NBA Western Conference Betting Preview: Utah Jazz at L.A. Lakers

Pau-Gasol-lakers-16Utah at L.A. Lakers
Time: 10:30 PM ET, Feb 11, 2014
Spread: LAL -1.5
Total: 202

Betting odds courtesy of Bovada

Utah is 17-33 on the season but no longer has the worst record in the West. The Jazz have won four of its past 10 games, but the team is just 6-19 on the road where it will take on the L.A. Lakers in a game NBA oddsmakers at Bovada are favoring the Lakers by 1.5-points.

The Jazz upset the Miami Heat on Saturday night (Feb 8), winning 94-89. Gordon Hayward was close to a triple double with nine points, nine rebounds and 11 assists, and Marvin Williams had 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting. The Jazz out rebounded Miami 41-32 and shot 48.6 percent from the floor.

Hayward is a restricted free agent at season’s end and is sure to draw a lot of attention from suitors around the league. The Butler product is averaging a stat-stuffing 16.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game and could be a big part of what Utah is doing moving forward. Derrick Favors has become a double-double machine. And Trey Burke has a lot of potential as a scoring floor general. But Utah is still very much a team without a superstar or an identity.

The Lakers have all of that, but are still in a precarious situation with a 18-33 record. The West is too strong to say the Lakers have a chance at cracking the playoff picture, and Kobe Bryant may be best waiting until next season before lacing them up again. Bryant played just six games this season before re-injuring himself, and the Lakers have been basically just evaluating parts since then.

Kendall Marshall came up from the D-League and averaged 10.1 points and 9.3 assists per game over 23 games, but Steve Nash is healthy again. Nick Young has one of the worst shot selections in the league, but is still averaging 16.9 points per game, second only to Pau Gasol’s 17.0.

UTA Trends: UNDER 5-0-1 in last 6 overall; UNDER 4-0 in last 4 road games; UNDER 3-0-1 in last 4 following ATS win.

LAL Trends: UNDER 5-1 in last 6 Thursday games; OVER 14-3 in last 17 games vs teams with winning percentage below .400; OVER 4-1 in last 5 home games vs teams with losing records.

Head-to-head: Jazz 7-16 ATS in last 23 meetings in Los Angeles; OVER 18-8 in last 26 in Los Angeles.

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