Bales' Best NBA Bets (8/18/20)
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Bales' Best NBA Bets (8/18/20)

Justin Bales

Welcome to my newest edition of Bales' Best NBA Bets. In this article, I will outline my favorite bet for August 19, 2020. You can also find all of Bet Karma's staff bets through our NBA Premium Package. 


Utah Jazz (+162) vs Denver Nuggets (-194)

If you joined the Bet Karma NBA premium discord (see above), you know that I love to live bet NBA games. You can almost always get a better number than before the game, especially in games that are expected to be close. If we don’t get the number we want, we pass on betting. 

The Denver Nuggets defeated the Utah Jazz in the first game of this series with a 135-125 overtime win. The line was the same as it is tonight. In that game, we live bet the Nuggets a -1.5, although it become a moot point because of overtime. Nikola Jokic missed a hook shot with no time left or the two-point win would’ve cashed our live bet and not the pre-game spread. 

I expect the game to play out similarly to the first one. The Utah starters have the potential to stick with Denver’s early in the game. It won’t be until late that the Jazz’s lack of talented depth hurts them. They played 5 players 32+ minutes in their first game with Juwan Morgan, Georges Niang, Tony Bradley, and Emmanuel Mudiay each seeing 20 or fewer minutes. 

Utah’s lack of depth puts them in a tough spot in multiple situations. They won’t be as fresh as Denver late in the game but could also struggle if any of their players get into foul trouble. The difference between Rudy Gobert and Tony Bradley is substantial. The same can be said for if Donovan Mitchell has to sit at any point in time, as he single-handedly kept Utah in the game late in their first matchup. 

I expect Denver’s defense to focus more heavily on Mitchell, forcing Joe Ingles or Jordan Clarkson to beat them. While I don’t believe they will stop Mitchell, I’m expecting his production to come back down to Earth after one of the best performances in playoff history. 

The Nuggets are the opposite of Utah in that they have plenty of depth, although they forced some players into big minutes in their first game. The depth allows them to find what’s working and make the proper adjustments, though. 

For example, Michael Porter Jr. is a player that has the ability to take over a game, but his shot wasn’t falling in their first matchup and he was a defensive liability. He ended up seeing 31 minutes with Jerami Grant taking over down the stretch. 

They also have a number of offensive options that have the potential to take the game over. Utah solely relies on Donovan Mitchell to go and get his own buckets. It worked in the first game, but what happens when his shot isn’t falling. In that game, Jamal Murray took over for Denver. Nikola Jokic and Porter are two other players that can quickly get the hot-hand and lead the offense, though. 

I don’t expect the Nuggets to shoot 53.7% from beyond the arc in this game and Utah’s offensive rebounding should help them stick around for a while. Denver’s depth is what will separate them late, though, as I also don’t expect Mitchell to score 50+ points for his team again 

If the Nuggets’ three-point shooting starts cold or Utah goes on an early run, the line will drop. We’re looking to grab it at any reasonable point in time in this game at -1.5 or better. Don’t simply get it at -1.5 because that’s the recommendation. Watch the game and get it at the best line you feel you can get. 

Live bet 1.1 units on the Denver Nuggets -1.5 (-110) or better to win 1 unit


2020 NBA Season Record - 8-11 (-1.21 units)


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