NBA Picks: Jazz vs. Thunder

Darin Zank

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 12:05 PM GMT

Will the action stay tight in OKC for another UNDER ticket, or will defense be loose enough for OVER backers to collect?

The Oklahoma City Thunder have held foes to 82.5 PPG in their last four home contests, with the UNDER cashing at 3-1. Scott Brooks’ club returns to its floor for Wednesday’s matchup with the Utah Jazz, who have seen the OVER collect at 6-2 in their last eight road duels.

Thunder slide in San Antonio

Oklahoma City saw a five-game winning streak snapped with Monday’s 105-93 defeat to the San Antonio Spurs. The Thunder allowed 52.4 percent field shooting from San Antonio, who cashed for my followers as a 2 ½-point home favorite.

Thunder mates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook united for 51 points, while adding a combined 11 assists. Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka finished with 13 points and 16 boards, logging his first double-double in eight games.

The battle’s 198 points dipped below the NBA odds ‘total’ of 206, despite the Thunder sinking 21-of-24 free throws. Ibaka notched three of his squad’s seven blocks, while Oklahoma City saw an early 13-point lead erased in the second quarter.

Jazz, Williams down Pistons

Utah picked up its first win in five games with Monday’s 103-90 victory over the Detroit Pistons, collecting as 11-point home ‘chalk.’ Jazz guard Mo Williams led his side’s scoring with 20 points, while he and his mates edged out Detroit in rebounds, 47-30.

Williams united with mate Al Jefferson for nine assists, with the duo knocking down a combined 16-of-29 floor shots. Jefferson finished with his third double-double in five games, notching 16 points and 10 boards.

The contest’s 193 points ducked beneath the closing ‘total’ of 195, with Jazz forward Derrick Favors logging three blocks. Both squads combined to hit 28-of-33 free throws, with Utah outscoring the Pistons in paint points, 40-38.

Back the OVER in OKC

Utah’s Paul Millsap (15.2 PPG) has missed two games for his club with a knee injury and is “questionable” to return here. Sports books were slow to post numbers due to the 28-year-old’s status.

I am adding the OVER in this matchup to Wednesday’s sports picks


, looking for some octane to hit the board. The OVER is 4-0 in Oklahoma City’s last four spots that followed a loss, including last week’s 108-104 victory against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Thunder have piled on their share of points at home, putting up 112 or more on visiting foes in six of their last nine dates. Utah has given up 102 PPG on the road this year, while allowing a sizable 41.2 percent clip beyond the arc.

Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant leads the NBA in scoring (28.4 PPG), while Russell Westbrook ranks third in the Western Conference for assists (7.6 APG). Durant came away with a 33-point night in February’s 109-94 road defeat for the Thunder against the Jazz, with the matchup’s 203 combined points giving OVER backers the money.

[gameodds]5/221239/43/us[/gameodds]

As of 8 am, the lines for this one have still not yet been released. Utah saw six of its players reach double figures in that affair, and could see the same depth needed here if Millsap is unable to play. Unless the number is ridiculous, Look for the OVER to get the money again for this NBA pick.

NBA Picks: OVER the posted total