NBA Best Bets: Jazz vs. Thunder Odds, Picks and Predictions (Saturday, August 1)
Getty Images. Pictured (L-R): Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, OKC Thunder guard Chris Paul.
- Saturday's game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder is pretty close to a pick 'em according to the odds.
- Troy Haliburton thinks the matchup favors the Thunder as the Jazz lack the athleticism to keep up with OKC.
- Here are his favorite bets for the game:
Jazz vs. Thunder Betting Odds
|Jazz odds||+1 [BET NOW]|
|Thunder odds||-1 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-101/-115 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||212 [BET NOW]|
|Time||3:30 p.m. ET|
When the Utah Jazz face off against the Oklahoma City Thunder, they will technically be playing a brand new contest — despite starting the same game from almost five months ago.
The last time the world saw these two teams getting ready, the contest was stopped mere seconds before they were set to tip-off on March 11 when Rudy Gobert had tested positive for COVID-19.
The Jazz opened up the NBA restart in the Orlando Bubble with some drama after completing a 16-point come back against the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday.
This game has a lot of importance in the Western Conference with the Jazz being 2.5 games in front of the Thunder for the No. 4 seed. While homecourt advantage matters very little in an environment with no fans, both of these teams would certainly prefer to remain in their current side of the bracket to avoid having to play the Clippers or Nuggets in Round 1 of the playoffs.
The Thunder will be one of the last teams to play an opening game and come in favored by 1.5 points against the Jazz on two extra days of rest.
Jordan Clarkson provided the scoring punch that the Jazz desperately needed to complete their comeback win against the Pelicans, pouring in a team-high 23 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field.
Clarkson’s scoring output was enough to compensate for the absent Bojan Bogdonavic, who elected to have a surgery to repair a ruptured tendon in his wrist back in May. The absence of Bogdonavic was very evident watching the Jazz play as they struggled to score without him.
The Jazz offense looked stagnant against the Pelicans and they should not be relying on Clarkson to light it up every night.
The Jazz would certainly like to figure out how to manufacture more points, but at the very least they can always rely on their defense being a staple. Utah forced 21 turnovers from the Pelicans and will need to keep up that defensive intensity against an OKC team that is among the best in the NBA at protecting the basketball by only turning it over 13.5 times per game.
A key for the Jazz to combat the Thunder’s stellar guard play has been the emergence of point guard Mike Conley Jr., who is finally beginning to look like the player he was in Memphis for over a decade.
Conley struggled mightily to fit in with his new team, but the months of rest must have rejuvenated him because he looks like a different player in the Orlando bubble. Conley scored 20 points and more importantly found some of the quickness that has made him a special defensive player.
Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson need to supplement Donovan Mitchell’s scoring if the Jazz want to grab a top-four seed.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Not many people expected the Thunder to be in contention after trading away Russell Westbrook and Paul George. But they responded this season with a different style of play, centered around a three-headed guard lineup of Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Dennis Schroeder.
That trio of guards when on the court together had a net rating of +28.6 in 401 minutes of game action this season. The sample size is large enough to prove that their success sharing the floor together is no fluke.
Down low will be a battle of bruising big men between Steven Adams and Rudy Gobert, and while Gobert normally finds himself physically imposing to most centers on a nightly basis, Adams is one of few post players who has the requisite strength to keep Gobert off of the boards and make him work on the defensive end.
Heading into the break Oklahoma City was one of the hottest teams in the NBA, winning eight of 10 games. They’re now adding one of the best defending wing players in the NBA in Andre Roberson, who had not played at all for the Thunder this season before arriving in Orlando.
Roberson looked spry in the exhibition games and most importantly was connecting on his 3-point attempts. If Roberson can add that extra wing depth for the Thunder and guard bigger players while allowing the three guards to attack and dish at will, then the Thunder will be a very difficult matchup for a Jazz team that lacks the athleticism on the the wings.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The Oklahoma City Thunder have been the best team in the NBA against the spread record (ATS) at 40-24. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more money on OKC to move this line up from -1.5.
I’m also taking the under at 214.5. Oklahoma City is 10th in the NBA in scoring defense, allowing just 108.5 points per game and with the Jazz coming off a game less than 48 hours earlier and not fully up to speed yet, don’t count on these two teams reaching the over.
Picks: Thunder -1.5 and Under 214.5