The superstars are out in force on Thursday when the visiting Utah Jazz square off against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Donovan Mitchell has been leading the way for the Jazz, who are leading the Northwest Division. However, Joel Embiid and Philadelphia return home after a successful road trip.
NBA betting markets have the Jazz as -3 road favorites for the headline game.
- Game: Utah Jazz (17-7) at Philadelphia 76ers (14-11)
- Location: Wells Fargo Center
- Day/Time: Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
- Television: NBATV
Utah Jazz vs Philadelphia 76ers
Jazz Sweeping All Comers
The Utah Jazz are 17-7 following five consecutive wins over New Orleans, Portland, Boston, Cleveland and Minnesota.
The Western Conference powerhouse only narrowly survived against a pesky Cavaliers team, but the other four wins were impressive.
They scored at least 127 points in four of the wins, and when the Jazz score at that clip, they’re tough to beat.
Ranked second in the NBA on offense, the Jazz could sweep the Sixers off their home court. Philadelphia’s offense has been struggling with only 107.1 points per game, so if Utah hits its average of 114.9 points, it covers the spread.
However, despite being 17-7, the Jazz are 12-12 against the spread, which is not the most impressive record, .
The 109-108 win against Cleveland was a loss for spread bettors, but with the sportsbook offering a -3 line against the 76ers, it could play in Utah’s favor, especially if Mitchell drops 35 points again.
His offense, and a good stop on the last possession of the game from Mike Conley, was enough to get the job done against Cleveland.
“That last possession, I knew it was going to go to him because I’ve known J.B. (Bickerstaff) as a head coach for quite awhile,” Conley told ESPN. “I just tried to stay up as high as I could and make sure it was contested. I told him (Garland), it was like playing against myself.”
The Jazz won the first meeting against the 76ers 120-85. It was a thrashing, so a similar result could be in the cards.
76ers Hanging Tough
It hasn’t been exceptional basketball from the Philadelphia 76ers, but scoring three consecutive wins is a step in the right direction.
A gutsy 98-96 win over the Atlanta Hawks was followed by two straight wins over Charlotte on the road. The first came in overtime before hanging on to win 110-106 on Wednesday.
Much like the Jazz, Philadelphia hasn’t been as impressive at covering spreads. However, it’s 4-0 against the spread in the last four meetings in Philadelphia and 7-2 in the last nine meetings overall.
That should give the 76ers confidence ahead of a big Western Conference vs Eastern Conference matchup.
“It’s tough to beat the same team twice no matter what the situation is,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. “We did that. I thought we just hung in there. I thought there were times where we could’ve pulled away and there was a turnover or a missed defensive assignment here or there. But I will take the win.”
Embiid comes off a 32-point performance, which could be needed again to beat Utah. The 76ers’ offense has struggled, and although they are 12th on defense, Utah ranks sixth.
Betting online markets have the 76ers as home underdogs, which is a rare occurrence.
Drum Roll for Jazz
Backing against the 76ers at home hasn’t been a good bet in the past, but times have changed.
The 76ers are only 5-5 at Wells Fargo Center, and without Ben Simmons, there is a lack of premium guard play.
Therefore, we’re confident in the Utah Jazz covering the -3 spread. They are the fresher team and we think the offense could have a big outing.
We also like over 217½, as we’re predicting the Jazz to score around 120 points. It should be enough for the over and spread to cash.