The Utah Jazz (36-21) will be at home in Vivint Smart Home Arena when they go head-to-head against the Boston Celtics (40-17). Tip-off is set for 10:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 26, 2020, and it can be seen on ESPN.
Boston Celtics vs. Utah Jazz Betting Preview
The Celtics defeated the Portland Trail Blazers in their last matchup, 118-106, despite being 7.5-point underdogs. Jayson Tatum was the top scorer from either team with 36 points on 14-for-22 shooting. Boston dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a turnover percentage of 12.7 (worse than their season average of 11.7) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.583 (above their season average of 0.531). For those same stats, Portland recorded marks of 15.2 and 0.524, respectively. The two teams combined to score 224 points, which finished just over the O/U total of 222.5.
The last time the Jazz played, they were 8.5-point favorites and were defeated by the Phoenix Suns, 131-111. Donovan Mitchell was the game’s high scorer with 38 points on 11-for-19 shooting. Phoenix had an offensive rebounding percentage of 30.6 (above their season average of 22.0). Utah, meanwhile, did a terrific job of getting and making free throws (37-43; 86.0 percent). Combined, the two teams scored 242 points, which finished well over the projected point total of 224.5.
This is the first time these teams will meet this year. The Jazz won both games played against each other last season. In the last game, Utah won 98-86. Utah had a better free throw rate (0.218 vs. 0.121). Boston, on the other hand, had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (30.4 vs. 17.1).
Of Boston’s 56 games that accepted bets, 28 have finished under the O/U total, while 30 of Utah’s 57 games have finished over the projected point total. Looking at straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records, the Celtics have a clear advantage. They are 40-17 SU and 34-21-1 ATS, while the Jazz are 36-21 SU and 27-28-2 ATS.
Both teams have had a player heat up over their last five games. For the Celtics, it’s been Tatum, who has averaged 30 points,9.0 rebounds,1.4 steals,1.2 blocks, while the Jazz have gotten solid contributions from Jordan Clarkson (23 points,3.4 assists).
From an effective field goal percentage perspective, this will be a balanced game. The sweet-shooting Utah offense ranks second in the NBA in that metric at 0.550, while the stingy Boston defense is ranked fifth in effective field goal percentage allowed (0.509).
Boston Celtics vs. Utah Jazz Prediction
Prediction: SU Winner – Celtics, ATS Winner – Celtics, O/U – Over
The Celtics rank sixth in fast break points per game (15.6) while the Jazz rank 26th (10.9).
Utah ranks fourth in rebounds allowed per game (42.6) while Boston ranks 10th (43.9).
Utah ranks third in three pointers allowed per game (31.5) while Boston ranks 16th (33.9).
Boston ranks 23rd in assists per game (23.1) while Utah ranks 26th (22.1).
On the road, Boston is 17-10-1 ATS with 16 unders and 12 overs.
At home, Utah is 13-14-1 ATS with 15 overs and 13 unders.
In games where they allow less than 100 points, Utah and Boston are both 12-2.
The Celtics are 39-11 when they reach 100 points, while the Jazz are 35-15.
The Jazz rank third in second chance points allowed per game (11.7) while the Celtics rank 14th (12.7).
Boston ranks ninth in steals per game (8.2) while Utah ranks 29th (5.7).
The Celtics rank seventh in blocks per game (5.6) while the Jazz rank 27th (3.9).
The Celtics rank third in points allowed in the paint per game (43.2) while the Jazz rank eighth (45.9).
Boston ranks seventh in points off turnovers per game (18.0) while Utah ranks 27th (14.2).
Utah is 2-3 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in its last five games.
Across its past five games, Boston is 3-2 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
The Jazz have been outscored by an average of 4.0 points in their last five games. For the season, Utah has defeated opponents by an average of 3.2 points.
During their last five games, the Celtics have scored an average of 120.6 points per game (7.2 above their season average) and allowed an average of 117.2 points per game (10.7 above their season average).