NBA Betting – Warriors Look to Stay Perfect at Jazz
Zack GarrisonNo comments
Looking to move to an unprecedented 19-0, the Golden State Warriors (18-0, 8-0 road) visit the Utah Jazz (8-7, 3-2 home) tonight at Vivint Smart Home Arena (9:00 PM Eastern), kicking off a seven-game road trip.
The Warriors have been untouchable in the early going, winning by an average margin of 16.0 points per game and sporting an impeccable 13-5 ATS record (despite laying a boatload of points almost every night). The team’s dominance has allowed interim coach Luke Walton to rest reigning NBA MVP Steph Curry late in games.
“I’m sure Steph doesn’t like it,” Walton told the Associated Press. “But the coaching staff and the training staff, we’re thrilled to get him that rest.”
Curry, and the rest of the Warriors, may need to put in a few more minutes over the next several games. The team will be without the services of forward Harrison Barnes (sprained ankle) for the next three contests. The loss of Barnes will be a significant blow for the Warriors, especially on their long road trip. The UNC product is third on the team in scoring, averaging 13.4 points per game, and pulls down five rebounds per night.
Brandon Rush and Andre Iguodala should share the minutes vacated by Barnes.
The shorthanded Warriors will be facing a Utah team on a mini two-game win streak of its own tonight. The Jazz beat the Clippers in Los Angeles, 102-91, on Wednesday and followed that up with a 101-81 victory over the Pelicans on Saturday. Both wins showcased Utah’s third-ranked defense, which is holding opponents to just over 93 PPG on average.
On O, the Jazz rode the hot hand of Alec Burks on the weekend; the fourth-year guard dropped 21 points on 9 of 14 shooting in the win over the Pelicans.
“The biggest thing with Alec, I keep emphasizing with him is his decisions,” coach Quin Snyder said after the game. “When he makes high-percentage decisions, he can shoot it, he can pass it, he can handle, he can finish. It’s just a question of what is the defense giving?”
Burks is one of five Jazz players averaging double-digits on the year. Gordon Hayward leads Utah’s balanced attack with 17.7 PPG, while Derrick Favors, Rodney Hood, and Trey Burke are also hitting double-figures on a nightly basis.
The Jazz are dealing with injury issues of their own at the moment. In addition to the preseason knee injury suffered by Dante Exum, which will sideline the dynamic young Australian for the entire 2015-16 season, Hood is suffering from back spasms and Favors is dealing with unspecified personal issues. Both are questionable for tonight’s tilt.
Utah is 15-6 SU in its last 21 games at home against Golden State, and without Barnes, the Warriors will have to adjust to a new rotation. Add in the fact that Utah has been tremendous on D all year, and taking the Jazz and the handful of points (+7) looks like the better value.
Pick: Jazz +7.