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NBA Betting – Boston Celtics at Utah Jazz

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
Feb/26/2020

  • The Jazz come in as a -5 home favorite versus the Celtics Wednesday

  • The Celtics have lost five games in the last five weeks, all of them to teams from the West

  • Jazz on a current 4-8 skid

  • Bookmaker offering welcome bonus with a maximum of $1000 plus reload bonuses for current customers

The Utah Jazz typically defend their homecourt well and they’ve done a decent job this season going 20-8 at Vivint Smart Home Arena. However, three straight setbacks – all at home – have them trying to figure out who they are. They better find answers quickly with the Boston Celtics making their only visit to Salt Lake City on Wednesday for an ESPN encounter. The Celtics have lost just twice in their last 12 games with both setbacks coming on the road against teams situated highly in the Western Conference. 

Boston Celtics at Utah Jazz

Date and Time: Wednesday, February 26, 2020, 10:30 p.m. ET

Location: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

Opening NBA Odds: Utah -4.5 has moved to -5 Wednesday morning

Celtics at Jazz TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

The Celtics have lost five games in the last five weeks, all of them to teams from the West. Over that same span they’ve won 13 games, including Tuesday’s 118-106 victory in Portland. Boston covered as a 7.5-point favorite and is 4-0 ATS in its last four games. Overall the Celtics are one of the most profitable teams in the NBA with a 34-20-2 ATS record. The Jazz vaulted to near the top of the West thanks to a marvelous stretch that saw them win 14 of 15 games and 19 of 21. They followed that run with five straight losses and are just 4-8 SU and 3-9 ATS in their last 12 with a current three-game skid.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics are trying to make the most of their final road trip through the Western Conference and finish it with a winning record. They took two of the first three on the four-game roadie with the only loss by two-points against the Lakers on Sunday. They are 17-12 on the road this season but just 6-6 SU and 7-5 ATS in their last 12 away encounters. And the end of the trip comes with the second of a back-to-back in Utah.

Boston is playing its eighth back-to-back set and is 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS in the second game of its last five back-to-backs. The Celtics are also looking to end a two-game losing skid to the Jazz. Utah took both meetings last season winning at home 123-115 while covering the closing line both times. The Celtics are hopeful second leading scorer Kemba Walker can return to the lineup. He hasn’t played since before the All-Star break dealing with a sore knee.

Despite not having Walker and his 21.8 points per game in the lineup for the last three outings the offense hasn’t suffered. The Celtics have scored more than 100 points in 21 straight games with at least 119 in nine of them. In the three games without Walker they averaged 119 points. Jayson Tatum picked up the scoring pace averaging 35 points with 16 three-pointers in Kemba’s absence.

Utah Jazz

The Jazz need to find balance and consistency. They go on an absolute tear looking like the best team in the NBA winning 19 of 21 games. Then they struggle to defend and lose by 20 at home to Phoenix during their current 4-8 skid. Teams experience highs and lows during the course of a long season, but this is drastic.

Much like the Celtics under Brad Stevens, Utah’s identity had been defense under Quin Snyder. Well, it looks like the Jazz had their identity stolen. They allowed Phoenix to shoot 56 percent and surrendered the most points in a regulation game this season in Monday’s 131-111 loss. “We’re going to keep getting the same result if we don’t focus and execute on the defensive end. This is a group that’s done that, but that doesn’t matter right now,” Snyder said after the game.

Utah’s recent slide is making the standings much closer. The Jazz are just a half-game up on Oklahoma City and 1.5 games ahead of Dallas for the No. 5 spot. On the flip side they are a game behind Houston for No. 4 and two games back of the Clippers for the three-seed. It begins with defense, though, and the Jazz are allowing 121.3 points in three losses since the break. That’s why they are slumping.

Bet Celtics at Jazz at BookMaker.eu

Utah hadn’t lost three in a row at home since early last season. It’s something that just doesn’t happen all the time. The main culprit is defense as noted above. And it won’t be easy to slow down Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward and Walker, if he plays. The Jazz have offense with Donovan Mitchell and Bojan Bogdanovic supplying plenty of points, and Jordan Clarkson has given the bench some pop. Utah will tighten up defensively with Rudy Gobert the anchor, and they will not lose another home game.

NBA Score Prediction: Utah 112, Boston 106

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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