The Utah Jazz is the No.1 team in the league right now, and they host the champions, the LA Lakers, on Wednesday night. The purple and gold are trying to keep in the contention for the top spot in the conference, but without Anthony Davis, that is a very hard task. Meanwhile, the Jazzers are on a 14-game winning streak at home, during which they displayed superb form, routing each of their rivals without any problems. With AD out, they hope to have the same experience against the champs, who are slowing down since the big fella picked up his injury.
Los Angeles Lakers (22-10, +265) have lost three in the previous four games, with this negative streak starting against the Denver Nuggets once Davis aggravated his Achilles injury. After that, the LAL beat Minnesota and then lost three in a row vs. Nets, Heat and the Wizards, all of them at home.
The latest game against Washington saw overtime, and fantastic Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook singlehandedly beating the hosts during the additional five minutes. The Lakers’ defense without Davis is mediocre, and that was apparent in Monday’s event. Both Harrell, Gasol, and Morris aren’t contributing even closely as the Lakers’ power forward.
LeBron James was one board short of reaching a triple-double with 31 points, 13 assists, and nine rebounds. Montrezl Harrell played very well off the bench, with 26 points, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 21 with four threes.
Utah Jazz (25-6, -300) lost in LA against the Clippers in the second of their back-to-back games. The first one ended routinely in their favor, but that one was without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Quickly following the same, Jazz defeated the Hornets at the Vivint Smart Home Arena, 132-110
That was the 14th consecutive victory at home for Quin Snyder’s side. All of them but one were with 10 or more points, and that gives you a clear picture of their strength.
Jazz had four players with 20+ points against the Hornets and seven with double-digit figures. Donovan Mitchell dropped 23, Joe Ingles and Georges Niang 21 each, both scoring seven threes each, and smashing the guest’s defense. Jordan Clarkson also needs to be mentioned, with 20 points.
Head to Head Games
In all three meetings during the 2020 season, the Lakers defeated Utah without any problems. The last time these two sides met, was in the Orlando bubble, with the purple and gold triumphing 116-108.
The spread on the Jazz is -7.5 points. In the current circumstances, we are definitely going with them covering that gap and posting another routine victory. The Lakers are not the same team with and without Davis, who is their anchor in defense. We’ve seen a massive drop in their performances since he stopped playing, which is the No.1 reason to bet on Utah’s success.
Also, the Jazz’s incredible run at home is another factor that influenced our decision. The way they dismantled all these teams recently is astonishing, and we simply can’t see them losing to the average Lakers. Despite them having LeBron at his best.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.