Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:00 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Utah -2 over Milwaukee
Best Odds: -105 at Pinnacle
8:10 PM EST. The Jazz have become our betting companion and a free-pick vehicle more than once this season. One of our favorite angles to capitalize on is a new-look team that's found a higher level of confidence and rhythm, especially when they're opposing a real contender that could overlook their 2.0 version. All these angles are escalated when Utah plays at the Delta Center, an arena where they've been top 4 in offense and tempo for the last month. Putting it a different way, in seven January games they never scored under 120 points in Salt Lake City. They averaged 135 per game. The Jazz are off three losses in a row, two of those coming off an arduous 6-game road stretch, and on Thursday they were outperformed by Tyrese Maxey and a fired up Sixers' squad in their first game back home. After three solid days of rest, the Jazz are in a great position for positive regression.
The Milwaukee Bucks are obviously a title contender because of the raw talent of their roster, but they've been anything but consistent this season. Another transition has only added to their struggles, as new coach Doc Rivers took over as head coach earlier last week. The Bucks immediately lost two straight, outdone by the champs in Denver on Monday and then blowing a game in Portland against one of the worst outfits in the league. The good news is the Bucks got their first win Saturday at Dallas, fighting back after a 24-point first quarter deficit and winning by double-digits in the end. That was impressive. The bad news is that they taxed their starters last night. Giannis played for 40 minutes, Middleton and Lillard for 38, and even bench stalwart Bobby Portis gave 31 minutes. They will not be well-rested Sunday night.
On a road back-to-back at elevation in Utah is no easy feat. The Jazz dropped 132 on the scoreboard in a 16-point win at Milwaukee in early January, easily finding their mojo against a defense that ranks in the bottom half of the NBA over the last few month. Although some may consider this a revenge spot for Milwaukee, we don't see it. This is a non-conference clash against a foe they're unlikely to see again this season and the Bucks have another big road game at Phoenix just two days from now. Motivated to get back on track in front of their fans, we love a reduced number on the home team.
Utah -2 -105 (Risking 2.10 units - To Win: 2.00)