If the season ended today, the Utah Jazz would be in the playoffs, as they occupy the 8th spot in the Western Conference playoff queue. They have won seven consecutive games at home, and beat the San Antonio Spurs the last two times they played in Salt Lake City. On Thursday night they will try to keep their good fortune on the home floor going, and at the same time get some payback for two losses they suffered at the hands of the Spurs, with game time at 10:35 PM ET at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Even after the opening tipoff, BetAnySports customers can take advantage of the chance to challenge the NBA odds in real-time through the facilities of Live Betting Extra.
Utah has a 28-28 straight-of record, and during this seven-game home winning streak, they have allowed only 88 points per game. But San Antonio soared well above that in the last two meetings between these two squads. Granted, both of those were at AT&T Center, but the 118-81 and 123-98 victories were decisive, to say the least. Collectively, the Spurs shot 58.4% in those games, so if there was a better opportunity for some payback, or the occasion to get it for the Jazz, we couldn’t come up with one.
A couple of notes about those two previous meetings, however; San Antonio was missing LaMarcus Aldridge and Tony Parker in the second game, while Rudy Gobert, the artful shot blocker for the Jazz, has had to sit out both of the previous encounters. Derrick Favors, the power forward, missed the last.
In the NBA odds posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Spurs are laying points on the road:
San Antonio Spurs -3 Utah Jazz +3
Over 193 points -110 Under 193 points -110
The presence of Gobert is critical for Utah, considering that the Jazz are going to be relying on their defense to get them to the playoffs. The “French Rejection” has averaged 2.5 blocks per game. And speaking of defense, San Antonio, which sports a 48-9 record, leaving them only 3.5 games behind Golden State Warriors, has it in droves. To begin with, they have allowed only 92.7 points per game, which best figure in the NBA, and they have no less than seven players in the top 15 in the category of “Defensive Rating.”
One of those players his Kawhi Leonard, the reigning NBA Defensive player of the Year, but he has been bothered lately with a calf injury, and getting on the floor tonight constitute back-to-back games for him. We know how judicious coach Gregg Popovich is when it comes to allocating minutes, especially with players who can use some rest, so BetAnySports patrons would want to keep an eye on that situation. His presence is just as critical to San Antonio as Gobert’s is to Utah, as he would be responsible for Gordon Hayward, the high-scoring forward for the Jazz who has shot 34% against the Spurs over the last nine.
San Antonio is currently in the midst of its “rodeo road trip,” and they have won five of their six games so far of his extended “journey.” On Wednesday night, they beat Sacramento 108-92, with Leonard scoring 18 points.
Keep in mind that San Antonio lost both of the games they played in Salt Lake City last season, so laying points in this hostile venue, with the possibility that Leonard is not 100%, could fall into the category of “risky business.”
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