Wednesday, 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Free NBA Pick: Jazz ATS
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
It’s a potential first-round Western Conference playoff preview on Wednesday night in the second game of an ESPN doubleheader as Denver visits Utah. The Jazz are on a seven-game home winning streak in the series. Over those seven, Utah has outscored Denver by an average of 14.0 points (100.7-86.7) and held the Nuggets under 90 points five times. The Jazz are a fabulous defensive team at home.
Utah did lose the first meeting this season in Denver, 103-88, which is about par for the course in this rivalry as the Jazz are just 36-60 in the Mile High City and have dropped their past five there. On Nov. 3, the Nuggets outscored the Jazz 35-15 in the fourth quarter, which included an 18-0 run. Gary Harris had 20 points and Nikola Jokic 16 assists and 10 rebounds but only seven points. No Jazz starter had more than Donovan Mitchell’s 16 points. Utah was an ugly 6-for-31 from deep.
You may not know this, but star Jazz center Rudy Gobert was drafted by the Nuggets at No. 27 overall in the 2013 draft but then traded to Utah for the 46th overall pick, Erick Green and cash considerations. Oops!
Why Bet Jazz ATS
The Nuggets are such a different team at home – their last road game was an unacceptable nine-point loss in Phoenix but they come off back-to-back home blowouts of bad teams Chicago and Cleveland – Denver will be well-rested, having not played since the 22-point beatdown of the Cavs on Saturday.
Jokic had his sixth triple-double of the season in that one with 19 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds. Murray had 26 points. Harris had just four points in 17 minutes as he’s on a minutes restriction off a hamstring injury. So is Will Barton off hip surgery. Juancho Hernangomez missed the game with an abdominal strain.
Utah was a 5-point home favorite Monday vs. Portland but had a six-game winning streak snapped in a 109-104 defeat. The 109 points scored by the Blazers tied the most the Jazz had allowed during the winning run. Their 104 scored were the second-fewest. Mitchell led with 34 points. Ricky Rubio returned for the first time since Jan. 5 (hamstring) and had 12 points in 14 minutes. He should remain on a minutes restriction here but get more than 14.
- Nuggets are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 road games.
- Home team is 9-0 ATS in the last 9 meetings.
Denver is 6-0 against its Northwest Division this season, making it the only team in the NBA to be undefeated vs. its division. That ends Wednesday. Back the Jazz against the spread for an NBA bet as they have covered 10 of their past 11 after a loss.