Utah Jazz (48-34) vs Oklahoma City Thunder (48-34)Date : 04/18/2018
Time : 8:00 PM
Location : Chesapeake Energy Arena
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Utah Jazz vs Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder won game 1 of their first round matchup and are set to return to the hardwood for game 2 as they host the Utah Jazz in a best of 7 series. The two teams will travel out to Utah after this game for 2 matchups in what could be the end of the series.
Utah Jazz's Latest Performance :
Not Playing Their Style
Outside of Donovan Mitchell the Utah Jazz don’t have any big time scorers, but that hasn’t proved to be a problem for the Jazz this season especially since the all-star break as Quin Snyder and company rather play the game on the defensive end. The Jazz all year have lived on their defense as they were unbreakable in terms of letting teams score as they often held teams under 100 points and controlled the pace of the game. The Jazz play with one of the slowest paces in all of the NBA, but the sets that they run have been perfected as they are efficient in scoring. The Jazz showed in game 1 that they don’t really deploy the weapons to be in a shootout with the Thunder and if it wasn’t for Alec Burks scoring 10 points in garbage time during the last 2 minutes of the game the Jazz would of lost by 15 points rather than 8. Even though the Jazz lost, rookie Donovan Mitchell still had a good game as he was able to rack up a double-double in his first career playoff game with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Everyone on the Jazz scored around their season average which has proven to be enough in the regular season as they won 48 games, but the Jazz need to be better on the defensive end if they want to give Russell Westbrook and company problems.
Oklahoma City Thunder's Latest Performance :
The average NBA fan knows that Paul George has struggled in the playoffs as George has been seen as the ultimate “choker”, but PG is with a new team and showed he isn’t what people think he is as he dominated game 1. The Oklahoma City Thunder have 3 guys who can go for 30 points in every game, and although most the season Russell Westbrook was the guy putting up the big numbers we saw Paul George take the load for game 1 as he scored 36 points with 7 rebounds. The Thunder were also able to deploy a wild Russell Westbrook too as he also had a big statistical game as he dropped 29 points, pulled down 13 boards, and dished out 8 assists in a Thunder win. The Thunders 3rd piece in Carmelo Anthony also did just enough to secure a win as Anthony had 15 points with 7 rebounds. The Thunder have always been so close to making the finals, but after KD’s departure people started to have doubt that this team will ever win anything. Management has made it a priority to add key pieces such as Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, and Corey Brewer around 2017 MVP Russell Westbrook, and although the Thunder finished in 4th place they showed their potential in big games beating some of the best.
How Utah Jazz & Oklahoma City Thunder Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Utah is 43-38-1 ATS, 21-19-1 ATS on the road.
Oklahoma City is 32-47-3, 15-24-2 ATS at home.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Oklahoma City ended the regular season as the 12th ranked scoring offense and are outscored the 19th ranked Utah Jazz offense by 3.8 PPG. (OKC- 107.9 PPG, UTA- 104.1 PPG).
Utah had the 1st ranked scoring defense during the regular season and held opponents to 4.6 PPG less than Oklahoma City’s 10th ranked scoring defense. (OKC- 104.4 PPG, UTA- 99.8 PPG).
OKC won the season series, 3-1.
OKC won game 1, 116-108.
Against The Spread Selection: Utah Jazz +3.5
My reason for the pick :
I did back Utah in the first game which proved to backfire, but the Thunder have been inconsistent all year as they have won big games and followed that up with a bad loss. The Thunder are also one of the worse teams in the NBA in terms of covering the spread. The Jazz have a great coach in Quin Snyder and after a couple of film room meetings the Jazz will be better on the defensive end and control the tempo. Jazz steal game 2 on the road.
Betting trends for Utah Jazz:
- Utah is 10-9 ATS with 2-3 days off this season.
- The over is 28-24-1 against Western Conference opponents this season.
Betting trends for Oklahoma City Thunder:
- Oklahoma City is 21-27 ATS after a win this season.
- The under is 37-33 as the favorite this season.