Led by Donovan Mitchell and a deep and balanced roster, the Utah Jazz stands alone atop the league standings with a 25-6 record. They have won 21 of their last 23 games dating back to January 8 and will face the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time this season at home at Vivant Arena on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, the Lakers, struggling with injuries have dropped three straight games for the first time this season, and will again be without Dennis Schroder and Anthony Davis. Their most recent setback a 127-124 overtime loss at home to the Washington Wizards was particularly biting given it was at home and against one of the league’s weakest teams.
Los Angeles is now 22-10 and in third place behind both the Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers. They are 6-4 over their last 10 games and 1-4 since losing Davis at halftime against the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers expect Davis to be out for 3-5 more weeks.
NBA Futures Odds and Prices
After opening the regular season as the heavy favorites, a quick NBA odds comparison shows the Lakers falling out of favor with the bookmakers. Los Angeles opened as +250 favorites to repeat as NBA champions but now stands at +300. Utah who opened at +1000 is down to +850 to win the NBA title in 2021. Rounding out the top five favorites are the Brooklyn Nets (+300), the Clippers (+575), and the Milwaukee Bucks (+800).
Utah has been the hottest team in the league since the new year. While they had their latest winning streak snapped this past Friday in Staples Center by the Clippers, they looked in terrific form against the Hornets in a 132-110 win on Monday in Salt Lake City.
Mitchell who leads the team in scoring paced the Jazz with 23 points and had 8 assists. Forwards Joe Ingles and Gorgui Niang each scored 21 points, while ex-Laker Jordan Clarkson chipped in with 20 coming off the bench. The Jazz is 13-3 ATS in their last 16 home games.
Los Angeles Lakers
Against the Wizards, the Lakers shot 47 percent from the field and 15 of 44 from the 3-point line. They were dominant to start the game and led by as many as 17 points, before getting run down by Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal to close regulation and through overtime. Minus Davis the Lakers have struggled defensively, and it showed on Monday night.
LeBron James led the team with 31 points, 13 assists, and came within a rebound of a triple-double in the loss. Montrezl Harrell scored a season-high 26 points coming off the bench, guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 21 points, and Kyle Kuzma had 11 rebounds to go with 14 points.
Los Angeles heads into tomorrow night’s game 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games, however, they are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings in Utah and are 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings overall.