Jazz, Lakers Sinking in West
Two teams struggling for form will hope to get things right in a game that can shape the playoff outlook for both sides. Our Los Angeles Lakers vs Utah Jazz predictions compare and contrast the fortunates of both teams heading into the final few games of the regular season, which may also be the final few games of the current campaign for the Lakers.
The Lakers are officially a half-game ahead of the San Antonio Spurs for the 10th seed, but a loss will move them level with the Spurs, who hold the tiebreaker over them should they remain level the remainder of the way.
Meanwhile, the Jazz haven’t fared much better of late. The team is currently down in the six seed after spending almost the entirety of the season in the top four spots in the West.
A win will push them back alongside the Denver Nuggets as the two teams look to push to not only secure home-court advantage in the first round, but to secure a division title in the process.
Lakers Finding New Lows
Not many people envisioned the Los Angeles Lakers to be on the verge of falling out of the playoff picture entirely given the current landscape in the West, but another road loss in Utah will officially push them back to the 11 seed with just six games left to play.
The Lakers are just 4-13 straight up since the All-Star break and are starting to truly look like a team that is closer to the bottom-tier teams in the NBA than those at the top.
LeBron James is officially out for this game with an ankle injury and the team is unlikely to be getting Anthony Davis back, with the former Pelican downgraded from questionable to doubtful on the official NBA injury report.
The Lakers are 11-26 on the road, a record that equals that of the Oklahoma City Thunder for reference.
That doesn’t bode well for a team that still has three more road games left on their schedule after this one, which includes trips to Phoenix, Golden State and Denver.
Their home games aren’t any easier, with the Pelicans and Denver Nuggets set to visit Crypto Arena.
When looking at the NBA point spreads and predictions for this Laker team, a meeting with the Thunder remains the only game on their schedule where they’ll be favored in the betting markets.
Jazz Need Home Comfort
The Jazz will hope a return to Salt Lake City will align with a return to form on the court after a dismal six-game road trip saw them secure just one win – and that came at the very start of it all on their visit to Madison Square Garden.
Prior to this stretch, the team won three of four in their previous homestand, including comfortable wins over the Sacramento Kings, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers.
The Jazz’s home dominance should be noted when making your Lakers vs Jazz betting predictions, given the sheer dominance that Utah possesses when playing at home to bottom-tier teams.
In fact, the last home game they lost to a team under .500 was back on Jan. 19, when they lost to the Houston Rockets on a night where Donovan Mitchell was unavailable with an ankle injury.
Outperforming the Nuggets down the stretch could prove pivotal to the team’s chances at a playoff run, with the five seed likely pairing up against an out-of-sorts Golden State Warriors team and therefore avoiding a Luka Doncic-led Dallas Mavericks team that seems to have figured things out at the right time.
Lakers Ready to Call Curtains
When it comes to the Los Angeles Lakers, it ultimately comes down to the health and effort of LeBron James.
Neither of those things are trending in the right direction at the moment and that in itself could be enough reason to influence any LA Lakers vs Utah Jazz predictions.
The Lakers are 16-29 against Western Conference opponents, besting only the OKC Thunder, Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers in that area.
This may ultimately be the final dagger for this team and with no reason to suggest they show up on the road, I’d be expecting another blowout and a win that could help re-ignite Utah’s push for the playoffs.