Last Updated: 2018-08-20
The Utah Jazz impressed everyone last year, sharing the ball and playing some team basketball to reach the Western Conference Semi-Finals where they eventually lost to the Houston Rockets in five games. The Jazz finished fifth in the conference and third in the Northwest Division with a 48-34 record (28-13 at home, 20-21 on the road) to make it to the post-season for the second year in a row. They upset the Thunder in the first round in six games, but James Harden’s Houston Rockets were too much for the Jazz and their magnificent rookie Donovan Mitchell.
The futures and props on the 2018-19 season are already available on BetDSI Sportsbook, so let’s see what can the bettors expect from the Jazz in this term.
Utah Jazz Futures Odds
Win Total Over/Under at 49: Over +100; Under -120
To Win the Northwest Division at +285
To Win the Western Conference at +4500
To Win the NBA Championship at +10000
To Make NBA Playoffs: YES -700, NO +450 (Bet365 Sportsbook)
Utah Jazz Player Movement
Draft: Grayson Allen (No. 21 Pick)
Added: Jairus Lyles (free agency, undrafted), Naz Mitrou-Long (free agency, NBA G League)
Lost: Jonas Jerebko (waived), David Stockton (waived)
Unrestricted Free Agent: Eric McCree
The Jazz did a great job this summer, resigning the 23-year old point guard Dante Exum and a 27-year old power forward Derrick Favors, as both these guys played some important roles in the 2017-18 campaign. At the 2018 NBA Draft, the Jazz selected the 22-year old shooting guard Grayson Allen with the 21st overall pick, adding depth to their backcourt with another intelligent scoring guard. Allen played four years under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, averaging 15.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game in his senior year, while he was impressive as a sophomore with 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game on a 46.6% shooting from the field and 41.7% from beyond the arc.
The former Blue Devil is a good athlete with a terrific leaping ability and anticipation that could help him in his rookie year at the NBA level. Allen can deliver as a spot-up shooter, but he also possesses solid playmaking skills which makes him difficult to guard on the perimeter. However, Grayson will have to work on his defense to become more efficient, particularly off the ball. He should adapt well to Quin Snyder’s system and get some minutes during the season.
Utah Jazz 2018-19 Roster
Rarely who could expect such a dominant performance from the rookie, but Donovan Mitchell surprised everyone with his leadership and maturity, carrying the Jazz through the most of the 2017-18 season. He played in 79 games, just eight times off the bench, averaging 20.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 33.4 minutes per game while shooting 43.7% from the field and 34.0% from beyond the arc. Mitchell showed some terrific scoring skills, driving the lane or shooting off the dribble, but he also proved that he can play well at point guard, using the most of the pick and roll situations. The 13th overall pick from the 2017 NBA Draft is undoubtedly a future All-Star, but he will play under a lot of pressure this season. Mitchell was the second-best rookie of the year behind the 76ers’ Ben Simmons, and if he finds the way to improve constantly, then the sky is the limit.
Ricky Rubio started in 77 games last year, having a solid season with 13.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. Rubio set his career high in points, field goals percentage (41.8%), and 3-point percentage (35.2%) but also a career low in assists. It was his first season with the Utah Jazz, and Ricky played off the ball more than he did it in Minnesota. Rubio should continue to contribute as a starter, while Dante Exum will be his backup after playing in just 14 games last season due to an injury. Exum already missed the whole 2015-16 season, and in three years with the Jazz, he averaged 5.7 points and 3.1 assists on 48.3% shooting from the field. Alec Burks will be another backcourt option off the bench, entering his eighth season in Salt Lake City, and last year, he recorded 7.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game, playing in 64 games, only once as a starter.
For the second year in a row, the forward Joe Ingles played in all 82 games, becoming an invaluable member of the Utah Jazz starting lineup. Ingles was on the floor for 31.4 minutes per game last year, averaging 11.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 4.8 assists, while he was deadly from downtown, hitting 44.0% of his 3-pointers on 5.7 shots per game. Darrick Favors was excellent last season with 12.3 points and 7.2 rebounds, setting his career high with 56.3% shooting from the field. Favors will start at power forward, but he can also play at center when it’s needed. Jae Crowder came last year in a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the 28-year old wing will be a brilliant backup. Crowder is a good defender who can switch almost everything adding a depth to the Jazz frontcourt with his versatility.
The 26-year old Frenchman Rudy Gobert will be a starting center in his sixth season in Salt Lake City after having a tremendous year, earning the 2018 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. Gobert has improved significantly in the past few years, becoming an elite defender who’s also quite useful at the offensive end. Last year, Gobert played in 56 games, averaging 13.5 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game, while shooting 62.2% from the field.
Players Under Contract:
Ricky Rubio (PG), Dante Exum (PG), Raul Neto (PG)
Donovan Mitchell (SG), Alec Burks (SG), Grayson Allen (SG)
Joe Ingles (SF), Thabo Sefolosha (SF), Royce O Neale (SF)
Derrick Favors (PF), Jae Crowder (PF), Georges Niang (PF)
Rudy Gobert (C), Ekpe Udoh (C), Tony Bradley (C)
Win Total Prediction and Betting Picks
The Jazz will continue to work hard and play a team basketball that makes them so hard to beat, so the bookies set the line on the win total at 49.5 games, and it’s hard to say whether Quin Snyder’s boys are capable of winning two games more than they did last year. They play in the arguably toughest division, but the Jazz is still the second strongest favorite to win the Northwest with the odds at +285 on 5Dimes Sportsbook. However, even if they fail to win the division title, the Utah Jazz should secure the playoff berth at -700 odds.
This should be a crazy season on the west coast, so I think the Jazz will have a difficult time to win 50 games. Their rivals are better prepared this season for Donovan Mitchell, but the Jazz will probably win the vast majority of their home games, and with some strong performance on the road, they will be in the top half of the table. The coach Quin Snyder has a lot of options in the well-balanced roster, so he will try to lead the Jazz to the third consecutive playoff semi-finals.
The Pick: Under 49 (-120)
Prediction: Western Conference First Round
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