2018-2019 NBA Previews – Jazz Odds
Looking for 2018 Utah Jazz Predictions? We’ve got your back. Utah finished last season 48-34, finishing fifth in the NBA’s Western Conference. But the 2017-18 campaign at large was defined by two major themes: the break out of rookie Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles’ incredible defense on Paul George in the playoffs.
Utah Jazz Season Preview
Head Coach: Quinn Snyder
2017-18 Record: 48-34
Jazz Odds to NBA Title: +7500
Jazz Odds to Win Conference: +3500
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You could also say that the injuries to Rudy Gobert were an important storyline to follow, but getting past the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the postseason has set this team up to have some serious momentum entering the new year.
Utah Jazz Strengths:
You can’t start talking about the Jazz’s strengths without mentioning the shocking rookie season Donovan Mitchell just had. The 13th pick in last year’s draft played in 79 games (starting 71), averaged 20.5 points, 3.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds per contest and was the only true challenge to Ben Simmons when it came to Rookie of the Year honors.
In 2018-19, look for Mitchell to play an even more efficient game. Despite his solid numbers, he shot just 43.7 percent from the field and 34.0 percent from deep.
Those numbers should improve in 2018-19.
The defense of this squad is also something they can hang their hats on knowing they’re going to be productive. Led by Rudy Gobert—aptly nicknamed the Stifle Tower—players like Ricky Rubio and Joe Ingles buy into the defense-first mentality 100 percent.
On the year, Utah gave up just 101.6 points per 100 possessions. That was good enough for second in the NBA and was just 0.1 points worse than the league-leading Boston Celtics.
Utah Jazz Weaknesses:
As far as the defense goes, Donovan Mitchell is going to need to improve if he wants to officially take over Gobert’s title as best player on the roster. Last season, his Defensive Box Plus/Minus was a -0.2. According to Basketball-Reference, that number was only good enough for 11th on the team.
For those of you who prefer the eye test, the young guard struggled to stay with the league’s most athletic guards in one-on-one situations and had trouble navigating screens in pick-and-roll sets. Fixing those things will help him not just become the best player on the roster but one of the best guards in the NBA (especially if he ups his efficiency shooting at the same time).
You can also look at Utah’s offense as a bit of a weakness. The truth is that this group wasn’t bad at all despite its 19th place in points per game. The Jazz, when looking at points scored per 100 possessions, the team jumped up to 15th, indicating that their pace had more of an influence on their lack of scoring than actual poor offensive efforts.
All that said, the team really lacks a consistent second scoring option behind Mitchell. The young rookie was such a pleasant surprise that fans across the Association were simply satisfied seeing any No. 1 option at all emerge in the aftermath of losing Gordon Hayward to the Boston Celtics in free agency. But the novelty was since worn off, and Utah needs to figure out who can put the ball in the buck when Mitchell is either having an off night or unavailable to play.
Utah Jazz Betting Prediction: 50-32
When Vegas put out its over/under wins projections this summer, the Jazz were pegged at 48.5. Assuming Goobers stays mostly healthy, this is an easy over.
Fifty wins is a solid benchmark for any team, but this projection might even be light.
We’re going with an even 50 because we need to see Goobers stay healthy and we need to see defensive improvements/efficiency improvements from Mitchell. But anywhere between 50 and 52-53 wins should be where the Jazz end up when the regular season is all said and done.
2018 NBA Gambling
What do you think about our 2018 Utah Jazz predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in the 2018-2019 NBA Season!
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