NBA Playoffs Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Jazz vs. Nuggets Game 5 (Tuesday, August 25)
Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images. Pictured: Donovan Mitchell.
- The Jazz are a short favorite over the Nuggets as Utah looks to close out the series on Tuesday evening.
- Utah's guards have been far too much for Denver's defense to handle, and Reed Wallach is taking the over again.
- Get his full breakdown and analysis for Jazz vs. Nuggets Game 5 below.
Jazz vs. Nuggets Betting Odds
|Jazz Odds||-2.5 [BET NOW]|
|Nuggets Odds||+2.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-141/+120 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||221.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||6:30 p.m. ET|
The Denver Nuggets gave a valiant effort against the Utah Jazz in Game 4 of their first-round NBA playoff series, a massive improvement from the dud they laid in Game 3. However, effort wasn’t enough. Utah’s Donovan Mitchell dropped 50 points on Denver for the second time this series, giving his team a commanding 3-1 series lead and has their opponent on its way out of the bubble.
Is there any hope left for the Nuggets, or is this series finished? Let’s sift through the details:
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In Game 4, it was the same story for the Jazz: they did not miss. Utah shot 57% from the field and 48% from beyond the arc. Through 4 games, the team has posted the best effective field goal percentage in the postseason at over 61%.
While Mitchell has been the real story of this Utah resurgence, Mike Conley is on fire just two games back, and Jordan Clarkson has buoyed the second unit, going off in Game 4 for 24 points.
Utah has Denver’s defense running circles and feasting on poor pick-and-roll coverages. Head coach Quinn Snyder has his team humming on the offensive end. Even if Denver has been able to score like they did in Game 4, Utah has had an answer usually on an open look.
By blitzing this Denver defense, the Jazz have valued the ball and found the open man, posting an assist-to-turnover ratio of greater than 2, only behind the Toronto Raptors this postseason, and is higher than any team’s mark in the regular season, granted on a much smaller sample size. While a smaller sample size, defense is usually amplified in the playoffs, and Utah has blown up Denver’s D.
Utah is poised to make this a fourth straight win and move onto the second round with its ability to poke holes in Denver’s defense.
The big buzz word around the Nuggets was “effort” heading into Game 4, and they definitely gave some. Jamal Murray matched Donovan Mitchell’s 51 by scoring 50 of his own, but down the stretch they could not generate enough stops to take the lead.
Mitchell had 13 of the Jazz’s last 15 points and could simply not be stopped. Whether it be pull-up 3’s or drives to the rack, Denver didn’t have an answer on the defensive end, as has been the story all postseason.
That may be it for the Nuggets, as the team’s offense gave its best effort since Game 1. Murray and the supporting cast generated a bunch more opportunities than the opposition — 27 more field-goal attempts than the Jazz — but could not get to the free-throw line, , which has been an issue all year. In the Game 4 preview, I noted that the free-throw margin was too bleak for Denver, and that had to change. As we saw, Utah took 23 more free throws than the Nuggets in Sunday’s matchup. In a game separated by 2 points, that stat looms large.
Trying to stop Utah at this point seems like a lost cause. Michael Porter Jr. may be on pace to become a stud scorer. But on defense, any time Porter plays, he is getting attacked by the Jazz in any coverage. While Mike Malone can let MPJ get bruised on the defensive end, the team is going to need to find a way to get him going on the offensive end for him to warrant playing time at this point.
Denver’s defense will not get enough stops in this one, and who knows which Nikola Jokic we will see in Game 5? The Nuggets might easily be too deflated to show up. Jokic tried to set the pace early in Game 4, looking for his shot and going to the rim. That may have been his last shot at making this a series.
Again, the Denver defense is the story here. I am inclined to take the Jazz here to finish the deal and move on, but I will side with the over. This number has hit in 3 of the 4 games, and with Gary Harris likely out in Game 5, there is no real change for Denver to make. If Harris does play, make sure to check the FantasyLabs Player Tracker for updates. The bed is made, now the team has to lay in it.
The only shot for Denver is to go off on the offensive end, hoping Murray can keep pace with Mitchell again and the team can light it up from deep. Jokic will have to be engaged and firing passes out of the post as well. If they do show up and play, the total will cruise over like it did last Sunday night.
Or the Nuggets may not show up and surrender 120-130 points again, in which case we would need a small contribution from their offense to get over.
Pick: Over 220.5, would play to 221.5.