Warriors-Jazz Preview, PicksBy Nick T.
The Golden State Warriors recent road woes before the All-Star break have brought them back to earth since the return of their 7-foot-1 center Andrew Bogut. The team dropped its past five games on the road, and hopes to avoid a sixth against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night.
The Warriors jumped out to an impressive 30-17 record before their 5-game skid settled them into fifth place in the Western Conference. Against Utah, they will be three-point underdogs in the matchup with the line set at 103.5.
Fortunately for Warrior fans, Golden State has owned Utah when it comes to a betting perspective. The team has covered their last four games against the Jazz, which has dated back to last season. Moreover, the Warriors are a profitable team when betting on the over. Currently, Golden State is a league-best 33-18-1 to the over this season. On the road, the scales tip even further in their direction, with a 19-10 record.
So what can we expect in this matchup?
Utah (30-24) is coming off of two impressive wins before the mid-season break. The team tallied a 97-93 road win against Minnesota after notching a win to the Northwest division-leading Oklahoma City Thunder 109-94 the day before. They will hope to build on their winning ways and move into a half-game of the Warriors with a defeat on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Warriors (30-22) have yet to feel the effects of Bogut’s return. The team has lost by an average of 18.4 points during their most recent skid, which has significantly lessoned their grip on a Western Conference playoff spot.
“We’re not there yet,” Bogut said. “We’re not where we think we are. I think we thought we were maybe a little better than we were.”
We can only assume the Warriors road struggles will continue since the team has lacked any identity since Bogut’s return. The biggest detractor has been All-Star David Lee, who has yet to mesh well with the big Aussie in the center, tallying an average of 16 points per game in the last 10 contests, down from 19.
Prediction: Jazz 107, Warriors 101