Sunday’s NBA betting action in the first weekend of the playoffs continues at 1:00 p.m. (ET) at the AT&T Center, as the San Antonio Spurs face the Utah Jazz.
The Jazz are a young team that really needs this experience here in the postseason to eventually become a factor down the road. They aren’t winning it all this year, and there is no doubt about that, but they could at least make life a bit difficult on a San Antonio team that lost in the first round of the playoffs last year as a No. 1 seed. Utah made it into the second season with a win over the Phoenix Suns just a few nights ago, and it really has to know that it has to ride that momentum right away to have a shot in this series. Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are the two big men that have to get the job done against the San Antonio forwards and centers in this series. Jefferson is good for 19.2 points and 9.6 boards per game, while Millsap had 16.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Derrick Favors is growing game by game, and Gordon Hayward has rounded into a fine complimentary NBA player.
The Spurs have one of the deepest teams in the league this year, and they definitely have the stats to show it. Tony Parker was the team’s leading scorer this year at 18.2 points per game, and he at least had a bit of a gripe to be the league’s MVP this year. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are both carrying the veteran flag for this team as well, but the rest of the squad really is relatively young. Patty Mills had a tremendous end of the season, and he averaged 10.3 points per game and shot 42.9 percent from three point range. Gary Neal, DeJuan Blair, Tiago Splitter, Danny Green, and Stephen Jackson are all averaging at least nine points per game, while Kawhi Leonard, Matt Bonner, and Boris Diaw are all decent options to bring off the bench as well. Needless to say, this is a problem that Head Coach Gregg Popovich has an easy time dealing with. The difference between these Spurs and the Spurs of the past is that this edition of the team is clearly one that is running and gunning, and that’s where all of the substituting comes into play.
The Final Word: The Jazz have done a decent job in this series of late, winning a game at home and nearly pulling a second upset. It’s not that often that the Spurs win a game by 11 points or more in this series, and though we do think that the hosts are going to go up 1-0 in this series, we’ll take the 10.5 points.
Utah Jazz @ San Antonio Spurs Pick: Utah Jazz +10.5
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.