Add Jazz +4.5 vs. Thunder to Tonight's NBA Picks

David Lawrence

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 1:18 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014 1:18 PM UTC

The Oklahoma City Thunder have fallen to a 3-12 mark, but the Utah Jazz are not far behind at 5-10. The Thunder are a 4.5-point favorite on the NBA betting lines as the two teams meet on Wednesday night.

The Utah Jazz Can Win Because…
They have already played the Thunder before in the 2014-2015 season, and though they struggled in the first half, they found answers in the second half. The Jazz scored just 40 points in the first half and looked all out of sorts. However, they blitzed the Thunder, 32-17, in the third quarter, and ultimately coasted to a 98-81 win in Salt Lake City. The Jazz’ second-half emergence should not be seen as surprising. The Thunder are playing hard and with noticeable determination, but they just run out of steam in the second halves of games. Oklahoma City has regularly blown leads against the likes of mediocre clubs such as the Detroit Pistons and Brooklyn Nets, even at home. The Thunder might have a record near .500 if their games were two and a half quarters long, but it’s the final quarter and a half which sinks Oklahoma City. This team has to learn to get over the hump, and until it shows that it can, it will suffer.

One thing you might be wondering about is when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook – at least one of them – might be able to play. Not before Friday at the very earliest. That’s the word right now. Without two superstars, the Thunder are indeed one of the two worst teams in the West, along with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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The Oklahoma City Thunder Can Win Because…
They're playing a team that’s just not very good in most aspects of professional basketball. The Jazz are 22nd in the NBA in scoring offense, 21st in rebounding, and 23rd in scoring defense. The Jazz have also had a knack for failing to win close games. The Jazz lost to the Chicago Bulls by two this past Monday at home in Salt Lake City. They lost a very close game at Atlanta a few weeks ago. They trailed the New Orleans Pelicans by five points entering the fourth quarter of a game played this past Saturday, Nov. 22, and faded down the stretch, losing by 12. This is a young team with a first-year NBA coach in Quin Snyder, and it seems that everyone, the coaches and the players, is trying to learn on the job, but that process is bringing along a series of growing pains. The Thunder are suffering without Durant and Westbrook, but this team keeps knocking on the door of victory, and its defense keeps playing well. The Thunder held Houston, a very good team, to 69 points over a week ago. Oklahoma City limited a powerful Golden State offense to just 35.5-percent shooting this past Sunday. Sooner or later, this team will break through even without its stars.


The Thunder have been so consistently inadequate without Durant and Westbrook that it would be foolish to trust them until KD and Westbrook come back. Take Utah plus the points with your NBA picks.

NBA Pick: Utah +4.5

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