New Orleans Pelicans vs. Utah Jazz – NBA, January 19, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| January 19, 2021 8:49 am PST

The Pelicans haven’t started the season too well and find themselves in the Southwest Division’s fourth spot. However, it’s a tightly contested Division, and a run of two or three wins could see them enter the hunt for the top position. On the other hand, the Jazz are playing a sweet tune this season as they sit on top of the North West Division.

The recent head to head record has been close between these two, with the Jazz edging the previous five games, three to two. This is coincidentally the same record of the last five games played at the Vivint Smart Home Arena.

Over the last ten games between the Pelicans and the Jazz, Utah has averaged six points more than New Orleans per game. Keep this figure in mind as I delve into the match odds and come up with my Pelicans vs. Jazz betting pick.

Pelicans vs. Jazz Odds

Pelicans +6-110
Jazz -6-110
Pelicans To Win+215
Jazz To Win-220
Over 218 Points-110
Under 218 Points-110

Looking at the game introduction and the bookmakers spread, you can see that this tallies up exactly and perhaps offers little value either way. However, what does interest me is that these two are averaging a combined total of 232 points per game against each other over the last ten meetings, which is well over the points total here. Especially considering the points total has already been lowered two points since the betting opened.

Pelicans News

The Pelicans ended a run of five straight defeats by beating the Kings 123-128 last time out, and they will hope that they can now put a winning run together.

They have spent most of the season on the road to date and a 3-4 record so far. Their previous two away victories came at a price as they then went on to lose the next two road trips back to back. They will be hoping that the third times a charm, and they avoid continuing that trend tonight.

Here are the latest betting trends for New Orleans:

Against The Spread

  • The Pelicans have lost 10 of their last 15 games.
  • They have only won four of the previous 15 games against Utah.
  • New Orleans record is 2-4 in their last six games played in January.

Points Total

  • Six of their last seven games have gone over the betting total.
  • The total has gone under in 10 of their previous 14 games against teams in the Western Conference.

For a team that has seen many games go over the points total recently, the Pelicans don’t particularly post many points. I find this strange as although they have an average field goal percentage of 46% when you combine that with their excellent offensive rebounding skills, you would expect them to be averaging more than 107 points per game. This quite frankly suggests to me that they just aren’t seeing enough of the ball. This isn’t helped when you are turning the ball over 16 times per game on average.

They also haven’t shot well from distance, which has hindered their overall points total too. Saying that they haven’t shot well from close either, as they have the third-worst free-throw success rate in the league.

Their defense has been excellent this season and, like their offense, is driven by superb rebounding. They keep their shape well and defend as a team. However, their defense isn’t perfect, and if they can improve on their blocking, they could become a force this season.

The Pelicans don’t have any stand out players this season, and perhaps for once, this is not such a bad thing. They can focus on becoming a good, cohesive unit without the downside of relying on one or two players.

New Orleans Point Guard Ball is the only doubt for this game as he battles to regain fitness following a recent knee injury.

Jazz News

The Jazz are on a roll at the moment, having won their last five games in a row. Apart from their most recent win over the Nuggets, the other four victories came by margins of at least ten points.

Oddly their form has been much better on the road than it has in Utah this season, having won two and lost two. However, their two wins came in their last two games over the Clippers and the Hawks. So again, you can see that they are starting to build momentum this season.

Here are the latest betting trends for Utah:

Against The Spread

  • They have won all five of their most recent games.
  • The Jazz has only lost once against teams from the Southwest Division in their last six matchups.

Points Total

  • Five of their last six games have gone under the betting total.
  • Against the Pelicans, 11 of the last 16 games have gone over the points total.
  • At home, only one of their last five games has gone over.

Other Pointers

  • They have won four of their previous five games against teams based in the Western Conference.

Although many would describe Utah’s offense as average, they have a game plan, which seems to work for them. They take plenty of shots from deep and follow it up with superb rebounding.

Like the Pelicans, they haven’t done well from the free-throw line this season; in fact, they have been worse.

Their real strength has been at the other end of the court as they have restricted their opponents to an average of 105 points per game. They have a very hard working defense that allows very little room against them. If you do get a shot off by chance, they are ready and waiting to gobble up anything that doesn’t find the net with the league’s best defensive rebounding unit.

The best way to describe their defense would be containing and restrictive. They aren’t aggressive, and all over their opponents, they don’t make many steals. But what they are is disciplined, and they make you miss.

Rudy Gobert has led the way this season for the Jazz with both rebounding and blocking. And why wouldn’t he, you ask, being the most expensive Center in the league’s history? Well, with that hefty contract comes an awful lot of pressure to perform night after night, week after week, and Gobert is certainly living up to that price tag.

Pelicans vs. Jazz Betting Pick

Pick
  • Pelicans +6
    -110

These are two of the best rebounding teams in the league, and it will be interesting to see how that battle plays out. When I saw the points total for this game, I was sure I would pick overs. However, after looking at how well each team has done defensively this season, I won’t be selecting that. Given that this is likely to come down to rebounding, the game could become physical, which won’t suit Utah, and I will take the Pelicans with the handicap.

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