Defense Beats Offense When Lebron & Cleveland Visit Utah

Utah Jazz Players

Charles Stark

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 1:36 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017 1:36 PM UTC

Two of the best teams with completely different styles meet up today in Utah when Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers come to visit the Jazz. Oddsmakers have made Cleveland a small road favorite, but is there any value in backing Utah tonight?

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland has won their last two games in a row but has struggled a little bit this season against teams that go at a slower pace which is exactly what they will face today. On the season the Cavaliers are averaging 110.2 points per game which rank fourth in the NBA and they rank third in both shooting efficiency and effective field goal percentage. Cleveland has been doing most of their damage from beyond the arc where they shoot 38.9% ranking them second in the NBA. Their attempts and three-pointers made per game also rank them second and offensively across the board they are extremely dangerous. 

On the other side of the ball, they have been less than stellar allowing opponents to shoot 45% along with opponents garnering 39.4 field goals per game which rank Cleveland just 22nd in the league. Of course, this has to do with the pace they like to run at which is very up-tempo, but tonight they might get bogged down against the Utah team that is arguably the best defensive team in the NBA.

 Utah Jazz

Utah is coming back from a pretty long road trip where they went just 2-3 and currently are sitting at 23-16 overall on the season. Although they didn’t play particularly well on the road, I really like how they match up with Cleveland tonight especially on the defensive side of the ball. Utah ranks first in the NBA in opponent points per game, opponent overall shooting percentage, opponent shooting efficiency and effective field-goal percentage. This has a lot to do with the tempo in which they control which is the lowest in the NBA as they get up to 77.2 attempts per game which rank them last of all teams. 

The point of contention tonight, and why I like them, is the fact that they do not allow a lot of attempts from distance as they rank first in the NBA in opponent three-pointers attempted and made per game. If they can defend from beyond the arc in that sort of fashion tonight I not only like them to cover but like them to win this game straight up.


Cleveland Cavaliers vs Utah Jazz

Oddsmakers have Utah as a +2.5 underdog at home versus Cleveland and for my NBA pick, I will back the Jazz tonight getting the points. I like how they match up with Cleveland so I will also make a small play on the plus money line.


Free NBA Picks: Jazz +2.5Best Line Offered: at WagerWeb

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