Nuggets-Jazz Betting Guide: Bet on Well-Rested Road Teams?

Nuggets-Jazz Betting Guide: Bet on Well-Rested Road Teams? article feature image

Photo credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jamal Murray

Betting Odds: Denver Nuggets at Utah Jazz

  • Spread: Jazz -4
  • Over/Under: 216
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: ESPN

>> All odds as of 3 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets

The 31-14 Denver Nuggets will travel to Utah to face the 26-22 Jazz. Where’s the value in tonight’s line? Our analysts dive in.

Betting Trends to Know

The Nuggets are coming off a four-game homestand and now travel to Utah to face the Jazz on four days of rest leading up to tip-off Wednesday night.

Nuggets coach Mike Malone in his days with Denver and Sacramento has coached six road games on at least four days of rest. His teams are 0-6 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS), failing to cover by 15.8 points per game. — Evan Abrams

Evan is right: Malone’s teams have struggled on the road after a long layoff, but historically this is a great spot to wager on a team. Well-rested road teams late in the season (January-April) have been undervalued, with a $100 bettor returning a profit of $3,019 wagering on them. — John Ewing

Moore: Why Is the Public on Utah?

This line freaks me out.

How is the No. 2 team in the West — a team that is undefeated in division play — a 3-point dog to open, then the line moves up on Utah?

I’m grabbing Denver, because it’s the Nuggets as underdogs and I like the matchup for several reasons, but, boy howdy, does this line make me want to cower in the fetal position. — Matt Moore

Mears: The Jazz Struggle at the End of Games

In terms of point differential, these teams are pretty close:

  • Denver: +4.9
  • Utah: +4.6

In terms of record, however, it’s not that close at all:

  • Denver: 31-14
  • Utah: 26-22

Part of that might be schedule — the Jazz have played the third-toughest schedule so far — but I think most of it comes down to second-half play. Take a look at these teams’ Net Rating by quarter:

  • 1st: Denver +8.9, Utah +5.2
  • 2nd: Denver +3.8, Utah +6.7
  • 3rd: Denver +2.5, Utah +1.6
  • 4th: Denver +5.0, Utah -1.6

As a result, the Jazz have underperformed their point differential this season by a whopping 5.0 wins — easily the highest mark in the league. A normal team with their mark would be expected to be at 31 wins by now.

The Jazz clearly drop off in the second half. Interestingly, in losses, the Jazz own the worst second-half point differential in the league, getting outscored by 17.3 points per 100 possessions. When things get away from them, they really get away from them.

Thus, I think the best value in this game might be to bet the Nuggets in the second half or fourth quarter, especially if the game is close or the Jazz are slightly up and you can get a good number on Denver. — Bryan Mears

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.