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Odds and Ends

NBA Best Bets: BOS @ UTA 2/26

by Covers.com
Updated On: February 26, 2020, 1:08 pm ET

BOSTON CELTICS AT UTAH JAZZ

QUICK HITTER

The Jazz are suddenly out of tune. Utah has dropped three straight and is sinking fast in the competitive Western Conference as it welcomes in a road-weary Celtics team playing in the second game of a back-to-back. The Jazz had no answer for a blistering Phoenix Suns offense in a 131-111 home loss on Monday. It was Utah’s second straight double-digit setback. 

Boston bounced back with an emphatic 118-106 road victory over the Blazers on Tuesday as Jayson Tatum went off for 36 points on 14-of-22 shooting. Tatum is averaging 35 points in the three games since the All-Star break. The Celtics surged early holding Portland to just 24 points in the opening quarter. The Jazz are 3-7 ATS in the first quarter over their last 10 games. Boston starts fast once again.

PREDICTION: Celtics +1.5 first quarter

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FIRST HALF

Tatum continues to carry the load offensively with Kemba Walker on the sidelines due to a knee injury. Walker will not suit up in Utah as Boston concludes its four-game road trip. The Celtics are 3-0 ATS and 2-1 SU on the trip with the only loss coming at the hands of the first-place Lakers. 

The Jazz's three-game losing skid has been mired by poor starts as they have allowed at least 62 first-half points in each game during this stretch. The first-half Over is 6-4 in the last 10 games for both Utah and Boston. Keep an eye on the 3-point line and especially Tatum, who drained a career-high eight triples against Portland. Bombs away. 

PREDICTION: Over 107 points first half 

 

 

TEAM/PLAYER PROP BET

Gordon Hayward struggled badly in his return to Salt Lake City last year scoring just 13 points on 3-of-9 shooting while enduring a relentless stream of boos every time he touched the ball. Hayward spent seven seasons with the Jazz before signing with the Celtics as a free agent in 2017. Despite his all-around talent, he's not been a key cog in the Boston offense with Tatum emerging as an elite scorer. Hayward had 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the win over Portland and just 10 points in 40 minutes against the Lakers. He's a good bet to underachieve in a tough environment against his former team.  

PREDICTION: Gordon Hayward Under 17.5 Points 

 

TOTAL BET

Points have come in bunches for Boston in the second game of a back-to-back, especially when its opponent is the more rested team. The Over is 7-4 this season in games where the Celtics have a rest disadvantage. 

Utah’s offense is paced by outside shooting. Donovan Mitchell scored 38 points and made 6 of 9 from the 3-point line in the loss against Phoenix. The Jazz lead the NBA in 3-point shooting (38.4 percent) and should get open looks against the tired Boston legs, playing the second game of back-to-back nights at high altitude. Utah is allowing 121.3 points over its last three games. Expect there to be scoring in Salt Lake City. 

PREDICTION: Over 220.5

 

SPREAD BET

Facing teams on short rest has not helped Utah this season. The Jazz are 5-9-1 ATS with a rest advantage as the books have overadjusted the number in their favor. Boston has been a profitable team on short rest this season and is 4-3 ATS in the second game of a back-to-back. 

The Celtics have been arguably the hottest team in the NBA over the past month with eight wins over their last 10 games and a 7-3 ATS record during that stretch. Boston is 14-8 ATS against the West this season and is a good bet to continue their non-conference success. 

PREDICTION: Celtics +4.5