The Mavericks are 8-10 straight up and 9-9 against the spread, while the Jazz stand at 14-4 overall and a league best 13-5 against the spread.
Utah has won ten straight games, covering the spread in all of them. This includes their most recent matchup against the Mavericks, which they won by a total of 12 points as two-point favorites.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Mavs-Jazz odds in the rematch.
NBA Odds: Mavs-Jazz Odds
Dallas Mavericks +3.5 (-109)
Utah Jazz -3.5 (-111)
Over 222 Points (-110)
Under 222 Points (-110)
Why The Mavs Could Cover The Spread
The recipe to beat the Jazz so far this season has been to play solid perimeter defense and hope their shooters have an off night.
Utah has lost four times in 2020-21. In all four of them, they shot 35% or below from beyond the arc.
This plays into the Mavericks’ hands. Dallas has held opponents to the fourth-lowest three-point percentage in the league.
Additionally, the Jazz will be without Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell leads the Jazz in three-pointers made, robbing Utah of a key scorer and perimeter threat.
The toughest task for the Mavericks will be breaking Utah’s elite defense.
The Jazz have been excellent at forcing offenses to take contested shots, but they do not force many turnovers. The Jazz are last in both steals and turnovers forced.
This is a good sign for the Mavs, who are already very good at taking care of the ball. Dallas turns the ball over at the second-lowest rate in the league, about 11 times a game. If Dallas plays a clean ball game and churns out quality possessions, the Jazz defense could eventually falter.
Look for Luka Doncic and company to rebound from their catastrophic outing and make the necessary adjustments to keep this one close.
Why The Jazz Could Cover The Spread
The Jazz are currently on the most impressive streak the NBA has seen this season.
To win 10 straight games is rare for any team, but to cover ten straight is almost unheard of.
What makes this streak even more impressive is the manner in which the Jazz are covering. They aren’t getting backdoor covers, they’re blowing teams out of the water.
For reference, Utah has covered by an average of 11.2 points. Vegas keeps feeding them low spreads (the Jazz have been double-digit favorites in only two of the last ten games), and the Jazz are feasting.
The reason for the Jazz’s dominance has been their defense. Utah currently has the third-best defensive rating in the league, holding opponents to the third-lowest field-goal percentage and the second least points per game in the entire NBA.
Against a Mavericks team that already struggles to score the ball (fourth-least points in the league), Utah’s defense has a chance to put on another clinic on Friday night.
The Jazz just beat this team with what looked like minimal effort. Even without Mitchell, they have a good chance of grinding along and covering a small spread.
Final Mavs-Jazz Prediction & Pick
Utah is the hottest team in the league and just trounced Dallas. Now they face another small three-and-a-half-point spread in an arena where they haven’t lost in 2021. The Jazz will be missing a key piece of the offense, but I think their defense carries them to another win tonight. It’ll be a closer matchup this time around, but I’ll back Utah to slow the offensively challenged Mavs again in Salt Lake City.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: UTA 112, DAL 106 (JAZZ -3.5)