The Utah Jazz (13-12) and Memphis Grizzlies (14-13) will close out Sunday’s NBA schedule inside the FedExForum on ESPN.
Utah Jazz at Memphis Grizzlies
Utah has dropped five of its past six games and comes off a 101-87 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder as one-point home underdogs. The Jazz have alternated wins and losses against the spread over their last six games. “They’re all crucial for us now,” stated Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin. His team has lost four consecutive games away from Salt Lake City and is 2-7 overall on the road. Offensively, the squad is being led by the play of center Al Jefferson, who is averaging 18.6 points and coming off a 20-point performance against the Thunder. Utah is 0-3 ATS as a road underdog of 3.5 to 6 points this season.
The Jazz are 45-16 all-time against the Grizzlies in this series, including a 19-10 mark on the road. It’s important to note that Utah has managed to cover just one of the last five meetings. Utah came away with a 94-85 win in the first game of the 2011-12 series between these two teams, going “under” the posted total of 185. Forward Paul Millsap will need to help Jefferson on the offensive end, as he’s averaged just 13.4 points over the last eight games, which immediately followed pouring in 22.8 points in the previous nine.
Memphis will look to win three straight games for the first time since rattling off a season-high seven consecutive wins from Jan. 12-23. The Grizzlies tallied a 98-92 win over the Indiana Pacers as 1.5-point home favorites Friday night. Playing at home has been a major strength for this team, posting wins in nine of 13 games inside the FedExForum, which could continue due to tallying three straight wins against Sunday’s opponent inside the venue. Memphis is 12-14 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 6 points the last two-plus years.
The Grizzlies were led offensively by Tony Allen and Marc Gasol both scoring 21 points in the first meeting with the Jazz. Memphis is undefeated when scoring 100 points in a game this season, winning all five contests, but is just 7-11 against teams with a .500 or better record. It’s been an interesting season for the franchise, losing star power forward Zach Randolph with a torn right MCL, but the locker room has come together and posted a 13-10 record in his absence.
Bettors will likely back the Jazz due to their 4-1 ATS mark as a road underdog of 5.0 to 10.5 points, while the Grizzlies are 0-4 ATS when playing on Sunday.
Recommendation: Utah Jazz +6.5
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