Utah Jazz (34-30) at Indiana Pacers (37-27)
We can’t lose this week! We won our fifth straight NBA pick last night when we backed the New Orleans Pelicans as road underdogs against the Los Angeles Clippers.
I was a little surprised to see the Pelicans as dogs as they have been red-hot and I wasn’t sure who the Clippers had that could slow down Anthony Davis. Well, the answer is they didn’t have anyone to slow down the brow, and Davis went nuts once against.
The big man went for 41 points, and 13 boards as the Pelicans jumped out to a fifteen-point halftime lead and coasted to an easy road victory. I have much respect for what this Clippers team is doing this year after losing Chris Paul in the offseason and then Blake Griffin at the trade deadline. But at some point, this team is going to regress.
You just can’t go from Chris Paul to Austin Rivers and expect to get better. And for those of you that counted out the Pelicans after Boogie Cousins got hurt, you couldn’t have been more wrong. It turns out that was an addition by subtraction and letting Anthony Davis control the ball was the best thing that could ever happen to them.
Mark my words, this New Orleans team will win a playoff series this year. They aren’t quite ready to win it all, but they are going to be a very tough out in the playoffs. Today I will look to keep the winning streak alive as I break down the matchup between the Utah Jazz and the Indiana Pacers.
The Utah Jazz will travel to Indiana Wednesday night to play the Pacers in a matchup of two teams playing very well at the moment. The Jazz have won fifteen out of their last seventeen games. The Pacers have won three straight and seven out of their last ten. This game is an even pick ‘em. The game total over-under is set at 199.5 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:00 PM PST from Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Utah Jazz have figured out some way to turn around what was once a disastrous season. Even with this insane run of wins, fifteen out of their last seventeen, the Jazz still find themselves in tenth place in the Western Conference. The cut line in the Western Conference is super soft this year, and if the Jazz stay hot, they should easily find themselves in the playoffs.
But they have zero room for error as they are still chasing several teams just to sneak into the playoffs and get the right to get swept out of them by the Houston Rockets. We will see if this hot streak is running out of gas tonight or if it is still burning hot when the Jazz play a very good Indiana Pacers team on the road.
It almost sounds weird saying it. A very good Indiana Pacers team. But it is absolutely true. The Pacers got off to a slow start to the season as they had a completely overhauled roster. But now that they have their rotation down, this is one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
The Pacers are just a half of a game back of Cleveland for the three seed, and with Cleveland struggling to figure things out, you can expect Indiana to lock that spot up before the playoffs start.
These two teams have only played once this season. And the Pacers blew out the Jazz on their home floor by fifteen points. That was an eternity ago though before this recent Jazz resurgence.
But you just have to wonder, how much has really changed since then? The Jazz are playing much better now than they did then, but so are the Pacers. And that game was in Utah, this one is in Indiana.
I hate messing around with a hot team, but when you say the Jazz have lost two out of their last six games, it sounds much less daunting than saying they have won fifteen out of seventeen. The Jazz put together that amazing winning streak to turn their season around, but what they have done over the last six games hasn’t really been all that impressive.
The Jazz lost to Portland and Houston, completely understandable, those teams are red-hot too and very good. But the wins against Minnesota without Jimmy Butler, Sacramento, Orlando, and Dallas make you wonder if this is really this team playing great, or is it just a very fortunate stretch of the schedule?
This line opened as the Jazz as -1-point road favorites. And that was a laughable number. Yeah, I get it, the Jazz put together a nice run. But they are still a team barely above .500, and that is bad on the road.
Playing against an equally hot team that is great on their home floor. It didn’t make any sense, and I jumped all over it. And so did the rest of the sharps, as this line has now moved to an even pick ‘em.
The key to successful sports betting is looking as big picture as you can and not overreacting to a small sample size of games. That is what I am going to do tonight.
I realize that the Pacers are the better team, and they had a rare night off at home in their own beds last night and should be rested and motivated tonight. Add to it that the Jazz may be without starting forward Derrick Favors and I like the Pacers even more.
Give me the Indiana Pacers at even tonight on their home court.