NBA Tips & Preview – Bucks @ Jazz

The daily preview it to the rim with NBA tips as Utah Jazz and Milwaukee Bucks – top-four in their respective conferences – square off for the second time this season. 

13:00 (AEDT), Tue 15th Mar @ Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City

History: Played 104: Jazz 58 V Bucks 46

Last meeting: October 31, 2021: Jazz 107 d Bucks 95 at Fiserv Forum

Final Thoughts: Utah Jazz are trying to hang onto their spot in the Western Conference’s top four, while Milwaukee Bucks are still a chance of snaring the East’s top seed.

The 42-25 Jazz are 3.5 games behind the third-placed Warriors but have the Mavericks and Nuggets lurking ominously behind them. Utah have been in a win-loss pattern since the start of March. Last week they bookended a 104-102 loss in San Antonio with home victories of Portland (123-85) and Sacramento (134-125).

Jordan Clarkson went off for a career-high 45 points from the bench against the Kings. Donovan Mitchell (25 pts, 6 ast) and Bojan Bogdanovic (26 points) were also prominent, while Hassan Whitside (12 pts, 21 reb) made the most of Rudy Gobert’s absence. Gobert and Bogdanovic are both questionable to face the Bucks, while veteran Mike Conley has been quite since the All-Star break.

The 42-26 Bucks’ six-game winning streak was halted 122-109 by the Warriors two days ago. Giannis Antetokounmpo, who averaged 42 points in Milwaukee’s previous three wins over the Suns, Thunder and Hawks, had 31 points and 8 rebounds against Golden State but lacked offensive support.

The Bucks are comparatively healthy, with Pat Connaughton (hand) the only high-profile out at present. Big man Brook Lopez returns for the first time since opening night in a huge boost to their defence.

The Jazz have won 12 of their last 15 against the Bucks, including the last three in a row. Their early-season clash in Milwaukee went the way of the Jazz, 107-95, with Donovan Mitchell (28 points) top-scoring.

Utah are 24-10 at home, winning their last nine straight at Vivint Arena. Milwaukee are 18-14 on the road with five wins in their last seven away games.

The Bucks were flying prior to their stumble against the Warriors. The Jazz’s points-fest against the Kings and home record are encouraging but their injury concerns are not. As slight underdogs I think the defending champs are excellent value.

Best Bet: Result – Bucks @ $2.00

Same Game Multi: Handicap – Bucks +1.5; Total – Under 231.5; Giannis Antetokounmpo Points – Over 29.5; Jrue Holiday Assists – Over 5.5 @ $1.64