Utah Jazz vs. San Antonio Spurs Prediction, Preview, and Odds

The Utah Jazz (19-16, 20-15 ATS) take on the San Antonio Spurs (10-22, 13-19 ATS) on the day after Christmas at 8:10 PM ET. The Jazz are currently the 7-seed in the West, but are only three games back from the leading Denver Nuggets. The Spurs are in the basement of the standings at 14th, they are 5.5 games behind Minnesota for the 10th and final playoff spot. This is the first of four matchups between these two Western Conference foes.

Are Jazz Rebuilding or Competing?

The Utah Jazz were expected to struggle this season after trading away their stars, Donovan Mitchell and Ruby Gobert. Instead, Utah is in the middle of the playoff hunt in a tightly contested Western Conference. In their last game, the Jazz defeated the Wizards 120-112 at home, just covering the 7-point spread as favorites. Utah took a three point advantage into the 4th quarter and never relinquished the lead. Malik Beasley led the Jazz with 25 points off the bench in 26 minutes of action. Jordan Clarkson added 23 and Lauri Markkanen had 21. The Jazz are 7-11 on the road this season.

the more (threes) the merrier #Pura3Pointer | @pura pic.twitter.com/xrYljxWDBN

β€” Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 23, 2022

Markkanen is making a surprise run at an all-star selection this season. The 6’11 forward is leading the Jazz with 22.8 PPG, and adds 8.1 RPG while shooting 53.4% ​​from the field. In the game before Washington, Markkanen dropped 38 on the Pistons and shot 9-13 from three. Jordan Clarkson has been a solid contributor for Utah, he has stepped into a starting role and responded by averaging 20.1 PPG and leading the team in assists at 4.5 per game.

7’1 Walker Kessler is a rookie center from Auburn and has been starting at the five recently. Kessler is starting for Kelly Olynyk who is out with an ankle sprain. Kessler had a 12-point, 14-rebound showing against the Wizards. Veteran guard Mike Conley and role player Jarred Vanderbilt round out the recent starting lineup for Utah. Olynyk is the only player on Utah’s injury report and is likely out for the game against San Antonio.

Spurs Searching for Positives

San Antonio has lost four of their last five, and were victims of an 11-game losing streak earlier in the season. In their last game, the Spurs lost 133-113 in Orlando, failing to cover as 6-point underdogs. The game was relatively close, until the 4th quarter when the Magic dominated the session 39-24. Keldon Johnson lead the Spurs with 17, Tre Jones added 16 and Devin Vassell finished with 14. The Spurs have a 5-12 home record.

It’s turbo time @tre3jones! πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈπŸ’¨@spurs | #PorVida | #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/2Co5Q9S3qA

β€” Bally Sports San Antonio (@BallySportsSA) December 24, 2022

The Spurs are led in scoring by their wings Keldon Johnson (20.9 PPG) and Devin Vassell (19.4). Johnson has been playing well as of late, before the last game against the Magic, he had 21 or more points in six straight games. 7’1 Jakob Poeltl starts at center and leads the team in rebounding at 9.0 per game. Tre Jones has become a steady point guard for the Spurs, and Jeremy Sochan rounds out the starting lineup at power forward.

The Spurs are attempting to build their roster by giving heavy minutes to their young players. Johnson, Vassell, Jones, and Sochan are all 23 or younger, with Sochan still only 19 years old. They are still capable of an occasional surprise win, they have beaten the Cavaliers, Heat, and Bucks this season. The only player on the Spurs injury report is Blake Wesley, listed as day-to-day.

Best bets

Full game side bet


The Spurs have been 7-10 point underdogs regularly to good teams over the past month, and this is not enough points to back San Antonio. The Spurs are only 1-4 ATS in their last five games, failing to cover as underdogs of 6 or more in all four losses. Utah has covered their last two games as favorites and will do the same to San Antonio. Markkanen’s mix of height and outside shooting will be difficult for the Spurs to defend, and Clarkson is having a career year with his minutes going up. The Spurs are too reliant on young unproven players to step and score consistently. The Spurs have the worst defensive efficiency in the league according to dunksandthrees.com, while the Jazz have the 2nd most efficient offense. Jazz wants to win and cover.

Take Utah to cover.

Prediction: Jazz -4.5

Full game total pick


This is the highest total Utah has seen since December 2nd, 11 games ago. San Antonio has been cashing overs lately, but this line is over-adjusted. The Spurs have gone over in 6 of the last 7, but the total was never this high, and only one game was over 230. The Spurs are 26th in offensive efficiency according to dunksandthrees.com, and will not score enough to send this over the totally again. Take the under on this high number.

Bet the under.

Prediction: Under 236

Written By
Paul Biagioli, “Paul Biagioli”

Paul has been a sports fan his entire life, and was an All-Conference basketball player at The University of Scranton. He is currently a high school basketball coach and a mathematics teacher with a Master’s in Business Administration. This unique combination gives Paul the ability to find mismatches from a coach’s perspective while having the ability to analyze statistical data to spot advantages. Paul will provide you with an array of statistics, trends, and analytics to prepare for any match-up. Follow Paul for up-to-date analysis and all your betting needs. We are thrilled to have Paul on our team.

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