Utah Jazz vs Philadelphia 76ers

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers host the Utah Jazz at Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Wednesday night beginning at 7 pm EST. Currently, the Jazz are favored by 3.5-points, up from 2-5-points at the opening, while the total stands at 227.5-points, up from 226.5.

The Jazz lost some of their momentum while on their current 4-game road trip as they dropped 2 of 3 after being taken out by the New Orleans Pelicans Monday night. And while the Jazz were able to go up by 5 at the break, New Orleans went on a 3rd quarter run while holding off a late rally by Utah to drop the Jazz to 27-8 on the year. Despite having 4 20+ point scorers led by Bojan Bogdanovich with 31, the defense for Utah was uncharacteristically horrible giving up 57% shooting to the Pelicans while also shooting 64% from deep. The Jazz failed to cover the spread as 7-point favorites while going 3-2 ATS in their last 5, overall.

The 76ers enter this contest winners of 3 of 4 as they were able to atone for a 3-point overtime loss at home last Saturday night by beating up on the Indiana Pacers Monday night. The 76ers dominated the 2nd and 3rd periods thanks to a huge performance by Joel Embiid along with solid minutes off the bench from Shake Milton along with Furkan Korkmaz, who ended with 26 and 19 points, respectively. With the win, Philadelphia remained a half-game ahead of the Brooklyn Nets for tops in the Atlantic division. The 76ers were able to cover as 3.5-point favorites and are 4-2 ATS in their last 6.

Each of these teams have picked up 5 wins in their last 10 meetings with the 76ers winning 3 of 4 at Wells Fargo Arena. Philadelphia is also 7-3 ATS in their last 10 versus the Jazz while going 3-1 against the number in their last 4 at home.

Jazz seeks to go .500 on road trip

Utah has, and continues to be one of the hottest teams in the league currently as they hold a commanding 7 game lead for 1st place in the Northwest division. However, their current 4-game road trip has humbled the team as their offense has continued to post big number (122 points in last 3), yet, their defense, which ranks as one of the best in the league, had been pushed around a bit in losses to the Miami Heat and the Pelicans as the team is giving up 122 points while dropping 2 of 3.

They now match up versus a 76ers team that is coming off a 130-point output versus the Pacers in addition to posting 123 on the road in an 11-point loss mid-February. Philadelphia shot 50% in this contest while sinking just 8 of 23 treys as Ben Simmons (42 points, 12 assists, 9 rebounds) along with Tobias Harris (36 points, 10 rebounds) led the scoring charge on efficient shooting night. Harris also went 3-5 from long-range in the defeat while Embiid did not suit up for this contest.

On the other hand, the Jazz boasted 6 double-digit scorers with Jordan Clarkson leading the way off the bench with 40 points while going 8-13 from deep. Donovan Mitchell along with Joe Ingles finished with 24 and 20 points, respectively, while accounting for 4 of the team’s 18 3-pointers while Bogdanovich and Gobert each put in 11 points on a combined 7-15 shooting.

76ers seek 2nd-straight win

With Harris not being able to suit up due to a knee injury, the 76ers could not afford to drop 2-straight versus the Pacers. The team was able to rely on 24 and 13 from Embiid along with 18 from Simmons in addition to getting solid minutes off the bench from the tandem of Milton along with Korkmaz, who combined for 9 of the team’s 15 3-pointers. In all, Philadelphia will certainly need this type of output from their bench moving forward as their success adds an entirely different dimension to the squad.

“It’s what we need,” said coach Doc Rivers to SixersWire. “We’re still working with that group trying to figure out what we can run that fits us the best. We ran some good stuff. I think our guys saw it, they kept running it. They kept finding each other so it’s nice and when those two play well off our bench, we’re pretty tough.” Tough is what the 76ers have been as of late picking up wins in 5 of their last 7, overall.

Milton was recovering from injury in their matchup versus the Jazz last month while Korkmaz went scoreless in the contest while going 0-5 from the field (0-2 3FG). As I pointed out earlier, Embiid did not suit up for the contest as Harris and Simmons accounted for 78 of the team’s 123 points. Seth Curry and Dwight Howard went a combined 10-18 FG for 11 and 14 points, respectively, with Howard also pulling down 12 boards.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:
 

The Jazz are red hot against the spread at this time covering in 7 of their last 10, overall, while the 76ers have failed to cover the number in 6 of 10 outings.  Furthermore, Harris remains questionable with a knee injury while Embiid also hit the injured list yesterday with an ankle injury; Yet, the center is listed as probable.  I like the Jazz to grind out a hard-fought win and cover the points over Philadelphia to end their 4-game road trip at 2-2.

Prediction:
Utah Jazz -3.5

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:
 

With the defense for the Jazz getting destroyed thus far on their road trip, I expect them to assert themselves early on in this contest.  And with the 76ers likely being without Harris in the lineup while Embiid may not be 100% due to an ankle injury, I see the road team dominating this matchup throughout.  In all, I like the under for this contest as it has been the play in 2 of the last 3 meetings amongst these two teams at Wells Fargo Arena.

Prediction:
Under 227.5