The Utah Jazz look for an emphatic win this Monday at home when they host the reeling San Antonio Spurs. Utah is a seven-point online sports betting favorite and should be able to handle business at the Vivint Smart Home Arena where they are 27-4.
The last time they faced each other, Utah (46-18) blew out San Antonio by 21 points in their own arena. The Jazz were 5½-point favorites. Even without G Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell, Utah should be able to make short work of San Antonio (31-32).
Spurs: Road Dogs
There was a point where you could pencil the Spurs in for 50 wins in an 82-game season. But those days are long gone. And even if San Antonio will finish above .500 and make the playoffs this season, they are far from being a threat.
The Spurs are obviously not a title contender. But even more telling is their 11-22 record against teams .500 and above. San Antonio is 5-9 against the top five teams in the West being essentially 1-2 against each of them (save for Phoenix).
What is interesting is how the Spurs are 4-3 when playing on the road against these elite teams. The team is 18-12 on the road. It has the tenth-best offense as several of its key players, like G/F DeMar DeRozan, play better.
The four-time All-Star is averaging 22.3 points, 8.4 assists, and is a +3.2 on the road compared to just 21.2 points, 6.5 assists, and -4.8 at home. Watch out for San Antonio as a visitor.
Jazz: Home Alone
The Utah Jazz have, for the most part, held on to the top spot in the league thanks to being indomitable at home. Utah’s 27-4 home record is the best in the NBA. They average the best offense and the second-best defense.
Two of their home losses came against Minnesota and one each to Phoenix and Washington. An unlikely mix of teams. But Utah has also beaten Dallas (twice), Milwaukee, and both Los Angeles teams.
The team has perfected “3-and-D” and leads the NBA in three-pointers while allowing the fewest. Plenty of that can be attributed to C Rudy Gobert anchoring the middle. Gobert, along with F/C Derrick Favors, and F Royce O’Neale create one of the toughest frontcourts.
Jordan Clarkson with some Jamal Crawford vibes on this one. Filthy combo.
— Ball Don’t Stop (@balldontstop) May 2, 2021
The Jazz crash the boards aggressively, which helps their defenders clamp down on the perimeter. And on offense, Utah gets significant contributions eight-men deep. G Jordan Clarkson (17.4 points) is a lock to win Sixth Man of the Year while G Joe Ingles remains a deft playmaker. They’ll be fine without Conley and Mitchell.
Despite being near untouchable all season, the Jazz have been fading lately. Utah is only 6-4 in its last ten and needed that win over Toronto. Fortunately for it, five of its remaining eight games are at home. It gets two winnable games against the Spurs and can build its mojo back up.
The Spurs are a dangerous team on the road, especially when DeRozan is getting the offense humming. San Antonio plays efficiently and it says a lot that they’re ranked 18th in offense when hitting the third-fewest threes in the league.
But therein lies part of the problem. The Jazz are a prolific three-point shooting team and they can go off on the Spurs like they did in their first meeting. The Spurs have a decent defense, but they’re a bit undersized and will get crushed by the Jazz on the glass-like what happened previously.
At these NBA odds, the Jazz should be able to handle business against the Spurs.
Pick: Utah Jazz -7