The Los Angeles Lakers have struggled in Salt Lake City. Despite winning 11 of their last 12 games overall, LA has lost 11 of 12 at Vivint Smart Home Arena as they renew acquaintances with the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. Utah is returning home after a rough 1-4 road trip in which they lost to some of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, the Bucks, 76ers, and Raptors. The Lakers are playing the second game of a back-to-back after defeating the Denver Nuggets 105-96 on Tuesday.
Anthony Davis battled through flu-like symptoms and took an IV at halftime, but still scored 13 of his 25 points in the third quarter. Lebron James added 25 points, nine rebounds, and six assists. The Lakers are tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for the best record in the NBA at 18-3.
ESPN’s FPI gives the Jazz a 57.5% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Wednesday’s Western Conference showdown between the Lakers and Jazz.
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Lakers vs. Jazz Game Details
Date: Wednesday, December 4
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
Location: Vivint Smart Home Arena (Salt Lake City, Utah)
TV: NBATV, Spectrum SportsNet, AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain
Spread: Jazz -3
This line opened at a pick-em and has been bet to Jazz -2.5 at most books despite the majority of bets and money coming in on the Lakers. This indicates a sharp reverse line movement favoring Utah.
- Lakers are 18-3 SU and 12-9 ATS this season
- Jazz are 12-9 SU and 8-13 ATS this season
- Under is 13-8 in Lakers games this season
- Under is 13-8 in Jazz games this season
Analysis & Picks
This is a tough spot for the Lakers. One night after a grueling victory at altitude over a tough opponent, they must do it again. The line value here is clearly on the Lakers as you’re getting one of the best team’s in the league as an underdog against a middling opponent. But we also don’t know how much AD and Lebron will play considering the workload for both on Tuesday in Denver. Utah has one of the best defense in the league and the Lakers will not be in any hurry to run with tired legs on night two of a back-to-back. As much as I hate the cliche “trap line” in sports betting, it is pertinent here as all of the money has been flowing to the Lakers. Despite my contrarian style, I don’t think the I can back the Jazz here either as I don’t trust their offense to score enough points regardless of how many minutes Lebron and AD play. My favorite play here is the under, as I expect Utah to be sluggish as well in their first game home after a long road trip. Grab the total now before it most likely drops by game time.
PICK: Under 209.5 (-110)
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith