Milwaukee (16-9) at Utah (20-5)
When: Friday, February 12th, 2021
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena,
Salt Lake City, UT
Time: 9:00 ET | TV: NBA Full Court
Opening Odds: Utah -2/232.5
If you haven’t been following the NBA this season, you might be surprised to know that the team with the best record resides in Salt Lake City. The Utah Jazz are on an incredible run and they will try and keep that going when they host the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The consensus is that the Los Angeles teams will eventually meet each other in the Western Conference Finals, but the Jazz will surely have something to say about that. Utah has won 16 of their last 17 games and are an incredible 15-1-1 ATS during that stretch to catapult them to the top of the West standings – a half-game ahead of the Lakers and 2.5 clear of the Clippers. The run actually started in Milwaukee back on Jan. 8 when Utah knocked down a franchise-record 25 3-pointers in a 131-118 victory. The Jazz went on to win the next 10 games before falling at Denver on Jan. 31. Since then, Utah has won five straight including a 122-108 route of the Boston Celtics on Tuesday. Milwaukee had a five-game winning streak snapped in a 125-124 setback to the rising Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. Superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo missed a jumper at the buzzer, but finished with 47 points. The Bucks trail the Philadelphia 76ers by two games in the Eastern Conference standings and are nearing the end of a six-game road trip. The home team has won six of the last seven meetings and Utah is 7-3 ATS in the last 10.
The Bucks came up just short against Phoenix and they were playing the game without guard Jrue Holiday, who missed his second game in a row due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols for COVID-19 and is questionable for Friday. The Bucks had six players – all 5 starters – score at least 10 points including 18 points and 11 assists from Khris Middleton. Bryn Forbes recorded his third-straight double-digit game with 17 points and is 18-of-25 from the field in that span. Bobby Portis, who is draining 48.1 percent of his 3-point attempts on the season, came off the bench Wednesday and recorded 12 points and nine rebounds. The Bucks road trip ends Sunday night at Oklahoma City.
The Jazz ended up making more 3-pointers in January than any team in league history and also set a record with 11 straight games with at least 15 triples. All-Star Donovan Mitchell poured in 32 points against the Bucks on Jan. 8 and had 36 in the win over the Celtics last time out. He will be relied on once again on Friday, as the Jazz could be without All-Star candidate Mike Conley, who has missed two consecutive games with a strained right hamstring. Joe Ingles picked up the slack on Tuesday with a season-high 24 points including 5-of-11 from three-point land. Utah is the third-best 3-point shooting team in the league at 40.2 percent.
It’s really hard to go against Utah right now and they destroyed the Bucks on the road earlier this season. When the Bucks play a team with at least a .600 winning percentage, they are on an 0-5 ATS run. Give me Utah at home here.
Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free NBA Picks page for today.
Pick: Jazz -1.5