Golden State Warriors vs. Utah Jazz NBA Pick – December 19th

The NBA has been crazy lately. The Los Angeles Lakers failed me again last night, as they apparently are unable to beat the Wizards or Nets these days. The loss dropped my season NBA picks mark to 22-18, which still isn’t awful but it’s a far cry from the the hot run I started the year with.

Last night was a perfect display of the way the league has been going lately, though. The Cavs won in Indiana and Atlanta took down the Wizards. That would have been a solid night to go for an upset, while tonight’s massive 12-game NBA betting schedule certainly offers the same upside.

While this is definitely a fine slate to get ambitious, I’m just searching for a win. I always want to get The Sports Geek readers wins and one of the best plays on the table appears to be a showdown in Utah between the Jazz and the visiting Golden State Warriors.

The first meeting between these two was incredibly high-scoring and decided by one point, but this -3.5 point spread is just too tiny for me to ignore. I love the Dubs tonight and I’ll break down precisely why:

Golden State Warriors (-3, -105) @ Utah Jazz (+3, -115) Total: 221 (-110)

The Over and Utah at +3.5 feel like traps. Vegas seems to be goating somebody here and it’s either fans of the Dubs with this tiny spread, or people looking at the first meeting and automatically expecting it to be close and another shootout.

I’m not necessarily anticipating either. The harsh reality is the Warriors are the much better team and they’re also healthy. Draymond Green is back in the lineup and with a nice 7-3 run over their last 10 games (plus winners of two straight), the Dubs are finally trending in the right direction again.

Utah is going the other way. The Jazz have not been the same team that they were a season ago, as second-year scorer Donovan Mitchell hasn’t been quite as elite and he also hasn’t gotten a ton of help offensively.

It’s certainly worth noting how tight the first meeting was and that Utah cruised in this series (3-1) last season. But this is a different Utah squad. They’re only 14-17 on the year, a weak 5-6 at home and they’re still trending in the wrong direction with two straight losses and a mediocre 5-5 run over their last 10 games.

This is undoubtedly a game the Jazz will get up for, but I still see the Warriors pulling it out late. Golden State knows they need to start heating up, as their division race is still tight with the Clippers and Lakers right behind them and the Denver Nuggets currently own the best record in the Western Conference.

If you’re looking for help with ATS data, you probably won’t find it. Utah is 1-0 in the lone game where they were a home underdog, but just 14-17 against the spread overall. The Warriors don’t have a good ATS mark, either, but that could be attributed to some egregious point spreads and the fact that they’ve been really banged up to start the year.

The Jazz are historically an elite defensive team, but they’re giving up over 110 points per game this year. In facing the league’s most efficient offense, I’m not too afraid that their defense will be a major problem. If anything, I’d be more worried about Utah’s own ability to score (21st in offensive efficiency) if the Warriors decide to put the clamps down defensively.

Golden State is a team of pride that is also loaded with talent. There is no way they should lose to the Jazz in this game and after allowing the first meeting to stay close, don’t be shocked if they come out with a little more assertiveness to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

You can eat the Dubs’ solid -142 moneyline here (they’re rarely this low), but I don’t see the harm in biting on this -3 point spread.

My Pick
Warriors -3

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