Two Teams Struggling On Offense Make For A Great Under Play

Jordan Sharp

Saturday, December 1, 2018 5:23 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 5:23 PM UTC

Both the Jazz and Heat are coming off much-needed wins on Friday. Can either of them continue their recent turnaround trends, or will this game turn into a defensive and physical game?

Jordan’s NBA Picks: 9-9

Utah (11-12 SU & 11-12 ATS) vs. Miami (8-13 SU & 9-12 ATS)Sunday, 6:00 PM ESTFree NBA Pick: UNDERBest Line Offered: at BetOnline

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We have cashed our last three NBA Picks in a row and for Sunday evening I have my eyes on an inter-conference showdown between two teams that had much higher expectations of themselves this season.

Utah’s Struggles For Real?

Before the season started, everyone was picking the Jazz as the team that would surprisingly compete for the Western Conference crown with the Warriors, Rockets and Thunder. However, over the first quarter of the season, the Jazz have been anything but contenders.

While NBA pundits marveled at their defense, young core, and good home court advantage, the lack of or regressions of all three of those things have the Jazz under .500 entering this game.

Part of the issue has been Donovan Mitchell. While I hesitate to call his start to the season a “sophomore slump,” he is clearly not shooting the ball as well as his rookie season, especially beyond the three-point line.

This has led to the Jazz offense performing as one of the worst units in the league. Mitchell missing some games has hurt them, but the Jazz are averaging only 106.7 points per 100 possessions coming into Sunday, which ranks 27th in the NBA.

Their defense is also outside of the top 10 so far this season, which is also somewhat unexpected. Combined with their road-heavy schedule to start the season, and the fact that they are just 2-6 SU at home this season, their struggles do seem very real and not just a fluke to start the year.

The Sharp Pick

On the other side you have a Miami team that may still be without Goran Dragic for this game, a tough prospect against a potentially tough opponent. They will definitely be without two of their other top guards in Tyler Johnson, and Dion Waiters, who has yet to play this season.

If Dragic can’t play, it may be disastrous against this Jazz team. Without Dragic, they will be forced to play some under-sized defenders against Mitchell and Ricky Rubio. The Jazz point guard has been one of their lone bright spots this season, and without Dragic to check and balance the point guard battle out, the Jazz could have a serious advantage in that regard.

With all this in mind, the under is looking more and more like the play for this game.

Without Dragic the Heat have been pretty bad on offense and even with him things haven’t gone that well. With that in mind the total is probably the best bet for this one.

The issue is both teams have been much better at cashing the over this season. Utah and Miami are a combined 28-16 cashing the over. However, Miami is coming into this one cashing the under in five of their last seven overall and 3-1 in their last four home games.

If the Jazz can turn around their defense against this somewhat bad offensive team, one or both teams might end up under 100 points in this early-evening start.

Score Prediction: Jazz 98 - Heat 102
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