Expect a defensive struggle when the Oklahoma City Thunder (17-15) and Utah Jazz (15-18) clash at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 23, 2017, and it can be seen on Fox SportsNet Oklahoma.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz ATS Preview
In the Thunder’s last contest, they won a close one over the Atlanta Hawks, 120-117. Russell Westbrook was the top scorer from either team with 30 points on 12-for-17 shooting. Oklahoma City dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had an extraordinary offensive rebounding percentage of 42.9 (above their season average of 26.8) and a free throw rate of 0.232 (above their season average of 0.183). Atlanta was 21.9 and 0.165, respectively, for those same stats.
The Jazz come in on a high note after defeating the San Antonio Spurs in their last game, 100-89. Utah received a boost from Rodney Hood, who was the games leading scorer with 29 points on 12-for-24 shooting. Utah dominated every facet of the game. They had a solid free throw rate of 0.270 (above their season average of 0.191) and a turnover percentage of 12.4 (better than their season average of 13.6). San Antonio was 0.141 and 14.1, respectively, for those same stats.
This has potential to be a mistake-prone game for the offense of Utah. Utah ranks 21st in the NBA in ball protection (turnover percentage of 14.8 percent), while the disruptive defense of Oklahoma City forces the most turnovers in the NBA (17.0 percent).
Of Oklahoma City’s 31 games with betting action, 19 have finished under the projected point total, while 16 of Utah’s 33 games have finished over the projected point total. The Thunder hold the substantial advantage straight up (SU) (17-15 vs. 15-18), but the Jazz have been better against the spread (ATS) (18-15 vs. 10-20-1).
These two teams have met three times already this year, with the Thunder winning two. In the most recent matchup, Westbrook scored a game-high 24 points and the Thunder beat the Jazz 107-79, covering as 8-point favorites. He also recorded 10 rebounds and seven assists. The two teams combined for 186 points, which was 11 points below the projected point total of 197 points. Oklahoma City had a much better effective field goal percentage (0.571 vs. 0.404). Utah, on the other hand, did a great job of converting from the charity stripe (20-27; 74.1 percent).
Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Jazz, ATS Winner – Jazz, O/U – Under
- The Thunder rank second in points off turnovers per game (19.8) while the Jazz rank 18th in points off turnovers allowed per game (16.9).
- Oklahoma City ranks second in points allowed in the paint per game (40.1) while Utah ranks sixth (41.6).
- Oklahoma City ranks 13th in rebounds per game (43.9) while Utah ranks 26th (40.4).
- Utah averages 5.0 blocks per game, which ranks 10th in the NBA. Oklahoma City ranks 12th in blocks allowed per game (4.7).
- Utah is 12-5 ATS at home, while Oklahoma City is 4-12 ATS on the road.
- Of the Thunder’s 16 road games, they have 9 unders and 7 overs.
- Of the Jazz 17 home games, they have 10 unders and 7 overs.
- In games where they allow under 100 points, Oklahoma City is 12-4 and Utah is 10-2.
- The Thunder are 14-6 when they score over 100 points, while the Jazz are 13-8.
- The Jazz rank second in assists allowed per game (19.3) while the Thunder rank eighth (21.5).
- Oklahoma City averages 10.1 steals per game, which ranks first in the NBA. Utah ranks 22nd in steals allowed per game (8.2).
- The Thunder rank fifth in second chance points per game (14.3) while the Jazz rank 22nd (10.8).
- The Jazz rank fourth in fast break points allowed per game (8.8) while the Thunder rank seventh (9.4).
- Utah ranks fifth in three pointers allowed per game (26.2) while Oklahoma City ranks 21st (30.2).
- Utah is 3-2 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Oklahoma City is 3-2 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
- The Jazz have been outscored by an average of 7.0 points in their last five games. On the season, Utah has defeated opponents by an average of 1.4 points.
- During their last five games, the Thunder have scored an average of 107.4 points per game (4.8 above their season average) and allowed an average of 103.6 points per game (3.5 above their season average).