Toronto Raptors (23-29) at Utah Jazz (26-26)
Game Info: Wednesday, February 1, 2023 at 9:00 p.m. EST (Vivint Arena)
Betting Odds: Jazz (-3.5) / Over/Under (230.5)
Pick: Raptors (+3.5)
In a matchup between two teams in almost identical places in their corresponding Conferences, Toronto continues on their dreaded road trip as they arrive in Utah to face off against the Jazz in the Vivint Arena.
Toronto has been up and down of late, trading off wins and losses in their last 4 games played (2-2 ATS in that stretch). With rumors stating that star forward O.G. Anunoby is unsettled with his role with the Raptors and wants to be moved at the deadline to a contender, this is truly due-or-die time for Toronto. They currently sit 1.5 games back of the last play-in spot that the Chicago Bulls are in at the moment. Still, something tells me that this team is much better than their 23-29 record shows. In close games, I trust their closing lineup of Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes, O.G. Anunoby, and Pascal Siakam over the majority of other teams in the league. It has always been their bench that they seem to not get enough quality out of. Looking on the bright side for the Raps though, Precious Achiuwa has looked excellent off the bench in his last 6 games played, having a double-double in 5 of those. If Nick Nurse can manage to get something out of his bench on a nightly basis, they certainly turn their season around.
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Utah is in the same boat with the Raptors, going 2-2 over their last 4 SU and ATS. After blazing off to a hot start to begin the year, they have fell all the way down to the 10 spot, where they are only 1 game above the Thunder and Blazers for the last play-in spot. They won't be too up in arms about this though, as they weren't supposed to be a success at all this year. One thing is true for the Jazz as the season goes along nevertheless, they have found a budding superstar in Lauri Markkanen. He is averaging 24.9 PTS and 8.6 REB on the year, and one-upped this by averaging 28.5 PTS and 9.0 REB in the month of January. Markkanen vs. Siakam should be an enticing battle to watch all night long. As the trade deadline approaches, only time will tell if the Jazz will be buyers or sellers on deadline day.
A few betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- Utah is 9-15 ATS as the favorite
- Toronto is 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games
- The Jazz are 7-11 ATS in non-Conference games
- The over has hit in 15/25 games that the Raptors have played away from home in
Plain and simple, the Raptors have more firepower than the Jazz do when crunch time comes. I know this will be Toronto's 4th game on the road in 6 days, but with the extra day of rest in order to travel to Utah, they will have enough juice in the tank to keep this one close. Give me Siakam to out duel Markkanen and Utah in a close game in Salt Lake City.
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