San Antonio Spurs (32-25) @ Utah Jazz(31-24)
NBA Basketball: Saturday, February 9, 2019; 5:00 PM ET; @Vivint Smart Home Arena
Odds: Utah Jazz -7
ESPN NBA Pick San Antonio Spurs vs Utah Jazz
Two “almost there but could well easily slip” teams from the eastern conference face each other amidst a lot of pressure from the pack of teams chasing them as the Utah Jazz host the San Antonio Spurs for a great match up.
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs started the season with a record of 10-12 and looked on their way to miss the playoffs for the first time since 1998. It took Spurs some time get their bearings right and they have been on a remarkable run since the start of December as they have compiled a record of 21-10 beating heavyweight teams like The Thunder, The Raptors, Celtics and the Nuggets along the way. Owing to their impressive exploits in the last month and half, Spurs have seen their playoff contention get stronger and stronger as they find themselves ranked 7th in the West after falling to as low as 13th. They have a margin of 2 games over the 9th seed Sacramento Kings and trail 4th seed Trail Blazers by just 2.5 games.
Spurs struggled this week, losing three games on the bounce against Trail Blazers, Warriors and Sacramento Kings to start this month on weaker note. With just two games remaining before the all star game, Spurs would like to get a couple of Ws to ease some pressure put on their standings by the chasing Kings, Clippers and Lakers.
Spurs have been on a shooting tear as rank 5th in FG% and 1st in 3point %. They have an offence that is 13th in league in scoring per game and rank an abysmal 21st in rebounds grabbed; they average 24.8 dimes a game while turning the ball over just 12.2 times(3rd in Turnovers and 13th in Assists). Though their defensive numbers have been average thanks to the departure of former DPOY Kawhi Leonard and 3-D stud, Danny Green; you can never count out a team coached by Greg Popovic, they always have the ability and the structure to make big time defensive plays.
The Jazz are riding high after reaching a 31-24 record after winning 7 of the last 10 games. They are 1.5 games behind the Rockets and will be optimistic about their chances of grabbing that number 5 seed.
While the offence hasn’t been as exciting as it was during the home stretch of the last season, the defensive stability has been reinstituted to the system restricting their opponents to a mere 106.9 points(6th in defensive rating). The Jazz have been successful in securing the board, ranking 1st in Opponent’s offensive rebounds(8.9) while also restricting them to just 11.5 second chance points (4th best mark in the league).
The Jazz have an average 21-12 record this season while coming on the back of a rest day and are even at 14-14 on the road. Their season has included impressive victories against the Warriors and the Rockets. Offensively, they have been a little off largely in parts to a slight Sophomore slump on Donovan Mitchell’s part but they have looked to be back on track since the Kyle Korver trade added a three point threat to their offence.
CTS 365 Betting Trends
San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games
San Antonio is 4-8-1 ATS in its last 13 games when playing on the road against Utah
San Antonio is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Utah is 3-5-1 ATS in its last 9 games at home
Utah is 3-5-1 ATS in its last 9 games when playing San Antonio
Utah is 10-2 SU in its last 12 games at home
ESPN NBA Scores Utah Jazz vs San Antonio Spurs
Utah Jazz have been solid at home all season long with a record of 17-10 while Spurs have struggled away from home with a 10-18 record. Both teams come into the game knowing that they have a chance to go up and down the standings and with The King making his return, the bottom half of the playoff picture became a lot more uncertain.
Utah Jazz are the hotter team of the two, winning 7 of the last 10 while the Spurs have lost the last 3. With All Star break coming up, Pop will look to make adjustments and get the team a momentum gaining couple of wins before the All Star festivities at the weekend commence. It is tough to imagine Spurs losing four in a row especially since they are under tremendous pressure from the teams below them.
Pick: San Antonio Spurs +7