Jazz vs. Nuggets Odds & Pick (Saturday, August 8): Value on Denver in a Near Coin-Flip
Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images. Pictured: Jerami Grant
- Reed Wallach breaks down betting odds and offers his predictions and picks for Saturday's NBA matchup between the Jazz and Nuggets.
- Read on to find out why sees value on Denver to cover the spread against an untrustworthy Utah squad.
Jazz vs. Nuggets Betting Odds
|Jazz odds||+1 [BET NOW]|
|Nuggets odds||-1 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-105/-113 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||TBD [BET NOW]|
|Time||3:40 p.m. ET|
The Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz are set to play Saturday afternoon in a battle that will have Western Conference seeding implications.
The Nuggets have a game-and-a-half lead on the Houston Rockets for the No. 3 seed while the Jazz are tied for the No. 5 seed and just a half-game out of fourth in the always jumbled West.
Denver took both games off Utah this season, covering as 3-point home underdogs at the end of January, and again a week later, beating the Jazz 98-95 as 10-point dogs in Utah.
This could be a playoff preview in the 3-6 matchup so teams may play a game within the game and hold some things back. Either way, let’s dig into this matchup and see if we can pull some value from the side.
The Jazz are on the second half of a back-to-back, but Utah sat a majority of its starting lineup on Friday afternoon. Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Mike Conley and Royce O’Neale all sat out of the team’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs, but the hope is that all are available on Saturday.
Gobert was on the injury report for rest so expect him in, but make sure to check the Fantasy Labs player tracker to monitor the others injuries.
Without Bojan Bogdanovic the Jazz are hurting on the offensive end. In the bubble, Utah has posted the fourth-worst offense per 100 possessions, and there are some glaring reasons why.
Quinn Synder’s team has struggled to create for others since the restart; the team is in the bottom half of assist percentage, but also has the highest turnover percentage of any team in Orlando.
While Bogdanovic is not a facilitator, he is someone that stimulates the offense with his floor spacing.
The main story from Denver in the bubble has been Michael Porter Jr. MPJ has been electric over his last three contests, averaging over 31 points and 13 rebounds on 62/59/93 shooting slashes.
If Denver’s 2019 first round pick is going to become a star like this, the trajectory of its future outlook alongside Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray changes dramatically.
Speaking of Murray, the guard has been out the entire bubble with a nagging hamstring injury but has been questionable the past two games. You can monitor his status here, as one would think Murray is going to be back for a few seeding games to be warmed up for the postseason, but we don’t know when yet.
Gary Harris and Will Barton have also been out the length of Denver’s stay in the bubble, and have been ruled out for this one. Troy Daniels is also on the injury report.
The injuries have assuredly hurt Denver’s typically stout defense. Denver’s defense is allowing 12 more points per 100 possessions than in the regular season and has been towards the bottom of the league in net rating, nearly four points worse than its opponent.
Some of the numbers may be cloudy though, the Nuggets rested key contributors in the second half of their game against the Blazers Thursday night, and the team let go of the rope in their opener against Miami, adjusting to the new rotation.
In between the two losses, Denver scored impressive wins over the Oklahoma City Thunder in overtime and the scorching Spurs in a back and forth affair. Despite being shorthanded, the Nuggets have played admirably, and role players are stepping up. This stretch could help the Nuggets depth in the long run.
Betting Analysis & Pick
BetMGM dropped an opener of Utah -1, but DraftKings opened with Denver -1, highlighting that no one really knows to make of this one, and I agree. Denver hasn’t shown any signs of stopping anyone on D since the restart, but Utah has struggled to get it going on offense with Bogdanovic out.
In a toss-up game, I lean with the Nuggets. They still maintain somewhat of an identity around Jokic and MPJ has been electric in Orlando. If Murray plays, even on a minutes restriction, that’s gravy, but I can’t back Utah with the way they have looked so far.
Pick: Denver -1 or better