With two of the NBA’s best players on their roster, expectations will be high for the Oklahoma City Thunder. But after losing two of their last four and six of their last eight, they would love to find some consistency. While the Thunder have won their first three meetings with the Jazz, they have won five of their last seven and would like to avoid getting swept.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Utah Jazz
Vivint Smart Home Arena
Monday 11th March 2019
- Spread: Utah by 3.5
- Over/Under: 227.5
- Money Line: Thunder +140.00; Jazz -166.67
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Oklahoma City Thunder
Expectations were high for the Thunder entering this season. With Paul George and Russell Westbrook having worked through a lot of the kinks last season, fans were looking forward to seeing their new dynamic duo play. Overall, they have done well.
Entering Monday night’s game with the Jazz, they are 40-26, the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference, and just one game back of the Houston Rockets for the No. 3 seed. However, they are also tied with the Portland Trail Blazers in the standings and just 2.5 games in front of the Jazz.
So, there is no more room for error which they have had plenty of lately. Since beating the Jazz in 2OT a couple of weeks ago, they have gone 2-6. They were without George for five of those games but have gone 1-2 since his return.
George has averaged 39.7 points a game against the Jazz this season.
Conditions are a little different for the Jazz this season. Last year, expectations were low after losing Gordon Hayward in free agency. After doing as well as they did last season, expectations are a lot higher, but the competition is still pretty fierce.
Entering Monday night’s game against the Thunder, they will be in a virtual tie for sixth in the Western Conference. But a loss coupled with wins by the Spurs and Clippers would find them in the No. 8 seed with the Sacramento Kings just a few games behind.
So, much like the Thunder, they do not have any room for error and really need to every win they can get at this point in the season. But they have played the Thunder very close in the last two games between them (one-point losses) and have won five of their last seven since their last loss to the Thunder.
The Jazz are not expecting to have Ricky Rubio and Raul Neto available for the game.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Utah Jazz Head-to-Head
The Oklahoma City Thunder lead the season series against Utah, 3-0. However, while the first one was a solid nine-point win, the last two were both by a single point. The last one, on February 22, was a wildly entertaining double overtime game that ended with Paul George hitting the game-winner with 1.6 seconds on the clock.
From a historical perspective, the two franchises have played 187 regular season games. The Thunder have won 109 to 78 for the Jazz. They have also met in the playoffs 28 times; Utah holds the lead, 16-12, with the last four coming in the first round last year.
Oklahoma City has won the last six against Utah and nine of the last ten.
Odds and Predictions
Utah has been a good home team this year having won 21 and lost 11; they have been especially good in recent weeks having won five of their last six at home. Oklahoma City has not been a great road team this season (18-17) and have lost six of their last ten road games.
A case could be made that the Thunder have more talent on the roster. But a case could also be made that the Jazz are the better team right now since they are playing a better, more consistent game since these two last met on February 22.
Paul George and the Thunder have owned the Jazz this season but look for Utah to pull out the win this time. Take the Jazz (-166.67) to win over the Thunder (+140.00), but for the Thunder to win against the spread (+3.5).
Expert Betting Tip
The Thunder have dominated the Jazz in recent years, but the Jazz are playing much better basketball right now. They will win the game straight up but don’t bank on them doing so against the spread.