Jazz vs. Nets Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via . Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
With just a few weeks left in the NBA regular season, every game has playoff implications.
The Utah Jazz are looking to maintain home court in the first round of the playoffs and are red-hot, winning three straight games and four out last five. They are looking to complete the New York City sweep as they take on the Brooklyn Nets after their 108-93 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday night.
The Brooklyn Nets are just fighting for a chance to make the postseason, sitting four games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, likely needing to win a play-in game in order to make the postseason. Nevertheless, the Nets host the Jazz, and oddsmakers have installed the hometown Nets as 1.5-point underdogs with a total of 229.5.
So where is the betting value for this matchup?
Let’s analyze both sides and find out!
Jazz May Have to Outscore the Nets
The Utah Jazz are surging after winning three straight games and four out of their last five and are just 1.5 games behind the Golden State Warriors for the third seed in the Western Conference.
Since the All-Star Break, the Jazz are 9-4 with the seventh-best Net Rating (7.0) behind an Offensive Rating of (118.2) and a Defensive Rating of (111.3), both of which are in the top 10 among NBA teams.
Despite injuries to Bojan Bogdanovic (calf) and Danuel House Jr. (knee), the Jazz aren’t just winning these games, they’re blowing teams out of the water with their margin of victory in their last three games coming by 15 points or more.
Injuries could be a major factor in tonight’s game against the Nets as they will be missing Bogdanovic, House and Mike Conley (knee), who has struggled in the month of March, averaging just 10.5 points on 31% shooting. Without Conley we should see increased minutes from Jordan Clarkson and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, whom they acquired at the trade deadline along with Juancho Hernangomez.
Despite the absence of Bogdanovic, House and Conley, the Jazz will likely find it easy to score against a Nets defense which ranks towards the bottom of the league. The Jazz are first in half court points per 100 possessions per CleaningTheGlass.com (100.6), and a big part of that is the stellar play of Donovan Mitchell who returned from a right calf contusion to score 36 points on 11-21 shooting with eight rebounds, six assists and one steal against the Knicks last night.
The Jazz take the highest frequency of 3-point field goals (43.6%) and face a Nets team which is 18th in opponent 3-point shooting frequency (36.7%), so they should see a ton of open looks.
Although the Jazz do have Rudy Gobert who is the three-time Defensive Player of the Year, their biggest concern in this matchup is on defense where they will be tasked with slowing down Kevin Durant.
Without Bogdanovic and House or Joe Ingles, whom they traded away at the deadline, this is not a team stacked with athletic wings who can make him work on both ends of the floor. Rudy Gay is an option, but it’s clear the Jazz have their work cut out for them dealing with arguably the game’s best player.
Nets Need a Huge Game from Durant
The Brooklyn Nets sit in eighth place in the Eastern Conference and are four games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for the sixth seed. With just 11 games to play and the Nets being three games behind the Raptors, they will likely need to win a play-in game in order to make the postseason. This is far from what we expected from a team which started the season expecting to have a big three featuring Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving.
Durant has played at an MVP level for much of this season, proving he can carry this team regardless of the presence of another star next to him. The Nets have a 29-15 record with Durant in the lineup this season, and without a 3-17 skid in his absence, this is likely a top seed in the East.
Fortunately for the Nets, Durant is back and they’ve won five out of their last six games, with their only loss coming on a Spencer Dinwiddie buzzer-beater against the Dallas Mavericks.
This is a Nets home game, so once again, the Nets will be without Irving, and this team finds itself in a precarious position here as a team with a lower power rating at home than on the road. Since the All-Star break, the Nets are just 2-4 at home, ranking 29th in Net Rating (-10.3) behind an Offensive Rating of 112.6 (18th) and a Defensive Rating of 122.9 (28th).
On the road, the Nets are 4-2 since the All-Star Break with the second-best Net Rating (13.4), behind a league best 126.2 Offensive Rating and a Defensive Rating of 112.8, which is 13th among NBA teams. The home-road splits are absolutely devastating, but it speaks to how terrifying the Durant-Irving duo is.
Although there’s no Irving, the Dragic-Curry-Brown-Durant-Drummond starting lineup has played 47 possessions, outscoring opposing teams by a whopping 23.2 points per 100 possessions behind an Offensive Rating of 134 and a Defensive Rating of 110.9.
In addition, the Nets are outscoring opposing teams by 6.1 points per 100 possessions with Durant on the floor this season, and he faces an ideal matchup against a Jazz team without the wings to slow him down. Boston’s Jayson Tatum put up 37 points on 12-of-25 shooting in their matchup back in December. LeBron James lit the Jazz up for 33 points on 14-23 shooting in a rare Lakers win in February.
Nonetheless, you can expect a monster performance from Durant in this game, and that may be enough to help the Nets get a win should they be able to do anything on defense. The Nets are actually 11th in Defensive Rating (114.0) over the past two weeks, so they may be able to slow down this shorthanded Jazz team just enough for their offense to carry them home.
There’s a gigantic edge on this total which oddsmakers have opened at 229.5. My model actually makes this game 240 with neither team having a prayer of slowing down the other.
As far as the side, I do think the Nets have an edge in this matchup facing a shorthanded Jazz team that is playing on a back-to back. Scheduling spot aside, a big part of their edge is Kevin Durant. Unlike any other sport, one player can drastically impact the game, and with Durant facing a team with a lack of wings, we could see him almost singlehandedly carry the Nets to a victory.
With the Dragic-Curry-Brown-Durant-Drummond starting lineup outscoring teams by a whopping 23.2 points per 100 possessions, and the Jazz playing shorthanded on a back-to-back, I’ll take the Nets here at +1.5 along with the over 229.5 and Durant’s point total to go over 31.5 points.
Pick: Over 229.5 | Nets +1.5 | Kevin Durant Over 31.5 points