Carrying Momentum

The Utah Jazz were dominant in sweeping a four-game homestand. They hope to carry that momentum onto the road Thursday night when they open their season series with the Northwest Division-rival Denver Nuggets.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Denver –3.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 220.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 54% of bets for this game have been placed on Denver –3.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

The Jazz (22-17), who are one game behind the second-place Nuggets (22-15) in the Northwest, have held opponents under 90 points three times during their four-game win streak while outscoring them by an average of 14.7 points.

Utah used the same formula Monday in beating Milwaukee 98-87.

"Our D creates our offense," said Jazz forward Carlos Boozer, who had 21 points and 10 rebounds - nine defensive. "If we play D like that, we're mostly successful and we usually win games."

The Jazz, who allow 105.4 points per game on the road, won a season-high five in a row from Nov. 7-14.

Utah's current surge is part of a seven-game stretch that has seen the Jazz win six times - all at home. Their lone loss in that span was a 103-89 defeat at division-leading Portland on Jan. 5.

The Jazz are 6-14 on the road, winning only once in their last 11 games away from Salt Lake City. However, they have won their last three trips to Denver and have taken six of seven meetings overall, including three of four last season.

Deron Williams, second on the Jazz with 19.4 points per game and fourth in the NBA with 9.1 assists a contest, was a big part of that success against the Nuggets last season, averaging 22.0 points and 13.0 assists in four games.

Williams was outstanding against the Bucks, scoring 14 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter while dishing out 10 assists.

Denver is looking to avoid its third three-game losing streak of the season after falling 104-93 at Atlanta on Tuesday. Allen Iverson and J.R. Smith were ejected with 38.9 seconds left for arguing a pair of turnovers called against Iverson.

"We gotta deal with what we got," said Iverson, who finished with 27 points. "Nobody's gonna feel sorry for us and we can't feel sorry for ourselves. We understand that we're in a tough situation right now but if we stay together then we can get out of it."

Iverson, who is averaging 33.4 points and 7.5 assists in his last eight games against Utah, leads the Nuggets with 26.8 points and 6.9 assists per game.

He is getting help from Carmelo Anthony, who is second on the team with 25.9 points per game. Anthony had 36 points and 11 rebounds against the Hawks, and is averaging 34.3 points and 9.7 boards in his last three contests. He averaged 35.0 points in three games against Utah last season.

The Nuggets hope to have forward Kenyon Martin back after he sat out Tuesday's loss after having a staph infection on his buttock treated before the game.

If he can't play, Eduardo Najera could start in his place again. Najera has gone 0-for-5 from the field in each of his last two games.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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