Online Sportsbooks Open Lakers +12.5 vs Jazz
Los Angeles Lakers (33 - 41 SU, 29-43-2 ATS) vs. Utah Jazz (44-30 SU, 40-32-2 ATS)
When: Wednesday, March 27th, 2019 – 10:30 PM ET
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena – Salt Lake City, UT
Point Spread: LAL +12.5 / UTA -12.5 (5Dimes Sportsbook)
Power Rankings: Utah +18
Takeaways from Los Angeles and Utah’s Most Recent Games
The Lakers extended their win streak to two games after they were in action last night in the City of Angels against the visiting Washington Wizards. Closing as a 2.5-point underdog, the Lakers cruised to an easy cover, getting us the win, as they defeated Washington 124-106.
The Jazz also step into this contest on a two-game win streak. Utah was last on the hardwood two days ago when they hosted the Phoenix Suns and handed them a nasty 125-92 defeat. The Jazz closed as a 14-point favorite and managed to extend their cover streak to two games while doing so.
How the Public is Betting the Los Angeles and Utah Game
At the time this article was written (Wednesday morning), there have been no line movements that have occurred in either Point Spread or Over/Under markets.
These two teams last met on January 11th in Salt Lake City resulting in a 113-95 victory by the Jazz against the Lakers. Utah covered closing as an 8.5-point favorite at tip-off.
Heading into this Western Conference contest neither team have expressed any emerging injury concerns to key personnel.
Rest Advantages and Concerns
The Lakers are playing this game on one days’ rest after defeating the Wizards in the City of Angels last night. On the year, the Lakers are 4-5 SU and 3-6 ATS in back-to-backs. The Jazz will be playing on two days’ rest as this game will serve as the second contest in a four-game home-stand that the Jazz will wrap up Monday against the Charlotte Hornets.
Can Los Angeles Shoot Lights Out To Stay Competitive?
One thing Los Angeles can do to stay competitive in this contest is lean on their overall efficient shooting and make smart shots. The Lakers sit seventh in the NBA in field goal percentage (47.2%) while the Jazz are 14th in the league in field goal percentage (46.4%), respectively. Should the Lakers expand their shot volume while playing keep away and making the most of their possessions, Los Angeles can perhaps find an avenue to stay competitive in this basketball game. Given how the Lakers sit ninth in opponent field goal percentage (45.2%) which is just .1% behind the Jazz who are eighth in the NBA in this category (45.1%), the Lakers do have one wrinkle they can work against Utah.
Can Utah’s Defense Wear Down The Lakers?
Utah’s defense is one of the best in the league. The Jazz sit fourth in the NBA giving up 106 points per game. This is a big contrast to the Lakers who sit 24th in the NBA giving up 113.7 points per contest. On the flip side, the Jazz offense sits 19th in scoring as they average 110.9 points per game. This is just one less point per match compared to Los Angeles who average 111.9 points per contest (16th in the NBA). Given how both teams’ offenses are comparable, the defensive contrast between both sides will be a pivotal edge that the Jazz will look to exploit here against the Lakers. Another significant advantage for the Jazz rests in how friendly they are to teams shooting from the free-throw line. Utah sits eighth in the NBA in opponent free-throw percentage (76%) while their counterparts allow the opposition to hit 78.5% of their free throws which places them among the worst in the league at 28th overall. It is certainly not in the Lakers’ best interest to be giving away free points on the road to a team that already has the benefit of home court advantage.
There is one noteworthy trend that is worth highlighting and it is for those that play the Over/Under. The Under is 5-2 ATS in the previous seven meetings between these two teams.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Los Angeles +12.5
At the end of the day, this is the fourth game in the last five outings that the Jazz have been favored by a double-digit point total. In the previous three scenarios where Utah was laying a double-digit line, they went 3-0 ATS. I don’t like their chances of finding a fourth cover against the spread as a double-digit favorite by virtue of the fact they are in position to be supremely overvalued as a result of this trend. After all, Utah on average defeats opponents by 7.3 points when the contest takes place in Salt Lake City. The Lakers though they are 13-24 SU in road games this season are generally competitive regardless. This is because the Lakers are outscored by an average of 3.7 points when they are away from Los Angeles. No matter how you slice this one, this game should be far more competitive than the line would suggest and appears to be a highly-inflated point spread. As a result, I am taking the Lakers with the points.