NBA Betting Odds & Pick for Jazz vs. Nuggets: Sunday’s Betting Value on Utah
Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, center, talks with head coach Quin Snyder, left, and teammate Rudy Gobert.
- The Denver Nuggets welcome the Utah Jazz for a key NBA showdown Sunday in the Mile High City.
- This is a rematch of last year's playoff series, which the Nuggets won in seven games.
- Kenny Ducey analyzes the game and tells us why he likes Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz to triumph below.
Jazz vs. Nuggets Odds
|Jazz Odds||-2 [BET NOW]|
|Nuggets Odds||+2 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-125 / +105 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||219 [BET NOW]|
|Time||8:10 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
A bubble playoff rematch is on deck Sunday when the Utah Jazz visit the Denver Nuggets in what could be one of the early games of the season.
With Utah rolling along with four consecutive victories and Denver earning three wins in four games, we should be in for a real treat in a game oddsmakers have essentially set at even on the betting numbers.
With the line so close, can we find an edge on either side or should we look to target the total? Let’s dig a bit deeper into these two sides and see if we can find some value.
After a rocky start to their campaign, the Jazz have quickly righted the ship with four consecutive wins and might even be the hottest team in the league at the moment.
Donovan Mitchell has found his scoring touch, the bench is stepping up in the absence of Joe Ingles and the defense has been absolutely lights out.
Over their past four games, the Jazz have allowed just 97.5 points per 100 possessions, which is the best Defensive Rating of any team in its last four contests. Making matters worse for opponents, Utah has grabbed 55.1% of available rebounds, ranking first in the league over that same span.
It’s no coincidence Rudy Gobert has had three of his four best Defensive Ratings during the winning streak, but the numbers speak to a much larger team effort. Role players like Jordan Clarkson and Georges Niang have contributed a boatload of quality possessions on that end of the floor as well.
Speaking of those two, they should see some more quality minutes off the bench in this one, with Ingles ruled out again with an Achilles’ injury.
Clarkson should see 25-plus minutes, with Niang playing a much smaller role. However, both have been tremendous on defense and Clarkson has showcased his shot-making ability in the time that’s been afforded to him.
Other than Ingles, there is not really much to report on the injury front for the Jazz, other than the fact that Derrick Favors, who is dealing with a knee injury but played Friday, is probable.
The biggest thing Utah has going for it here, other than its red-hot defense, is that Mitchell has really begun to turn it on. During Utah’s winning streak, he’s shot 51.9% from the field, plus a ridiculous 55.9% from behind the arc, en route to averaging 28.5 points and 4.5 assists.
A steady Mitchell is exactly the Jazz needed, as they were struggling to figure out how to score while waiting for their star point guard to awake from his early-season slumber.
Mitchell is going to have revenge on his mind against Denver, who knocked Utah out of the postseason in seven games last season.
The Nuggets sort of fall into the same boat as the Jazz. The season started with a pretty dreadful 1-4 record before things started to come together somewhat on the defensive end. Plus, guys like Jamal Murray and Gary Harris began to find their scoring touch.
Denver has certainly scored with consistency, boasting the third-best offensive rating in the NBA at 115.6, but its defense still leaves a lot to be desired despite improving on the brutal start.
The point-guard position has been a point of concern, with the Nuggets having allowed the fifth-worst field goal percentage to the position at more than 48%, and as a result, 23.5 points per game. Murray’s performance on this end against Mitchell will certainly be one worth keeping an eye on, and one that could tilt this ever-so-close matchup.
Another matchup Denver is going to need to win is Nikola Jokic versus Rudy Gobert. Only two teams have run post-ups more than the Nuggets, according to NBA.com, and no team has allowed teams to convert post-ups into points at a higher rate than the Jazz at 56 percent.
Though Gobert is a fantastic rim protector and overall great defender with a 100.5 Defensive Rating, this might be an area worth exploiting for Denver.
On the injury front, the Nuggets are still without Michael Porter Jr., who has been forced into a mandatory quarantine, and list Harris as questionable due to personal reasons once again.
The absence of Harris could swing this game in the Jazz’s favor, considering how well he’s been playing on the offensive end, so be sure to keep an eye out for updates on his status as tip nears.
Finally, it’s worth noting here that the Nuggets have covered just four spreads in 12 games, though with a 6-6 record that’s probably not much of a shocker.
On the surface, the Nuggets have finally found their touch and look like the title contender we all know and love.
Peeling back the layers here, though, victories over the short-handed Sixers, Knicks and Warriors aren’t jumping off the page as much as the dominating defensive clinics the Jazz have put on of late, plus their big win over Milwaukee to begin their winning streak.
Looking back on the thrilling seven-game series these two teams played in the playoffs, one thing is abundantly clear: the Nuggets won with defense. They gave up over 125 points per game when they fell into a 3-1 series deficit, then allowed only 97.3 in their next three to take the series.
Right now, the Nuggets’ defense just isn’t in a spot where I can trust it against a surging offense, and that’s especially true when you’re staring down the barrel of a game where the Nuggets are held under 115 points, as they were in their last win over the Warriors.
Finally, Denver’s going to run into perhaps the best defense in the league at the moment, and is going to have to deal with Mitchell.
Considering depth is on Utah’s side as well here, I’m going to have take the Jazz. Denver’s level of competition is hiding some real flaws it still has on the defensive end, and a skilled team like Utah will expose the host side.
Pick: Jazz +1.5