Milwaukee Bucks vs. Utah Jazz – NBA, February 12, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| February 12, 2021 6:41 am PDT

The Jazz takes on the Bucks in this cross Conference clash of the titans. The Bucks sit in second spot of the Eastern Conference, and the Jazz is top of the West, so this should be an epic encounter.

The recent head to head record is even closer than their form this season as they haven’t been able to be split in their previous six games, with each team winning three each. They have alternated victories in those six games, which is good news for the Bucks as it appears to be their turn to win next.

Although they will have to do something they have failed to do in 18 attempts, and that is win in Utah. The last time they won away to Utah was twenty years ago, back in 2001. That win was even hard-fought as they only managed to pick up the victory after overtime.

Over the previous ten meetings, one thing has been clear: the Jazz are starting much better as they have averaged eight more first half points than the Bucks.

Here is my Bucks vs. Jazz betting preview.

Bucks vs. Jazz Odds

Bucks (+1.5) -110
Jazz (-1.5) -110
Bucks To Win +108
Jazz To Win -115
Over 232.5 Points -110
Under 232.5 Points -110

The betting is as right as it would have been expected to be, but the points total looks very high and could be the best market to bet on.

This is the very first game that the Bucks have entered as the underdogs this season.

Bucks News

The Bucks’ recent five-game unbeaten run came to an end last night, in a slender one point loss against the Suns. They will be incredibly disappointed to have lost that match, given that they took an eight point lead into the half time break.

They have a split record in their 14 games on the road this season. They play this game and then travel to Oklahoma before spending the remainder of the season at home, except for one visit to Memphis in their last game of the regular season. Therefore, they will want to improve their away record and finish on a high by winning the last two games.

Here are the latest betting trends for Milwaukee:

Against The Spread
  • They have won five of their last six games.
  • The Bucks have only won five of their previous 20 matches against Utah.

This shows that the Bucks are playing well, but they can’t hide from their appalling record against the Jazz.

Points Total
  • Six of their previous eight games have gone over the betting total.
  • Their games on the road recently have followed this trend as only two of the last six have gone under the points total.
  • The total has gone over in four of their previous five games against teams from the Western Conference.

This highlights what a scoring powerhouse the Bucks are right now and that most of their games are usually high scoring and entertaining.

Other Pointers
  • The Bucks have only won three of the last 13 games against the Jazz.
  • However, they do have a good record against teams in the Northwest Division, winning eight of the previous 11 matches.

This brings home the tough challenge the Bucks have tonight to improve upon this abysmal record against Utah.

The Bucks have the best offense in the NBA this season, averaging 121 points per game. Only the Nets have an attack that can even get close to this average; the rest of the league are way behind.

They shoot well for all angles and ranges on the court, making them next to impossible to defend against. Oddly they have one of the lowest field goal percentages from the free-throw line, so it could pay to play aggressively against them, especially as the Bucks don’t seem to have an aggressive bone in their bodies this season.

Milwaukee passes the ball impeccably, making many assists along the way.

Their defense is average at best, but it hasn’t had to be much better than that this season. They sit deep and try to rely on a good rebounding game to recover the ball for their attack to take over. This does mean that they can be hurt by teams who shoot well, especially from distance.

Jrue Holiday has been one of the cornerstones of their success this season, but he has missed the last couple of games due to health and safety protocols, and it is unknown when he will return. This will make this test tonight even tougher!

Holiday is the only doubt that the Bucks have for this game.

Jazz News

The Jazz is the number one team in the NBA right now, and that is a title that they don’t want to relinquish any time soon. They have only lost five games all season and are playing some incredible basketball along the way.

They have only lost once in 17 games, which was at the end of January against the Nuggets.

Utah has been near perfect at home, winning ten of their 12 games to date. Bizarrely they lost their first two games at home and have gone on to win the next ten in a row. During those ten wins, the Clippers are the only team to have lost by less than double digits.

Here are the latest betting trends for Utah:

Against The Spread
  • The Jazz continues to defy the odds and has only lost one of their last 17 games.
  • They have a record of 9-0-1 in their previous ten games against teams from the Eastern Conference.

I think this shows how well the Jazz is playing this season and how much the bookmakers have continuously underestimated them.

Points Total
  • Four of their last six games have gone over the betting total.
  • Only two of their previous eight games against the Bucks have failed to go over the points total.
  • The total has gone over in four of their last six games played in February.
  • For some reason or another, their games played on a Friday have not followed all of the above trends as four of the last six have gone under the points total.

Generally, I would associate these stats predicting a high scoring game.

The Jazz has an excellent offense but next to the Bucks attack, it looks weak. Like the Bucks, they are very good at rebounding (they are ranked one and two in the country), and this will be one of the key areas to victory for both teams.

The pressure is probably on the Jazz more to win this battle, given that the Bucks have a superior field goal percentage. There is also the added pressure of knowing that they don’t make many steals per game, so this will be their best way of winning the ball back from the Bucks.

They have the upper hand at shooting from range, and they must continue this tonight, given that there could be periods of the game where they don’t see much of the ball.

Utah’s defense is excellent and has won them many a game this season. They mark up extremely tight and squeeze the life out of their opponents like a boa constrictor. This helps them make many blocks per game, which is vital when playing against a team as accurate as the Bucks.

Rudy Gobert has a massive part to play in this, and the Bucks will have to be at their best to get past him. The two-time defender of the season has been in sparkling form this season, and he showed last time out against the Celtics just what a smothering effect he can have.

They have the number one defense at home in the country, conceding on average 104 points per game.

The Jazz has two absentees tonight, and they are Conley and Hughes, who are both currently injured.

Bucks vs. Jazz Betting Pick

This is going to be great! There are so many matchups within this game that are intriguing. The Bucks have only one way of playing, and that is all-out attack.

However, the Jazz can win this game with their offense or defense, which makes me sway towards them winning this. Milwaukee seemed to miss Holidays leadership last time out against the Suns, and I have no doubt in my mind that if he were playing, they would have won.

The fact that he is likely to miss this game added to that their atrocious record against Utah; I have to side with the Jazz tonight. I will take them minus the handicap seen as no team has got closer than six against them at home recently.

Pick
  • Jazz (-1.5)
    -110

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