Utah Jazz (53-29 SU 49-30-3 ATS) vs. Denver Nuggets (53-29 SU 34-43-5 ATS) Pepsi Center, Denver, CO 10:30 PM EST Wednesday April 28, 2010 on TNT
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Jazz +7 / Nuggets -7
Utah leads this best of 7 series 3-1
Tonight the Denver Nuggets host the Utah Jazz and if they lose this game they are out of the playoffs. The Nuggets had one of the best home records in the NBA, but they already lost a game in this series at home. The Jazz were not given much of a chance in this series after starting C Mehmet Okur was lost for the season with an Achilles injury in Game 1, but the Jazz have slowed the tempo of the games and their backup big men have stepped up their play.
This season Denver was 34-7 at home and Utah was 21-20 on the road.
In Game 4 in Utah the Jazz beat the Nuggets 117-106 on Sunday.
There have many fouls called in this series, which has really slowed the pace of the games and that has really helped the Jazz. The Nuggets need to get out and run to win, especially since they are not a good defensive team. If the Jazz can keep this a slow tempo and half court game they have a big advantage tonight.
Carmelo Anthony did drop 39 points on the Jazz in Game 4, but he committed 9 turnovers and he has to hold onto the pill tonight, especially in the 4th quarter.
The Jazz out-rebounded the Nuggets by 6 boards in Game 4 and Carlos Boozer had a monster game with 13 boards, as well as scoring 31 points, so Denver has to rebound better and not let Boozer dominate the glass.
The Jazz are a better half court team, but in Game 4 they had more fast break points and if that happens in tonight’s game the Jazz will be heading to the Western Conference semifinals.
Denver has to play better defense on Jazz PG Deron Williams, who, after Game 4, became the 1st player to score at least 20 ppg and dish out 10 assists per game in the first 4 games of a series.
Carmelo Anthony was the high scorer for the Nuggets in game 4 going for 39 points on 13/26 shooting and Carlos Boozer was the high scorer for the Jazz going for 31 points on 13/19 shooting. For the game the Nuggets shot 37/84 from the floor for a FG% of 44% and the Jazz shot lights out going 41/77 for a FG% of 53.2%. The Jazz out-rebounded the Nuggets by 6 boards and the Nuggets had 18 turnovers in the game and the Jazz had 15.
This season the Nuggets ranked 3rd in the league in scoring (106.5 ppg) and the Jazz ranked 4th (104.2 ppg). On D the Jazz ranked 12th in opponents’ points allowed (98.9 ppg) and the Nuggets only ranked 20th (102.4 ppg). The Jazz were a much better teams on the boards this season, as they had a rebounding differential of +3.0 rpg while the Nuggets were in the negative at -0.9 rpg.
According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Jazz rank 4th (94.99) and the Nuggets rank 9th (93.69).
Utah is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games as a road underdog, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games against teams with a home winning percentage of greater than 60%, and 5-15-1 ATS in their last 21 games as a road underdog of 5.0-10.5.
Utah has an Over record of 5-1 in their last 6 games against teams with a winning record and an Under record of 6-1-1 in their last 8 games after a win.
Denver is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games, 9-1 ATS in their last 10 home games against teams with a winning road record, and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite of 5.0-10.5.
Denver has an Over record of 5-1 in their last 6 games and an Over record of 7-2 in their last 9 home games against teams with a winning road record.
On the injury front PF Kenyon Martin is day-to-day for Denver and while Utah is not reporting any significant injuries C Mehmet Okur is Out.
Jason’s Pick: Denver has their backs against the wall tonight and they will not crack under the pressure in front of their home crowd. The Nuggets will get back to their run-and-gun style and score a lot of points tonight and that will be the difference. The Nuggets will win a high scoring affair tonight and they will also cover the spread and get back in this series.