NBA Betting Preview – Jazz vs. Nuggets

A very good Western Conference matchup awaits us tonight when the Jazz host the Nuggets. Both teams are playoff teams, and both are good, but can Denver give Utah their first loss of the year, on the 2nd night of a back-to-back? Let’s find out. 

Jazz Betting Preview:

The Utah Jazz is looking like a team on a mission after last year’s debacle against the Clippers. It wasn’t so much the defeat overall that stung. It was more so the way they lost the series when they had everything going for them. So far this season, the Jazz have looked like arguably the best team in the league. Not very shocking considering the continuity they have for years but what’s been especially impressive was their league-best defense so far. Obviously, it’s a very small sample size, but that defensive effort might prove key against a very potent offensive team in the Nuggets. 

Utah had one of the best offenses last year that was very clinical and efficient. It’s quite an impressive feat considering the talent on offense for the Jazz is nothing special. There are quite a few limited players, and early on in this season, it’s showing. They are only 18th on that side of the ball, but it takes time to get the team humming. The defense indicates the team is committed to playing hard, and the effort is there. 


Nuggets Betting Preview:

The Nuggets are doing what they did last year when Jamal Murray was out, and that’s winning games. Nobody quite expected the team to post a positive record once Murray went down, but they did, and most of that came down to the MVP season of Nikola Jokic. The Serb is great once again, but the rest of the team is also very motivated. A broom by Phoenix activated their pride, and the team so far has looked locked in. Their defense, in particular, is especially impressive, being the 7th best as of now. On offense, it’s not yet as fluid as they would like it to be, but Nikola Jokic is significant enough to allow them to win games until they click correctly. 

They did lose a game in Cleveland last night against a very pesky Cavs team that shut them down. Denver failed to hit the 100 points mark, and they could not compensate with their defense to make it close. Against Utah, they will need to do much better, but it will be tough.

Key matchups

Gobert – Jokic

One of the fascinating matchups in the league today is Gobert – Jokic. One an MVP, one a multiple DPOY. So who has the edge here? Well, it’s Jokic and by a wide margin. No player posted better numbers against Gobert than Jokic as the Serbian’s finesse play simply exposes all the weaknesses of Gobert’s defensive game, no matter how minimal they are. 

Jokic gets especially dangerous when he takes the ball outside to the midrange or the three where Gobert can’t do anything. Elbow Jokic for Denver will be key, especially with the likes of Barton enjoying a few good cuts. 


Mitchell – Barton

What can’t Donovan Mitchell do? It’s a concise list of things, and against Barton, he should have the advantage. Utah will need his points and playmaking if they want to send Denver back home with an L. Mitchell, one of the most polarizing offensive players in the league, isn’t shooting the ball very well right now (35%), but his overall bravado should open things up for his teammates. If Utah hits all their shots, they will be in good shape. 

Jazz – Nuggets – betting lines

The Jazz is heavily favored in this one (-7), and that is simply because Denver is coming from Cleveland on the 2nd night of a back-to-back. Utah is also at home, so that factors in as well. The points are set at 219, which seems accurate at the moment considering both teams sport top 10 defenses so far.

Free Betting Pick

Okay, so this comes down to how much you trust the Jazz. They are 2-0, and they played so far as the best team in the league. They have continuity and look comfortable on both sides of the ball. Denver has also looked good, but a visit to Salt Lake City on the 2nd night of a very physical and low-scoring game seems too much to overcome. 

The line at -7 is high but go for it if you trust the Jazz to cover. Everything is on their side to make this a no contest. When it comes to the points, that’s an interesting one. Posting 87 points against the Cavs is a very bad look for the Nuggets, and with Utah having the best defense in the league right now, this looks like more as an under.

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