Add Jazz At Value Price Of +9.5 To Your NBA Picks vs. Thunder

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, March 24, 2016 2:32 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 24, 2016 2:32 PM UTC

The Utah Jazz visit the Oklahoma City Thunder as both teams fight for positioning in the Western Conference standings. The Thunder are favored by 9.5 points on the NBA odds board.

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Utah Jazz at OKC Thunder (-10) 8:05 ET
The Jazz claimed the current 8th seed in the Western Conference playoff queue with their (89-87) victory at Houston last night.  They now travel to OKC to play a rested Thunder team, who in their most recent game (Tuesday night) defeated that same Houston team (111-107). 

These teams have met each other 3 times this season, all in the 1st six weeks.  Though OKC has won all 3 games, two of them have been by single digits, including a (104-98) OT win on this court in mid-December.


Utah Jazz
With the victory at Houston last night, Utah clings to the 8th playoff spot by a ½ game over the Rockets in the Western Conference standings.  Portland, Dallas, Utah and Houston are all battling for the 6th thru 8th spot, separated by only 2 games.  Utah has actually been the hottest of those teams of late.  The Jazz enter tonight on a 6-1 SU run after rallying from 18 points down for the narrow 2 point victory on a Derrick Favors dunk with less than 2 seconds remaining.  That type of victory can be a rallying point providing Utah with great momentum, as they travel to face the Thunder tonight.  An outright victory may be asking a lot, as the Jazz have dropped their past 9 visits to OKC.  But, the Jazz are playing better than at any time in recent seasons and may be catching a rather complacent OKC team.  


Oklahoma City Thunder
A recent surge by the Thunder, including 5 consecutive wins, has left them at 49-22 SU.  That is good for 3rdplace in the West, a comfortable 5 games ahead of the LA Clippers, but 11 games behind the San Antonio Spurs.  In short, they are virtually locked into the 3rd playoff spot with little to play for.  Both Westbrook and Durant are in hot streaks right now.  Westbrook enters tonight looking for his 4th consecutive triple double and 7th in the month of March.  That makes a total of 15 triple doubles for the year (the most for any player since Magic Johnson had 17 some 26 years ago).  The Thunder are 15-0 SU, when Westbrook has a triple double and 30-4 SU in his career.  But, he has never recorded one in 25 games against defensively staunch Utah.   Meanwhile, Durant has been the model of consistency with 56 straight games in which he has scored 20 or more points. 


Final Analysis
If Utah is to come inside this number, they will need to do it with the 2nd best scoring defense in the NBA that is allowing only 96.4 PPG (2nd only to the Spurs).  With far more on the line, I expect a full 48 minutes of effort from Utah, while OKC could well coast to victory with much less to play for and on a court where they have only been a 50% pointspread proposition this season.  I invite you to put the NBA odds in your favor and join me in my NBA pick on Utah in tonight's game.      

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NBA Pick: Jazz +9.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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