Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Lakers Betting Predictions

Jazz vs Lakers NBA
Utah vs. Los Angeles, NBA Betting Predictions, February 24

The surging Utah Jazz will attempt to put more distance between themselves and the rest of the Western Conference when they welcome the second-place Los Angeles Lakers to Salt Lake City on Wednesday. The Jazz have won 21 of their last 23 games while the Lakers have lost four of five as they embark on a one-game road trip. Los Angeles’ misery will likely continue in Utah as the Jazz continue to steamroll the opposition.

Jazz vs. Lakers Betting Odds

No matter what happens Wednesday in Salt Lake City between the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers, the Lakers are the favorites in the Western Conference come playoff time. But they are massive underdogs Wednesday night, and rightfully so. Los Angeles has lost four of its last five games with Anthony Davis out of the lineup due to a strained Achilles, while Utah has won a remarkable 21 of its last 23 games to jump up to a comfortable lead atop the Western Conference.

The Lakers have only three players averaging more than 30 minutes per game this season, and two of them will miss Wednesday’s contest. The loss of Davis has been detrimental to Los Angeles over the last five games, but Denis Schroder’s absence is undervalued. He does so many little things for the Lakers, notably taking point guard duties out of LeBron James’ hands when needed. But having both Davis and Schroder out of the lineup puts so much pressure on the supporting cast around James, which has failed the superstar over the last two weeks. James is not at the point where he can carry this team through a difficult Western Conference, and a matchup with the red-hot Jazz is not ideal for this dynamic.

Utah has everyone firing on all cylinders around Donovan Mitchell, who leads six players averaging in double figures with 24.5 points per game. What stands out about the Jazz’s success, though, is their reliance on the 3-pointer and how it has benefited them so far. Utah ranks atop the league in 3-pointers attempted and 3-pointers made while ranking third in 3-point field goal percentage. Meanwhile, the Jazz rank last in two-point field goals taken and made while ranking in the middle of the pack for field-goal percentage. The Jazz’s defense has been outstanding as well, ranking in the top-5 for total field goal percentage defense, 3-point field goal percentage defense and rebounds allowed.

It makes complete sense that the NBA betting sites in New Jersey made Utah an 8.5-point favorite in this game given all the factors at play. It’s about as large of a spread as I can imagine for a team facing LeBron James, but the basketball betting sites in New Jersey could have gone more extreme. Just two of Utah’s 21 wins during this run have come by single digits, and that won’t change against a shorthanded Lakers squad. The last two Lakers losses might have been one-score games, but Utah is a far better opponent than what Los Angeles has faced in recent weeks. A strong Utah defense against a weakened Los Angeles offense, coupled with the disparity in confidence, leads me to bet on the Jazz to win laying 13.5 points at +185 odds from the legal sports betting sites in New Jersey.

Utah Los Angeles
888Sport
-375 +295
BetMGM
-350 +260
Caesars
-360 +300

My Prediction

Utah -8.5 points

The Lakers are struggling without Anthony Davis on the floor and LeBron James is simply not enough to push Los Angeles over the top in a difficult Western Conference. Utah is just on cruise control right now and playing the best basketball in the league by far. Just two of the Jazz’s last 21 victories have come by single digits, so that trend continues Wednesday.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

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