The daily preview it to the rim with NBA tips for Western Conference rivals Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz’s third clash of the season.
12:00 (AEDT), Mon 17th Jan @ Ball Arena, Denver
History: Played 233: Jazz 134 V Nuggets 99
Last meeting: January 5, 2022: Jazz 115 d Nuggets 109 at Ball Arena
Final Thoughts: A bolstered Utah Jazz line-up will attempt to steer out of a four-game skid in Denver when they take on the in-form Nuggets, who are on a back-to-back.
The Jazz have had the wood on the Nuggets since going down in seven games during the 2020 playoffs, winning four of five regular-season encounters – including both so far this season. Rudy Gobert (23 pts, 16 reb) earned bragging rights opposite Nikola Jokic (24 pts, 6 reb, 6 ast) in a 122-110 victory in Salt Lake City in October. Jokic’s insane statline (26 pts, 21 reb, 11 ast) couldn’t rescue the Nuggets at home earlier this month, with Bojan Bogdanovic (36 pts, 13 reb, 4 ast) starring in the Gobert-less Jazz’s 115-109 win.
But the 28-14 Jazz have not won a game since, crashing to the Raptors, Pacers, Pistons and Cavaliers by double-digit margins. Line-up continuity has been a problem recently with most Utah players missing at least one of those losses. Gobert has missed six games but has cleared COVID-19 protocols and will make his return in this clash. Donovan Mitchell has remained a strong offensive presence – topping 30 points in Indianapolis and Detroit – but the Jazz badly need their big man’s defensive authority back on the court.
The 21-19 Nuggets have rallied with four wins from five games since last meeting the Jazz. After being edged by the Clippers (87-85) – in which they threw away a 25-point lead – Denver blew out the Trail Blazers (140-108) with easily their highest score of the season. Jokic (20 pts, 8 reb, 7 ast) was prominent enough, but the key feature was five other Nuggets scoring 16-plus points. Facundo Campazzo (18 pts, 12 ast, 4 stl) was superb off the bench.
The Nuggets were even more authoritative against LeBron’s Lakers, powering to a 133-96 victory. Jokic (17 pts, 12 reb, 13 ast) chalked up a triple-double, while Bones Hyland (27 pts, 10 reb) grabbed a solid chunk of the spotlight from the bench with six three-pointers.
The Nuggets are 11-7 at home (9-9 against the line) after winning their last two in Mile High City. The Jazz are 14-6 on the road (11-9 ATS) but have lost their last three away.
Denver are tempting $2.47 underdogs on recent form, but their 1-4 record on a back-to-back is a concern. Utah are well-placed for another Ball Arena victory with Gobert returning.
Best Bet: Margin – Jazz 1-10 @ $2.64
OTHER NBA GAMES
|Phoenix Suns @ Detroit Pistons||Handicap – Suns -11.5 @ $1.87|
|Houston Rockets @ Sacramento Kings||Handicap Kings -5.5 @ $1.85|
|Golden State Warriors @ Minnesota Timberwolves||Handicap – Warriors +4.5 @ $1.90|