Brooklyn Nets vs Utah Jazz Prediction: Who Will Help Their Case As Standings Battles Start to Take Shape?

Brooklyn Nets vs Utah Jazz prediction and pick for Monday's game on NBA TV. Handicapper Jonathan Macri breaks down the Nets vs. Jazz, plus the Mavericks vs. Timberwolves in his best picks for Monday's NBA slate.
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Brooklyn Nets vs. Utah Jazz Prediction: Who Will Help Their Case As Standings Battles Start to Take Shape?

  • When: 7:30 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: NBA TV

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Nets vs. Jazz Line Movement

Brooklyn Nets vs. Utah Jazz Prediction

With the postseason now less than three weeks away, we're close enough to the finish line to begin examining some key races in both conferences.

In the West, all eyes have to be on the Utah Jazz. Despite a net rating that still ranks second overall in the NBA, the Jazz are sitting at 4th in the West. They're the same distance away from third as they are from fifth - a two-game deficit/lead behind the Warriors and ahead of the Mavs. Drop to 5th, and they risk a Game 7 on the road against Luka. Move up to 3rd and get the benefit of not having to play him at all (although reigning and possible repeating MVP Nikola Jokic might be waiting for them in 6th - no easy task).

So Utah will have its foot on the gas. As for Brooklyn, they have even more incentive to finish strong, although their best-case scenario is a long shot. Currently, in eighth place, the Nets are three games behind the Toronto Raptors, but Kyrie Irving would be missing from that play-in game regardless of whether it was played in New York or Canada. That means they need to get up to 6th, a spot currently occupied by the Cavs, who are four games clear.

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Best case scenario, the Nets either get up to 6th or go on the road to face the Cavs in the play-in. Worst case, they host the play-in or have to travel to Toronto. If, in fact, it comes down to winning to host Toronto or losing to travel to Cleveland, there could be some late season tankery, but they're still in winning mode at the moment.

Not that it'll make a difference against Utah. Brooklyn is 15-19 at home this season, which is tied for the worst home mark of the 20 current playoff/play-in teams. They have not covered a home game in which they were favored in over two months, and even after they covered against Dallas last week by losing in the final seconds, they still have by far the worst home record ATS in the NBA. Utah has its big two healthy and playing well, and Mike Conley should be back tonight after sitting last night in New York for rest. Go with the road team here.

Nets vs. Jazz Pick

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Dallas Mavericks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Prediction

  • When: 8:30 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: League Pass

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Mavericks vs. Timberwolves Line Movement

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Dallas Mavericks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Prediction

The stakes keep getting higher for the Minnesota Timberwolves. For the first time since Tom Thibodeau was head coach, the Wolves moved into playoff position late in the season when they won over the weekend and jumped past Denver for the 6th spot in the West.

That's a big deal. The Warriors currently sit in third, and with the uncertainty over Steph and his injury situation, there's a world where the Wolves would be favored in that series. Heck, the way they're playing, they might be favored anyway.

Since the All-Star break, the Wolves are the best team in the NBA. They have the best record at 11-2, and the best net rating at positive 12.8, with only the Boston Celtics close by at plus-11.8. They are shooting a preposterous 58.7 effective field goal percentage in that time, easily the best in the league, and are backing it up with a top-four defense that is a stark turn from the reputation of a KAT-led team.

Now, they go into Dallas for their latest biggest game of the season. These teams played a home and home back in December, with the home team winning and covering each time, but both are playing far better ball now. The Wolves are the hotter team though, having covered nine of 10 to bring their season-long record against the spread up to 40-30-2. Meanwhile, Dallas' 8-4 record ATS since the break is a little deceiving as they've been cumulatively outscored in those dozen games.

Keep riding the Wolves train while it lasts. Take the points and go with the hottest team in basketball.

Timberwolves vs. Mavericks Pick

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Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball that Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.


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