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May 2, 2017

There is one pick today which was released early.

Take Utah Jazz +13 spread against Golden State Warriors for 3% of the bankroll.

The Golden State Warriors appear to be the team to beat in the Western Conference and only cemented their mark with a 4-0 sweep of the 8-seeded Portland Trailblazers. In that series, the Warriors were their typical, dominating selves as their margin of victory was an impressive 18 points per game. Portland offered very little resistance to the Warriors' offense, but that was not really much of a surprise. The Trail Blazers like to employ a similar offensive game plan as that of Golden State and also play at a much similar pace. That matchup played exactly into the strength of Golden State, but we believe things could be much different in this series against an unfamiliar playoff foe.

The Utah Jazz managed to claim their spot in the semi-finals by coming away with an impressive road victory over the then number 4-seeded LA Clippers. The staple for this Utah team has been their stellar play on the defensive end, which really threw off the game plan of the Clippers. Utah plays at an incredibly slow pace and uses their defense to slow the game down. The Jazz have even found success slowing down this high-powered Golden State offense as they have not scored near their regular season average in eight of the past nine matchups. Golden State is incredibly tough to slow down at Oracle Arena, however this is a lot of points to be laying in a playoff game.

Utah should come into this matchup with all of the confidence in the world having just clinched their series on the road. They also have the confidence in knowing that they have already defeated the Warriors once this season at Oracle back on April 10th. Rudy Gobert recorded a double-double in that contest with 17 points and 18 boards while veteran Joe Johnson added 19 off the bench as Utah snapped Golden State's 14-game win streak with the 105-99 victory. Many people are already writing the Jazz off in this series and expecting this to be a cakewalk for the Warriors and we believe that would be a mistake, especially in the first game of the series. Utah is still in competition mode having just closed out their series, while the Warriors have been sitting idle for the past week waiting to take the court. Given the Jazz's proficiency on the defensive end, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Warriors struggle in the early going of this contest.

There is no question that Golden State has the ability to light up the scoreboard at any given time given the immense amount of talent on their roster, however, we believe Game 1 will be played at a much slower, more deliberate pace. The oddsmakers have listed this total rather low compared to what we have been seeing in Golden State games, which leads us to believe that this game will be played more at the Jazz’s pace. If that is indeed the case, then it could pose a problem with Golden State being able to create the amount of separation necessary to cover this spread. The Jazz will likely fall short of the outright win; however, they should surprise in this contest and keep things competitive enough to cover this lofty number.

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