Daniel Wettstein previews Game 5 of the NBA Playoff series between the Nuggets and Jazz and shares his best bets as Utah lead the series 3-1.
Denver Nuggets vs. Utah Jazz Game 5 Preview
The only free-throw miss in 18 tries by Donovan Mitchell, and a buzzer-beating 3 by Jamal Murray to pull the Nuggets to within 2 had me leave my seat as it took my picks from 2-3 to 4-1. The least we deserve, I believe, after being burned by pure pathetic effort on the part of the Nuggets in the prior 2 contests. This game they at least showed some life, even though they still have no answer for the Spider-Mitchell and Mike Conley duo who combined for 77 pts./5 reb./11 assists. This was more of the same for the Jazz.
The promising thing for the Nuggets were that their own dynamic duo(Murray/Jokic) combined for 79 pts./18 reb./8 assists. This combined with the Jazz returning from orbit offensively, allowed the Nuggets to be in position to win late as they had a chance to take the lead with less than 1:02 left in the game. They just couldn’t get that leading bucket to drop. Donavan Mitchell then commenced to hit a 25-foot 3-pointer to extend the lead to 122-118 on the Jazz’s next possession and the 2-possession lead was just too much for the Nuggets to overcome in the final 60-seconds.
So we will continue to look for the silver lining in the lines of a sportsbook, instead of those on a court. As this loss has made things even more advantageous. The Nuggets have been laid 4 by FOXBet on the Spread as well as +140 on the Moneyline (I took both):
I know you are probably screaming “How can you take the Moneline when they have already went 1-4 in just this series!” Here me out, I no longer believe this will be end with the Nuggets advancing. But I still can’t believe that the effort in Game 4 where the Nuggets saw a dramatic uptick in everything from mere scoring and rebounding to +/- as simply a fluke. That, with the fact that Utah had its worst shooting game of the series showing some kind of humanity to the superhuman and historical efforts they were giving the first 3 games.
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The Jazz were also helped by several missed calls on fouls committed on Murray alone. I understand that this is playoff basketball, but there were blatant, easy calls, that I am sure will be used by pro-instant-replay pundits as clear proof the system needs to be expanded.
I know I said this last time, but I always left a caveat. This time I don’t see anyway how Bol Bol does not log a single moment of meaningful playoff court-time. This is an elimination game; you cannot go home and have anything left on the court. Bol with nothing but garbage-time minutes in the series, while 100% healthy, where the biggest reason for their woes being defense in the paint as Jokic just can’t bang with Gobert down low on defense is in itself unfathomable. You are seriously down to MacGyver-ing something out of spare parts to make sure, at the very least, you go out with the biggest of bangs.
These were the only lines available at the time of this writing, I will continue to monitor the lines and will update with any other locks before the game Tuesday at 4:30 PM MST on Twitter/Facebook.
Denver Nuggets vs. Utah Jazz Game 5 Picks
Here are my two picks ahead of Game 5.