Free NBA Picks: Utah Gets Its Revenge Tonight Against Houston

Charles Stark

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 1:01 PM GMT

Today we head to the Western Conference in the NBA and what sets up to be a battle for the eighth seed when Houston visits Utah. Get your Free NBA Pick inside & full stats report.

NBA odds makers have made Utah a -4.5 favorite and the total around 202. This makes sense to me and Utah has played some really good defense the last couple of months now that they are healthy. The last time these two faced, a win for Houston, Utah was without two key players. I expect them to come out and play a much better ball game tonight with their full squad which makes them my selection tonight..

 

Houston Rockets
Houston is averaging 105.2 points per game while shooting 44.4% from the field, and allowing 106.7 points per game on 46.2% shooting from the field.  On the season they are 24-32 overall against the spread, and 12-15 on the road.  With how poorly they play on the defensive end I am surprised they are still in thick of making the playoffs.  Recently they have been playing less than stellar losing six of their last ten games and the wins included two against the Suns, beating the Heat at home, and winning at New Orleans by one, not a lot to get excited about.  Offensively they are fine and continue to attempt and make shots from beyond the arc at an impressive rate of 31.2 attempts and 10.9 made per game, ranking them first and second respectively in the NBA. They also rank fifth in efficiency and seventh in effective field goal percentage, they are a good offensive team.  However, defensively they are a wreck ranking 27th in both defensive scoring and opponent field goals made per game.  They basically rank in the bottom of the league in every major defensive category highlighted by ranking 28th in opponent three pointers made per game and dead last in opponent assists per game.

 

Utah Jazz
Utah is averaging 98.1 points per game while shooting 44.7% from the field, and allowing 96.8 points per game on 44.6% shooting from the field.  On the season they are 28-27 overall against the spread, and 16-12 at home.  The Jazz got a decent pick up with Shelvin Mack and they are one of the most underrated defensive teams in the league.  I think when they got Gobert back from injury it really made a difference as they have played solid basketball the past month.  Offensively there is nothing to shout about but their efficiency and effective field goal percentages are solid both ranking 12th in the league, and they shoot well at 35.6% from beyond the arc.  The issue for their lack of offensive pop begins with their pace, one of the slowest in the league, and ends with their focus on defense.  Defensively they control the game very well ranking second in the league in both opponent field goals attempted and made per game.  They also rank first in the league in opponent assists allowed per game.

Last time these two team met neither Derek Favors or Rudy Gobert saw the floor and that should make all the difference tonight.  For one of your NBA picks I recommend laying the points with the Jazz and look for them to win this game going away.  Utah by 10.

 

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NBA Pick: Jazz -5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes