long. And even if the Jazz do hold the advantage in the interior, we think Curry, Thompson and Jack will have no trouble scoring the rock against a suspect Utah perimeter defense.

In his one appearance against Utah this season, Curry went for 23 points, eight boards and seven assists, while Thompson and Jack put up 30 between them. The Warriors were dominant on the fast break, out-scoring the Jazz 25-5, and we feel something similar could happen again tonight.

NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors +3.5

Check out our NBA Picks: Tuesday Night Parlay to find out why we have decided to combine a play on this game and another to max out our payout.
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