NBA Picks: Healthy Jazz To Handle Business At Home Over Bulls

Charles Stark

Monday, February 1, 2016 12:25 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 1, 2016 12:25 PM GMT

With Chicago coming off a back to back and Utah having Rudy Gobert back in the lineup it makes sense for Utah to be the small favorite in this matchup. Let's review the NBA odds first.

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NBA Pick: Jazz -4
Best Line Offered: at Bet365

 

NBA odds experts have come out making Utah a -2 favorite and the total around 193.5.  With the Bulls coming off a back to back and Utah healthy for my selection I will back the Jazz. Chicago did not play well last night and I don't see them improving on that within 24 hours.

 

Chicago Bulls
Chicago's averaging 101.6 points per game while shooting 43.4% from the field, and allowing 100.5 points per game on 42.4% shooting from the field. On the season the Bulls are 18-27 against the spread overall, and 9-11 on the road. Recently they have been playing less than stellar basketball and I'm still curious as to the direction of this team and franchise. Statistically they are trying to push tempo as much as possible, and then on the other end of the floor contest shots and play great defense. They are accomplishing what they want to in those facets, however I don't know if it'll be enough for them to be a serious contender at the end of the year. Offensively Jimmy Butler has really stepped up and Pau Gasol has found some fountain of youth averaging a double double this season. Their tempo has not really produced great statistics and they rank 25th in the league in overall shooting percentage, but it should be noted they average 38.3 field goals made per game which ranks eighth in the league. On the other side of the ball we see the same statistics but conversely. While Chicago ranks first in the league in opponent shooting efficiency, overall and two point opponent shooting percentage, they rank 25th in the NBA allowing 38.9 field goals made per game. I understand the NBA is becoming a league of pace and tempo but there is too much give with Chicago's take as they rank second in the league averaging 88.2 field goals attempted per game, but rank last in the league in allowing opponents 91.7 attempts per game.

 

Utah Jazz
Utah is averaging 97.7 points per game all shooting 44.4% from the field, and allowing 96.7 points per game on 44.9% shooting from the field. On the season they are 24-22 overall against the spread, and 14-10 at home. The main issue with Utah is the fact they did not have starting center Rudy Gobert for quite some time, but since he has been back in the starting role playing full minutes they have looked like a different team. With him back in the lineup playing his full minutes they are 6-5, but three of those losses were on the road and two of those were in overtime. Their two home losses in this stretch were by a combined five points, so I think it is easy to make an argument they are a better team with Gobert.

Offensively they are the opposite of Chicago as far as tempo averaging only 80.7 field goal attempts per game which ranks second to last in the NBA. However, statistically they are decent in scoring the ball and they are very good three-point shooting team averaging 36.1% from beyond the arc which ranks seventh in the league. Defensively they are very tough and I think one of the top five defenses in the NBA. The Jazz rank second in the league allowing just 38.6 opponent points in the paint, and first in the league allowing just 18.8 opponent assists per game. As well, they stick to their guns as far as tempo on the defensive side allowing opponents to 78.8 field goal attempts for game which ranks second in the league, and allowing just 35.4 opponent field goals made per game which ranks third.

Head coach Quin Snyder has done a nice job with this Utah team and working out their identity. Their toughness on the defensive end is one of the best in the league and now that they are healthy I expect them to be a tough team to be for the rest of the season. I'm not saying they are playoff team, but they have a good core of players and play hard, for one of your NBA picks expect them to win and cover tonight.

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