Meeting for the third time on the season, the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets have split the season series so far and sit at 1 game apiece heading into this swing game. Ricky Rubio on the Jazz is questionable tonight after leaving last game with an injury while Trey Lyles has been ruled out for the Nuggets.
The biggest key to the turnaround of the Utah Jazz has been the offensive play of Donovan Mitchell. While Mitchell slumped a bit to start his sophomore campaign since the new year he has been posting the gaudiest scoring lines of his young career. Averaging over 25 points per game in 2019 to go along with a 31.7 average since the All-Star break. Coinciding with the improved play of Mitchell has been a strong run from the Jazz. Going 16-7 since the calendar turned to 2019, the Jazz have surged above .500 and look the part of a serious playoff contender again.
The Denver Nuggets have steadily been a force on the year. Outside of a 4 game losing streak in November and a 3 game losing streak in early February, the Nuggets have been nearly unbeatable both at home and on the road. Behind the MVP caliber play of Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets employ a unique offensive attack focused on allowing Jokic to distribute the ball from the elbow. Jokic
Utah Jazz vs Denver Nuggets Betting Line & Over/Under
(All odds courtesy of Oddsshark.com)
- Utah Jazz (34-26) vs Denver Nuggets (42-18)
- Thursday, February 28th at 10:30 pm ET
- Point Spread: Denver Nuggets (-7)
- Point Total: 225
Utah Jazz vs Denver Nuggets Betting Prediction
Despite the Jazz being known for having a formidable defense, they’ve recently found themselves in shootouts against some of the better offenses in the league. The Nugget’s Nikola Jokic led attack is one of the league’s most efficient and versatile in the league and should be able to put up points on the notoriously stingy Jazz. Gary Harris continues to round back into form for the Nuggets and should be able to add another dynamic and athletic scorer to the mix while Jamal Murray also looks closer to his old self following the All-Star break.
With Mitchell taking another step towards being an elite scorer, the Jazz don’t have to rely on holding teams to less than 100 points and have an offensive weapon that can help keep them in high scoring affairs. Never one to back down from the moment, Mitchell is trusted (and comes through) closing out games for the Jazz. Rudy Gobert continues to be an underrated defensive force whose screens do wonders to get Mitchell open looks.
Despite the Jazz’s reputation as a team that grinds games out, they actually play at a middle of the road pace offensively. The Nuggets don’t play at the fastest pace, but they also have been without dynamic athletes Murray and Harris for extended periods of time. Murray and Harris are instrumental pieces to the Nuggets transition game and the offense looks a lot faster with them in the mix. Look for the wealth of Nugget offensive weapons to steadily wear down the Jazz defense and force them into a shootout.
Pick: Over 225