The Nuggets are the favorite to win this one despite playing on the road. They are -270 to win, while the moneyline for the Jazz sits at +220. The spread features Utah as 6.5-point underdogs (-110).
Top Seeded Nuggets To Rest Stars
As they play their second-to-last game on Saturday, the Denver Nuggets have already clinched the Western Conference. As a result, the roster for the Nuggets may be a little thin in this one as they rest their superstars.
In fact, Nikola Jokic, Aaron Gordon, Jamaal Murray, Michael Porter Jr, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are listed as questionable, but they aren’t expected to play. Bruce Brown Jr and Reggie Jackson are probable.
In fact, those same five didn’t play in their last game against the Suns, but both Brown and Jackson had phenomenal games. Brown had 31 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Jackson added 20 points, six assists, and three rebounds.
On the season, the Nuggets rank 12th in scoring, averaging 115.9 points per game (112.2 on the road). Defensively, they rank 10th, allowing 112.6 points per game. Still, with the stars out, those rankings should be taken with a grain of salt.
Utah’s Season Coming To A Close
With the playoffs unattainable for the Utah Jazz, they are simply trying to get through their last two games at this point. Defying expectations early on, the Jazz struggled down the stretch and have now lost eight of their last ten.
Like the Nuggets, don’t expect many of their starters to play in this one. Their top three scorers, Lauri Markkanen, Jordan Clarkson, and Collin Sexton, have all been ruled out for this one.
In their last game, they were obliterated by the Oklahoma City Thunder 114-98. In the loss, Kris Dunn led the way with 22 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds. Kelly Olynyk also had a nice game as he had a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds.
Utah ranks 25th in scoring defense this season, allowing opponents an average of 117.9 points per game. In terms of scoring, they rank seventh in the league, averaging 117.1 points per game.
Take Utah And The Points
Looking at the trends, Denver is 1-4 in their last five games. They are also 2-6 both straight up and against the spread in their last eight against the Jazz.
As for Utah, they are just 1-8 in their last nine games, but they are 4-1 against the spread in their last five. Furthermore, they are 15-2 in their last 17 home games against the Nuggets.
Needless to say, this one won’t be the most exciting NBA game of the season with so many stars sitting on the bench. Since there will be so much unpredictability with the rosters, though, this creates a lot of value for the Jazz playing at home.
It might be some ugly basketball, but don’t be surprised if the Jazz are at least able to keep this one close in the battle of the benches. Take Utah +6.5 (-110).