NBA Preview: Utah vs Golden State

Who takes the win in this blockbuster?

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It’s another NBA blockbuster on prime time television for us today as Aussies Joe Ingles and Dante Exum welcome the dual reigning Champion Golden State Warriors to Utah.

Golden State Warriors @ Utah Jazz

The Jazz are struggling this season, languishing in 14th in the West with a 14-17 record. Of course, the positives are that they have played just 11 home games (compared to 20 on the road) and they could find themselves inside the top 8 with a couple of wins.

The Warriors juggernaut hasn’t had it all their own way either in the back end of 2018. Currently holding down the 2-seed, the Warriors boast a 21-10 record but have battled injury and even some in-fighting to get there. An 8-7 road record to date doesn’t exactly jump off the page either.

The Numbers

Odds: Utah $2.35, Golden State $1.65 with Ladbrokes

Utah

Overall Record: 14-17
Home: 5-6
Avg. Points For: 106.5
Avg. Points Against: 106.5

Golden State

Overall Record: 21-10
Away Record: 8-7
Avg. Points For: 115.9
Avg. Points Against: 110.5

Marquee Matchup

Donovan Mitchell (Utah) vs Klay Thompson (Golden State)

Mitchell has continued where he left off in his rookie season, averaging 21ppg, 3.1rpg and 3.2apg so far this season. Despite the Jazz losing 4 of their last 5, Mitchell’s numbers have actually increased with 22.8ppg and 4.6rpg, so he comes into this one in good touch.

Thompson has been great for the undermanned Warriors so far, pouring in 22.4ppg and 4.2rpg on the year. Since the return of his all-star teammates in Curry and Green, Thompson’s output has dropped slightly (as you’d expect) to 20.6ppg.

Putting It All Together

The Jazz have been a shadow of their former selves this year, but remain well in the playoff hunt in a tight and congested Western conference.

The biggest thing that would concern Coach Quin Snyder is the 106.5ppg they’ve been giving up after building an identity around their fierce defense last season.

Golden State will exploit a leaky defense more than any other side, which means the home team will need to tighten things up if they are any chance of snaffling a key win here.

The Warriors are deserved favourites and with their stars back on deck, they will be very tough to beat.

Suggested Betting Play: Jordan Bell Under 26.5 (Points + Rebounds + Assists)

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