• The Jazz have struggled this season, but they still have the talent to be a playoff team and they know the importance of earning a big win over a team like the Warriors.
By Zachary Cohen
December 19, 2018

After going 9-3 against the spread over the last four nights of plays, here are Three at 3’s best bets for Wednesday night’s NBA action:

1. Detroit Pistons at Minnesota Timberwolves (-5.5)

8:00 pm ET

The Pistons are playing a lot better over the last week, despite the fact that they’ve lost two of their last three straight up. Detroit is 2-0-1 against the spread over that span, which includes a road loss to Charlotte, a home win against Boston and a home loss to Milwaukee. So the Pistons aren’t just staying competitive, they are doing so against good teams. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves have lost four of their last five games. And while they are a much better team when playing in Minnesota, that doesn’t mean that Detroit isn’t capable of hanging with them tonight. The Pistons are 13-3 against the spread when facing teams that attempt 24 or fewer free throws per game this season. Teams that don’t attack the rim have not had much success against Detroit, and Minnesota is full of guys that like to take jumpers. Robert Covington might be an incredible defender across four positions, but Blake Griffin’s strength and ability to take defenders in the post will create issues for Covington. Earlier in the season, Griffin had a 50-point game with Covington trying to stop him as a member of the 76ers. Look for another big performance from Griffin tonight.

Pick: Pistons (+5.5)

2. Brooklyn Nets at Chicago Bulls (+2.0)

8:00 pm ET

The Nets helped Three at 3 with a home win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, but it is time to go right at Brooklyn tonight. An emotional upset over a LeBron James-led team often leads to a letdown performance, especially on the road in the second night of a back-to-back. Meanwhile, the Bulls should be energized to play in front of their fans after a two-game road trip. Chicago recently decided to pull Jabari Parker from its rotation, and that could end up being addition by subtraction. Parker is too much of a liability defensively, and his offensive game isn’t good enough to justify it. And with Kris Dunn, Chicago has somebody capable of hounding guards on a nightly basis. That will come in handy against D’Angelo Russell, who has been on fire for Brooklyn lately. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is a good defender for the Nets, but he doesn’t have enough size to shut a guy like Chicago's Lauri Markkanen down. The big man can step out and knock down jumpers in addition to using his height advantage to work inside.

Pick: Bulls (+2.0)

3. Golden State Warriors at Utah Jazz (+2.5)

9:00 pm ET

This season hasn't lived up to the Jazz's preseason expectations, but there is still time for Utah to turn things around. While a meeting with the Warriors might not seem like the time to do that, this game is actually extremely winnable for the Jazz. The Jazz have consistently gotten up for games against elite teams under Quin Snyder, and they have also been able to bounce back under him. With Snyder as Utah’s head coach, the team is 49-27 against the spread when avenging a home loss to an opponent. The Warriors were 2.5-point road favorites when they beat the Jazz 124-123 on October 19. The Jazz have made some changes since then, most notably acquiring Kyle Korver from the Cavaliers. Korver might not play huge minutes for Utah, but he is still a marksman from the outside. That will help against a Warriors team that isn’t nearly as good defensively as it has been in recent years. Also, Utah's Donovan Mitchell shot just 7-for-23 from the floor in the last meeting between these teams. He should play a better here in a situation where the Jazz know they need to get a win.

Pick: Jazz (+2.5)

Overall Record: 73-59-3