Jordan’s NBA Picks: 51-33
Sacramento (39-40 SU & 45-33 ATS) at Utah (48-30 SU & 41-35 ATS)
Friday, 9:00 PM EST
Free NBA Pick: Jazz 1Q
Best Line Offered: Pinnacle
I’d like to be the one who tells you the Kings will cover this game, but frankly I have no idea if they will or not. The Jazz have been tough lately but are dealing with some injuries that will play a factor into this one.
Jazz Injury Concerns?
The Jazz will be without both Kyle Korver and Derrick Favors on Friday night with their respective injuries. However, they did get some good news yesterday, as Jae Crowder has been labeled probable heading into the Friday night game.
However, the question marks don’t stop there because the Jazz could be down all three of their point guards. Dante Exum has already been ruled out indefinitely, while Ricky Rubio and Raul Neto are both listed as questionable against the Kings.
That won’t necessarily kill Utah’s chances of covering in this one, but it’s enough to keep me away from a 10-point spread that should probably be lower.
However, I don’t fully trust the Kings right now to put things together through all four quarters. With that said, the better play may be to trust the numbers and go with a first quarter play that I think could be sneaky and payoff easily.
The Sharp Pick
Since the All Star Break, there hasn’t been too many teams that have beaten the Jazz in the first quarter of their games. Utah is averaging 113.9 points per 100 possessions in the first quarters of their home games since the break and that’s not even the best first quarter performance. They are also posting a defensive rating of 97.5 during those first quarters, which ranks second-best in the league since the break.
If you look at the Kings over that same time frame, their defense has been pretty solid during the first quarters of their road games since the break, but their offense has lagged some early in those games. They posted an offensive rating of just 106.4 over their last 12 first quarters on the road, which isn’t going to be enough to overcome a hungry and strong defensive Jazz team.
The first quarter spread is still sitting at -3 ½ at a couple of shops, but snag it while you can. A lot of books have bumped the number to -4, probably due to them knowing these same facts. Follow the sharp action and add the Jazz 1Q bet to your NBA Picks.
First Quarter Score Prediction: Kings 26 – Jazz 30