Jazz-Nuggets Betting Guide: Can Utah Rebound on the Road?

Jazz-Nuggets Betting Guide: Can Utah Rebound on the Road? article feature image

David Richard, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Paul Millsap

Betting odds: Utah Jazz at Denver Nuggets

  • Spread: Nuggets -5
  • Over/Under: 209.5
  • Time: 9 p.m. ET

>> All odds as of 12 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets

The impressive 7-1 Denver Nuggets will face a reeling Utah Jazz squad that lost as 7.5-point favorites last night to the Memphis Grizzlies without star Donovan Mitchell. Can they rebound in Denver tonight or will the back-to-back be too much to overcome? Our analysts discuss.

Injury Watch: Donovan Mitchell

DFS: Donovan Mitchell missed last night’s 10-point loss to the Grizzlies. Rookie Grayson Allen started in his absence and recorded 27 minutes. Ricky Rubio had a nice game as the primary playmaker, scoring 22 points and dishing out 11 assists in 31 minutes of action. Consider Mitchell questionable tonight on a road back-to-back.

Betting: There’s some disparity among sportsbooks about Mitchell’s value to the spread. He’s worth about three points, but CG Tech pegs his value at only one point. Bryan Mears

Mears: Why I’m Buying the Nuggets

If you wanted to knock the Nuggets’ No. 4 ranked defense (per Cleaning the Glass), you could make a decent case. They have allowed the second-highest percentage of shots at the rim (40.6%) and second-highest percentage of corner 3-pointers. They’ve been good defending the rim and average in opponent corner-3 percentage. Those could both get worse certainly.

But arguments about them regressing miss what they’ve done so well this season. The Nuggets have allowed the second-fewest shots at the rim, as well as the second-fewest corner 3s. Those are the two most efficient areas of the court for an offense, so even with a non rim protector like Nikola Jokic (who has looked much better defensively this season, I will say), that type of defensive scheme can survive most games.

As a result, Denver ranks seventh in effective field goal percentage allowed. But that’s not all they’re good at: The Nuggets also rank fifth in creating turnovers, seventh in defensive rebound rate and 12th in limiting fouls. Regardless of personnel, there’s a ton of value, especially during the regular season, in being a sound, smart defensive team, and that’s what they’ve been so far this season.

For those reasons, I don’t expect the Nuggets to drop down too much over the rest of the season. Getting a Jazz team possibly without Donovan Mitchell on the back end of a road back-to-back is enticing, and I’ll keep buying the Nuggets ATS, especially in this spot. Bryan Mears

Betting Trends to Know

The Jazz head to Denver to face the Nuggets coming off a back-to-back after playing at home against the Grizzlies on Friday night.

Since 2005, teams have struggled mightily playing on a back-to-back when traveling to Denver, going 79-98-5 ATS (44.6%), losing bettors 22.1 units in that span. The only location less profitable to bettors on a back-to-back over that span? Oracle Arena and the Warriors.

Those teams traveling to the Pepsi Center on a back-to-back have also struggled early on, going 78-99-3 (44.1%) against the first-half spread, losing bettors 24.6 units. Evan Abrams

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.

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