Online sportsbooks have made it clear we shouldn’t expect a tight game on Wednesday, March 20 at Madison Square Garden as the Jazz opened as 12.0 point favorites versus the Knicks. Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST.
That’s what happens when one of the NBA’s best defensive teams tangles with one of the league’s worst offensive teams.
The Jazz have been doing an outstanding job of making life miserable for opponents in 2018-19. They rank fifth in fewest points allowed at 106.2 points per game, and are holding teams to 47.0% from the field and 36.0% from beyond the arc. Utah uses its size and length to force 14 turnovers per game and is eighth in the NBA in rebounding at 46.2 per night.
Utah’s defense has been nearly as good as New York’s offense has been bad. The Knicks have the NBA’s 30th-best offensive rating, and are averaging just 105.1 points per games on 41.0% shooting. New York is 20th in rebounds and 30th in assists. They’ll need to be far more efficient tonight to have any chance of earning a victory.
These two teams have already met once this season. The last time they played on December 30th, 2018, Utah won 129-97 behind 25 points from Rudy Gobert.
The Jazz are fresh off a 116-95 win versus the Wizards in Washington in which they dished out 35 dimes and scratched and clawed their way to 10 steals. Donovan Mitchell torched the Wizards for 19 points. The Knicks, meanwhile, are hot on the heels of a 128-92 loss against the Raptors in Toronto in which they were 8 for 36 from deep were out-rebounded 63-46.
All told, the Jazz have won seven of their last ten games and are seventh in the Western Conference, while the Knicks have have come out on the losing end of nine of their previous ten and are 15th in the Eastern Conference.
The 12.0-point spread isn’t the only angle you can take advantage of. Online sportsbooks have also set an over/under total of 212. Bear in mind that Utah is 37-31-2 against the spread this year and 33-37-0 over/under, compared to 29-41-1 ATS and 33-38-0 over/under for New York.
Feeling intrigued? Tip off for tonight’s game is soon!