Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Utah Jazz - 1/9/15 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Utah Jazz (13-23) at Oklahoma City Thunder (17-19)
NBA Basketball: Friday, January 9, 2015 at 8:00 pm (Chesapeake Energy Arena)
The Line: Oklahoma City Thunder -12 -- Over/Under: 199 See the Latest Odds
TV: ROOT, FSOK
The Oklahoma City Thunder are two wins away from reaching .500 as they host the Utah Jazz on Friday night.
The Utah Jazz expected to contend this year but will instead settle for improvement over their opening year form. The Jazz are coming off a 97-77 win on the road against the Bulls in their last outing, cashing on the moneyline for as high as four to one as a double digit underdog. The Jazz will look to deliver another strong road performance here with a record of 7-12 on the road this year. Utah uses a heavy dose of Gordon Hayward (19 ppg, 5 rpg, 4.1 apg) and Derrick Favors (15.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg), but they’d like to see more consistent output from point guard Trey Burke who is averaging 19.8 points and 5.3 assists over his last five games. The Jazz will hope their bench can provide a boost as well with a unit that ranks fifth averaging 37.2 points per game.
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The Oklahoma City Thunder are two games below .500 at 17-19 but they’ve shaken up the roster by adding Dion Waiters. While the Thunder will lose a great backup PG in Reggie Jackson, Waiters offers a more robust scoring profile to be integrated into the starting lineup. It wasn’t pretty for Waiters in the Thunder’s most recent loss against the Kings though as the shooting guard shot just 1-9 in 22 minutes of bench work. Waiters will eventually build out a solid role on the team but for now it’s still the Durant and Westbrook show as the duo combines for over 50 points per game on average. The Thunder defense still boasts a top ten ranking allowing 98.1 points per game but that stat is slipping as the healthy Thunder are playing with a faster pace than the injury-plagued group early in the year.
The Thunder could certainly roll here looking to end a two game skid but I’ll take the double digit points with a Jazz team that handled their most recent road challenge well in Chicago.