The Utah Jazz (12-8; 8-12 ATS) take on the Philadelphia 76ers (14-6; 8-11-1 ATS) at Wells Fargo Center on Monday night to wrap up their regular-season series. The Jazz outlasted the 76ers 106-104 as 2.5-point home favorites on November 6. It was their first win over Philadelphia after four straight defeats, and the Jazz are 0-5 ATS in that span.
Utah has dropped three of its last four games overall including a 130-110 loss in Toronto last night. On the other side, the 76ers enter this clash on a three-game winning streak and have won seven of their previous eight contests overall.
The visitors are coming in full strength. The hosts are without Shake Milton (knee, illness), while Josh Richardson (hamstring) is doubtful. Richardson could miss his third straight game. He’s averaging 16.1 points per game this season.
The Sixers opened as 5.5-point favorites with the total at 207.5 points and the Jazz at +200 money line odds. Phila is 4-0 SU and ATS in its last four meetings with Utah as a favorite.
What’s at Stake?
Nothing much, as it’s still early in the season and both teams are doing well.
The Jazz will play back-to-back here and are 6-2 SU and ATS in their last eight outings on the second day. They had a tough time in Canada last night, losing by 40 points at halftime! The Jazz will wrap up a five-game road trip and will have a difficult home matchup on Wednesday when they face off against the Lakers. On the other side, the Sixers are coming off a 119-116 home win over Indiana. They will have a few days off before a trip to Washington on Thursday.
Utah had a top 3 defense through the first five weeks of the season, but they’ve been struggling lately. The Jazz surrendered 117.4 points per game over their previous five outings. Their defensive rating is the 10th-best in the league at the moment (104.8), while the Jazz are scoring only 106.3 points per 100 possessions (21st in the league). Utah makes 45.0% of its field goals (18th) and 37.8% of its 3-pointers (5th).
The Sixers, on the other side, have the 5th-best defensive rating in the league, allowing 103.7 points per 100 possessions. They are scoring 108.3 in a return (16th). Philadelphia shoots 46.9% from the field (7th) and 35.1% from beyond the arc (19th). Likewise, the Sixers are making 26.1 assists per 100 possessions (4th), while the Jazz are 26th in the NBA with only 20.8 dishes per 100 possessions.
As we can see, both teams play tough defense, but they have some serious problems on the offensive end, especially the Jazz. Utah will have to share the ball more and try to find open treys. The Sixers allow their opponents to shoot 36.2% from beyond the 3-point line (17th), and that’s an opportunity for the Jazz who are terrific from deep this season.
Joel Embiid leads the way for the Sixers, averaging 22.8 points and 12.3 rebounds per game. However, he will have a tough matchup, as Rudy Gobert is arguably the best rim protector in the league. Gobert tallies 13.3 points, 13.8 boards, and 1.9 blocks per contest. Donovan Mitchell leads the Jazz with 24.9 points per game, and he had only 16 last night in Toronto.
Keep your eyes on Bojan Bogdanovic who should take advantage of the Sixers’ poor 3-point defense. Bogdanovic is averaging 21.5 points on 45.8% shooting from deep. He’s taking 6.9 triples per game.
Although they are 0-5 ATS in the last five meetings with the Sixers, I think the Jazz will cover tonight. They were humiliated by the Raptors last night and will be keen to bounce back in this one. The Jazz will play without rest, but they don’t need one after that pathetic performance in Toronto. On the other side, the Sixers are undefeated in 10 straight outings at home, covering five times in that stretch. However, they are 2-5 ATS in the previous seven home games. The Sixers lost by two points in Salt Lake City, and I expect to see another tight clash.
When it comes to the totals, betting on the under seems like a logical choice. The under is 9-3 in the previous 12 encounters between Utah and Phila, and it is 9-4 in the Sixers’ last 13 outings at home. Still, the over is 5-1 in Utah’s previous six games overall, and I’ve mentioned the Jazz’s struggling on the defensive end. I don’t feel comfortable with the line at 207.5 points, and it looks too low to me. I would stick with the Jazz to cover.