Nuggets vs. Jazz prediction and odds for Saturday, April 8 (Denver wins meaningless game)

Denver Nuggets guard Christian Braun. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Nuggets guard Christian Braun. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Denver Nuggets have already secured the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, but they have two games remaining in the 2022-23 regular season, starting with Saturday’s matchup with the Utah Jazz.

There’s no chance that Denver plays all of its starters in both games of a back-to-back this weekend, but there’s a chance Mike Malone wants to give some of his main guys a few minutes in one of these games to keep them ready for the postseason.

Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are all questionable for this game after sitting out the team’s four-point loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.

Phoenix played everyone in that game, so Denver’s young guns showed some resilience to keep that game close.

Utah is a whole different story, as the team has been eliminated from play-in contention. Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton, Talen Horton-Tucker, Jordan Clarkson, Walker Kessler, Kelly Olynyk and Rudy Gay all won’t play in this game.

If this ends up being a battle of young players and bench guys, does Denver have the edge?

Nuggets vs. Jazz odds, spread and total

Nuggets vs. Jazz prediction and pick

After watching the Nuggets hang tough with the Suns this week, I don’t mind laying the six points with them tonight.

If the Nuggets end up playing some of their starters, they should jump to even bigger favorites, and if not they showed they can compete with a team much better than Utah’s B squad.

This time of year, it’s hard to handicap games based on past results and trends, since the lineups are so entirely different than they were during most of the season.

The Jazz have lost four straight and want to lose to get a better draft pick, so I’ll fade them here and back Denver to get a win.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.