Utah Trying to Get Back Into Play-in
The Milwaukee Bucks are holding on to the No.1 seed in the Eastern Conference, playing well and deserving of the best NBA Finals odds. Conversely, the Utah Jazz are struggling to keep their NBA playoff odds alive through the Play-In. The teams will meet on Friday in Utah.
The Bucks dominated the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, winning 130-94, with Giannis Antetokounmpo only needing 24 minutes to score 31 points. Meanwhile, the Jazz lost their game to the Portland Trail Blazers, 127-115. Despite Lauri Markkanen scoring 40 points, the team is now 12th in the Western Conference.
Bucks Want to Stay No.1
The Bucks sit atop the East with 10 more games left, including three more back-to-back series. This last stretch will be crucial if the team wants to remain the No.1 seed and possibly keep the more favorable path to the Eastern Conference Finals and win their second championship in three years.
Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded 31 points and 14 rebounds last night despite playing just 23 minutes and 46 seconds.
He became the 1st player in Bucks history to record 30 points and 10 rebounds while playing under 25 minutes in a game. pic.twitter.com/Y1z7ne8n32
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 23, 2023
If Milwaukee can keep playing the way it has been, this shouldn’t be hard. While Antetokounmpo is in a three-man race again for the MVP, the NBA lines could keep shifting in his direction. His last game does not hurt his cause, putting up staggering numbers and sitting out the final quarter.
There is something special about this team, and since Khris Middleton has been back in the starting lineup, it’s much easier to notice. In the last seven games he has started, he’s averaging 20 points and 7.7 assists. The creation for others has been an added wrinkle into his game, having averaged 5.4 assists per game over the last two seasons.
Jazz Drop Out Of Play-In
The Western Conference Play-In could be one of the more interesting stories in the NBA news, and the Jazz are right in the thick of things. They may have just fallen out of the Play-In spot but remain one game away from at least eighth place. The loss to the Trail Blazers was a big blow to their standings, especially getting such a good night from Markkanen.
A look at the Western Conference standings in the NBA after tonight’s action:
◽️ Mavs lose to Warriors
◽️ Timberwolves beat Hawks
◽️ Jazz lose to Trail Blazers
◽️ Lakers beat Suns pic.twitter.com/XilTVubKvx
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) March 23, 2023
At this moment, nearly every game is a must-win to keep Utah’s hopes alive. The Jazz have done a great job of staying relevant, but that seems to be slipping away. They have played as a group most of the season, but the offense has suffered with guards Jordan Clarkson and Collin Sexton injured.
Outside Markkanen, the two guards have been a big part of the Jazz’s seventh-best offensive rating. That makes it much less likely for them to hang on and stay in the Play-In race.
Bucks vs Jazz Game Injuries
Bucks vs Jazz Head-to-Head
The Bucks faced the Jazz in Milwaukee on Dec. 17, winning 123-97, with key players missing. The Bucks also beat the Jazz last season on the road, but Utah had a much different team.
Bucks vs Jazz Game Information
- Game: Bucks (52-20) vs Jazz (35-37)
- Location: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
- Day/Time: Friday, March 24, 9:00 p.m. EST
- Bucks vs Jazz Live Stream: NBA Game Pass
Bucks vs Jazz Betting Lines
Bucks vs Jazz Picks and Prediction
Before the Bucks beat the Spurs, they struggled against the spread. But in that game, they coved a 19-point spread easily, which might make them an easy decision for NBA picks when facing the Jazz.
The Bucks hit a little bump in the road but seem to be back to normal, looking to close out the season with the best record in the East, maybe the league.
The Milwaukee Bucks are listed at -450 in our Vegas NBA lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Bucks, you have a chance to win $22. The Utah Jazz is +340, offering a chance to win $340 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Milwaukee Bucks an 81.82% chance to win, with the Utah Jazz at 22.73%.