The Utah Jazz and the Boston Celtics both had a busy Friday night, so tonight’s game will show us who kept more fuel in his tank. The Celtics are coming off a 123-116 overtime victory to the Toronto Raptors, while the Jazz was beaten at the Philadelphia 76ers 113-107 to record its second straight loss on the road. This will be the second H2H duel of the season between these two teams as Utah has beaten Boston 123-115 at home.
Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde
It has been a real rollercoaster for the Utah Jazz (7-8; 7-8 ATS) so far, especially on the road where the Jazz has won five of its nine games, but all four losses came in the previous five outings including an inglorious 118-68 defeat at the Dallas Mavericks. Last night, the Jazz were beaten at Philadelphia 113-107 despite 31 points by Donovan Mitchell who shot 1 of 11 from beyond the arc and 13 of 35 from the field, while the Jazz hit only four of its 22 attempts from downtown. Likewise, the Jazz made just 15 assists while giving the Sixers 20 points off turnovers.
While six Utah’s players are averaging points in double-digits, Donovan Mitchell is leading the way with 21.2 points per game on 40.8% shooting from the field. Rudy Gobert has 15.6 points, 13.1 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game, playing some exceptional defense, while Jae Crowder is a real force off the bench with 13.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest. The Jazz shot 45.5% from the field (13th in the league) and just 32.6% from beyond the arc (26th in the league), scoring 107.3 points per game (21st in the league). On the other side, Utah is allowing 109.2 points per game (10th in the league) on 47.9% shooting from the field which is the third-worst record in the league.
The Celtics are slowly building up their form
The Boston Celtics (9-6; 6-9 ATS) got their payoff last night with a 123-116 overtime victory to the Toronto Raptors mostly thanks to Kyrie Irving’s tremendous performance. Uncle Drew scored 43 points on brilliant 18 of 26 shooting from the field while hitting three of his six 3-pointers and making 11 assists along the way. The Celtics won their second straight game after smashing the Chicago Bulls 111-82 at TD Garden, while they are on a four-game winning streak on a home court.
Uncle Drew (43 PTS, 11 AST) took over down the stretch in the Celtics OT win over the Raptors! 🔥👀 pic.twitter.com/VbNqQGzvF7
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) November 17, 2018
Kyrie Irving is leading the way for the Celtics with 22.3 points and 5.9 assists per game while hitting 50.0% of his field goals and 41.8% of his 3-point attempts. Jayson Tatum is averaging 16.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per contest, whilst Al Horford is doing all little things for his team, recording 11.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game. The Celtics’ defensive rating is the best in the league as they are allowing just 102.6 points per 100 possessions to their opponents, scoring 106.4 points in a return that make their offensive rating 23rd-best in the league.
- 7-9 straight up and ATS in the last 16 games on the road
- 3-3 straight up and ATS in the last six road games against the Eastern Conference
- 1-9 straight up and 3-6-1 ATS in the last ten games at TD Garden
- 13-2 straight up and 12-3 ATS in the last 15 games at home
- 7-3 straight up and 4-5-1 ATS in the last ten home games against the Western Conference
- 4-2 straight up and ATS in the last six meetings with Utah
The Winner Prediction
The Jazz is so unpredictable this season and I would be comfortable with picking the Celtics only if they didn’t play the overtime last night, so there could be some tired legs among the hosts. However, the Jazz is also playing back-to-back here which makes this duel even more interesting. The Celtics had a slow start of the season, but it seems like they are improving in the last few games, particularly at the defensive end, so I’m backing them to continue their winning streak and cover against the moody Jazz. Likewise, after beating the Raptors, Boston will seek another payoff against Utah.
The Pick: Boston Celtics -4.0 (-110)
In their previous H2H matchup seven days ago, we saw a proper high-scoring affair with 238 points in a total way over the 205-point chalk. As I’ve already mentioned, the Jazz is unpredictable and capable of scoring a bunch of points on one night to barely reach the 68-point mark on another, so this one is a tough wager. Considering it is a back-to-back matchup for both sides, I’ll take the under hopping that both teams wouldn’t be as sharp as they were last night and the Celtics would slow down the tempo.
The Pick: Under 208.5 points (-110)