Nets vs. Jazz Free NBA Picks and Odds Breakdown

James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets. Michelle Farsi/Getty Images/AFP

Two wounded teams will meet this Friday when the Utah Jazz host the Brooklyn Nets. Is either side a good fit for your NBA picks?

Brooklyn Nets vs. Utah Jazz

Friday, February 04, 2022 – 09:00 PM EST at Vivint Arena

The Utah Jazz were victorious, but in the end, they couldn’t beat the NBA odds. Utah hosted the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, and we recommended the Nuggets in this space, given all the key players missing for the Jazz. Final score: Denver 104, Utah 108, with the Nuggets cashing in as 6.5-point underdogs on the closing line.

It’s much the same scenario this Friday night when the Jazz (31-21 SU, 21-29-2 ATS) welcome the Brooklyn Nets (29-22 SU, 20-30-1 ATS) to the salt flats. But will the betting angles that helped small-market Denver get paid do the same for Brooklyn? They’re 1.5-point road dogs on the NBA lines at DraftKings as we go to press; Kevin Durant remains out for the Nets with a sprained left knee, and James Harden is definitely less than 100% right now.

Beard Trimming

It’s the second part of that equation that makes Brooklyn a shakier choice for your NBA picks than the Nuggets were. Not having Durant should actually add to the Nets’ betting value; he’s the kind of superstar that casual fans are prone to overrating. With Harden and Kyrie Irving both available, we were happy enough to recommend Brooklyn for Tuesday’s game against the Phoenix Suns – but Phoenix won that game 121-111 as 7-point home faves.

Not to be too results-oriented, but Harden wasn’t quite himself that day. In his first game back from a strained right hand, the former MVP posted 22 points and 10 assists, but also shot 6-for-19 from the field; then Harden went 2-for-11 for four points (!) in Wednesday’s 112-101 come-from-ahead loss to the Sacramento Kings as 5-point road faves. This is definitely not peak James Harden we’re dealing with here.

The Day Today

At the same time, maybe the NBA lines have adjusted way too much in the other direction. On top of the season-ending knee injury suffered by Joe Ingles, the Jazz have four important players listed as day-to-day: Rudy Gobert (calf), Donovan Mitchell (concussion), Jordan Clarkson (knee), and Hassan Whiteside (back). None of the four played in Wednesday’s ATS loss to Denver.

Will any of them play Friday night? We don’t have any conclusive word at press time, but with both the Nets and Jazz having some serious issues right now, this might be a good spot to forget the spread and focus on the total – which has yet to hit the board. That Utah-Denver matchup went Under the posted total of 216.5 points; Brooklyn and Phoenix barely went Over 230.5, then the Kings and Nets had no trouble going Under 231 the next game. Keep a close eye on who’s available for Utah (and Brooklyn for that matter), and bet accordingly when the lines come out.

NBA Pick: Under 228.5 (-110) at FanDuel