Avoid Jazz Friday And Follow Thunder With Exum Back In Action

Thursday, February 21, 2019 7:29 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 7:29 PM UTC

Dante Exum is expected to play for the Utah Jazz on Friday night – so we’re putting the Oklahoma City Thunder in our NBA picks instead.

<p style="text-align:right;"><strong><em>Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Feb. </em><em>21</em><em>:<br />12-11 ATS, 0-2 ML (minus-4.35 units), 17-7 Totals</em></strong></p><h2 style="text-align:center;">Utah (32-25 SU, 29-26-2 ATS) at Oklahoma City (37-20 SU, 33-24 ATS)</h2><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>Friday, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)<br />Free NBA Pick: Thunder ATS<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":3569760, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,19,999991,93,999996], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>How much impact can a back-up point guard have on our <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/nba/" title="Free NBA Picks">NBA picks</a>? Just enough, in this case. There’s not all that much to choose from between the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the Jazz are about to make themselves at least somewhat worse; they’re expected to bring Dante Exum off the injured list and play him <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nba-basketball/utah-jazz-vs-oklahoma-city-thunder-3569760/odds/" title="Live Game Odds">Friday night in Oklahoma City</a>. That can’t be good – and we have the numbers to prove it.</p><p> </p><h2>The Exum Files</h2><p>First up, we have Exum’s advanced stats for the season thus far:<br /><br />OBPM: minus-1.7<br />DBPM: minus-1.3<br />VORP: minus-0.2<br />PER: 12.7<br /><br />This is the worst Exum has played since his 2014-15 rookie campaign. He’s still only 23, so there’s hope, but putting him in the lineup isn’t going to help Utah win basketball games. Exum has been out since January 5 with a sprained left ankle; the Jazz have gone 12-5 SU and 9-7-1 ATS in his absence. Again, we don’t want to overstate the impact of someone who plays only 16.3 minutes per game, but every angle helps – and Exum will presumably need a game or two to get back up to this already sub-standard level of performance.</p><p>Next, let’s consider who Exum will be taking minutes from. That would be third-stringer Raul Neto (minus-0.4 OBPM, minus-1.2 DBPM), whose stats are better than Exum’s across the board. Starting PG Ricky Rubio (minus-0.8 OBPM, plus-0.6 DBPM) will presumably get fewer minutes, as well. Neither gentleman will be confused for John Stockton, but you get the picture.</p><p> </p><h2>Call For Markieff Morris</h2><p>Friday is the first game out of the All-Star break for both clubs, so they should be fairly well rested. There’s an interesting situation in OKC regarding power forward Markieff Morris (minus-1.1 OBPM, minus-1.0 DBPM), recently traded from Washington to New Orleans and instantly put on waivers. The Thunder finally made their signing of Morris official on Wednesday.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;2018-19 OKC THUNDER Bench:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;- Dennis Schröder &lt;br /&gt;- Nerlens Noel&lt;br /&gt;- Markieff Morris&lt;br /&gt;- Hamidou Diallo &lt;br /&gt;- Patrick Patterson &lt;br /&gt;- Abdel Nader&lt;br /&gt;- Raymond Felton &lt;br /&gt;- Deonte Burton &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;ITS LITTYY PRESTI HAS DONE IT ONCE AGAIN.&lt;/p&gt;— 🌩 (@TheWestbrookEra) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/TheWestbrookEra/status/1096168850528370689?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;February 14, 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;\n"}[/]</p><p>The <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nba-basketball/" title="Live NBA Odds">NBA odds board</a> opened with the Thunder 4-point home favorites. Morris himself may or may not help out their thin bench – we don’t even know if he’s playing Friday, especially given that he’s been out with a neck injury – but the fact that Morris is coming to town should at least light a fire under all those frontcourt players who want to hang onto their minutes. We’re looking at you, Patrick Patterson (minus-2.7 OBPM, minus-0.6 DBPM). Start hitting some of those threes (33.8 percent) like you used to, and may the sphere be with you.</p>
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