For those teams on the periphery of the final playoff spot, it may not yet be time to push the panic button, but you can bet that their hands are hovering over it. Most teams now have less than 20 games to play in the regular season, which means the opportunities to close the gaps are starting to shrink. Both the Washington Wizards and Utah Jazz are still within reach of the final playoff spot in their respective conferences, but they are both well aware that another loss will make their task just a little more difficult. Make no mistake about it, the match-up between these two on Friday night may not look that glamorous on paper, but this is a game that is absolutely crucial to their hopes of making it into the postseason. If that’s not a reason to tune in, I don’t know what is. This is also a game that cries out to be wagered on, so make sure to get your NBA betting picks in before the opening tip.
Free Washington Wizards vs Utah Jazz Hoops Spread Guide
When: Friday, March 11 at 9 PM EST
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City
TV: CSNB and ROOT
Radio: WNEW and KZNS
Live Stream: Watch NBA
NBA Odds: TBA
Why bet on the Washington Wizards
The Wizards (30-33) are doing a little playoff dance that sees them take one step forward followed by two in the opposite direction. They had hauled themselves right back into contention with a 4-game winning streak, only to turn around and follow it with 3 straight losses, which is where they are at heading into this one. They are now 2.5 games back of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and are starting to see their window of opportunity close. A loss on Friday could prove to be a killer blow, but the good news for the Wizards is that the Jazz are a team that they have beaten in their last 4 meetings, including once already this season. The Wizards are averaging 102.7 PPG, and are giving up 104.5 PPG.
Why bet on the Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz (29-35) have been flirting with the final playoff position in the Western Conference for as long as anyone can remember, but much like the Wizards, they are playing themselves out of the race by going on a losing skid at the worst possible time. They are just 2-8 in their last 10 games, and now have to make up 3 games on the Houston Rockets who sit in that coveted #8 seed. The good news for the Jazz is that they will play this crucial game on home court, where they have gone 19-13 this season. They are also 5 games over .500 when playing team with a losing record this season, which is another stat that swings things in their favor. The Jazz are averaging 97.6 PPG, and are giving up 97.4 PPG.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Both of these teams are in the exact same position right now, so expect to see a nervy start to this game. Both know the importance of a win, and I believe it will be the Jazz who will use their home court advantage to edge out a win.