New Orleans Pelicans vs Utah Jazz

 

 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans are off to a 5-8 start and are in fourth place in the Southwest Division 2 ½ games behind the first-place San Antonio Spurs. New Orleans lost its most recent outing 118-102 to the Utah Jazz and will be concluding a two-game set on Thursday against Utah. New Orleans has lost six of its last seven with only a victory over the Sacramento Kings during that span of seven outings.

 

Utah has started the season strong, as the Jazz are 10-4 and in first place in the Northwest division leading the second place Portland Trail Blazers by two games.The Jazz are riding a 6-game winning streak after defeating New Orleans on Tuesday. Utah has not lost since a 112-100 set back to the New York Knicks on January 6. A mix of veterans and young talent have gelled as a unit for Utah and the Jazz have played as well or better than any other team in the Western Conference through the first month of the regular season.

Zion Williamson picking up his scoring

Zion Williamson is leading the New Orleans Pelicans in scoring with an average of 23.4 points per game thanks to scoring over 30 points in each of his last two outings. Williamson scored 32 points in the Pelicans loss to Utah on Tuesday night and scored 31 points on Sunday night in the Pelicans victory over the Sacramento Kings. The second-year star is hitting 59.1% of his shots. New Orleans is averaging 107.3 points overall and has five players that averaged double figures in scoring. New Orleans is handing out an average of 22.4 assists per game and Brandon Ingram is the dish-leader with an average of 5.06 per game.

New Orleans is pulling down an average of 47.5 rebounds per game with 36.1 on the defensive class and 11.4 per game off the offensive glass. Leading the way for the Pelicans on the boards is Steven Adams with an average of 9.0 rebounds per game. Defensively, New Orleans is allowing an average of 109.5 points per game. The Pelicans are averaging 7.5 steals per game led by Lonzo Ball with an average of 1.3 per game and New Orleans blocks an average of 3.7 shots per game led by Ingram with an average of 1.0 per game.

Injury Report: Will Magnay is out indefinitely.

Defense is Key to Jazz Success

The Utah Jazz are in first place in the Northwest division thanks in large part to their defense that is allowing an average of 105.1 points per game, which is fourth in the NBA. During their current six-game winning streak the Jazz have held opponents to 105 points or less five times and have held opponents to less than 100 points three times. The Jazz are averaging 49.6 rebounds per game with 38.5 of the defense of glass led by Rudy Gobert with an average of 13.6 rebounds per game. Utah is averaging 5.6 steals per game led by Mike Conley with an average of 1.4 per game and the Utah defense blocks 5.9 shots per game led by Gobert with an average of 2.7 per game.

At the other end of the Court, Utah is scoring an average of 111.1 points per game led by Donovan Mitchell with an average of 23.5 points per game. Utah has a total of six players averaging double-figures in scoring and the Jazz shoot 46.5% overall and 40.1% from long distance. Utah averages 23.3 assists per game led by Conley with an average of 6.3 per contest. The board -eaters for Utah are averaging 11.1 offensive rebounds per game.

Injury Report: Elijah Hughes is questionable on Thursday, while Juwan Morgan is out indefinitely

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Utah has won 10 of its first 14 games because of its strength at the defensive end and off the glass. Utah is fourth in the NBA in points allowed per game at 105.1 and the Jazz are first in the NBA in rebounds per game with an average of 49.6. New Orleans in contrast is allowing an average 109.5 points per game which is 11th in the NBA. Utah holds a distinct advantage over New Orleans covering the spread in seven of the last 10 played between the two Western Conference rivals. Overall, Utah has covered the spread in each of its last six and the Jazz have won 11 of the last 14 straight up at home against the Pelicans. New Orleans has struggled starting the season, as the Pelicans have failed to cover the spread in five of the last seven and have lost six of the last seven straight up.

Prediction:
Utah Jazz -6.5

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

Utah is fourth in points allowed in the NBA and New Orleans is a solid 11th in points allowed per game. The Utah defense has held three of its last six opponents to less than 100 points and the total has finished under in four of Utah’s last five games overall and in four the last five games the Jazz have played at home.

Prediction:
UNDER 216