Game 1 Predictions & Odds: Jazz vs. Nuggets

  • August 16, 2020
  • By Michael Crosson

The first round of the NBA playoffs will tip off Monday afternoon with a Western Conference showdown between the (6) Utah Jazz and the (3) Denver Nuggets.

Betting Resources

Betting Odds - Jazz vs. Nuggets

Line Movements

Denver opened as a three-point favorite for this game but the early money came in on the Jazz as we saw this line fall to 2.5 Saturday night, but as of Sunday morning, the line had bounced back up to -4.5 for the Nuggets.

The total for this contest opened at 220.5, but since that line has been on the board, it has steadily plummeted all the way down to 215.5, with all the early action coming in on the under.

Point-Spread Odds

  • Nuggets -3
  • Jazz +3

Money-Line Odds

  • Nuggets -160 (Bet $100 to win $62.50)
  • Jazz +140 (Bet $100 to win $140)

Total Odds

  • Over 217.5
  • Under 217.5

Series Odds

  • Nuggets -200
  • Jazz +175

The Utah Jazz won't have point guard Mike Conley in the lineup on Monday as the point guard has left the NBA Bubble. (AP)

Inside the Betting Stats

(Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS)


  • Utah: 44-28 SU, 39-33-2 ATS
  • Denver: 46-27 SU, 34-36-3 ATS


  • Utah: 3-5 SU, 4-4 ATS
  • Denver: 3-5 SU, 4-4 ATS

The Utah Jazz enter Monday afternoon’s contest holding a 3-5 record in the bubble (0-5 against playoff teams), with their only wins coming against the Pelicans, Grizzlies, and Spurs.

Denver has also struggled in Orlando, tallying a 3-5 record as well, but at least have two wins over playoff teams. That includes their double-overtime win over the Jazz.

With the exception of Donovan Mitchell at times, the Jazz have not been good offensively in Orlando. The club went under their season average of points per game (111.34) in five out of their eight contests in regulation (101 points before OT vs DEN).

The Nuggets haven’t had the same struggles offensively, but their defense has suffered without the help of Gary Harris and Will Barton, causing their game totals to go over in all eight contests in Orlando.

The Jazz have covered +4.5 in two out of their their losses to the Nuggets this season, and the 'under' has hit in two of three in this series with the only 'over' coming in a double-overtime game.

Over-Under Total Notes

Totals Report


  • Utah: 38-34 O/U
  • Denver: 38-34-1 O/U


  • Utah: 5-3 O/U
  • Denver: 8-0 O/U

The over may be 8-0 so far for the Nuggets inside the bubble, but in their their matchups this season with Utah, there has been an average of 203 total points per game scored in regulation, keeping the total under in 2 out of 3 games.

The only reason their most recent matchup in Orlando soared over, is because that game carried into double-OT, but even that game was deadlocked at 105-105 at the end of regulation, which would’ve been a 3rd consecutive under between these teams.


The over is 8-0 for Denver inside the bubble, which is way less eye-popping when you factor in the 2 OT games, and who they have played against in Orlando so far.

The Utah defense poses a difficult challenge for the Nuggets offensively, as they tend to try to run the majority of their offense through the big man, Jokic, constantly putting the ball right in front of a 2-time DPOY to swat away, bringing down the point totals in these matchups.

Jazz vs. Nuggets Head-to-Head

2019-20 Regular Season

Aug. 8, 2020: Denver (+1) 134 vs. Utah 132, Over 222.5
Feb. 5, 2020: Denver (+10) 98 at Utah 95, Under 214.5
Jan. 30, 2020: Denver (+3) 106 vs. Utah 100, Under 215.5

Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets completed a 3-0 regular season series sweep of the Utah Jazz in their (134-132) double-OT win in the bubble last Monday.

Although Denver owns a perfect record against Utah, they are just 1-2 ATS in those games, their one cover coming in a 106-100 win back in January. Donovan Mitchell gave the Nikola Jokic and company everything they could handle in their most recent matchup with Denver, tallying 35 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists in the OT loss.

Jokic and Porter Jr. were able to get it done for Denver however, combining for 53 points and 22 rebounds in the victory. The real X-factor in this matchup is how Utah utilizes their perennial DPOY candidate, Rudy Gobert, against the Joker.

So far, Jokic has gotten the best of him, averaging 29.3 points, 12 rebounds, and 9 assists against the Jazz this season. Look for the defense in that matchup to be the most intense it has been all season between these teams, and for these 2 big men to neutralize each other to an extent.

2019-20 Regular Season

Key Injuries


  • Gary Harris: Hip – Out
  • Will Barton: Knee – Out
  • Vlatko Cancar: Foot – Out


  • Mike Conley: Personal – Out

The Jazz will be without starting point-guard, Mike Conley, for the first few games in the Nuggets series, as he left the bubble for the birth of his son, and will have to go through the proper quarantine procedures before he is allowed to return to play.

The Nuggets were hoping to get Gary Harris and Will Barton back. They have not appeared in the bubble yet, but have been ruled out by Denver head coach Michael Malone for Monday’s playoff matchup with the Jazz.

If Barton is unable to go again, look for Porter Jr. to go over his total stats line as he won’t have to deal with Gobert nearly as much defensively, and should dominate a lot of the Denver offensive volume.

I expect Donovan Mitchell to go over his assists + rebounds line as he should have the ball in his hands much more without Conley there to drown out his usage.

Game 1 Best Bet Pick

I expect the hot stat to be floating around Monday afternoon to be, “Nuggets overs are 8-0 inside the bubble,” which explains why we see the opening OU line of 220, and then see the massive drop down to 215.5 points after people realize that this matchup doesn’t typically carry offensive fireworks.

These teams are averaging 203 total points in matchups against each other this year in regulation, but the line is distorted due to 266 points being scored in their double OT game in the bubble. I expect both, Denver and Utah to tighten up defensively in game 1, and for this matchup to stay under for a 3rd time this season, barring no overtime. Playing Under 215.5 points is a great look!

Prediction: Nuggets 107, Jazz 102