Free NBA pick from Stephen Nover: Take Utah -3.
This number is low because Utah has dropped five of its last six. Those defeats, though, have come against the Warriors, Heat, Pacers and the last two to the Clippers. These teams are a combined 47 games above .500.
Now the Jazz drop way down in class hosting a Timberwolves club and their short-handed backcourt. Utah is a strong home team. The Jazz have covered 61 percent of their home contests this season. Minnesota has lost three in a row on the road. The Timberwolves have lost and failed to cover during their past five visits to Salt Lake City.
Kevin Love continues to struggle with his shot making just 35.8 percent from the floor. He shot less than 30 percent from the floor in three games against Utah last season when he was fully healthy.
The Timberwolves need Love because their backcourt is battered. Brandon Roy and Chase Budinger are out long-term following knee surgeries and Ricky Rubio won’t play either due to a bad back.
Utah opened 9-1 at home. But the Jazz have lost their last three home matchups falling to the Clippers, Warriors and Grizzlies. Those three teams are all far superior to the Timberwolves. The Jazz should be primed for a strong home effort in a stop-the-pain game. The Jazz have a tall frontcourt, Love has yet to regain his form and Minnesota’s backcourt injuries offset Utah being without its starting point guard, Mo Williams.
The spread is low enough to back a strong home team against an inferior opponent.
(Editor’s note: Stephen Nover is the No. 1 ‘capper during the last 60 days. Stephen ranks first in the NFL and fourth in the NBA. Stephen also is perfect on his college bowl plays and has his Bowl Game of the Year going on Thursday. Stephen has his NBA Game of the Week going today.)