Spurs vs. Jazz NBA Picks and Odds Analysis

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San Antonio Spurs Agreement. Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images/AFP

The San Antonio Spurs (31-33) will have their hands full with the Utah Jazz (47-18), owners of the best home record (28-4) in the NBA this season. This is a rematch from Monday when the Jazz cruised in the first half on the way to an easy 110-99 win. Utah scored the first basket 14 seconds into the game and led the rest of the way.

San Antonio Spurs vs. Utah Jazz

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 – 09:00 PM EDT at Vivint Smart Home Arena

The Jazz are a 7-point favorite at most NBA sportsbooks. In addition to Monday’s 11-point win, the Jazz beat San Antonio 130-109 back on January 3. The Spurs are struggling at a bad time with this four-game losing streak, but they did play five games in a row that were decided by fewer than six points prior to Monday’s loss. Can they get at least the cover against a Jazz team that is still missing top player Donovan Mitchell?

Spiraling Spurs

The Spurs were once 31-29, but now after a four-game losing streak they are barely holding onto the 10th seed in the Western Conference, only two games ahead of New Orleans. This losing streak has been highlighted by the 32-point blown lead against Boston last Friday. With Gregg Popovich at head coach, that blown lead did not deflate the team entirely as they still put on a spirited effort against a superior Philadelphia squad, losing 113-111 in overtime after a fourth-quarter rally.

On Monday against Utah, the Spurs were again dominated on the glass, losing the rebound battle 50 to 37. In both games against the Jazz this season, the Spurs had at least 12 fewer rebounds and were not able to crack 110 points. Rudy Gobert leads the way for Utah’s tough defense (No. 3 in Defensive Rating) and he had 15 rebounds on Monday. He also had one of his best offensive games of the season with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting.

These teams could not be any different when it comes to the three-point shot this season. Utah attempts a three on a league-high 49.1% of its shot attempts while the Spurs are at the NBA-low rate of 31.9%. On Monday, the Spurs were just 5-of-18 from three with Rudy Gay, one of the few bright spots for the team, having three of the makes off the bench. Even for the Spurs, five makes means one of the team’s worst games of the season. They will have to do a better job if they can keep up with Utah’s offense, even as it is missing some key starters.

Jazz: Still a Threat

The Phoenix Suns have the same league-best 47-18 record as Utah, but they jumped ahead of the Jazz in the standings on Tuesday night. Still, the Jazz are a serious threat this season and continue to lead the league in scoring differential (plus-9.1 points per game). Leading scorer Donovan Mitchell (ankle) has missed the last nine games, but he should be back soon. Over the last nine games, Utah is 5-4 and the offense has obviously slipped with the Jazz ranking 14th in Offensive Rating (113.1). Ranked right behind them for the last nine games are the Spurs (112.2), who have struggled with making shots for much of the season.

However, the Jazz are No. 3 in Defensive Rating over the last nine games while the Spurs rank 16th. Utah has missed Mike Conley in the last four games but is still 3-1 over that stretch without Conley and Mitchell. The offense may not be the same, but the defensive effort remains intact, and it is a tough matchup for the Spurs to crack. Utah has shot 50% or better from the field in both games against the Spurs this year. Utah is 17-0 when shooting at least 50% in a game. Maybe even more impressive is the fact that Utah is 40-4 (.909) when shooting at least 45% from the field. Every other NBA team has at least eight losses this year when doing that. For instance, the Spurs are 21-18 (.538) when shooting at least 45%.

Utah basically has to shoot very poorly to lose this year. On Monday, the Jazz were only 11-of-36 (30.6%) from three, which is one of the team’s worst games this season. They can do better in that department. Over the last nine games without Conley, the Jazz still rank No. 6 in 3P% (39.1%).

Prediction

Utah leads the NBA with 39 wins by more than seven points this season. The next closest team is the Clippers (30). The Spurs have been a reliable 7-3 ATS in the last 10 games, but they have not impressed against the Jazz this season. The Jazz cover 65.6% of their home games, tied with the Knicks for the best record in the league. I like Utah to cover again for my NBA picks on Wednesday night.

My NBA Pick: Jazz -7 (-110) at Bovada