Jazz And Thunder Will Push Pace In First Half Monday Night

Monday, March 11, 2019 4:09 PM UTC

Monday, Mar. 11, 2019 4:09 PM UTC

The Thunder are coming off a tough loss to the Grizzlies on Friday, but the good news is they have had two full days to rest up before facing another tough road test against the Jazz. Can either team be trusted to cover?

<p style="text-align:right;"><em><strong>Jordan’s NBA Picks: </strong>38-19</em></p><h2 style="text-align:center;"><strong>Oklahoma City (40-26 SU &amp; 34-32 ATS) at Utah (37-28 SU &amp; 33-20-2 ATS)</strong></h2><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>Monday, 9:00 PM EST<br />Free NBA Pick: <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nba-basketball/oklahoma-city-thunder-vs-utah-jazz-3568846/odds/" target="_blank" title="Oklahoma - Utah Betting Odds">1H OVER</a><br />Best Line Offered: <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4423&amp;book=BetOnline" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Top Rated Sportsbook!">BetOnline</a></strong></p><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3568846, "sportsbooksIds":[238,93,1096,19,999996], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":2}[/]</p><p>The last time these two teams hooked up at the end of February, the game went into double overtime with the Thunder coming away with a one-point win thanks to the tear-drop heroics of Paul George. Can we expect a similar game on Monday with both teams jockeying for playoff positioning?</p><p> </p><h2><strong>Defensive Regression</strong></h2><p>If the game between these two wouldn’t have gone into overtime, the total would have still gone way over thanks to some hot shooting from both teams. George and Russell Westbrook both went for more than 40 points and defense was an afterthought.</p><p>We have come to expect both of these teams to play solid defense, but that has not been the case for either team lately, especially in their respective spots.</p><p>Since the All Star Break, the Thunder have really struggled to defend on the road and that is especially true in the first halves of those games. In their last five road games since the break, the Thunder have a defensive rating of 125.4 in the first half, which ranks them worst in the league.</p><p>Furthermore, the Thunder have been looking to push the pace in these games lately as well. OKC is already a fast-paced team, but they have quickened things on the road to the tune of a pace of 105 possessions per game.</p><p>In the first halves of those five games, the Thunder pace is 107. If you look at the Jazz at home since the All Star Break, you can see a similar regression on defense. Utah is allowing nearly 108 points per 100 possessions in their last four home games since the break and they are playing at a pace of 102 possessions per 48 minutes in those games.</p><p>Granted, this is a small sample size, but it could be what to expect in this game tonight. Utah’s offense has been crushing it lately, averaging 112.2 points per 100 possessions over their last eight games. Even without their top two point guards, the Jazz could put up a ton of points in this one.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;\"This team has shown us what they can do on the defensive side of the basketball - and that is the team we are trying to get back to seeing\"&lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/adaniels33?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;@adaniels33&lt;/a&gt; talks need for Thunder defense&lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/ThunderUp?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#ThunderUp&lt;/a&gt; | &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBA?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#NBA&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/GnulSkCUVo\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/GnulSkCUVo&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— FOX Sports Oklahoma (@FOXSportsOK) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/FOXSportsOK/status/1103138486155010050?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;6 de março de 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</p><h2><strong>The Sharp Pick</strong></h2><p><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nba-basketball/" target="_blank" title="Live NBA Odds Boad">The over has already cashed at 2-1 between these two teams </a>and at this point in the season if these two team’s legs are tired, defense will be the first thing to go. Combined with the lighting paces that both teams have played at lately and the total of 226 ½ is an inviting over play.</p><p>However, <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/nba/" target="_blank" title="More NBA Picks">I am more tuned into the first half total of 115 ½</a>. They are averaging exactly 115 points per first half in their three meetings this season and the last two have gone for an average of 121 combined first half points.</p><p><strong>First Half Score Prediction</strong>: <strong>Thunder 57 – Jazz 59</strong></p>
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