The Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers play the first leg of a back-to-back set in Hollywood this Sunday. Will the Jazz add another loss to the Lakers’ ledger? Or, will the Lakers get back at the Jazz and make Monday’s clash even more interesting to watch?
Catch this game live on Sunday, April 18, at 4:30 AM, Manila time
HOME TEAM: Los Angeles Lakers (34-22, 16-12 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Dennis Schroder
- SG: Wes Matthews
- SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- SF: Kyle Kuzma
- C: Montrezl Harrell
The Lakers just keep on falling short of stringing consecutive wins this month, having lost to the Boston Celtics on Friday at home, 121-113.
Nevertheless, they have been sort of profitable for spread bettors of late, as they are 5-4 against the spread in nine games since the start of April. Without LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers are turning to Kyle Kuzma and Dennis Schroder to lead them offensively. Kuzma has averaged 17.0 points in his last three games, while Schroder has put up 15.4 points in his last five.
Schroder will look to recover from a forgettable performance in the Celtics game wherein he coughed up just eight points on 3-8 shooting from the floor. Defensively, the Lakers have been pretty good against the three over their past few games. They have limited opponents to only 29.5 3FG% in their last five games.
That kind of perimeter defense will be crucial for the Lakers against the Jazz, who hit them with 14 threes in LA’s 114-89 loss in Salt Lake City last February. The Over is 5-1 in the Lakers’ last six games.
ROAD TEAM: Utah Jazz (42-14, 16-11 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Mike Conley
- SF: Joe Ingles
- SF: Bojan Bogdanovic
- PF: Royce O’Neal
- C: Rudy Gobert
There is nothing official yet as of this writing with regards to the extent of Donovan Mitchell’s ankle injury, but you can bet that he’s not going to play this Sunday against the Lakers or at least in the next few games.
Mitchell’s absence will have a significant impact on the Jazz, but Utah is also well equipped to weather their star’s absence. For one, Utah is seventh in the NBA with 37.9 bench points per game. Utah is deep. It still has the likes of Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles, and Jordan Clarkson who can all step up and cover for Mitchell’s offense that they will temporarily miss.
Utah even had six players scoring at least 12 points in the first meeting with the Lakers, with Mitchell contributing just 13 on a salty 4-16 shooting. The Jazz will also be facing a Lakers squad that’s not good at covering at STAPLES Center.
The Lakers are just 11-17 against the spread in home games this season. Meanwhile, the Jazz are 6-0 ATS in their last six Sunday (Manila time) games.
The Lakers will always attract public bets, and with Mitchell out, they could be expected to gain even more action. This is a great time to bet on the Jazz. Take Utah to win and cover (-8.5).
Even without Mitchell, the Lakers don’t have enough to match the offensive firepower of Utah. Also take note that the Lakers and the Jazz are just 18th and 21st in terms of offensive possession length, respectively. Take the Under (217.5).