The Utah Jazz is in Philadelphia to take on the Sixers on the second night of a back-to-back. When you include the fact that they had to travel as well, it is a very tough spot for any team.
Utah has once again started off the season really strong and is definitely one of the teams to beat in the west which is why they come into tonight’s game as road favorites. Let’s see the NBA odds.
Utah Jazz vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Thursday, December 09, 2021 – 07:00 PM EST at Wells Fargo Center
Jazz Have Been Winning by Margin All Season
Utah has been winning games by an average of 10.1 points per game. While they haven't started as strong as last season, their current margin of victory is actually higher than what it was last season. Of course, we're talking about much smaller sample size, however, it's a fair measuring stick. At this point in their trajectory as a team, this current group of Jazz players has to be thinking NBA Finals or bust. While it might seem like an excuse to some, it's also a reality of chasing a championship in any sport for several years running.
While Utah has been dominant in the regular season, they've come up way short in the playoffs. Other than a rough patch a few weeks ago where they lost 5 out of 6, the Jazz is looking like they are finally reaching their peak as a group. That is why I think that the line for this game which is Jazz -3 is really short. On top of all of the health issues and off-the-court turmoil the Sixers have dealt with, Utah is just a better team right now. In my opinion, the correct line is -4.5 or -5 Jazz at the very least.
Sixers Are Not a Good Team at the Moment
If the Sixers had a rest advantage, this line might make a little bit more sense. The fact is, they both played last night and even though the Jazz had to travel, if we're talking actual rest, Philly played on Monday while Utah was off from Sunday until yesterday. Philly also had a much tougher game yesterday, with all of their starters playing most of the second half. In fact, it was a one-possession game with only 29 seconds left to play.
As for the Jazz, none of their starters played more than 15 minutes in the second half which means they basically had half of the second half off. They were able to do that because their bench actually took over in the 4th quarter allowing them to pull away. With that in mind, it could be argued that Jazz actually has the best advantage in this spot. Add to that Utah's impressive stats on the road which are virtually identical to their net rating at home and you see that this is a line that Utah should cover.
The one cause for concern would be Utah's record against the spread on the road. They are only 6-5 ATS as the road team although that is partly due to the fact that they've been the favorite in all of those contests. This is why I'm taking Utah -3 as my official NBA pick. The reality is, they have what it takes to win by more than one possession which will be required here. Also, they have the one player that can legitimately hang with Joel Embiid in the form of Rudy Gobert.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.