Utah Jazz vs. San Antonio Spurs Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Utah Jazz (23-18 24-16-1 ATS) vs. San Antonio Spurs (25-15 21-18-1 ATS) AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX 9 PM EST Wednesday January 20, 2010 on ESPN
by Jason Green at Predictem.com

Point Spread: Jazz +6.5 / Spurs -6.5
Over/Under: 194

Tonight the San Antonio Spurs host the Utah Jazz and the Spurs look to avoid their first season sweep at the hands of the Jazz in 16 years with a win. The Spurs won their last game, are 6-4 in their last 10 games, and trail the Dallas Mavericks in the Southwest Division by 1.5 games. The Jazz lost their last game, are only 5-5 in their last 10, and trail the Denver Nuggets in the Northwest Division by 3.5 games.

This season the Spurs are 17-6 at home and the Jazz are only 7-11 on the road.

The last time these 2 Western Conference teams met Utah beat San Antonio, but that was when Tim Duncan and Tony Parker were banged up. Since that time these 2 have been relatively healthy and the Spurs have won 16 of their last 22 games and their defense really stepped up only giving up an average of 94 ppg in that span.

Even though the Jazz have been solid on offense in their last 5 games averaging 110 ppg on 51.8% shooting, including 45.9 percent from 3-point land, their defense has been letting them down as of late.

The key match ups in this game are at the PF position with with Carlos Boozer (19 ppg 10.6 rpg) and Tim Duncan (20 ppg 10.4 rpg) and Tony Parker (16.8 ppg) and Deron Williams (19.4 ppg). Parker has to play good defense against Williams, who has played great against the Spurs this season averaging 21.7 ppg on 54% shooting.

In their last game the Spurs beat the New Orleans Hornets 97-90 on Monday night. The high scorer for San Antonio in that game was Tony Parker going for 25 points on 10/21 shooting. For the game the Spurs shot 33/78 for a FG% of 42.3%. On defense the Spurs allowed the Hornets to shoot 38/83 from the floor for a FG% of 45.8%.

On Sunday the Jazz lost to the Denver Nuggets 119-112 in their last game. The high scorer for the Jazz in that game was Deron Williams going for 23 points on 8/18 shooting. For the game the Jazz shot well going 42/81 for a FG% of 51.9%. On defense the Jazz allowed the Nuggets to shoot 36/74 for a FG% of 48.6%.

This season the Spurs rank 10th in scoring (101 ppg) and the Jazz rank 12th (100.8 ppg). On defense the Spurs rank a legit 5th in points allowed (95.4 ppg) while Utah ranks a respectable 10th (97.3 ppg). San Antonio has been a better team on the glass this season, as they have a rebounding differential of +3.8 rpg and the Jazz are at +0.3 rpg.

According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Spurs rank 8th (93.53) and the Jazz are right behind them ranking 9th (92.70).

Utah is 5-0-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall, 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games as an underdog, and 2-13-1 ATS in their last 16 games as a road underdog of 5.0-10.5 points.

San Antonio is 20-8-1 ATS in their last 29 games as a favorite of 5.0-10.5, 2-7 ATS in their last 9 against teams in the Northwest Division, and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.

In Utah’s last 5 games the total has gone Over 4 times and in their last 20 games against teams that are above .500 the total has gone over 14 times.

In San Antonio’s last 6 games the total has gone Under 5 times and the total has gone Over when they are at home and favored by 5.0-10.5 points.

On the injury front SF Andrei Kirilenko and PG Deron Williams are day-to-day for Utah and PF Antonio McDyess and SF Richard Jefferson are day-to-day for San Antonio.

Jason’s Pick: The Spurs have been playing great defense lately and the Jazz have not and that is the big key in this game. Not only will the Spurs win the battle of the boards tonight, but they will also keep the Jazz from lighting up the scoreboard by clamping down on D. The Spurs will win this game and cover the spread and I would also take the Under, as this will be a low scoring game.