Utah Jazz vs Denver Nuggets Game 1 Predictions, Odds & Picks
- The Utah Jazz and the Denver Nuggets meet in the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs.
- The Nuggets have only won one out four previous playoff series against the Jazz.
- Both teams struggled during the seeding schedule, going 3-5 respectively.
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Utah Jazz vs Denver Nuggets Odds
|Team||Point Spread||Total||Money Line|
|Utah Jazz||+4.5 -109||O 215.5 -113||+165|
|Denver Nuggets||-4.5 -112||U 215.5 -108||-200|
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Utah Jazz vs Denver Nuggets Predictions and Picks
Neither team will be fielding their best side, but the Denver Nuggets still look to have the depth they need to succeed. Utah’s lack of scoring punch will hurt them!
Denver Nuggets def. Utah Jazz +165
Over 215.5 -113
Denver Nuggets -4.5 -109
How to Watch Utah Jazz vs Denver Nuggets
|Utah Jazz vs Denver Nuggets Information|
|What||Utah Jazz vs Denver Nuggets|
|Where||ESPN Wide World of Sports, Orlando, FL|
|When||Monday, August 17th, 2020; 1:30 PM EST|
|How to Watch/Listen||Watch on ESPN+ here!|
Head-to-Head: Utah Jazz vs Denver Nuggets
|Utah Jazz||Head-to-Head||Denver Nuggets|
|Quin Snyder||Head Coach||Mike Malone|
|44-28 (6th in West, 10th Overall)||Standing||46-27 (3rd in West, 6th Overall)|
|112.3 (10th of 30)||Off Rtg||113.1 (5th of 30)|
|109.9 (24th of 30)||Def Rtg||111.0 (16th of 30)|
|98.6 (24th of 30)||Pace||97.1 (29th of 30)|
Leaders (Per Game)
|D. Mitchell (24.0)||PPG||N. Jokic (19.9)|
|R. Gobert (13.5)||RPG||N. Jokic (9.7)|
|J. Ingles (5.2)||APG||N. Jokic (7.0)|
|D. Mitchell (1.0)||SPG||G. Harris (1.4)|
|R. Gobert (2.0)||BPG||B. Bol (0.9)|
|R. Gobert (.693)/D. Mitchell (8.7)||FG%/FGM||N. Vonleh (.833)/N. Jokic (7.7)|
|B. Bogdanovic (.414)/B. Bogdanovic (3.0)||3P%/3PM||P. Millsap (.435)/T-Barton, Murray (1.9)|
What Will the Nuggets’ Rotation Look Like?
Will Barton and Gary Harris will miss the first game of the NBA Playoffs. Those are two crucial players to head coach Mike Malone’s gameplan. The next step for the Nuggets is finding out who can fill their shoes.
The first shot will likely go to All-Bubble Second Team member Michael Porter Jr., who impressed by averaging 22.0 points and 8.6 rebounds on 55.1% from the field and 42.4% from three.
Malone did however play gritty reserves Monte Morris and Torey Craig over 25 minutes each during the restart. Harris and Barton are not only keys to the Nuggets’ offense, but their defense as well. Replacing their contributions won’t be easy, but Denver is well-practiced due to Malone’s deep rotation during the seeding games.
Will Utah’s Tank Job Pay Dividends?
It was quite clear what the Utah Jazz was doing come to the end of the NBA’s seeding schedule. After a dismal showing in the restarted schedule, the Jazz finished sixth in the West, avoiding the dangerous Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets.
The Jazz has been dreadful against the Nuggets all season long, going 0-3 in regular-season meetings. The shooting was competitive, but Utah could not meet Denver’s defensive intensity.
Utah will have to take care of the ball against the Nuggets. They averaged 17.7 turnovers per game to Denver’s 10.3 in head to head matchups. With Mike Conley possibly unavailable, ball security will be more of a concern than ever.
Nuggets Key Player: (F) Michael Porter Jr.
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) August 14, 2020
Porter Jr. emerged as a star for the Denver Nuggets during the season restart. Not much was expected of the rookie upon his return, but he earned All-Bubble second-team status alongside the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard.
Porter is an out-and-out scorer. For a Nuggets team that struggles with offensive consistency, his production is massive considering the health concerns of Will Barton and Gary Harris.
Porter Jr. may not get many minutes, or he will be thrown to the wolves in his first playoff outing. It is tough to say with a rookie and a shrewd head coach like Mike Malone. If one thing is true, MPJ’s scoring is a game-changer.
Jazz Key Player: (C) Rudy Gobert
The recovery. The block.
WOW GOBERT. ❌ pic.twitter.com/rDWdwRXAOm
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 26, 2020
Rudy Gobert may have been the face of the NBA when the league came to a halt, but he’s not even the face of his own franchise.
Despite being in the shadow of Donovan Mitchell, the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year is just as, if not more, valuable than their young scoring guard.
Gobert averaged 15.3 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game during the seeding schedule. He’s averaged 19.7 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 1.67 blocks against the Nuggets this season. In order to stifle the Nuggets, Gobert must control the paint on both ends.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]