Jazz NBA Title Odds Seem Like Great Value But Should You Wait?
Mark Strotman | 4 mins
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As far as oddsmakers are concerned, there have been four legitimate NBA title contenders this season: The Lakers, Nets, Bucks and Clippers. Those four teams have been excellent through the season’s first third of the schedule, but none tout the NBA’s best record. That belongs to the Utah Jazz, who are making a serious case to enter the picture as a fifth title contender.
Oddsmakers like what they’ve seen from Utah, shrinking their NBA futures odds from +4000 at the start of the season to +2000. Those odds are still just the seventh best in the league, hardly indicative of their impressive 19-5 start.
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Why Waiting on Utah’s Odds is the Play
The Jazz have won 15 of their last 16 games, and that includes impressive victories over Milwaukee (by 13), Denver (4), Golden State (19) and Indiana (8). They also earned a win over the Clippers on New Year’s Day. But the schedule is about to get a lot more difficult in February, and it might be why sports betting sites have been hesitant to shorten their title odds much. Consider their upcoming schedule:
- vs. Boston (12-10)
- vs. Milwaukee (15-8)
- vs. Miami (9-14)
- vs. Philadelphia (17-7)
- @ LA Clippers (17-8)
- @ LA Clippers (17-8)
- vs. Charlotte (12-13)
- vs. LA Lakers (18-6)
- @ Miami (9-14)
Utah is due a few losses over that stretch, and it stands that their title odds won’t shorten much in that span. Such difficult games in a 17-day span will take its toll as it would any time, so there’s a chance that Utah’s NBA betting title odds could even lengthen a bit before March hits.
That’s good news for bettors, because the Jazz are for real: They’re second in net rating and the only team with a top-4 offensive and defensive rating. It appears that the annual defensive juggernauts finally have an offense to match it. That’s a recipe for success in the postseason.
So, just hold on for now. Oddsmakers know what lies ahead for Utah, but they’re a true contender, so the value will remain even if the wins don’t pile up in February like they did in January.
Jazz NBA Award Futures
A 19-5 record doesn’t happen out of nowhere. And a handful of Jazz players and coaches find themselves in position for postseason awards.
It’s unusual to see a runaway favorite for Sixth Man of the Year, but Jordan Clarkson’s performance off the bench has been remarkable. The reserve combo guard has averaged 17.5 points, the highest mark of any bench player by nearly two points per game – and leading the league in bench scoring is a great indicator of Sixth Man success.
Though he doesn’t provide outstanding value, he’s going to win this award pretty easily. No one is even threatening him at this point.
Repeat winners for Defensive Player of the Year are more common than any other award, and that’s good news for Rudy Gobert. The 7-footer is averaging 2.7 blocks per game – which would be a career-high – and 9.9 defensive rebounds, more than he had in either of the two seasons he won Defensive Player of the Year (2018, 2019).
Utah ranked 1st and 2nd in defensive efficiency in those award-winning seasons, and the Jazz are third in that category in 2021 and trending in the right direction. He’s the favorite for a reason.
Lastly, the best indicator for Coach of the Year winner is a team that makes the jump from good to great. That’s Utah, a team that has had an excellent win percentage between .585 and .622 the last four seasons. But they’ve made the jump in 2021 with a .795 win percentage, and it’s the main reason Quin Synder has jumped all the way from +2500 during the season’s first week to the favorite at +275.
If Utah makes it through its February schedule gauntlet in decent shape, the award will be Snyder’s to lose, and you can bet on him at FOX Bet.