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Even Without PG Conley, Jazz Are Road Favorites Over T-Wolves

Utah vs Minnesota Betting Odds

It’s a battle of opposites Wednesday, as the Jazz struggle on the road and have trouble scoring, but face a Minnesota team that can’t guard anyone and has not played well at home. In what is basically a pick’em game, Utah and its stifling defense is the more appealing play.

Utah Jazz vs Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Date/Time: December 11, 8 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Target Center
  • TV Coverage: AT&T SportsNet - Rocky Mountain, NBC Sports California
  • Opening Odds: Utah -1.5 | O/U 222
  • Jazz vs Timberwolves Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

With both teams struggling of late, the Jazz are 1.5-point road favorites in part due to having a better record and a slightly deeper team … even with Mike Conley injured. The total opened at just 222 points, a reflection of Utah’s tendency to play low-scoring games and the recent history of this matchup – the Jazz and T-Wolves have gone UNDER in four of their last five meetings.

Utah News & Notes

The bad news for the Jazz is that they’ve lost six of their last eight games. The good news is that they still have a 13-11 record and are only 2.5 games out of the Northwest Division lead.

The problem for Utah during this skid, as it’s been all season, has been scoring points. The Jazz have failed to top 100 points in three of their last four games – all losses – and are 23rd in the league in scoring. Only four Jazz players average double figures in scoring this season and one of them, point guard Mike Conley, will miss his fourth straight game Wednesday due to hamstring tightness.

Utah has been carried by the defense: it sits top 10 in points against, opponent field-goal percentage and opponent rebounding, in large part thanks to center Rudy Gobert, who averages 13.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.

Gobert will have his work cut out for him against Minnesota, as he’ll square off against Karl-Anthony Towns, the eighth-leading scorer in the NBA this season.

Minnesota News & Notes

The Timberwolves have seen their top two players – Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins – take big steps forward this season, but it doesn’t seem to have improved the team’s fortunes.

Towns is averaging a career-high 26.1 points and 4.5 assists per game, to go along with 11.7 rebounds, while Wiggins has jumped from 18.1 points per game last season to 24.5 points per game this year. But despite the breakout seasons, Minnesota is just 10-13, having lost five straight games following Monday’s 125-109 defeat to Phoenix.

The problem for the Wolves has been defense, as they allow the third-most points in the league, and poor play at home, where they are 3-7 SU and 2-7-1 ATS on the season. They do have a good chance to right the ship against Utah, though — the Jazz struggle to score and have not played well on the road this year.

Betting Pick: Jazz -1.5

Although they’re missing their point guard, in a matchup between two struggling teams I’ll side with the defensive-minded Jazz over the offensively inclined Timberwolves.

Shark Bites
  • Minnesota is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games.
  • The OVER is 7-3 in Utah’s last 10 games.
  • Utah is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games.