The NBA is back! Thursday night’s slate of action tips off with the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans with NOLA as slight ‘home’ favorites. We’re expecting some early hiccups given the athletes are still playing themselves into mid-season form, but there’s still plenty of value to bet on.
Let’s take a closer look at where the value is at in this matchup.
- Utah Jazz: +120
- New Orleans Pelicans: -140
- Utah Jazz +2.5: -110
- New Orleans Pelicans -2.5: -110
- Over 224.5: -110
- Under 224.5: -110
Key Points to Consider
Bojan Out: Utah will be without scoring option Bojan Bogdanovic wh ois out following a surgery relating to a wrist injury. He’s their top outside-threat, a big hit for a team looking to remain in the postseason hunt.
Change in Style: With Bojan out, we will see the Jazz use smaller lineups more often than not, with guys like Joe Ingles and Royce O’Neale seeing more minutes on the floor. Four-guard sets could be common in the bubble games for Utah.
NOLA’s Dilemma: New Orleans is No. 4 in the league in scoring offense, but no. 27 in the league in scoring defense. Makes sense considering how inexperienced much of the roster is, but they will need those defensive numbers to improve if they want to push for that final playoff spot.
Outside Shooting: We’ll keep an eye out for the Pelicans’ outside shooting numbers. They hit the recent Covid-break with some momentum, coming in at No. 3 in the league in three-pointers made per game. Rested legs usually make for high shooting numbers.
For Utah, Donovan Mitchell is projected to lead the way with 26-to-27 points on 47% shooting, along with 6 assists and 5 rebounds.
For New Orleans, Zion Williamson, who is a game time decision as of publication, is projected to finish with 19 points on 54% shooting, along with 6 rebounds and 2 assists. Brandon Ingram is projected to finish with 18 points on 48% shooting.
Utah Jazz to cover.
We’re always interested when AccuScore simulation data and oddsmakers are on opposite sides of the money line. Sim data suggests Utah should be the slight favorites, with the Jazz winning close to 52 percent of simulations. Some added value there then in taking the points.
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