NBA Pick: New Orleans Hornets, Utah Jazz ‘under’ 192

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, April 5, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Friday, Apr. 5, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

The ‘under’ is 4-1 the last five times the Hornets and Jazz have met, and with New Orleans struggling offensively and Utah playing better defense at home than away, go ‘under’ again.

Do not look for many offensive fireworks on Friday night when the New Orleans Hornets (26-49, 10-26 away) pay a visit to the playoff hopeful Utah Jazz (39-37, 28-10 home) at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, UT at 9:05 ET.

The posted total at 5 Dimes is 192 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.

The Hornets continue to struggle offensively as they are coming off of 98-88 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday in Oakland that easily stayed ‘under’ the total, marking the seventh consecutive road loss for New Orleans.

The Hornets have continued to play hard as they try to avoid finishing with the worst record in the Western Conference, and they are succeeding so far with a three-game lead over the Phoenix Suns for that dubious distinction, and their defense have been commendable, such as when recently allowing only 85.0 points per game in consecutive home wins over the Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies and Denver Nuggets.

However, the offense has been in a funk for several weeks, averaging only 92.5 points over the last 13 games. Furthermore, New Orleans has scored 100 points only twice during that span, once vs. a Cleveland Cavaliers team that is dead last in the NBA in field goal percentage allowed and once vs. the Denver Nuggets, who generally allow a lot of points because of their hectic pace.

The Hornets have not had an easy time with this Utah defense regardless of the venue, failing to reach 100 points in any of the last seven head-to-head meetings while averaging a measly 88.7 points in those contests with the ‘under’ going 5-2 including 4-1 in the last five meetings. New Orleans is now going up against a Utah defense that has played considerably better here in Salt Lake City than it has on the road.

You would not know that by the Jazz last game here at home, where they were lit up in a 113-96 loss to those Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, but Denver has done that to a lot of teams this season when they get their running game going, which is something that the Jazz need not worry about here as the Hornets are now ranked dead last in the NBA with a pace rating of 90.6 possessions per game, which is yet another reason to favor the ‘under’ in this contest.

As we alluded to, the play of the Utah defense has been like night and day at home and away, as Wednesday’s performance notwithstanding, the Jazz are allowing only 95.5 points per game in this arena compared to a bloated 102.3 points per game on the road.

The Jazz currently trail the Los Angeles Lakers by one-half game for the eighth and final playoff spot, and Utah holds the tiebreaker after winning two of the three meetings with the Lakers this season, but Utah knows that defense is essential if it wants to have any success in the playoffs should they get there.

With that in mind look for the Jazz to out the clamps on the New Orleans offense for the eighth straight time and look for another ‘under’ in this head-to-head series on Friday.

[gameodds]5/223912/19-238-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Hornets, Jazz ‘under’ 192 (-105)

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