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The Utah Jazz ride a three-game win streak into a home matchup against the Brooklyn Nets Tuesday night. Utah picked up an impressive win over Milwaukee Friday night before rolling over Golden State on Monday. Rudy Gobert, Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell all scored over 20 points for the Jazz as they won their third straight. The Jazz are one of the lowest-scoring teams in the NBA, so the breakout offensive night was a pleasant surprise.
Brooklyn has won three of its last five games but suffered a 138-112 setback at Phoenix Sunday night. The Nets will face Utah without second-leading scorer Caris LeVert, who is nursing a sprained right thumb. LeVert had been limited to eight and seven points in his last two games, but his altogether absence will put more pressure on Kyrie Irving. Brooklyn's star point guard averages 30 points per game.
Nets look to stop bleeding defensivelyThe Brooklyn Nets will be taken out of their element a bit Tuesday playing Utah. The Jazz prefer a slow-paced game, whereas Brooklyn prefers an up-and-down track meet. However, it may good for the Nets to play a more defensive-oriented brand of basketball, if only for one night. Brooklyn currently ranks second in points allowed with 121.7 ppg. Yes, the Nets also score 119.8 points on average, but they run the risk of giving the opponent far too many scoring chances as happened against Phoenix.
"You have to bring the physicality and the energy," head coach Kenny Atkinson said after the Phoenix loss regarding the team's current road trip. "Then it's your mental focus, focusing on the game plan, understanding that and what the heck we are doing, our principles. And then, can you take a punch?"
The question Tuesday may be whether Brooklyn can return punch without Caris LeVert in the lineup. The Nets will need guards Dzanan Musa and Spencer Dinwiddie to step up in LeVert's absence. Dinwiddie is already averaging 16.7 points per game, while Musa scored 12 against Phoenix.
Jazz seek fourth straight winThe Utah Jazz played one of their best all-around games of the season Monday night against Golden State, receiving double digits in points from seven different players. Rudy Gobert led the way with 25 points and 14 rebounds, while Mike Conley added 22 points and seven assists. While the Jazz aren't a great shooting team, they went 16-35 from outside.
"I think we're getting better at finding the open man—we're getting to know each other better and better," Gobert told nba.com. "Our defense could have been better tonight, but it was encouraging."
Utah prefers to zero in on the defensive side of the game. The Jazz lead the NBA by allowing 97 points per game. They put that defense on display against Milwaukee on Friday night, holding the Bucks to 35.8 percent shooting. Gobert is one of the best defending centers in the NBA, while Donovan Mitchell averages 1.8 steals per night. The Jazz will likely be without another solid defender, guard Dante Exum, who is recovering from a knee injury.
- Jazz are 6-1 ATS in their last seven Tuesday games.
- Jazz are 5-1 ATS in their last six games playing on zero days rest.
The supporting trends for this game, found on covers.com, are:
- Nets are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games following an ATS loss.
- Nets are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games playing on one days rest.
- Nets are 1-4 ATS in their last five games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
With the Brooklyn Nets missing one of their top scorers in Caris LeVert, I think the Jazz have a big advantage here Tuesday night. Utah is already the top defensive team in the NBA by many measures and faces a Nets team that is often lackadaisical on the defensive side of the ball. When the Jazz get open looks, they can hurt you. That was on display Monday night when they put up 122 points on Golden State. Go with Utah here.
Prediction: Utah Jazz -6.5
Full-Game Total Pick
The NBA's best team in points allowed faces off against the league's second worst team in that category. This should be quite an intriguing matchup. What makes me think this one is going over is that Utah's offensive numbers have been steadily climbing during its recent winning streak. The Jazz have won their last three games by scoring 106, 103 and 122 points. Utah will play at a faster tempo than normal Tuesday against a run-and-gun Brooklyn offense.
Prediction: Over 217