Charlotte Hornets vs. Utah Jazz – NBA, February 22, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| February 22, 2021 8:54 am PDT

The top of the Southeast Division takes on the top team in the Northwest, but that is where the comparison ends. Although both teams are top of their respected divisions, their records are in stark contrast to each other. The Hornets have a negative record of 14-15, while the Jazz are the number one team in the NBA, having won 24 of their 30 matches.

The Jazz have dominated this fixture, winning six of their previous seven meetings. The last of those meetings was two weeks ago in Charlotte when the Jazz won an extremely high scoring encounter 138-121. If Charlotte hates facing the Jazz, they will despise traveling to Utah to meet them as they have only beaten them once in their previous 14 visits.

Utah is averaging nine more points per game than the Hornets over their previous ten matches against each other. This has predominantly been down to them starting these matches better as they are averaging seven more first-half points. But in all truth, they have dominated most aspects of these matches, from shooting through to rebounding.

Here is my Hornets vs. Jazz betting preview.

Hornets vs. Jazz Odds

Hornets +12.5-110
Jazz -12.5-110
Hornets To Win+575
Jazz To Win-700
Over 228-110
Under 228-110

Although the Jazz beat the Hornets by 17 points only two weeks ago, I didn’t expect the spread to be quite this big. Similarly, they entertained the game with some fantastic attacking basketball that night, but I didn’t think the points total would be quite this high.

Hornets News

Although the Hornets have won four of their previous six games, they have struggled for consistency throughout this campaign.

They have a negative record on the road, having won five and lost seven of their 12 road trips this season. Their record on the road recently has been the exact reverse of their overall form as they have only won two games and have lost four of their previous six. Those two wins came by way of narrow victories over the Magic and the Heat, both of whom are not playing great this season.

Here are the latest betting trends for Charlotte:

Against The Spread

  • They have won four of their last six games.
  • Charlotte is 1-4-1 in their previous six games against Utah.

Points Total

  • The total has gone over in 12 of their previous 17 matches.
  • Six of their last seven games on the road have gone over the betting total.

Other Pointers

  • The Hornets are 7-13 in their last 20 games against teams based in the Western Conference.

The Hornets are severely lacking any sting in attack this season and only averaged 110 points per game. However, they are shooting well from distance at 38%, which is amongst the league’s best percentages this season.

Although they aren’t scoring as many points as they would like, they certainly play an attractive style of basketball, making many assists along the way. Perhaps if they focused on being slightly more effective rather than looking good, they would start to climb up the Eastern Conference’s standings.

Their defense has been good, and if they can improve their rebounding, then I’m sure their overall negative record would slowly turn around to a positive one. They haven’t defended entirely as well on the road for one reason or another and have conceded on average three more points per game.

The Hornets should be full of confidence heading into tonight’s game after their buzzer time win over the Warriors last time out. Charlotte trailed by five with 45 seconds to go but managed to pick up the victory in controversial circumstances.

Charlotte will miss shooting guard Martin through quarantine regulations, and point guard Graham has been listed as doubtful as he struggles with a knee injury.

Jazz News

The Jazz failed in their bid to make it ten wins in a row as they come unstuck against the Clippers last time out. They started the game slowly and were unable to recover, eventually losing by four. However, that defeat was only their second in 22 matches as their fantastic season continues to roll on.

They have been near perfect at home this season, winning 13 of their 15 games at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. They have won their last 13 matches in a row at home and looking at the margins of the majority of those victories, they don’t appear to be going to break this streak anytime soon.

Here are the latest betting trends for Utah:

Against The Spread

  • They have won eight of their previous nine games.
  • Utah is 17-2-1 in their last 20 games.
  • The Jazz is undefeated in their previous seven matches against teams from the East.

Points Total

  • All of their last five games played on a Monday have gone over the betting total.
  • The total has gone over in five of their previous six home games played on a Monday.

Utah has a superb attack that is excellent at rebounding and recycling the ball. They, too, are brilliant at shooting three-pointers, so there could be plenty on offer tonight.

Their defense is even better and concedes only 106 points per game on average. They are fantastic at closing their opponents down, not allowing them time or space on the ball. The Jazz also rebound the ball well in defense, making them the best rebounding unit in the league. French ace Rudy Gobert has been a rebounding machine this season, and he made 35 rebounds in their previous two games against the Clippers.

They don’t tend to make many steals per game, but that is probably because they usually have the ball themselves. However, they do make a lot of blocks and have the fifth-highest average in the league.

Utah will only miss one player tonight, and that is Azubuike, who is out with an ankle injury.

Hornets vs. Jazz Pick

Pick
  • Under 228
    -110

I have no doubts that the Jazz will win this game, but they come into it on the back of a loss, and the Hornets will be buzzing after their dramatic win over the Warrior’s last time out. However, that doesn’t mean that I will take the Hornets with the handicap either, as they have lacked on the road recently, and the Jazz has won by some huge margins at home.

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