Orlando Magic (17-24 SU, 17-23-1 ATS, 18-23 O/U) vs. Utah Jazz (25-16 SU, 20-20-1 ATS, 18-23 O/U)
NBA: Saturday, January 14, 2017, Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah, 9 pm ET
Line: Utah -11.5; Over/Under: 195.5
It’s an inter-conference matchup out in the Beehive State. The Orlando Magic continues a road swing as they battle the Northwest Division leading Utah Jazz Saturday night. Orlando snapped a four game slide with a 115-109 road win over the Trail Blazers Friday night. Utah won their second straight by pasting the Pistons 110-77 at home Friday night. The Jazz holds a 33-22 edge in the all-time regular season series between the teams. Utah has won nine of the last 12 meetings, including an 87-74 win on the road in the first meeting this season on November 11, 2016.
Orlando Magic Seek Second Straight Road Win
Orlando picked up a road win over the Trail Blazers to snap their slide at four games. The Magic jumped to a 13 point edge after the first quarter and never looked back. Orlando had their lead cut to four after three quarters but held the Trail Blazers off to get the victory. The Magic hit 49.4 percent from the field in the win and knocked down 10 of their 18 three point attempts. Orlando held Portland to 40.2 percent shooting overall and 10 of 34 from long range. Nikola Vucevic put up a season high 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Magic in the game.
The Magic has to find a way to put the ball in the basket: they are 27th in the league with 98.8 points per game. Orlando stands 21st on the glass with 42.9 boards per contest and is 16th with 22.1 assists a night. The Magic is 12th in scoring defense as they allow 103.8 points a game. Evan Fournier leads five Orlando players in double figures with 17.3 points per game. Elfrid Payton puts up 11.3 points plus 5.7 assists per game. Serge Ibaka (15.6 points, 7.1 boards, 1.69 blocks), Aaron Gordon (11.5 points, 4.6 boards) and Nikola Vucevic (13.2 points, 10.3 rebounds) comprise a solid frontcourt trio. Jeff Green, Jodie Meeks, D.J. Augustin and Bismack Biyombo are key reserves for Orlando’s rotation. The Magic is tied for 25th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 43.7 percent as a team. Orlando is 20th with 8.8 made threes per game while the team is tied for 27th in three point percentage as they shoot 33.4 percent from downtown.
Utah Jazz Try to Build Northwest Division Edge
Utah blasted the Pistons to win their second straight game and take over sole possession of the Northwest Division lead with Oklahoma City’s loss to Minnesota. The Jazz outscored the Pistons 65-34 in the second half to put the game away. Utah hit 53.8 percent from the field and blitzed the Pistons by knocking down 16 of 31 from beyond the arc in the contest. The Jazz also controlled the glass by a 48-35 margin in the contest. Utah limited Detroit to 39.5 percent shooting overall and 6 of 17 from beyond the arc. Rodney Hood had a season high 27 points to lead the Jazz in the win, hitting 7 of 8 from three point range.
The Jazz enter this contest 28th in the league in scoring offense with 98.4 points per game. Utah is in the bottom of the pack, ranking 24th in the league in rebounding with 42.5 boards per game. The Jazz is 29th in the league in assists with 19 per contest. Utah currently leads the league in scoring defense as they allow 94.9 points per game. George Hill is one of four Utah players averaging in double figures with 18.2 points plus 4.4 assists per game. Gordon Hayward is averaging a team high 22.2 points with 5.8 rebounds a game. Rodney Hood scores 13.6 points a night and Joe Johnson puts up 8.3 points a game. Rudy Gobert is averaging 12.3 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.53 blocks per game in the low block. Derrick Favors, Shelvin Mack, Trey Lyles, Joe Ingles, Dante Exum and Boris Diaw are key guys in the rotation for the Jazz. Utah is 8th in the league as they shoot 46.3 percent from the floor. The Jazz are 11th in the league in threes per game as they knock down 9.7 triples a night. Utah is 8th in the league in three point shooting as they knock down 36.9 percent from beyond the arc.
- Magic are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall
- Magic are 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 Saturday games
- Jazz are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 Saturday games
Orlando managed to get a win on this trip by beating Portland. It’s about as far to the opposite end of the spectrum as you can get playing the Jazz less than 24 hours after squaring off with the Trail Blazers. Utah blew the doors off Detroit and beat Cleveland earlier this week. It’s tough to prepare for Utah’s slower pace and physicality in the low block. It’s even tougher to deal with the Jazz’s stingy defense and have success in Utah’s building. Look for Utah to pick up the win for their third straight victory.
Pick: Utah Jazz
Both teams are playing the second game of a back to back here, which usually helps depress totals. Orlando had to expend a truckload of energy to come out with the win in Portland as the Trail Blazers are a fun and gun team that can pile up points. Utah had an easier time as they poured it on in the second half and blew the Pistons out of the water. The Jazz are the league’s most dominant defensive team and rely on that to pick up wins in games.
The under has come up in four of Orlando’s last five overall and in eight of their last 11 on the road against teams with a winning home record. Utah has gone under the total in 15 of their last 18 games overall, in five of their last six against the Eastern Conference, in five of their last six at home and in five of their last six against teams with a losing record. Anytime the Jazz are on the floor, you have to lean toward the under being the choice. With both teams a bit fatigued, it pushes the needle more in that direction.