NBA Picks ATS: Utah Jazz at Milwaukee Bucks

Utah Jazz at Milwaukee Bucks
December 18th, 2010 at 8:35 PM EST
Opening Line:  Milwaukee -1
Current Line:  Milwaukee -1.5
Opening Total:  189
Current Total:  189
Moneyline:  Undefined at time of Issue
(4:01 AM)

Deron Williams will face second year point guard Brandon Jennings tonight

Utah will be playing on the second night of a back to back, following a devestating 100-71 loss last night in New Orleans.  Utah has lost 3 of their last 5 games, but did beat Orlando badly at home during that stretch on Friday the 10th.  Utah has been solid on the road and have a 7-4 road record.  Milwaukee (10-14) isn’t overwhelming at home by any means, though, and are an unintimidating 7-5 in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee has been starting to get their act together and had won three in a row before dropping Wednesday night by 2 points to the league leading San Antonio Spurs.  Before that, they were responsible for ending Dallas’ 12 game winning streak.

Utah boasts a +2.8 point differential, scoring 100.2 and giving up 97.4 points per game.  Milwaukee is -1.3, scoring 91.9 and giving up 93.1.

Some betting trends:  Utah has won 6 of their past 8 road games and the total has gone UNDER in 4 of Utah’s last 6 games in Milwaukee.  Utah is 10-2 against Milwaukee over the last 12 games.

Milwaukee is 4-1-1 ATS in their past six games, and the total has gone UNDER in 4 of Milwaukee’s past 6 games.  The Bucks are 5-9-1 ATS in the last 15 games.  Milwaukee is 3-14 ATS in their past 17 games against Utah.

Some key matchups for tonight’s game:

Deron Williams vs. Brandon Jennings

Both Jennings and Jennings have different “poisons” for opposing guards.  Deron Williams does it with strength, deliberate movement of his upper body, good outside shooting and hesitation dribbles; Jennings does his work off the dribble, is very quick, slithers his way through defenses rather than overpowering them.  Both seek to run a lot of pick and rolls with their respective power forwards and centers.  Deron Williams will run pick and roll or pick and pops with both Millsap and Al Jefferson, while Jennings will run most of his pick and rolls with all star center Andrew Bogut, who will be the discussion of the next matchup.

Al Jefferson vs. Andrew Bogut

Bogut has claimed that he is still “not 100%” with regards to his injured elbow that he rehabbed all off season.  Al Jefferson has the bulk and body to give Bogut a game, when Bogut overpowers most of the centers in the league not named Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, Brook Lopez, or Kendrick Perkins.  Jefferson has returned to form this year and is helping Deron Williams have the best season of his NBA career.  He will get a lot of easy looks from Deron finding him near the basket and is excellent at cleaning up on the boards as well.

This should be a close game as NBA oddsmakers predict, setting the spread at 1 point.  It can easily go in Utah’s favor if they are able to keep their offense flowing freely and keep the game a little faster in pace than Milwaukee would prefer.

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