In this Cross-Conference match-up, we will see Utah Jazz hosting Miami Heat in their 10th home match at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Utah Jazz is coming into this match as a 13th team in the West with an overall record of 13-15. Their record is not particularly bad, but their recent performances are. In the last 5 games, they have won only 2, and are currently on a 2 game losing streak. In the course of their last 2 games, they have lost against SA Spurs (110:97) and most recently against Oklahoma City Thunder (122:113). Looking at their match against Thunder, Jazz were behind by up to 17 points in the 2nd quarter, however, they managed to reduce the gap to 11 points before heading to the 3rd quarter. Utah Jazz performance in the first 2 quarters was far from good, as they failed to stop Thunder from scoring. The 3rd quarter was even worse for Jazz, as they were outscored by an additional 13 points, which put the teams 24 points apart. The last quarter saw Jazz “waking up”, scoring an admirable 70% of their field goal attempts, whereas Thunder only managed to hit 47.1% of their shots. This resulted in Jazz reducing the gap to 9 points, but it was still not enough to compensate for their bad performance during the first 3 quarters. Match ended with a final score of 122:113.
Miami Heat are coming into this match as a 9th team in the East, with an overall record of 11-15. In their last 5 games, they have won 3, 1 out of which against Utah Jazz on 3rd of December (102:100). In their most recent match, LA Lakers stopped Heat’s 2 games winning streak in a close match which was decided in the final few minutes. Against Lakers, Miami started slow, as they were outscored by 4 points in the 1st quarter, but managed to catch up to Lakers in the 2nd, where they got a 3 point lead. It was a result of their good shooting, 60 FG%, whereas Lakers only scored 47.8% of their shots. The next quarter was a close one, with 8 lead changes, but it was Lakers who ended the 3rd quarter 1 point ahead (84:83). With only 1 point separating the teams, it was all going to be decided in the 4th quarter. It was once again a close quarter with teams performing equally well, until the last few minutes, when Lakers got a 3 point lead and did not let go of it. Lakers shot slightly better (42.1%) compared to Miami (38.1%) and got their well-deserved win, which now puts them at 4th place in the West. Final score: 108:105.
Jazz is known to play well at home, but they will be facing a team that has shown a big improvement in the recent games. In their last 8 away games, Miami are 5-3 with a close away match behind them against Lakers. Miami’s good performances are coming from their good defence, as the allowed over 100 points in only 2 out of their last 6 games. Their good rim protecting will come in handy against Jazz who are not the most efficient offensive team in the league and well.. to be fair neither are Heat. With 2 defensive teams going against each other, this should be a close and low scoring match, which is perfect for an AH bet on Miami. With +7 bet on the visitors, it should be more than enough to Miami to win this bet.
Prediction: Miami Heat +8.00 points
Odds: 2.02 Matchbook