Our Clients:

Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Apr 28, 2022 7:28 pm

Sportsbooks split on whether Jazz will force Game 7

The Utah Jazz are on the brink of elimination but at least they’ll have their star player in Game 6 on Thursday night at Salt Lake City.

Despite having their star player performing at his peak again after missing a few games in this first-round series, the Dallas Mavericks know that having a 3-2 lead doesn’t guarantee they will advance.

Last year’s postseason disaster offers a reminder. In the 2021 first round, the Mavericks were up 3-2 against the Los Angeles Clippers before losing Game 6 at home and Game 7 on the road.

“I don’t even remember that. I don’t even remember last year,” Dallas forward Dorian Finney-Smith joked. “Nah, but we put ourselves in a great spot. We’ve just got to handle our business in Utah.”

Dallas did that in Game 3, winning 126-118 at Utah to regain home-court advantage after losing Game 1 at home 99-93. Things are vastly different a week later.

The Jazz have held steady as 1.5-point favorites in Game 6 at BetMGM, but they are 1.0-point underdogs at DraftKings and PointsBet.

It speaks to the unpredictability of this competitive series.

Dallas had been backed by 74 percent of the spread handle at BetMGM hours before tipoff. The Mavericks have also been the focus of one-sided spread action at DraftKings (81 percent of the handle) and PointsBet (81 percent), where Dallas opened as 2.5-point favorites in Game 6.

Mavericks star Luka Doncic has been dominant since returning from a calf injury that sidelined him for the first three games.

Meanwhile, Utah’s most explosive scorer, Donovan Mitchell, declared himself ready to play Thursday night amid a leg injury.

“I’m good to go,” Mitchell said Wednesday. “I’ll be ready.”

This series has been so unpredictable, with Jalen Brunson suddenly playing like an All-Star, the usually sharpshooting Jazz misfiring from deep at historic levels and elite players from each team with injuries.

Mitchell limped off the court and grabbed at his hamstring with 4:55 to play Monday. An ensuing MRI was negative, and Mitchell was optimistic he’ll play through his bilateral quadriceps contusions.

Mitchell also believes the Jazz will return to form after only hitting 3 of 30 from 3-point range in the 102-77 Game 5 blowout loss.

Not only was that the worst 3-point field-goal percentage in Jazz history (minimum 20 attempts), it was the least-accurate performance in NBA postseason history (minimum 25 attempts), according to ESPN Stats & Info.

“I don’t think we’ve ever shot this poorly as a group,” Mitchell said. “So, we’ll bounce back and go from there.”

The way Dallas has played for most of this series will require a very large bounce-back by Utah.

Doncic pushed the Mavericks into the series lead with 33 points and 13 rebounds in Game 5 after totaling 30 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in the 100-99 Game 4 loss at Utah.

“The first game, I was a little janky,” Doncic said. “But I felt better (Monday). I think the first couple of minutes I was tired, but then I was OK. I think the run in the third I was a little tired, too, but just getting my air back.”

Dallas is looking to get past the first round for the first time since winning the NBA championship in 2011. That Clippers series last year was the first time in nine occasions that the Mavs blew a 3-2 lead.

Doncic said the Mavericks just need to play like they did Monday.

“I think our defense was amazing, the energy was high and we played hard,” he said. “That’s the way we’ve got to play, and that’s how we win the next game.”

If not, Game 7 will take place Saturday at Dallas.

–Field Level Media

You may also like

WNBA logo
May 24, 2024 12:30 am

Mercury win third straight, keep Mystics winless

Kahleah Copper and Diana Taurasi scored 20 points apiece and the host Phoenix Mercury held off a late charge to beat the Washington Mystics 83-80 on Thursday night. Sophie Cunningham…

Tyrese Haliburton
May 24, 2024 12:04 am

Pacers G Tyrese Haliburton (hamstring) exits Game 2

The Indiana Pacers lost All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton to a sore left hamstring in Game 2 against the Boston Celtics on Thursday night. Haliburton, 24, left with 3:44 remaining in…

celtics
May 23, 2024 10:55 pm

Jaylen Brown scores 40 as Celtics take 2-0 series lead vs. Pacers

Jaylen Brown scored a game-high 40 points and grabbed five rebounds to lead the Boston Celtics to a 126-110 victory over the visiting Indiana Pacers on Thursday in Game 2…

More Basketball News

WNBA logo
May 24, 2024 12:30 am

Mercury win third straight, keep Mystics winless

Kahleah Copper and Diana Taurasi scored 20 points apiece and the host Phoenix Mercury held off a late charge to beat the Washington Mystics 83-80 on Thursday night. Sophie Cunningham…

Tyrese Haliburton
May 24, 2024 12:04 am

Pacers G Tyrese Haliburton (hamstring) exits Game 2

celtics
May 23, 2024 10:55 pm

Jaylen Brown scores 40 as Celtics take 2-0 series lead vs. Pacers

wnba logo
May 23, 2024 9:58 pm

Sun outlast Lynx in overtime to remain perfect

Caitlin Clark
May 23, 2024 9:28 pm

WNBA’s top two picks face off when Fever face Sparks

Read all
fb-post
advertisment
title-icon

Upcoming events

See all odds