Sharp NBA handicappers may wonder: which team is playing under the radar? The Utah Jazz is, and tonight we expect them to keep the momentum going with a win at Brooklyn on the plus money line.
Getting on the Defensive
NBA Odds makers have come out with Brooklyn a small favorite in this game at -2. Utah has been playing superb on the defensive end this entire past month. For the past three games (two wins and a one point loss at Boston) they have allowed only 38% shooting from the field and 30% beyond the arc. In this time frame they are 2nd in the league in opponent effective field goals at 42%, and points allowed at 83 points per game average. They have definitely turned up the intensity on that end. Since the break they have limited opponents to 38.6% from the field, also among the best in the league. Seems to us the Jazz had the right idea by hanging on to Gobert when they traded Kantner, he has been very tough around the rim and is averaging just over 13 boards a game since the all-star break. The Jazz lead the league in rebound margin at 4.4.
Will Brooklyn put it Together?
As mentioned in earlier articles we are fans of Lionel Hollins, but for one reason or another, the Nets simply can’t get any kind of momentum. Beating Golden State a few games ago seemed like it might be the spark, but then they dropped the next two games, at home, to Charlotte and Phoenix. They just simply have not been getting it done on the defensive end. In the last three games they have allowed opponents to shoot for over 46% from the field and 50% in effective field goals, both bottom half of the league, and those games were at home. Also in that stretch they have allowed opponents too many second chances leading the league in opponent offensive rebounding at 13.7 per game. Offensively they have not been much better the last three games shooting for 41.2% from the field. We believe this is mainly due to a stagnant offense at times that does not move the ball very well, in the last three games they are in the bottom part of the league with only 18 assists per game.
Again, it is Simply about the Line
With the sports books making this game at a -2 for Brooklyn we don’t have to read too much into it. They did beat Golden State three games ago and they are at home. Earlier in the season Utah destroyed the Nets in Utah and it is never easy beating an NBA team twice in a row. It makes sense to make the Nets the favorite, albeit slightly. But what we have here is a really good shot on the plus money line with a really live dog that is playing its best basketball of the year. We think although the NBA odds makers have to make the Nets the favorite there is really good value on taking Utah to win this game straight up. Forget the small line and taking the points, we recommend you add Utah on the plus money line to your card of NBA picks.
NBA Pick: Utah plus money line at Pinnacle