Utah Jazz +7 vs. New York Knicks for NBA Picks

Darin Zank

Friday, March 7, 2014 1:21 PM GMT

Friday, Mar. 7, 2014 1:21 PM GMT

Two teams with almost identical records – one going nowhere, the other still harboring slim hopes of making the playoffs – meet as the Knicks host the Jazz Friday night (7:30 pm ET). Is there NBA betting value on offer, and if so, where?

New York is 22-40, Utah 21-40, but the Knicks are favored by double the normal home-court advantage.

Is there any betting value to be found on a team that just went through a seven-game losing streak? Or one currently “riding” a four-game losing slide?

The Line

Most books we checked opened this game with New York favored by six points, the total offered at right around 198. In the early betting most shops bumped the Knicks to -7, and dropped the total to 197.

Anybody with an inkling that Utah might win this game straight-up can get around +240 on some of the various NBA betting moneylines.

[gameodds]5/257669/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

 

Game Set-Up

New York just snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 118-106 victory at Minnesota Wednesday night. The Knicks shot 52 percent from the field, helped along by a 14-for-27 performance from 'Melo, on their way toward winning outright as eight-point dogs. 

On the dogged side of this match-up the Jazz have lost four games in a row, after falling at Washington Wednesday night 104-91. Utah allowed the Wizards to shoot 54 percent from the field Wednesday, and missed nine free throws, which could have come in handy, as the Jazz failed to cover as eight-point dogs. 

Big picture, New York sits in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, 5.5 games behind eighth-place Atlanta. 

On the other side of the bracket Utah sits in 14th place in the Western Conference, 14.5 games out of eighth place. 

By the Numbers 

On the season Utah is shooting 44 percent from the floor, 35 percent from 3-point land and 75 percent from the free-throw line. The Jazz are also allowing opponents to shoot 46 percent, and getting out-rebounded by about two boards per game. 

New York is also shooting 44 percent from the floor this season, 37 percent from long range and 75 percent from the line. At the other end the Knicks are also allowing foes to shoot 46 percent, and are getting out-boarded by about a board and a half per game. 

As for tonight; is New York going to shoot 52 percent from the floor again, like it did Wednesday? And is Utah going to allow an opponent to shoot 54 percent, like it did the other night? We have our doubts on both counts. 

Recent History 

New York has swept the season series from Utah the last two years. This is the first meeting between the teams this season. 

Jazz-Knicks Betting Trends 

Utah has leaned slightly toward the UNDERS this season by a 33-27 margin, as Jazz games have averaged 195 total points. 

New York, on the other hand, has leaned toward the OVERS this season by a 35-27 margin, as Knicks games have averaged 198 points.

Free NBA Pick 

To begin with, we're not even going to mention what happened to our last free pick. Let's just say that when we're wrong, we're really wrong; we don't mess around. So today we go in search of redemption. 

Neither the Knicks or Jazz have done much to inspire any confidence this season. On most nights we'd pass on a game like this. But this pointspread seems a bit high for a game involving two fairly evenly matched teams; they shoot about the same from the field, play about the same level of defense, and neither is too great on the boards. 

So for what looks like it should be a closer game than the line indicates we'll go with Utah, at the +7 points offered at 5Dimes, for our free NBA pick for Friday.
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