The Golden State Warriors are preparing to work through the toughest stretch of their schedule to date this season. In this instance, the difficulty comes more from the circumstances rather than the opponents. These unfriendly circumstances come in the form of a two week, seven game cross country road trip that also features two sets of back-to-back games.
Golden State's ability to maintain focus on the team that is in front of them can be attributed to their early season success. Keeping this mindset is essential for the Warriors to continue their winning ways. So before we can worry about the longest road trip of the season, (Warriors have another seven game road trip in February) we must focus our attention to the Utah Jazz.
Last Time Out
The Jazz used a strong defensive effort to grind out the Pelicans at home by a score of 101-87 last Saturday. Alec Burks led Utah with 21 points and Travis Booker chipped in 13 points and 15 rebounds, both season highs. The Jazz feature a balanced offensive attack with five different players averaging double figures this season.
The Warriors won their 22nd consecutive game (28th straight at home) with a 120-101 victory over the Kings on Saturday. Draymond Green produced his second triple-double in as many games, becoming the first Warriors' player to do so since Wilt Chamberlain accomplished the feat in 1964. Brandon Rush hit four three-pointers in place of injured Harrison Barnes and Stephen Curry sat out the fourth quarter, again.
The Warriors (-365) are eight point road favorites tonight in Utah (+305). BetOnline lists the over/under at 201.5 total points, which is the second smallest total point line for the Dubs this season. The Jazz are 1-7 in their last eight games against the defending champs. Here are some recent betting trends from both teams compiled by OddsShark.com:
Here are my picks from Saturday night's game against the Kings:
TAKE THAT VEGAS! Some late game sharp shooting from Seth Curry pushed this game over resulting in another perfect set of picks. Lets check out how the Warriors match-up against the odds tonight in Utah.
The Jazz generally play the Warriors well at home. Teams are averaging just 93 points a game against Utah, which is the third lowest opponent average in the NBA. But the Warriors offense is the best in the league, ranking first in PPG, FG%, FGM, 3P%, 3PM, APG and Fastbreak Points. The Dubs will be without Harrison Barnes, and are in no hurry to rush the Black Falcon back into the lineup. They are in a rush to get Brandon playing with confidence. B-Rush made four three's in the third quarter of Saturday night's game against Sacramento, and will get plenty of opportunity to earn more playing time with Barnes sidelined for at least three games according to ESPN. A confident Rush can be another useful weapon for the Warriors during this long road trip.
Here are my picks for tonight's game against Utah: