NBA Predictions and Best Bets: Utah Jazz vs Milwaukee Bucks & More

Jonathan Macri is back with his picks for Sunday, October 31, 2021, with a play in Nets vs Pistons and Bucks vs Jazz.
Jonathan Macri
Sun, October 31, 10:10 AM EDT

NBA Predictions and Best Bets: Utah Jazz vs Milwaukee Bucks & More

Utah Jazz vs Milwaukee Bucks

When: October 31, 2021

Where to Watch: Bally Sports

Spread: Jazz -2

Click Here For Jazz vs Bucks Odds

Utah Jazz vs Milwaukee Bucks

In a year where there seem to be no sure things, the Bucks and Jazz were supposed to be above the fray.

Utah, while victim to their fair share of issues in the postseason, is as safe a regular season bet as there is, and until Saturday, the Jazz were the lone undefeated team in the NBA. That pristine record got its first blemish last night, with a 107-99 defeat at the hands of the Chicago Bulls. Utah lost in large part because they scored under 100 points for the first time all season and for only the third time in their last 67 regular season games.

The good news for the Jazz? They almost never have as cold of a shooting night as they did against the Bulls, hitting only 38 percent from the field and 28.9 percent from deep. They’re also likely to have Mike Conley back for this matchup after he missed Saturday’s game. With Conley in the lineup, the Jazz have been a different team since the beginning of last season, and his presence pushes the rest of the rotation into its proper place

Milwaukee’s issues run a bit deeper. They have been missing sixty percent of their preferred starting five, with Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez and Donte DiVincenzo all out with injuries. In their place, George Hill, Grayson Allen and Thenasis Antetokounmpo have stepped up admirably, but their presence in the starting five pushes the rest of the roster into an uncomfortable place. After Pat Connaughton, they’ve been relying on more untested players, with the likes of Jordan Nwora, Rodney Hood, Justin Robinson and Semi Ojeleye being asked to step up.

The lack of depth has been catching up to them. Following 10-point wins over the Spurs and Pacers, Milwaukee has lost consecutive home games to Minnesota and, in a Saturday night rematch, San Antonio. That the Spurs were able to double their win total last night despite shooting just 41.1 percent overall and 22.6 percent from deep is a troubling sign for the defending champs.

The Bucks know they will be fine long term, and as their Finals run as a three-seed showed, wherever they end up in the standings will not be dispositive in terms of how far they go. For the moment though, there is an opportunity to take advantage. Even after their first loss of the season, the Jazz still hold the second best net rating in the NBA, with a positive 13 points per 100 possessions scoring margin. The Bucks are meandering at negative 1.6.

Giving points on the road to the world champions isn’t a comfortable feeling, but the line would be higher if the Bucks weren’t the Bucks. Use it to your advantage.

Utah Jazz vs Milwaukee Bucks Pick

Jazz -2 (-110)

Detroit Pistons vs Brooklyn Nets

When: October 31, 2021

Where To Watch: YES Network

Spread: Nets -12

Click Here For Nets vs Pistons Odds

Detroit Pistons vs Brooklyn Nets Prediction

The Brooklyn Nets are not playing like a team that should be favored by double digits. Not even playing at home. Not against the cellar-dwelling Pistons. Not anywhere or against anyone. They simply haven’t earned the right.

The proof is in the pudding. Brooklyn is 2-4 against the spread on the season, with their only covers coming against the Sixers in a game they trailed by double digits with a few minutes to go, and against the Wizards, when they nearly allowed Washington to creep back into the game on multiple occasions only for Kevin Durant to eventually be too good.

Their dropped games have largely been just as discouraging until recently: double digit defeats at the hands of the Bucks, Hornets and Heat, and then on Friday night, they defeated the Pacers by seven on an 8.5 spread.

Something important happened in that game though: James Harden nearly doubled his free throw total on the season in one outing. Whether that means he’s figured out the NBA’s new officiating is still in question, but regardless, it’s a positive sign.

So is this: Detroit is playing on the second night of a back to back after getting their first win of the season at home against the hapless Magic. Even though they won that game by seven, the Pistons still have the third worst net rating in the sport, ahead of only those same Magic and the not-really-trying Oklahoma City Thunder.

In other words, it’s time to bet the team that hasn’t earned the right to be bet. The talent discrepancy is too large, and the Nets have an extra motivating factor: this will be the first time Blake Griffin faces his old team in his new building. In other word, KD & Co. may be looking to rub this one in. Give the points.

Detroit Pistons vs Brooklyn Nets Pick

Pistons +12 (-103)

Jonathan Macri
JCMacriNBA
Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball than Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.
Jun 2021
Record
Wins
8
Losses
7
Push
0
ROI
3.35%
0Betslip

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