Jack Green provides his four NBA predictions for Wednesday night's huge game between the Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers.
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Utah Jazz (-3.5)
In a meeting of the two conference leaders, the Jazz are the team to back on Wednesday night.
Utah has won 23 of its last 27 games to surge to the top of the West and build a 3.5 game lead, and wins over both Los Angeles teams last month proved that the Jazz are genuine title contenders.
They beat the 76ers 134-123 when these teams met in Utah earlier in the season, and Philadelphia’s run of five defeats in its last 10 games suggests a repeat of that result is likely here.
Under 227.5 points
Although the first meeting between these teams was high-scoring, Wednesday night’s game should be more of a defensive battle.
The 76ers have allowed an average of just 107.6 points per game over their last seven contests, five of which saw fewer than 227 total points scored.
Their ability to slow the Jazz down will be helped by the presence of Joel Embiid, who missed the first game against Utah through injury, while Embiid’s own offensive impact will likely be limited in a match-up against two-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.
Mike Conley under 15.5 points
Conley has played at an All-Star level this season but has seen his scoring dip over the past few games. He’s failed to reach 16 points in his last four and is averaging 13.7 per game over his last seven.
With their roster at full strength, the Jazz are sharing the ball around more, and Conley’s assist numbers have grown as a result. As he continues to operate more as a distributor, there’s value in betting on another low-scoring night against a good defense.
Donovan Mitchell over 5.5 assists
Like Conley, Mitchell has done plenty of facilitating for the Jazz recently, averaging 6.7 assists over his last 12 games.
Utah’s leading scorer has also had six assists or more in four of his last five games, including eight against the New Orleans Pelicans last time out.
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