The NBA regular season continues with games on Friday. The Utah Jazz will hit the road and take on the Charlotte Hornets. It's time to continue our NBA odds series and make a Jazz-Hornets prediction and pick.
The Jazz are fourth in the Western Conference, but they are coming off back-to-back losses. The Hornets have been a roller coaster and are mostly on the upswing right now, winners of five in a row before a loss in their last game against the New York Knicks.
Here are the Jazz-Hornets NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NBA Odds: Jazz-Hornets Odds
Utah Jazz: -3.5 (-115)
Charlotte Hornets: +3.5 (-105)
Over: 229 (-110)
Under: 229 (-110)
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Why The Jazz Could Cover The Spread
The Utah Jazz are having another solid season at 45-28, which has them clinging to the No. 4 seed in the West. The Jazz have struggled recently against some tough opponents, though, and they are coming off a 28-point loss to the Boston Celtics after losing to the Brooklyn Nets right before that. Utah's competition won't get easier as we start getting toward the postseason, so this team is going to need to step things up.
The main problem with this Jazz team, as made abundantly clear in their loss to Boston, is that they lean far too heavily on their stars. Mitchell and Gobert can only do so much for this team and need help from their teammates on both ends of the floor. In their defeat against the Celtics, Donovan Mitchell had 37 points, while Gobert notched a double-double. However, the Utah bench only combined for a total of 20 points, 10 of which were scored by Jordan Clarkson. Meanwhile, the Jazz gave up 125 points as they got roasted time and again defensively from the very start of the game.
Part of the reason this team has struggled to involve their bench is because of injuries. Currently, the Jazz have four players listed on their injury report, with key scorer Bojan Bogdanovic out. Of those four players, only Hassan Whiteside is listed as questionable for Friday's game. Injuries may be a concern for this team, but they should still have enough talent to be able to bounce back against a Hornets squad that doesn't have a whole lot of beef down low.
Why The Hornets Could Cover The Spread
The Charlotte Hornets have been all over the place this season. They showed a lot of promise early on but then went through a major slump, only to now hit their stride again of late. Through 73 games, they just barely have a winning record of 37-36. The loss to the Knicks was an unfortunate setback given how well Charlotte had been playing as this team jockeys for position in the play-in tournament.
In the matchup against the Knicks in which Julius Randle didn't even play, the Hornets were a pretty big favorite to come out ahead. Unfortunately, Charlotte suffered a letdown performance, with LaMelo Ball the only Hornet to hit 20-plus points (32) and the defense getting crushed by the shorthanded Knicks. Additionally, the Hornets had a very poor shooting night, making under 29% of their 46 3-point attempts. While this may have been an outlier performance based on the recent stretch of games, it was not a good look for Charlotte in a game that should have been a win on paper.
At least Charlotte is nearly at full health. The only injured player on this roster is Gordon Hayward, whose absence is nothing new at this point. The Hornets will essentially have all their players available on Friday and should be able to make this game a close one on their home floor. The Jazz are a tough opponent, but when this Charlotte team is on they can be very competitive. The Hornets will look to push the pace and make life difficult on Gobert and Utah's defense, and if they can shoot better from deep they should have a chance.
Final Jazz-Hornets Prediction & Pick
This is an interesting pick. The Jazz are a really good team, but they have been struggling recently. Charlotte, on the other hand, is a solid team that has been winning games but is coming off a tough loss. Will that loss cause the Hornets to spiral downwards, or will they get right back on track? For this situation, you need to bet on the better team and the better team is Utah. Pick the Jazz to win and cover on the road.
FINAL JAZZ-HORNETS PICK: Utah Jazz -3.5 (-115)
FINAL JAZZ-HORNETS SCORE PREDICTION: Jazz 119 – Hornets 112