Place NBA Picks on Jazz +2 Over Lost Pacers Squad

David Lawrence

Monday, November 10, 2014 12:49 PM GMT

Monday, Nov. 10, 2014 12:49 PM GMT

The Utah Jazz are clearly an improved team but how improved is something that’s open to question. The Indiana Pacers are a lot worse, and that’s something which is already apparent. The Pacers are a small two-point home favorite on the NBA betting odds for this one.

The Utah Jazz Can Win Because…
Their opponent is in very bad shape. The Indiana Pacers are still a good defensive team. This part of their identity has not changed under head coach Frank Vogel. However, the Pacers have become a far worse offensive team. They can barely function at that end of the court, and that’s why the Pacers are 1-6 in their first seven games of the season. Indiana is averaging 92.4 points per game, placing the team 27th in the Association. The team is also 26th in assists, which might be a reflection of the team’s level of ball movement. That’s an unclear point. What’s clear is that such a ranking is much more certainly a reflection of the fact that the ball is not going through the basket. When a pass is made to an open man, he’s not hitting the jump shot, definitely not enough to boost that assist total to an acceptable level. The Pacers are so limited right now that Utah should be able to limit this team to around 90 points. The Jazz don’t even have to play their best game on offense to win. Just avoiding turnovers and playing good transition defense can prevent the Pacers from getting easy baskets, which would appear to be the one thing Indiana wants to get more than anything else as it tries to improve. Utah just needs to tend to some basic fundamentals to win this game.

 

The Indiana Pacers Can Win Because…
They're a desperate team, playing a beatable opponent. The Jazz are certainly better than last season, and the Pacers are a lot worse. This is far different from basement-scraping Utah playing best-in-the-East Indiana. From that standpoint, the Jazz have to like their chances. However, Utah remains a young team with a new coach, Quin Snyder, and even though the Jazz did just defeat the Detroit Pistons, they won that game by only one point. Utah is going to have a chance to win the games it plays against the bottom half of the Eastern Conference, but the flip side of that possibility is that the Jazz are highly unlikely to run away from their opponents in the bottom half of the East. Utah has not yet developed enough experience or toughness to be trusted as a team that can win a game by 10 or more points. We’re probably going to get into the middle of the fourth quarter with this game knotted up at 85 points or so. Indiana will have a chance to win this game, and the Pacers, due to a top-10 defense (allowing only 95.9 points per game, eighth in the league), can get the stops they need to pull out a very close win.

 

Outlook
This is a matchup of two bad teams but the Pacers have home-court advantage. While that does give them a slight edge, there’s a reason Utah is favored here. The mindset and spirit of both teams is at opposite ends of the spectrum. The Jazz are just 3-4 but are thrilled to be there and are improving by the day. As for the Pacers, they’re a veteran team that’s playing horribly and simply has no inspiration. Their only win on the year came at home to Philadelphia.

That being the case, lay the points with the Jazz here for your NBA picks. They should be able to sneak this one out.

Free NBA Pick: Jazz +2 at Bovada

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