Jazz-Lakers Betting Preview: Can Utah Turn Things Around?

Jazz-Lakers Betting Preview: Can Utah Turn Things Around? article feature image

Photo credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Lonzo Ball and Donovan Mitchell

Betting odds: Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Lakers

  • Spread: Lakers -3
  • Over/Under: 221
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. ET

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

LeBron James and the Lakers are hot. Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz are struggling. What does that mean for the current line of Lakers -3? Our analysts dive in.

Mears: Are the Jazz Mediocre or Unlucky?

This line of Lakers -3 suggests the teams are even on a neutral court, which probably would have been surprising a month or so ago.

But the Jazz have really struggled this year (and the Lakers are hot), currently sitting a disappointing 19th in the league with a -1.1 point differential (per Cleaning the Glass). They rank 20th in offensive efficiency, and more surprising, they’re currently 12th in defensive efficiency, allowing 109.0 points per 100 possessions.

The Jazz are a very weird team. On one hand, they’ve gotten a lot of injury luck with opponents missing star players against them. On the other hand, they’ve had terrible shooting luck: Per NBA Stats, they’re forcing contested shots at a top-five rate, but opponents are shooting a very-high 51.0% on those shots.

The Jazz have talked about how the new defense rules have hurt their scheme, but I’m skeptical it’s the true difference between one of the league’s best units a year ago to a middling one right now.

Diving deeper, opponents are drilling non-corner 3s against them, which is mostly random. Further, the Jazz are forcing opponents into mid-rangers at the third-highest rate (good), but opponents are hitting them at a league-high rate (bad).

All this to say: I think the Jazz are likely to see regression, although it’s not clear cut given the rule changes and other factors. Still, this team is talented, especially defensively, and I think it’s only a matter of time before they get back close to the top five in that regard. Bryan Mears

Betting Trends to Know

The Lakers have won eight of their past 10 games. This is just the fourth time LA has accomplished the feat since the 2012-13 season. The Lakers are a public team, meaning oddsmakers tend to inflate their lines, especially when the team is on a hot streak. Since 2005, when the Lakers have won eight of 10 games, the team has gone 36-52-1 (41%) against the spread in their next game.John Ewing

As John mentioned, the Lakers recently have been rolling, which is not a huge surprise considering the start they got off to with LeBron James and a new lineup. Over their last seven games, the Lakers have outscored their opponents by 5.1 PPG and are 6-1 straight-up.

Since 2005, the Lakers are 104-124-3 ATS (45.6%) when outscoring their opponents by at least 5 points per game over a seven-game span, losing bettors 25 units, making the Lakers the third-least profitable franchise in the NBA in this spot. 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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