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Utah vs. New York, 03/07/2014 19:30
Point Spread: +7/-110 Utah
No doubt Utah is among the many bad teams in the NBA who are concerned more about landing a high draft pick and building for the future than playing for this season.
But I see this as a value spot taking a small market team playing in the Big Apple taking, what I perceive to be, an inflated number.
Yes, the Jazz are bad. But so is New York. The Knicks are 22-40. The Jazz are 21-40 and play in the far more difficult Western Conference. So which team is really better? New York has the better talent, but has far more distractions and controversies.
Utah is 0-4 during its six-game road trip. They Jazz are off a bad 104-91 loss to the Wizards where their coach, Tyrone Corbin, questioned their focus and energy. Teams usually perform better in their next game when their coach rips their focus and energy. This a due spot for the Jazz to have one of their better performances.
The Jazz don't have anyone close to the star level of Carmelo Anthony. But they do have some good piece-type guys, who are developing into decent players. The Knicks need to rebound well to cover this large of a number. The Jazz have a couple of underrated quality big men in Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. Utah has a couple of underrated scorers, too, with Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks. New York is 20th in rebounding margin. Utah ranks right behind them in this category.
The Knicks played one of their best games in a long time upsetting the Timberwolves, 118-106, two nights ago on the road. Even with that victory, the Knicks are just 3-13 since February. They are 0-4 ATS the past four times taking on below .500 opponents and haven't won back-to-back games since late January.
I question the Knicks' incentive, too. Do they want to take their shot in the lottery, or try to sneak into the playoffs as the last seed where they will be destroyed by either the Heat or Pacers?
(Editor's note: Stephen Nover is cashing 80 percent of his paid plays the past three days and also has his Friday NBA slam dunk going today.)