NBA Free Pick/Preview: Utah Jazz vs L.A. Lakers
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Utah Jazz (36-41 SU, 31-44-2 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (55-21 SU, 37-38-1 ATS)
10:30 PM EST
NBA Betting Favorite: Off
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The Los Angeles Lakers were beaten at home on Sunday by the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers didn’t bring their best effort in that game, and you have to think they’ll be ready to get back on track in this one. The Utah Jazz have been one of the worst teams in the NBA over the last few weeks.
Can Utah hang with the Lakers on Tuesday night in Los Angeles?
It seems strange to not have Jerry Sloan on the sidelines for the Jazz, and it also seems odd to not see Deron Williams in the backcourt. The Jazz come into this game on an eight-game losing streak. Tyrone Corbin doesn’t have an easy coaching job right now. The Jazz are banged up pretty badly, and the team has been playing short-handed.
Devin Harris hasn’t played since March 21, and the team is clearly missing the leadership of a solid point guard. Millsap and Kirilenko have both been hurt quite a bit, so the Jazz have been weak in the low-post as well.
Harris is listed as questionable for this game, while Kirilenko is listed as doubtful.
The Lakers have only lost two games since the All-Star break, and the team is clearly improving as the season moves along. Los Angeles still has a chance to get the top overall seed in the Western Conference, but they can’t afford any more losses. Andrew Bynum is the single biggest injury issue the Lakers have right now.
Kobe Bryant’s numbers are down a bit for the year, but he is averaging 31 points per game in the Lakers last six games.
I think Bryant is rounding into form as the playoffs near. The Lakers are still the favorites to win the NBA title in my mind. This team presents more mismatches than any other team in the league because of their terrific frontcourt.
Over is 10-4 in UTA last 14 Tue. games.
UTA are 16-34-1 ATS in their last 51 games overall.
LAL are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 Tue. games.
LAL are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 vs. NBA Northwest.
Under is 11-5 in LAL last 16 overall.
Under is 9-4-1 in the last 14 meetings.
The Jazz have been absolutely terrible over the last few weeks. Utah played a good first half against Los Angeles last Friday evening, but they fell apart in the second half.
I expect the Lakers to win comfortably here.
Prediction: Los Angeles 99 Utah 83