Market Not Set For Resurgent Jazz In Friday Night Game Against Pelicans

Jay Pryce

Friday, December 1, 2017 12:38 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 12:38 PM UTC

The injury-riddled Jazz are aiming for their fifth straight win and hosting the Pelicans at Vivint Smart Home Arena on Friday (9 p.m. ET). Need a free pick? We got you covered.

Pelicans at JazzFree NBA Pick: Jazz +3Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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Utah Injury-Riddled, Singing Right Tune

Outside of the L.A. Clippers, no team is more banged up than the Jazz. Guards Raul Neto (hamstring) and Rodney Hood (ankle), veteran Joe Johnson (wrist), and Dante Exum (shoulder) are all on the bench nursing injuries. Star center Rudy Gobert is also out, missing the last 10 games due to a bone bruise in his knee sustained in a Nov. 10 matchup versus the Heat. Hood, the team’s leading scorer with 17.7 points per game, could return tonight. Iso-Joe is also close, practicing without a splint for the first time since his injury. With lineups undetermined, oddsmakers have yet set a number as of publication.

Utah is on a 4-game win streak despite needing a small infirmary. The victories are blowouts as well, winning by 22.8 points per game. Hot shooting is propelling the team, averaging 115.8 points on 52.2 percent shooting. It’s the most points in a 4-game run for the franchise since 2009.

Betting on Utah is like choosing between Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde on any given night. Fourteen of its 22 games have missed the spread by double digits, most of any team in the NBA. The inconsistency is not due to missing Gobert either. Overall, the Jazz are 6-4 SU and 5-4-1 ATS with their star out, winning by 9.1 points per game while tipping off a pick ‘em on average.

Pelicans' Big Three Heating Up, Passing to the Paint

The Pelicans trio of Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, and Jrue Holiday is on fire. Davis picked up Western Conference Player of the Week honors for games from Nov. 20-26, posting 29.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game in the stretch. It’s just the third time in his career winning the award. Cousins, meanwhile, is the only NBA player averaging 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists per contest, while Holiday has tallied 20-plus points and assists in four of the last five games. Let's hope Boogie doesn't retire anytime soon and take up film criticism:

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Name that movie...

— DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) December 1, 2017

Slick passing and getting either Davis or Cousins open under the basket is the game plan. The duo account for 46.9 percent of the team’s points and 54.0 percent of rebounds. New Orleans, in fact, ranks second in the league in points in the paint and assists with 52.0 and 26.0 per game respectively.

Where the Pelicans are poor is team defense. Allowing 108.9 points per game, their 51.3 opponent 2-point shooting percentage ranks 28th in the NBA. It tends to give up some easy transition baskets with Davis and Boogie often caught deep in their offensive zone, surrendering 13.0 fast break points a night.


The Jazz are 9-4 SU and 5-4-1 ATS at Vivint Smart Home Arena. A disciplined Quin Snyder-coached defense always shows up, holding visitors to 94.8 points per game; 96.0 in five with Gobert out. Cashing on Utah usually boils down to its offensive efficiency, and it has been at its best against poor defensive teams. When hosting a team yielding a 45.5 opponent shooting percentage or higher, Utah has won six of seven by 14.1 points per game. The Jazz average 107.0 points in this spot, beating a -4.7 average line by 9.4 points a night. For my NBA pick, I advise backing Utah here with another double-digit victory

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