Take The More Balanced Jazz To Beat The Thunder

Charles Stark

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 2:43 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 2:43 PM UTC

One of the best matchups of the night takes place in Oklahoma City when the Thunder host the Utah Jazz. These two teams have split their games this year with both of those being in Utah. Oddsmakers have made this line real close so where’s the value in this Western conference showdown?

Utah Jazz

Utah comes in is one of the best defensive teams in the NBA allowing just 95.6 points per game and allowing opponents to shoot just 47% on their two-point shots, both of which rank them first in the NBA. They also rank first, second, and third, in opponent shooting efficiency, opponent effective field-goal percentage, and opponent overall shooting percentage respectively. What makes them a dangerous team despite this fact though is that they are also efficient on the offensive side despite their slow pace. 

While Utah goes at a snail’s pace of just 78.5 attempts per game, which ranks last in the NBA, they are shooting 46.4% from the field which ranks them 11th. They also rank 11th in three-point shooting percentage and a solid 51.4% on their two-point shots which ranks them sixth. What really has my radar up on this game is the fact that they are such a small underdog even though the game is at Oklahoma City. I believe oddsmakers are on top of this and I look for Utah to win this game straight up.


Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City has won both of their games since the All-Star break against the Lakers and the Pelicans tonight things will get significantly more difficult as they face one of the best teams in the Western Conference, and arguably the best defensive team. Although it is never easy to go against Russell Westbrook at home I think this a good spot to take a Utah team that I think is simply better on both sides of the ball. Oklahoma City has been picking up the tempo over this past month but statistically, they are still pretty poor overall ranking 20th in shooting efficiency and shooting just 32.2% from distance which ranks last in the NBA. 

Defensively they are not bad for the tempo they try to push, but I think Utah will get plenty of opportunities to score tonight against an Oklahoma City defense that allows 45.7% shooting from the floor which ranks outside the top half of the NBA. All due respect to Russell Westbrook they are still not the same team as they were last year and I think they take the home loss tonight.


Utah Jazz vs Oklahoma City Thunder

Oddsmakers have made Oklahoma City a -1 favorite, and for my NBA pick, I’m going to back Utah on the plus money line. Look for the best NBA odds you can but I believe the more balanced Jazz come out with the win.


Free NBA Pick: Utah Jazz -1Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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