Nuggets & Jazz Look to Make Playoff Noise
Two of the NBA’s best small-market teams will finally get to show their stuff on the national stage this Thursday when the Denver Nuggets (42-18 SU, 33-27 ATS) host the Utah Jazz (34-26 SU, 31-27-2 ATS). The Nuggets are near the top of the Western Conference, while the Jazz are in sixth place at press time.
The Nuggets have made great strides over the past four years under head coach Mike Malone. They’re not as fast as other teams, but they play with effort on defense. They have one of the league’s leading MVP candidates in center Nikola Jokic, also in his fourth year in the NBA. Jokic is putting up 23.3 points, 12.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists per 36 minutes this season.
On Thursday, Jokic will run into Rudy Gobert, the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Gobert (17.4 points, 14.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.5 blocks/36) is the anchor of this Jazz ensemble. He absolutely should have been invited to the All-Star Game. Unfortunately, his team lacks overall scoring punch outside of Donovan Mitchell (24.4 points/36), leaving them in danger of missing the playoffs entirely.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
The Jazz's Donovan Mitchell scored 32 points against the Clippers. He has poured in 20 or more in 20 of his last 21 contests. Mitchell was 10-for-22 from the field and 9-for-12 from the free-throw line. The 12 attempts matched his second-highest total of the season. Ricky Rubio (hamstring) departed the victory over the Clippers and his availability for Thursday contest is uncertain.
The Nuggets All-Star center Nikola Jokic recorded 36 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds to narrowly miss his 13th triple-double of the season in the win over the Thunder. Jokic the leading reason why Denver has turned into one of the top teams in the West. Will Barton scored 23 points against Oklahoma City after recording just three versus the Clippers two nights earlier.
PREDICTION: Nuggets 114, Jazz 105
NBA Betting Odds & Trends
|Utah is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games|
|Utah is 14-5 SU in its last 19 games|
|The total has gone OVER in 7 of Utah's last 10 games|
|Utah is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games on the road|
|Utah is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games on the road|
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Utah's last 5 games on the road|
|Utah is 10-5 SU in its last 15 games when playing Denver|
|The total has gone UNDER in 13 of Utah's last 15 games when playing Denver|
|Utah is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Denver|
|Utah is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Denver|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Utah's last 5 games when playing on the road against Denver|
|Denver is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games|
|Denver is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Denver's last 6 games|
|Denver is 8-1 ATS in its last 9 games at home|
|Denver is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home|
|The total has gone OVER in 8 of Denver's last 11 games at home|
|Denver is 7-13-1 ATS in its last 21 games when playing Utah|
|Denver is 5-10 SU in its last 15 games when playing Utah|
|The total has gone UNDER in 13 of Denver's last 15 games when playing Utah|
|Denver is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing at home against Utah|
|Denver is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Utah|
|The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Denver's last 5 games when playing at home against Utah|
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