Hawks vs. Jazz Odds, Pick, Prediction | NBA Betting Preview
Alex Goodlett/Getty Images. Pictured: Lauri Markkanen #23 and Kelly Olynyk #41 of the Utah Jazz.
- The Utah Jazz are short home favorites on Friday night against the Atlanta Hawks.
- The Hawks are coming off of a blowout win over the Suns, but how will they fare against a Jazz team that takes a higher percentage of 3-point shots?
- Chris Baker breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Hawks vs. Jazz Odds
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Hawks are coming off an impressive win over the Suns, but the Jazz pose a much more difficult challenge than the current version of the Suns. Can the Hawks ramp up their play to meet this challenge, or will they continue their season-long antics of inconsistency? Let’s break down how these two teams match up with one another in the NBA betting preview below.
Hawks Offense Has an Edge
The Hawks are starting to build some momentum during this road trip, but the Jazz pose some unique challenges for them.
I was on the Hawks against the Suns because I knew the Suns weren’t going to win the “math” game by launching significantly more 3s than the Hawks. When the opponent isn’t winning the math game, talent usually wins out, and that is exactly what happened in the Hawks’ 132-100 rout of the Suns. The Hawks will need to continue to run shooters off the 3-point line here as the Jazz offense ranks fourth in the NBA in 3-point Attempt Rate.
The Hawks did a great job Wednesday night against the Suns by allowing just a 31.9% 3-point Attempt Rate (68th percentile), but in their prior two games, they struggled against the Blazers and Clippers. In those games they allowed a 46.4% 3-point Attempt Rate (8th percentile) and a 45.3% rate (10th percentile). Doing that against this Jazz team is a recipe for disaster, so they must tighten up their closeouts and rotations. For the season, they rank ninth in opponent 3-point Attempt Rate Allowed, so they have done a good job overall.
On the offensive end, expect the Hawks to have success against a weaker Jazz defense. The Jazz specialize in running shooters off the 3-point line, ranking second in Opponent 3-point Attempt Rate Allowed (32.2%). As a result, they rank 26th in opponent Midrange Rate, but this plays into the Hawks’ strengths, as the Hawks offense specializes in the midrange game.
The Hawks rank first in Offensive Midrange Rate and fourth in Midrange Accuracy. Trae Young, Dejounte Murray and De’Andre Hunter all excel in the mid-range area of the floor, and they should find plenty of opportunities to get to their spots tonight.
This Jazz defense was already bad, but the return of Kelly Olynyk only exacerbates their defensive issues. With Olynyk on the floor, the Jazz have a 117.0 Defensive Rating and are allowing a poor 30.3% Offensive Rebound Rate to their opponents. The difference between Walker Kessler and Olynyk is night and day, and I expect the Hawks to have their way in the paint all night.
Finally, the Jazz defense ranks 24th in Pick and Roll Points per Possession Allowed on the year. This isn’t a recipe for defensive success when facing a Hawks squad that leads the NBA in Pick and Roll Rate.
Jazz Have the Math Edge
The Jazz have won seven of their last 10 games and now rank as the ninth seed in the Western Conference. Overall, they rank 11th in Adjusted Net Rating and are 27-26 on the season.
This team has exceeded even the most optimistic expectations, and I think Will Hardy has a strong case for coach of the year. They’ve been winning games by taking great shots and forcing their opponents into tough midrange shots. They rank among the top five on offense in 3-point Attempt Rate and in the top five at limiting opponent 3-point attempts.
They should continue to win the “math” game here as they take on a Hawks offense that ranks first in Midrange Rate. Offensively, I expect Lauri Markannen to get going as the Hawks don’t have a ton of wing defenders that match up well with him. John Collins is a pretty solid matchup, but if he gets into foul trouble, there is pretty much no one else on this Hawks team to defend Markannen. I expect the Jazz offense to have success here.
I would lean toward the over tonight as I expect both offenses to be efficient and play fast in this spot. Kelly Olynyk will have the ability to stretch out Clint Capela and open up driving lanes with his 3-point shooting. On the flip side, Olynyk should struggle in pick and roll coverage against Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. These offenses should do enough to get us over 240.5.
Pick: Over 240.5 (-110)
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