Utah Jazz at Toronto Raptors Video and Betting Preview: The Jazz head to Tampa for a battle with the Raptors on Friday. This comes on the heels of their loss to the Washington Wizards, who are now 7-2 against the top six teams in the Western Conference. When you look past a team, you tend to lose the game, as was the case with the Jazz.
It’s an opportunity at a quick bounce back for Utah, who will aim for their 30th victory of the season. At 29-11, they are still atop the West. They got 42 points from Donovan Mitchell and 34 from Joe Ingles in last night’s loss. When you let Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal combine for 78 points, your chances of winning are slim to none. This marks the first of two meetings for Utah against the Raptors, with the next one happening on May 1.
The Raptors have been in an extreme funk of late and are suddenly six games under .500. Playing a long stretch without Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and OG Anunoby was going to be hard. No question about it. But they couldn’t get any wins in their absence. And as they all returned, the Pistons decided they didn’t want to lose. So, at 17-23, Toronto has a long way to go in order to return to playoff relevance by year’s end. 32 games to prove they belong.
- SPREAD: Despite last night’s loss to DC, Utah is a -5 favorite.
- OVER/UNDER: The over/under is set at 229 points.
- MONEYLINE: UTAH -205, TOR +170
Jazz Seeking Road Win
Being 29-11 is pretty darn good. Even if the Jazz have struggled of late, they have got to be proud of their beginning to the year. They have the best record in a conference filled with ‘super’ teams. The Lakers have been without AD for over a month, while the Clippers have worked through a few issues of their own. Denver’s inconsistency has made Utah the top team.
The stats for Mitchell and Gobert haven’t been much different, but they have continued to show improvement in how they carry themselves. Mitchell’s two techs against Philly before the All-Star break might say otherwise, but it seemed the refs were pretty bad that day. So, cut him some slack.
On the downside, the team missed out on PJ Tucker, as the Bucks won the sweepstakes. They signed Ersan Ilyasova, who is yet to see the floor. Should he get some run, he’ll help with interior defense and floor spacing.
The Jazz should be able to win this one if they play to their strengths.
Raptors Seek Home Win
It’s been a long season for the Raptors. And though it remains unlikely, there is a chance that Kyle Lowry is on another team at this time next week. The trade deadline is on March 26, and a lot can happen between now and then. He’s got a hefty price tag (deservedly so), but we’ll have to wait and see what happens.
Norman Powell, meanwhile, has been on an absolute tear and continued his hot shooting by dropping 43 big ones on the Raptors. As the team is able to solidify the rotation and everybody gets their legs under them, they should be able to pull a winning streak together. Despite all of this recent losing (six straight losses), the Raptors are just 0.5 games out of the play-in.
The 20-19 Hornets are the #5 seed, while the 21-21 Knicks are the #6. Only three teams in the East are more than three games over .500. But, if the Raptors don’t start winning consistently, they’ll probably lose in the play-in games. Come on, guys.
If they want to beat Utah, they’ll need Lowry and VanVleet to lock in defensively and for Aron Baynes and Chris Boucher to work hard to keep Gobert off the boards.
Utah Jazz vs. Toronto Raptors Picks
- SPREAD: Make sure to go Raptors +5
- OVER/UNDER: Over 229 all the way. A lot of scoring from the top stars.
- MONEYLINE: UTAH -205
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