Add Underdog Jazz +9 vs. Pelicans to Your NBA Picks

Darin Zank

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 3:26 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 3:26 PM UTC

New Orleans is 3-2 straight up and 5-0 against the spread over its last five games, but might be without Anthony Davis when it hosts scuffling Utah Tuesday night. Here's our breakdown of this match-up, with a free NBA pick for the offering.

Jazz-Pelicans Betting Odds
As of mid-Tuesday morning the NBA betting market had not yet lined this game, because of the injury situations with New Orleans C Anthony Davis and Utah F Derrick Favors. Bettors would be wise to consult more up-to-date information as tip-off approaches before getting down on this game.

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Jazz-Pelicans: The Match-Up
New Orleans went off this season with a wins OVER/UNDER of 44; at 11-12 the Pelicans are only on pace to win 39 games.

New Orleans is 1-1 SU, 2-0 ATS on its current three-game home-stand. Friday night the Pelicans beat Cleveland 119-114, covering as two-point favorites on NBA odds, and while they lost Sunday in overtime to Golden State 128-122 they hung on for the cover as seven-point home dogs.

New Orleans shot 56 percent from the floor Friday, and led by 19 points in fourth quarter, holding off the Cavs from there. Sunday the Pelicans led the Warriors, who own the best record in the league, by eight points with five minutes to go, but allowed Golden State to rally to force OT, before eventually succumbing.

The 'Cans shot 47 percent from the field Sunday, but playing without Davis they allowed the Warriors to shoot 51 percent.

Utah began this season with a wins OVER/UNDER of 26; with their 6-18 start the Jazz are on pace to win just 21 games.

Utah started 5-7 this season, with wins over Phoenix and Cleveland, then lost nine in a row. The Jazz then upset San Antonio, but have lost their last two games since, including a 93-84 decision at Washington Sunday night that opened a six-game road trip.

Utah led the Wizards by five points at the half, but went cold in the second half. For the game the Jazz shot just 39 percent from the floor, and allowed Washington to shoot 49 percent, but they did hang on for the cover as 11-point dogs.


Jazz-Pelicans Key Numbers
Utah ranks 15th in the league in FG shooting at 46 percent, but just 26th in 3-point shooting at 32 percent and 23rd in FT shooting at 73 percent. The Jazz also rank second-worst in FG defense, allowing opponents to shoot 48 percent, and own a 20/14 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks a little below average.

New Orleans ranks 12th in FG shooting at 46 percent, but 26th in FG defense, allowing foes to shoot 47 percent. The Jazz also own a 22/11 A/TO ratio, which is pretty good.


Jazz-Pelicans Recent History
New Orleans took the first meeting this season between these teams three weeks ago in Salt Lake City 106-94, covering as a three-point road favorite. The Pelicans got outshot by the Jazz from the floor 47 percent to 45 percent, but won the turnover battle 18-10.

That game played OVER its total of 199 on a meaningless Utah basket with one minute to go.

Last season these teams split four meetings, with the home team winning each game. But the Jazz went 2-0-2 ATS.

Also, all four of those games played OVER the totals, in part because those totals were all posted at 196 or less.


Jazz-Pelicans Betting Trends
Utah is 11-13 on the totals this season, as Jazz games have averaged 198 points.

New Orleans is 15-8 on the totals, and has played four OVERS in a row, as Pelicans games have averaged 205 points.

Utah is 2-9 SU, 5-6 ATS on the road this season.

New Orleans is 7-3 both SU and ATS at home.


Injury Update
New Orleans' Davis (24 points, 10 rebounds per game) suffered an upper-body injury Friday night, missed Sunday's game and is questionable for Tuesday night. His absence could have a huge affect on this game, considering he went off for 43 and 14 in the Pelicans' win over the Jazz three weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Utah' Favors (16 points, eight boards per game) missed Sunday's game with a sore ankle, and he's also questionable for tonight.


Jazz-Pelicans Free Pick
It's a little difficult making a pick on this game without knowing if Davis and/or Favors are going to play. But generally speaking, while Utah is the lesser team in this match-up, it also gave New Orleans a tough time last season, covering two spreads and pushing two more. And when the line on this game comes out the Pelicans are likely to be favored, perhaps by a bit too much. So we'll take the Jazz at 5Dimes, plus points, for our free NBA pick in this spot.


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