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NBA Free Pick | Jazz at Lakers


This Saturday’s Jazz-Lakers matchup should have been marked on the calendar. It should have been a showdown between the Western Conference’s top two teams. Instead, it’s just another Saturday afternoon NBA game.


LeBron James and Anthony Davis continue to remain out of the Lakers lineup due to injury. The Lakers have faded to fifth in the West.

The Jazz, on the other hand, continue to rule the West. Can smart bettors continue to count on Utah to cover? The Jazz cover at a 60 percent clip this season.

Game: Utah Jazz (41-14, 33-21-1 ATS) at Los Angeles Lakers (34-21, 27-28 ATS)

When: 4:30 PM ET, Saturday, April 17, 2021

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

America’s Bookie Current Line: OFF         Total: OFF

TV Coverage: ESPN

Scoring Not an Issue

Utah leads the NBA in average scoring margin per game. The Jazz are +9.5 points a game in 2021. This is powered by an offense that ranks third in the league in scoring. The Jazz average 117 points per game led by Donovan Mitchell’s 26.5 a game.

The Jazz also rank highly on defense. They are fourth in the NBA in scoring defense allowing 107.5 points per game. This is fueled by a unit that is second in defensive field goal shooting percentage. Add in Utah’s No. 2 ranking in defensive rebounds and you can see why the Jazz continually outscore opponents.

Los Angeles is one of the few teams that can rival Utah defensively. In fact, the Lakers rank first in defensive efficiency and they are second in points allowed per game (105.6).

Want another free pick? Check out our Warriors at Celtics betting preview.

With James and Davis out of the lineup, the Lakers have really had to tighten up the defense to win games. They have won six of their last ten games playing without their two stars. In those six wins, L.A. gave up 86, 93, 94, 101, 101, and 93 points. 

Holding Utah to 100 or fewer points is not likely. The Jazz have been held under 100 points just three times this season. All three of those instances happened before Jan. 11. 

In addition to Mitchell’s 26.5 points a game, Mike Conley adds 16.5 and Jordan Clarkson 17.2. Bojan Bogdanovic scores 15.2 and Rudy Gobert adds 14.4 and 13.4 rebounds per game, which is second in the NBA. 

The Lakers tried to hold down the Jazz offense in their first meeting of the season on Feb. 24. Utah won 114-89 as an 8.5-point favorite. Not surprisingly, the total for the game was 218.5, which resulted in an Under. 

Los Angeles leads the league in Unders. A full 63.6 percent of Lakers games - 35 of 55 - have gone to the Under. Because of the Lakers defense, L.A. has faced some extremely low totals as of late. As a result, in four of the last five Lakers games, the total has gone Over.

With James and Davis still out and with Utah having won three of its last four and 12 of its last 15, the pick is the Jazz. The question mark will be the spread. Utah has only covered two of its last six, but they faced three double-digit spreads in those games. 

Using Utah’s average scoring margin as a gauge, take the Jazz to cover up -9.5.

NBA Free Pick:  UTAH up to -9.5

We missed the mark on our last one, but go check it out. It was a Lakers at Suns free pick.

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