Jazz vs. Nuggets Odds & Picks: Back Utah for 12th Straight Cover
Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Rudy Gobert.
- Two red-hot teams face off on Sunday afternoon, as Utah goes for its 12th straight win and 12th straight cover as it faces the Nuggets.
- Denver just had a five-game winning streak of its own ended on Friday night, but Denver has won 10 of its last 14 and looks great with Nikola Jokic leading the way.
- Matt Trebby explains why he's backing Utah to cover again, even against a strong Denver team.
Jazz vs. Nuggets Odds
|Moneyline||-108 / -108|
|Time||3:30 p.m. ET|
The Utah Jazz are the hottest team in the NBA, both on the court and in the betting world.
Utah looks to continue a sensational 11-game winning streak on Sunday afternoon on the road against the Nuggets, who had a five-game winning streak of their own end Friday against the Spurs. After some early issues with COVID-19 and an underwhelming start from Jamal Murray, Denver appears to be back on track.
Let’s dig into the Jazz’s hot streak, why bettors have been loving the winning run and whether it will continue.
Since suffering double-digit losses to the Nets and Knicks on Jan. 5 and 6, the Jazz have covered in every game of their 11-game winning streak. They have won 10 of those games by double digits.
On the season, Utah is now an NBA-best 14-5 against the spread (ATS). The Jazz also enter play on Sunday tied for the NBA lead with 15 wins.
Utah has won its last two games, both against the Dallas Mavericks, without star guard Donovan Mitchell. Head coach Quin Snyder told reporters after Friday night’s win that he was hopeful that Mitchell and big man Derrick Favors will be available against Denver.
Utah entered play on Saturday ranked fifth in Offensive Rating at 114.6 and fourth in Defensive Rating at 106.6. Their Net Rating (8.1) is second in the NBA to the Bucks.
That is including the Jazz’s slow 4-5 start, though. In its last 11 games, Utah’s Net Rating is a staggering 15.2 and it ranks second in both Offensive and Defensive Rating.
A big reason for the Jazz’s impressive offensive output is their 3-point shooting. Utah is taking 42.2 shots from beyond the arc per game this season, which is third in the NBA, and it’s making 39.8% of them, second to the Clippers (41.4%).
Led by center Rudy Gobert, Utah leads the NBA in rebounding percentage (53.7%) with the Nuggets second at 52.8%.
Getting Mitchell back from concussion protocol would be a huge boost to an offense that has shot 40.4% from 3-point land in these two games without him en route to averaging 118 points per game.
Defense is where Utah is going to make noise in the playoffs if it is to make a run. The Jazz were up, 37-12, at the end of the first quarter on Friday night against Dallas and were so suffocating that Luka Doncic was questioning his team’s effort after the game.
After a shaky 1-4 start, Denver has won 10 of its last 14 games. Their Net Rating during that stretch is third in the NBA after the Jazz and Clippers, and the main reason for their winning run has been the MVP-caliber play of Nikola Jokic.
The Serbian playmaker is averaging 25.7 points on 56.8% shooting, 11.7 rebounds and 8.7 assists this season, while also snagging 1.7 steals per contest.
Point guard Jamal Murray has been solid, shooting the same percentage (45.6%) from the field as he did last season while seeing his points-per-game average go up 0.6 in 2020-21. But he has not taken the leap forward that most expected after an incredible playoff run in the bubble.
Offensively, Denver recently got a boost from the return of Michael Porter Jr. after the second-year forward tested positive for COVID-19. He has come off the bench since coming back, shooting an impressive 54.9% from the field while averaging 15.4 points, three 3-pointers, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals in five games.
The Jazz and Nuggets are always an intriguing matchup. Even without Mitchell, Utah has a better answer than most teams for Jokic in Gobert and a veteran point guard against Murray in Mike Conley.
Both teams are playing very well at the moment, but I have to back the Jazz until they give me a reason not to.
Eleven straight covers? You kidding me? Sign me up for Utah to make it a dozen.
Pick: Jazz -1