The NBA finally resumes in the Orlando bubble after the coronavirus break and in the opening game, we have an all-Western battle between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Utah Jazz. The Jazz is holding tightly on the 4th place but both Thunder and Rockets are just one game behind them. Pelicans are eyeing the 8th and final playoff place but have work to do as they are 4½ games behind the Grizzlies.
Date/Time: 07-30-2020, 18:30 EDT
Spread: New Orleans Pelicans -1.5 (updated NBA Odds)
Pelicans have a 28-36 record (33-29-2 ATS) and are tied with the Kings in the 10th place of the West. They have back-to-back wins. In their last game, they won on the road against the Timberwolves, 107-120, easily covering the 7-point handicap. Brandon Ingram leads the team in scoring with 24.3 ppg, adding 6.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. Zion Williamson follows with 23.6 ppg and 6.8 rebounds per game.
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Jazz has a 41-23 record (30-32-2 ATS) and is sitting in the 4th place of the West. In their last game, they saw a five-game winning streak end with a home defeat by the Raptors 92-101, failing to cover the +6 handicap. Donovan Mitchell leads the team in scoring with 24.2 ppg, adding 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. Bojan Bogdanovic follows with 20.2 ppg and 4.1 rebounds but he is out for the season.
The Jazz lead the Pelicans 2-1 wins this season, having won once at home by 8 points and once on the road by two.
Pelicans have the fourth-best offense in the league (116.2 to 111) but they also have the fourth-worse defense (117 to 107.9).
Jazz has better percentages both in field goals (47.5% to 46.2) and in 3-pointers (38.3% to 37.2%).
On the other hand, Pelicans are better both in rebounding (47 to 45.1) and in assists made (27 to 22.2), while Jazz commit fewer turnovers (14.9 to 16.2).
Bookmakers give the Pelicans a -1.5 spread and with a fresh Zion expect them to beat the odds and get away with the win.
Utah Jazz vs New Orleans Pelicans Prediction: New Orleans Pelicans -1.5 (-114)
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