Jazz vs. Lakers Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
This Western Conference clash features two teams going in opposite directions. This will be the final game for both the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers before the All-Star Break. Both teams will have a few players taking part in the All-Star Weekend festivities in Cleveland, Ohio.
The status of LeBron James will be pivotal in choosing which bet to take tonight. He is questionable to play as he deals with a knee injury. He may be checked out and looking forward to getting home for All-Star Break.
With or without James tonight, there is value on the Jazz. Let’s break down both sides of this matchup.
Can the Jazz Make it Seven-Straight Victories?
The Jazz have been the model of consistency yet again. They have won six-straight games as they look to get one more victory before the All-Star Break.
The most profitable bet recently for the Jazz has been the under, which has hit in 11 of their last 16 games. Getting Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell back from injury has been key for the Jazz on both ends of the floor. They may not always get along, but this duo has been very solid playing together. Gobert leads the league in rebounds, while Mitchell ranks sixth in Usage Rate.
Outside of the Gobert and Mitchell duo, the Jazz have a very well rounded veteran team. They have five players who average double figures in points with Bojan Bogdanovic, Mike Conley, and Jordan Clarkson. Between the three of them, they average 47.4 points per game while all shoot over 32% from downtown. The Jazz lead the league in 3-pointers made with 14.6 per game.
It may be a little bit surprising, but the Jazz actually lead the league in scoring with 114 points per game. As a team they shoot 46.3% from the field and 36.1% from behind the arc. They also average the most free throws made with 17.9 per game. It helps that Gobert is shooting a career-high 69% at the line.
This is a great matchup for the Jazz offense as the Lakers rank fourth in both points allowed and pace this season. The Jazz have a distinct advantage offensively simply by their ball movement alone. The Lakers allow 36.7 3-point attempts per game, the ninth-highest mark in the league.
Will LeBron James Play Before All-Star Weekend?
There hasn’t been a more disappointing team in the NBA this season than the Los Angeles Lakers. They have lost seven of their last nine games and have fallen all the way to the eighth seed, barely clinging to a playoff spot.
Despite their poor record, the Lakers are 17-13 at home. They have only been underdogs at home in five of their 30 games. They were home underdogs the last time they played against the Jazz and ended up with a 101-95 victory.
There is growing concern that James could miss this game. He is questionable tonight as Carmelo Anthony and Avery Bradley are out. Missing James would obviously be a big deal as the Lakers are just 6-11 without their star player. Seeing as this is the last game for the Lakers before the All-Star Break, I would not be surprised if James sat out. Keep an eye on his status.
If James is able to suit up tonight, that would be very intriguing to take them as a home underdog. James is averaging 29 points per game, which is the best he has had since the 2009-’10 season. He leads the league in field goals made with 11 per game. It is crazy to see what he is doing in his 19th season.
The rest of the Big Three have really struggled this season. Anthony Davis has only played in 63% of the Lakers games while shooting just 16.9% from behind the arc. Russell Westbrook has been even worse as his 18.3 points per game is the lowest he has had since the 2009-’10 season. To Westbrook’s credit he has only missed one game. Both will be relied on heavily if James is out tonight.
This matchup against the Jazz is much tougher with Rudy Gobert back in the lineup. The Jazz rank 10th in Defensive Rating while the Lakers rank fourth in turnovers per game. A big reason for that is Westbrook who ranks fifth in the league in turnovers as he is averaging over four turnovers per game for the fifth-straight year. The Jazz defense doesn’t produce a lot of turnovers, but that won’t stop Westbrook from being careless with the basketball.
A big part of this analysis comes down to the status of James as it should. If he suits up, I like the Lakers to cover the 5.5-point spread. However, with his status up in the air and news likely to come out closer to lock, I think there is still value here to be had on the Jazz side.
Let’s take a look at their team total. The Jazz are implied for 116 points tonight. They lead the league in scoring, but they have failed to score 116 or more points in 12 of their last 14 games. The Lakers defense isn’t that intimidating, but the under for the Jazz has been extremely profitable recently. The two games they scored over 116 points were against the Rockets and Nets.
The Jazz average exactly three points less on the road than at home. I would take this number down to 115 points regardless of the status of LeBron James.
Pick: Jazz Under 116.5 Points