UTAH JAZZ (2-3)
at DENVER NUGGETS (2-3)
Tip-off: Friday, 10:35 p.m. ET
Line: Denver -6, Total: 202
A couple of Northwest Division playoff teams collide Friday night when the Nuggets host the Jazz.
It will be just the second home game of the season for Denver, which went 22-14 SU but only 16-20 ATS in its own building last year. However, after an 0-3 start this year the Nuggets have won two straight, including a 12-point win over Detroit in their only home game. The Jazz snapped a recent three-game skid by beating up on the Lakers at home on Wednesday night.
Which team will get back to the .500 mark on Friday night? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. Last year, StatFox Dave won 62% ATS Best Bets in the regular season and was 5-0 ATS in the NBA Finals. Entering Thursday, StatFox Brian is 54% ATS Best Bets (7-6-1). As far as NBA Totals are concerned, two of the experts continue to profit, as StatFox Scott is 11-3 (79%) on Totals for the season and StatFox Brian is 12-5 (71%), going 10-3 on Totals since last Friday.
Denver’s season seemed to turn around when PF Kenneth Faried (12.2 PPG, 9.6 RPG) became a full-time player again. After playing fewer than 20 minutes in their first two games, Faried has averaged 17.7 PPG on 64.1% FG and 12.0 RPG over 31 MPG in their past three. He had 16 points and 16 boards in Wednesday’s win at Houston. PG Ty Lawson is also coming off his best game of the year, going for 21 points and eight assists against the Rockets. The Nuggets also had an outstanding defensive effort in that win, holding Houston to 87 points on 36.9% FG.
Utah held the hapless Lakers to 86 points on 33.8% FG in Wednesday’s win, but it hasn’t played much defense on the road this season. The Jazz allowed 103 to Memphis, and the Spurs torched them for 110 in San Antonio, hitting 56.8% FG and 53.8% from three. Utah’s strength remains their beefed up front line. C Al Jefferson is averaging a double-double (13.4 PPG, 10.0 RPG) and PF Paul Millsap is close (12.4 PPG, 9.6 RPG). Jefferson averaged 20.7 PPG on 56.6% FG and 9.2 RPG over his past six games against Denver. But the Jazz have had a much more perimeter-heavy feel this year. New PG Mo Williams (19.8 PPG on 49.4% FG, 6.8 APG) is off to a fast start. And sixth man Randy Foye (13.6 PPG, 46.4% 3-pt FG) is their second leading scorer.