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Jazz vs Nuggets: NBA First-Round Playoff Series Odds, Betting Preview

Who would have believed four months ago we would be gearing up for the start of the NBA playoffs? August 17 marks the opening day of Round 1, courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Western Conference, the No. 3 Utah Jazz (44-28) and No. 6 Denver Nuggets (46-27) first-round game will tip things off. We have this series odds and betting preview to bring you up to speed. Don’t miss your chance to bet on this historic playoff series and more on our sportsbook where you can find the latest NBA betting lines.

We’ll break down how these teams played against each other, how they played in the bubble, and also cover various bets you can make on this series. Be sure to check in for updates on our NBA news page for the most up-to-date information on sportsbook betting as the post-season progresses.

Nikola Jokic looks to lead his Nuggets
Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images/AFP

Jazz vs Nuggets First-Round Series Schedule

Date

Match

Time

Broadcast

Game 1: Monday, Aug. 17 Utah at Denver 1:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 2: Wednesday, Aug. 19 Utah at Denver 4 p.m. ET TNT
Game 3: Friday, Aug. 21 Denver at Utah 4 p.m. ET TNT
Game 4: Sunday, Aug. 23 Denver at Utah 9 p.m. ET TNT
Game 5*: Tuesday, Aug. 25 Utah at Denver TBD TBD
Game 6*: Thursday, Aug. 27 Denver at Utah TBD ESPN
Game 7*: Saturday, Aug. 29 Utah at Denver TBD TNT

Jazz vs Nuggets Head-to-Head

These teams faced each other three times. The Nuggets have been the favorites to win each game as far as betting lines were concerned. In the regular season,  they swept the Jazz.

Let’s take a quick look at each game and look at the point spread to provide you with research and information when determining how you want to place your bets for this series.

On Jan. 30, the point spread was set at Denver +2.5. The Nugget defeated the Jazz, 106-100, easily covering. Denver shot 40-of-85 from the field while the Jazz shot 36-of-78.

Next up was Feb. 5.  By this time the odds had significantly changed and the spread was set at Denver +10. The Nuggets were victorious again, winning 98-95. It was a slow game with Denver only shooting 36 of 86 from the field and Utah shooting 39 of 90.

Their final matchup was in the bubble on Aug. 8. The point spread was +1 for Denver. This exciting game went into overtime with the Nuggets edging the Jazz, 134-132. Denver went 51-of-108 from the field while the Jazz went 47-of-105. Overall, this was an extremely close game and would have been a good bet on the point spread.

You can find these stats and more on our matchup tabs on your NBA betting page. There’s a treasure trove of information there, don’t miss out on this invaluable betting tool we’ve created for our clients. Simply find the game you want to wager on and click on the “matchup” tab under the team totals.

In the Bubble

The Denver Nuggets have been average in the bubble, going 4-4 to end their regular season. We were treated to some exciting play from young players like Bol Bol and Michael Porter Jr. Despite the breakout performances, particularly Porter Jr., Nuggets fans will be missing Gary Harris and Will Barton who are still out indefinitely.

The Jazz are a little harder to pin down. They finished 3-5 but seemed intent on avoiding a first-round matchup with the Houston Rockets, who have taken them out in the playoffs two years running. An interesting bubble statistic — the Jazz lost four games by less than 10 points. This was accomplished with their starters sitting out large portions of games. It will be a different team coming into the playoffs.

Nuggets Breakdown

Enough can’t be said about young star Porter. He emerged from the bubble averaging 22 ppg, 8.6 rebounds and shot 42.3% from 3-point land. Who knows what they are feeding him at his hotel, but the improvement to his regular-season stats is impressive. We’ll see if he can continue this trend now that playtime is over and the playoffs are getting underway. It will be a big test for this young player.

In order for Denver to keep its winning streak against the Jazz, Nikola Jokic will have to step up his game against Rudy Gobert. The Serbian center has left fans wanting in the bubble. Overall when these players have started against each other, Gobert won 8 out of 14 matchups. This season Jokic has won all three and averaged well over 25 points in those games.

A wild card in this series will be Bol Bol off the bench. The young center had flashes of brilliance in Florida and will be a key asset if he can make meaningful contributions against the Utah Jazz.

Jazz Breakdown

The biggest concern for the Utah Jazz is the depth of the bench. Their starting five have been playing well, outscoring opponents by 30 points in 84 bubble minutes. In an effort to avoid the Houston Rockets, they gave their starters plenty of time to rest and gave their backup players lots of time on the court to prepare for the playoffs. Considering that they have lost by small margins consistently in Florida, they will be much more formidable with the extra playtime we will likely see from their starters.

Since the restart, Gobert has been the MVP for the Jazz. Gobert has been posting solid numbers in the bubble averaging 15.3 ppg, 11.0 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game. He’ll have to keep this up in order to increase Utah’s Western Conference odds.

Donovan Mitchell, Utah’s star player, will have to continue to lead his team with the loss of Bojan Bogdanovic. He has played well in Florida, particularly in the game against Denver where he scored a game-high 35 points. It wasn’t enough to carry his team, but if he plays like that all throughout the series, he will give the Jazz a fighting chance.

NBA Championship Odds

Before the season began the Denver Nuggets’ odds to win the NBA Championship was set at +2000. The odds haven’t changed and they are still sitting at +2000. This is due to the fact that although they have had a strong season, compared to some of the top teams in the running they are still far from a favorite to go all the way.

The Utah Jazz have had a different trajectory and not in a positive way. They started out the season at +1300 to win the NBA Championship. Currently, our website has them at +5000. This can only be attributed to the loss of Bogdanovic. In simple terms, it would take a miracle for them to win the Championship this year.

Odds To Win Series

With Denver already beating Utah 3-0 as far as their regular-season series, it’s hard to see how the Jazz could beat the Nuggets in this opening-round series. They could surprise us since they will likely give their starting five a lot more minutes, but the odds are clearly stacked against them.

Here are the series odds:

  • Utah Jazz: +190
  • Denver Nuggets: -230

Jazz vs Nuggets First Round Prediction: Denver in 6

The odds are that the Jazz will put up a good fight since they’ve been underplaying their best players since the restart. Looking at the stats though, it’s pretty clear considering the previous matchups that the Nuggets are the superior team going into this series.

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