Utah Jazz 2021 NBA Win Total Odds & Pick: Donovan Mitchell & Co. Should Improve
Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Donovan Mitchell
Jazz Win Total Odds
The Case for the Over
Utah was 10th last season in Basketball Reference’s Simple Rating System, which factors strength of schedule vs. point differential. They clocked bad teams, going 33-9 vs. sub-.500 teams, the building block of a 50-win team.
All this despite Mike Conley struggling to acclimate and then suffering an injury, a barebones frontcourt, missing Bojan Bogdanovic in the bubble and playoffs, and of course, all the mess that came once COVID hit.
The tension between Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell seems to have settled and Mitchell signed his max extension.
Utah finished ninth in offensive rating but fell to 13th in defensive rating last season. That was the first time in three seasons the Jazz haven’t been top-five and the first time in four seasons the Jazz haven’t been top-10 in defensive rating.
With Derrick Favors back, I expect the defense to return to one of the best units in the league. They have too much talent on that end not to figure it out.
Conley looked to have settled in by the time the playoffs rolled around. Getting Bogdanovic, their leading scorer, back will help as well. Utah can grind out wins vs. the big bad defensive squads and win shootouts vs. the top teams. Mitchell showed in the playoffs what he can do when unleashed.
Utah went over in four of the past five seasons before last season’s COVID-disturbed season. There’s every reason to think they get back to being a dominant regular-season team, even if their playoff seeding hopes are somewhat endangered.
The Jazz finished on a 50-win pace last season, despite losing Bogdanovic before the bubble and struggling in Orlando. There’s little reason to think they’ll be worse this season.
The Case for the Under
The Jazz had 11 wins vs. teams over .500, the 10th-most in the West, with 19 losses. They were wretched vs. good teams and against a Western Conference schedule, you’re going to play a lot of good teams.
Mitchell and Gobert have well-documented tension. They have supposedly put all that aside but if the going gets tough, is that situation going to flare up again?
Favors was a big addition, but he had injury issues last season and has a lot of miles on him. The bench remains a mess outside of Jordan Clarkson who comes with his own mess.
Ingles and Conley are 33. Bogdanovic is 31. The supporting cast isn’t getting any better from here on out.
Utah Jazz Win Total Bet
Utah is reliable, something hard to find in preseason markets. They are consistently given modest expectations and routinely surpass them under Quin Snyder. Now, after what was a disappointing season last year, there’s an opportunity to buy low on them.
The over is a best bet for me.