The battle of elite guards continues as the Utah Jazz try for a second time to finish off their seven-game series against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday. Jamal Murray exploded for 33 second-half points in a 117-107 victory in Game 5 on Tuesday to pull Denver within 3-2 in the Western Conference first-round playoff series. Murray scored 42, while his counterpart with Utah, Donovan Mitchell, scored 30 points. They are combining for an average of 68.4 points in the series.
Tip-off for this 2020 NBA Playoffs matchup is at 8:30 p.m. ET. William Hill lists Utah as a three-point favorite in the Jazz vs. Nuggets odds, while the over-under for total points scored is 218.5. Before making any Nuggets vs. Jazz picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it's already returned over $4,700 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 59-33 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,300 on those picks alone. It's also 7-2 on top-rated picks since the NBA's restart in July. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Nuggets vs. Jazz spread: Utah -3
- Nuggets vs. Jazz over-under: 218.5
- Nuggets vs. Jazz money line: Denver +125, Utah -145
- DEN: G Jamal Murray has scored 92 points and had zero turnovers over the past two games.
- UTAH: G Jordan Clarkson has made eight of his past 14 3-point attempts, scoring 41 points over the past two games.
Why the Jazz can cover
Utah's offense revolves around Mitchell, who averages team highs with 37.6 points and 5.6 assists. Utah traded for Mike Conley before the season, and he has been able to take some of the pressure off Mitchell, especially late in games. Conley, a 12-year veteran, is scoring 23.3 points after missing the first two games. Both players can shoot the three, with Conley hitting 59.1 percent and Mitchell 51.2 from long range.
Conley also helps on the defensive end, getting 1.3 steals as the Jazz average 5.8 per game. Center Rudy Gobert is the two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year, and the 7-foot-1 center is blocking 1.4 shots per game while also averaging 17.6 points and 10.2 rebounds. Jordan Clarkson, Joe Ingles and Georges Niang also contribute to a strong outside shooting attack that has been able to take advantage of Denver's shaky perimeter defense.
Why the Nuggets can cover
Denver is 6-2 against the spread in the last eight meetings and is led by Murray and 7-foot center Nikola Jokic, who scored 21 points in the first quarter Tuesday. The 23-year-old Murray is doing it all, averaging 30.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists. He is making 52.4 percent of his three-pointers, while Jokic is hitting 47.2 and made a career-high seven from beyond the arc Tuesday. Jokic is averaging 26.4 points and just shy of eight rebounds per game.
The youthful Nuggets have plenty of options, with eight players averaging at least 20 minutes. Michael Porter Jr., a 6-foot-10 forward, scores 14.4 points, hitting 50 percent on his three-point attempts, and pulls down 5.6 rebounds per game. Small forward Jerami Grant scores 11.6 points and blocks a shot a game as the team is averaging 4.8 in the postseason. PJ Dozier made a difference off the bench in Game 5, finishing at plus-21 in his 20 minutes on the floor.
How to make Jazz vs. Nuggets picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over the total, predicting Murray and Jokic will combine for more than 50 points and four Jazz players will top 15. The model also says one side of the spread hits in almost 60 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Jazz vs. Nuggets? And which side of the spread cashes almost 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Nuggets vs. Jazz spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $4,700 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.