Wizards vs. Jazz Odds, Pick, Prediction: Expect Very Little Defense

Wizards vs. Jazz Odds, Pick, Prediction: Expect Very Little Defense article feature image

Rob Carr/Getty Images. Pictured: Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards.

  • Both the Jazz and Wizards are coming off wins and looking to start a streak on Thursday night.
  • Washington will be playing its fifth game of a six-game road trip, so fatigue may come into play.
  • Jacob McKenna looks at the odds and makes a pick below.

Wizards vs. Jazz Odds

Wizards Odds+6.5
Jazz Odds-6.5
Over/Under230.5 (-110/-110)
Time9 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Washington Wizards will continue their six-game road trip on Thursday night when they travel to Utah to take on the Jazz.

Washington's season has been disappointing with various injuries derailing a decent start. As a result, the Wizards are in 12th place in the Eastern Conference with a 12-20 and have won just one of their past 10 games.

On the other hand, the Utah Jazz have had played surprisingly good basketball after many expected the organization to be in position for the No. 1 overall pick come June. The Jazz enter this game with a 18-16 record.

Both Utah and Washington ended losing streaks in their previous games. Let's look at the odds and make a pick for this Thursday night contest.

Washington Wizards

The Washington Wizards got their first win in the month of December on Tuesday night, a 113-110 victory over the Phoenix Suns. Some injuries to the Suns roster helped Washington secure the victory and I'm not sure that win is a sign the Wizards have turned things around.

Since December 1st the Wizards have provided very little resistance on the defensive end of the floor, as evidenced by their 117.3 Defensive Rating this month. Prior to December that rating sat at 111.9 and ranked 14th in the NBA.

As a result, opponents have had their way against the Wizards and are shooting 49.2% from the floor and 39.3% from behind the arc this month. Both of those percentages rank in the bottom five of the NBA in December.

Bradley Beal has returned to the lineup after missing most of the month with an injury. Since returning to the court, Beal is averaging 28 points per game on 46% shooting, which has provided Washington with some more juice on the offensive end and made up for its lack of production on the defensive end.

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Utah Jazz

The month of December hasn't been very kind to the Utah Jazz. The Jazz are 5-5 this month and are struggling to generate any sort of consistency.

Similar to Washington, a lot of Utah's struggles can be attributed to its play on the defensive end of the floor, something that has held this team back for much of the season.

According to NBA.com, the Jazz own a Defensive Rating of 114.4, which ranks 26th in the NBA and is only slightly ahead of the Hornets, Rockets, Pistons and Spurs. In the month of December, we have seen that rating rise slightly to 115.4, showing that the Jazz are trending in the wrong direction.

However, what Utah lacks in defensive production is more than made up for on offense, particularly from behind the arc.

According to TeamRankings, the Jazz are shooting 37.0% from three this season, eighth in the NBA. That number increases to 38.9% at home on 40.7 attempts per game, showing the Jazz aren't afraid to pull the trigger and are more than capable of causing damage from deep.

Wizards-Jazz Pick

We have two teams that have had up-and-down seasons. Given that the root cause of that has been their defensive play, I think we are due for a high-scoring game.

With Beal back in the lineup, the Wizards have already made notable improvements on the offensive end. While Beal was sidelined, the Wizards owned the worst Offensive Rating in the NBA at 107.7, but since his return that rating has risen to 115.0. It should continue to rise against a vulnerable Jazz defense.

I also expect the Jazz to continue to light it up from behind the arc. The Wizards rank 29th in opponent three-point percent this month and have proven they provide very little resistance on the perimeter.

That combination should allow plenty of points to be scored. I would play this total up to 231.5

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Nick Sterling
Jun 15, 2024 UTC