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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah Jazz

Los Angeles Lakers (23-19) at Utah Jazz (21-21)

NBA Regular Season: January 11, 2019 @ 10 PM EST (Vivint Smart Home Arena)

Line and Odds: Jazz -8 — Over/Under: 217 

Free ESPN NBA Picks Utah Jazz vs Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers will to travel to Salt Lake City to clash with the Utah Jazz in a western division battle. The Lakers continue to try to stay in the thick of the western conference standings without LeBron James on the court. On the other side, the Jazz are looking to find some consistency in order to propel them over .500 where they currently sit.

Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angles Lakers have been struggling some since LeBron James exited the game early against the Warriors on Christmas Day. The Lakers are 3-5 since King James’ groin injury, but it seems as though they might have figured how to play without him winning their last two games against Dallas and Detroit. A lot of the Lakers’ ability to stay afloat in the west without King James has been coming off the back of Kyle Kuzma who is averaging 22.2 PPG and 5.8 RPG since Christmas. The Lakers are just outside of the top ten in average points per game (112.2) and they rank 17th in points allowed per contest (110.8), but the defense will need to show up in a big road test like this one. The Lakers currently sit 8th in the standings with just two games separating them from the 9th spot, the Utah Jazz. the good news is other than James, the Lakers have not reported any other injuries for this game, which is big in road games. The Lakers are around .500 on the road so far going 9-11 away from Los Angeles. That record could improve but it certainly isn’t terrible considering most losses on the road have come from the top teams in the West. The Lakers will look to remain hot tonight in Utah as well as create some separation from the Jazz.

Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz have had somewhat of a disappointing start to this season at 21-21 and ninth in the conference. Utah is 6-4 in their last game with a thirteen point win in their last outing against the Orlando magic. Donavan Mitchell continues to be a huge contributor for the Jazz averaging 20.7 PPG and shooting 41% from the field. Mitchell is starting to really find a groove as of late averaging 24 PPG in his previous 5 games and scoring 33 his last time on the court. Another key player for the Jazz is Rudy Gobert who is averaging 14.7 PPG and also 12.3 RPG which is the 8th best average in the league. Although as a team, the Jazz have trouble scoring ranking 22nd in the league in points per contest (107.8), but they make up for it with a top 5 defense allowing just 105.5 points per game giving them an average margin of victory 2.3. Unfortunately for the Jazz, they do not defend their home court well at all. Their home record of 9-8 is a perfect representation of how their season has been by not being able to jump comfortably over a .500 win percentage.

The Jazz will come into this game banged up a little bit. The backcourt for Utah will be slim with Grayson Allen (ankle), Ricky Rubio (hamstring), Thabo Sefolosha (hamstring), and Raul Neto (hamstring) sidelined with injuries. Additionally, second-year forward Tony Bradley will also miss this game after recently undergoing knee surgery. With these injuries, they will need to rely on Spida Mitchell and Gobert to take over and secure this all important home win.

Cover the Spread 365 Trends

Los Angeles Lakers

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of LA Laker’s last 5 games

LA Lakers is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games

LA Lakers is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 road games against Utah

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of LA Laker’s last 6 road games against Utah

LA Lakers is 1-7 SU in its last 8 games against Utah

Utah Jazz

Utah is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games

Utah is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games

Utah is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 home games

The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Utah’s last 8 home games

Utah is 5-0 SU in its last 5 home games against LA Lakers

ESPN NBA Scores Los Angeles Lakers vs Utah Jazz

With the Lakers missing such production without LeBron James along with the solid defense of Utah, I would expect a low scoring game for this one. The winner of the actual game is a tossup. The Jazz are riddled with injuries in their backcourt giving the talented Laker guards a chance to have a big game. For the Jazz, even though Utah is missing a couple pieces, they still have Donovan Mitchell which always gives them a chance to win. I think the Jazz win this game but with the number of players missing for Utah, eight points is too many to give.

Pick: Lakers +8

Jack Faucher
Jack Faucher
Jack is an avid Atlanta sports fan and a current student at the University of Georgia. He enjoys watching and covering the MLB, NFL, NBA, and both NCAA football and basketball.