Jazz vs Lakers Picks: Utah A Better Bet to Cover as Stars Return

Apr 19, 2021 |
Jazz vs Lakers Picks: Utah A Better Bet to Cover as Stars Return
The Utah Jazz lost to the Lakers on Saturday night but that was without Rudy Gobert or Mike Conley. Both are back in action for Monday's rematch.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
The Utah Jazz lost to the Lakers on Saturday night but that was without Rudy Gobert or Mike Conley. Both are back in action for Monday's rematch.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Monday’s matchup between the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers is a bit of a crapshoot with injuries plaguing both rosters entering the second of a two-game series between these Western foes.

Utah was hit hard by an ankle injury to standout Donovan Mitchell last week and has a number of starters dealing with nagging injuries. The Lakers, of course, are without megastars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and also have a laundry list of ailments eating into their rotation.

As best we can… here are our free NBA betting picks and predictions for Jazz vs. Lakers on April 19.

Jazz vs Lakers odds

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NBA sharp money and line movement report

By Patrick Everson

Utah stretched from -5.5 to -7.5 this morning at PointsBet USA, then dialed down to -6.5 before spending most of the day at -7, where the number sits at 7 p.m. ET. Point-spread ticket count and money are both in the 2/1 range in favor of the Jazz. The total moved from 214.5 to 215 to 214, with 68 percent of tickets/78 percent of cash on the Over.

Check out the full line movement for this game

Jazz at Lakers betting preview


Jazz: Donovan Mitchell G (Out), Derrick Favors C (Questionable), Udoka Azubuike C (Questionable), Ersan Ilyasova F (Questionable).
Lakers: LeBron James F (Out), Anthony Davis F (Out), Andre Drummond F (Questionable), Marc Gasol C (Out), Markieff Morris F (Questionable), Dennis Schroder G (Questionable).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 8-2 in the Lakers’ last 10 games vs. a team at .600 or higher. Find more NBA betting trends for Jazz vs. Lakers.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

The Lakers took the opening meeting of this two-game stand versus the Jazz on Saturday, squeaking out a 127-115 victory in overtime as 1.5-point home underdogs. Utah was missing Mitchell, as well as Mike Conley and Rudy Gobert, but still got a solid effort from its patchwork lineup, falling 17-5 in the extra frame.

Monday may be L.A.’s time to sit out starters, with Andre Drummond, Markieff Morris and Dennis Schroder all bubbling up in the injury report with minor boo-boos. And while that trio is listed as probable for this contest, the Lakers could also get caught looking ahead to an upcoming four-game road trip that is expected to feature the much-awaited return of Davis.

Even without Mitchell, this Jazz squad is a formidable opponent on both ends of the floor. It has five players besides Spida that average in double figures and still managed 110 points in regulation against a stout L.A. defense on Saturday—without three of its top six scorers on the court.

Defensively, Utah is one of the better teams at protecting the paint, holding opponents to just 59.7 percent shooting within five feet of the basket and will have rim protector Gobert back, changing and blocking plenty of interior shots.

Los Angeles’ playbook is dependent on those down-low looks (sixth-most FG attempts inside five feet) but it has been pushed away from the bucket with Davis on the sidelines and Drummond struggling to stay healthy in his short time with the team (averaging just 29.7 shots within five feet or less in April). The Lakers shot 52 percent from the floor in Saturday’s win but won’t have the same ease against a rested and restocked Jazz team.

PREDICTION: Utah -6.5 (-110)

Over/Under pick

The Lakers and Jazz didn’t need the overtime to top Saturday’s 216-point total and while the Jazz do get point producers like Gobert and Conley back in action, I see that as more of an impact on the defensive side of the ball.

Los Angeles shot well in the last matchup and took advantage of those gaps, knocking down 11 of 33 from 3-point range and flipping 18 turnovers from Utah into 12 points. With the Jazz’s rotation expected to be back to almost full strength (minus Mitchell), those looks from deep (Jazz own the second-best 3-point defense) and points of turnovers will be tougher to come by.

As for L.A., even without James and AD, the Purple and Gold have still hung their hat on defense. The Lakers have allowed only 105.6 points against per game in April while limiting foes to just over 45 percent shooting, including a stingy 31.6 percent success rate from beyond the arc this month—lowest in the NBA.

Los Angeles turns to defense against the NBA’s elite, staying below the total in eight of its last 10 games versus teams with a winning percentage of .600 or higher.

PREDICTION: Under 214.5 (-110)

Player prop pick

Utah does a very good job snapping teams out of their offense and forcing them to create. That’s something Los Angeles struggles to do without LeBron and Davis as go-to options when the shot clock ticks down.

The Jazz give up an average of just 22.2 assists per game to rival offenses while holding those playbooks to an NBA-low 0.541 assists-to-FG ratio. That makes life tough on distributors like Lakers guard Dennis Schroder, who recorded eight assists in the win against a depleted Jazz lineup on the weekend.

Schroder, who is probable despite battling through an infection in his foot, averages just 5.5 assists per game on the season and won’t have the same success creating scoring chances against Utah Monday night.

PREDICTION: Dennis Schroder Under 6.5 assists (-142)

Jazz vs Lakers betting card

  • Utah -6.5 (-110)
  • Under 214.5 (-110)
  • Dennis Schroder Under 6.5 assists (-142)

Picks made on 4/19/2021 at 11:05 a.m. ET

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