Nikola Jokic should feature prominently in the Nuggets game against the Jazz on Sunday. (Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire)
- The Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets matchup on January 31st
- Utah is without Donovan Mitchell and Derrick Favors
- Which player props represent the best betting value?
The Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets meet for the second time this season on January 31st. Utah won their clash back on January 17th – the Jazz were just five games into their winning streak at that point. Quin Snyder’s team have since won six more on the bounce.
With Donovan Mitchell (concussion) out, and Derrick Favors (back) also sitting this one out, the Jazz are 1.5-point underdogs. Denver has all of their key players available, though Mike Malone is missing a useful player off the bench in PJ Dozier (hamstring).
Utah Jazz vs Denver Nuggets Player Props
|Player||Points||Rebounds||Assists||Three Pointers Made|
|Nikola Jokic (DEN)||22.5 (O -110 | U -110)||10.5 (O +102 | U -124)||7.5 (O +116 | U -142)||1.5 (O +132 | U -170)|
|Jamal Murray (DEN)||18.5 (O -118 | U -104)||3.5 (O -120 | U -102)||4.5 (O +122 | U -150)||1.5 (O -174 | U +136)|
|Michael Porter Jr (DEN)||14.5 (O -110 | U -110)||6.5 (O -110 | U -110)||N/A||2.5 (O +154 | U -200)|
|Rudy Gobert (UTA)||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Mike Conley (UTA)||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Bojan Bogdanovic (UTA)||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Odds taken on Jan 31 from FanDuel.
MPJ Hits Threes
Michael Porter Jr’s role has increased this season. Minutes are still a concern when backing his player props, however. He’s averaging 27 minutes per game, up from under 17 last season, but he’s been under 20 minutes in two of five games since returning from COVID-19 protocol. They are the only two games over that span in which he hasn’t hit three or more three-point attempts.
Porter is shooting 49.1% from deep on the season. His 7.9 three-point attempts per 36 minutes is more than James Harden, Luka Doncic and LeBron James. MPJ is unafraid to let it go from beyond the arc, and that’s not going to change, even against a Jazz team which ranks in the top five in opponent three-point attempts and percentage. Even in his young career, Porter has developed a knack for hitting shots over defenders – he’s unlikely to be run off the line as easily as most other shooters.
His raw talent is undeniable. The Jazz are relatively well-equipped to guard him in Bojan Bogdanovic, who has the length to challenge his shots even from that high release point. Open looks, though, are seemingly inevitable on this team. Whether Jokic is picking him out in the corner or Jamal Murray kicking out from a drive, Porter’s shot quality is high. Mix that with his tendency to hit the more difficult shots, and we have one of the most lethal shooters in the league.
The +154 price on Porter to make over 2.5 threes is a great bet. He could hit that in the first half.
Pick: Michael Porter Jr over 2.5 threes (+154)
Jokic Gets Going
Nikola Jokic scored 35 when these teams played earlier this month. He also scored 35 in Denver’s last game, taking 24 shots in a loss to the Spurs. Held to 27 shots across the two games prior to that, Jokic has to be aggressive. His numbers are up across the board (including shot attempts), but the Nuggets need him to look to score as well as facilitate. The MVP contender went 14-for-23 from the field when they last played Utah – if he takes 20+ shots again, he will cruise past the 22.5 total points line.
The Joker has scored 23 or more points in 12 of his 19 games this season. Utah, while a great defensive team, will let him take shots from deep. Rudy Gobert will not be interested in guarding Jokic on the perimeter, which resulted in three 3-point makes when these two matched up a couple of weeks ago. There’s value in backing Jokic to hit over 1.5 threes, too.
Free throw shooting will be an interesting component here as well: Jokic has 10 free throw attempts over this last three games, but he got to the line 14 times in the game before that. Gobert is generally good at avoiding fouls, and the Jazz kept Jokic away from the line earlier in the season. His array of fakes and pivots in the post can lure swiping arms and block attempts, though, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Jazz, and maybe Gobert, get into some foul trouble. With no Favors, Jokic will be unstoppable in non-Gobert minutes.
There’s value across the board for Jokic. His points over is a good bet, as is three-point makes, but the total points, assists and rebounds line looks the best of all.
Pick: Nikola Jokic over 40.5 points, assists, rebounds (-113)
Sam Cox is a freelance writer and sports junkie, who has spent the past several years immersed in the online gaming industry. He has worked with 888sport, Oddschecker, and Colossus Bets to name a few. Based in the UK, Sam also runs Franchise Sports with his brother.