Spurs vs. Jazz NBA Picks: Take San Antonio To Win & Cover ATS

Kevin Stott

Thursday, February 25, 2016 7:23 PM GMT

Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 7:23 PM GMT

The Spurs head to Salt Lake City on Thursday night to face the upstart Utah Jazz in a Western Conference clash that could be very entertaining. What's the right NBA pick here? 

The Spurs tromboned the Jazz in the first two meetings, by 37 and 25 points, but those were in San Antonio so will the Home site help Utah? Let’s take a look at the recent series Trends, ATS and SU records, streaks and any other pertinent information here and see if we can come up with some solid NBA picks for this game.

 

Odds Overview
Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City is the site of this Thursday night meeting between the San Antonio Spurs (48-9 SU, 35-22-0 ATS) and the Utah Jazz (28-28 SU, 28-28 ATS) in what could end up being an entertaining Western Conference affair and the third of four Regular Season meetings between these two with the final meeting coming again here in the Beehive State on Tuesday, April 5. Oddsmakers here in Las Vegas have made the Spurs 3½-point favorites (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) in this one—both Offshore operators Pinnacle and 5Dimes are hanging a 3 on the NBA odds board this morning—with the Total (Points) set at 195½ (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook). The Money Line odds see San Antonio priced at -158 (Pinnacle) with the host Jazz lined at +143 on the takeback. The 1st Half Odds see the Spurs as tiny 1½-point favorites (Ladbrokes) with the 1st Half Total set at 96½ (Ladbrokes). The San Antonio Spurs Team Total Points has been set at 99½ (Ladbrokes) with the Utah Jazz Team Total Points at 96 (Ladbrokes).

 

San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs (20-9 SU Away, 16-13 ATS Away) and Head Coach Gregg Popovich were playing without budding superstar Kawhi Leonard and although this team is having an incredible season, just isn’t the same without the San Diego State product and has shown some flaws of late, despite going 9-1 SU over their L10 games. Leonard (Calf) was listed as Questionable for the Spurs game on Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings (SA -7, 216½) but returned to the lineup for the Spurs (4/1 to win NBA Championship, Marathon). But without Leonard, Matt Bonner (Calf, Out Indefinitely) and Manu Ginobili (Groin, Late March return), this team’s scoring options are somewhat limited—despite the deep Roster—and it shows. But against the Kings on Wednesday night, Leonard (Probable) was back after sitting for 3 games and the he scored 18 points in a 108-92 win (and cover) in Sacramento. PG Tony Parker (23 points) was San Antonio’s leading scorer while Danny Green (16 points), Kyle Anderson (14 points) and David West (10 points) all had solid games for the 2nd place team in the Western Conference. Two big guys who were unproductive and will need to pick it up tonight on this second night of Road back-to-backs are LaMarcus Aldridge (6 points) and Tim Duncan (0 points). But even with these two unproductive, this rare team has the ability to get scoring from anywhere with players like G Ray McCallum, SG Jonathan Simmons, SF Rasual Butler, F Boban Marjanovic and the twinkle-toed big man, C Boris Diaw.

 

Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz (18-10 Home, 16-12 ATS Home) and Head Coach Quin Snyder come into this game off a a 117-114 win over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night as starters Gordon Hayward (28 points), Derrick Favors (19 points, 10 rebounds), Rodney Hood (18 points) and Shelvin Mack (17 points) were all in double-digits in the victory. Utah (500/1 to win NBA Championship, William Hill) currently sits in 8th place in the Western Conference and a recent, 6-game winning streak by Damian Lillard the now 6th-place Portland Trail Blazers (30-27) has made this team’s prospects of making the Postseason just a little slimmer. But with a solid and learning Starting 5 of C Rudy Gobert, PF Derrick Favors—who has returned from Back problems earlier this season—star SF Gordon Hayward (19.9 pg), SG Rodney Hood and PG Shelvin Mack and a decent Bench loaded with players like PG Trey Burke (15.7 ppg), PG Raul Neto, PF Trevor Booker, SF Chris Johnson, C Jeff Withey and F Trey Lyles, “Butler West” could be a very good a very good team in this conference three or four years down the line and the Jazz will be ready for this one and it will be important for Favors to have a big game. On the Injury front for the Jazz, PG Dante Exum (Knee) is Out for the season while SG Alec Burks (Ankle) missed Tuesday’s game against the Rockets and is listed as Questionable here.

 

Recent Relevant Series Trends, Logical Reasoning and Picks
The Spurs rolled (and covered as heavy chalks) in the first two meetings, both at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, 118-81, (SA -12½, 186, Over) on Dec. 14 and 123-98 (SA -13½, 183½, Over) and San Antonio has opened up as 3- to 3½-point chalks here Thursday morning and seem to hold incredible value in the Money Line marketplace (-158, Pinnacle). The Spurs—2-8 ATS in their L8 Thursday games—will be playing the second night of Road back-to-back games here (at Sacramento on Wednesday) and could be a little tired and the Under is an eye-popping 7-1 ATS in the L8 games in this series played here at the Vivint Smart Arena in Salt Lake City. And remember the Spurs (and Pop’s) propensity to seemingly take it light on the second night of Road back-to-backs, knowing that in reality this is just another game in an 82-game Regular Season. And Wednesday’s meeting with Sacramento went Under.

In the L10 meetings in this series, the ATS is split 5-5 while the Total sees the Over at 6-4 ATS in those 10 games despite the larger Under trend in Salt Lake City. The Over is 8-4 ATS in the Spurs L12 Road games and 21-8 in San Antonio’s L29 Road games against the Northwest Division while the Favorite is 26-12-1 ATS in the L39 games in this series. Expect the Spurs, especially Aldridge and Duncan, to be ready for this one and to not take it as lightly as some previous second night of Road back-to-backs. The Jazz could very well finish in the #7 spot in the West, and assuming San Antonio locks down the #2 spot, these two could meet in the Playoffs and with this deep and talented team having so many places to get scoring from and the athletic Leonard back, the Spurs are the call here.

Final Score Prediction: Spurs 103 Jazz 92

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NBA Picks: Spurs -3, Spurs Moneyline -158
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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