The Pelicans are 5-8 both straight up and against the spread. The Jazz stand at 10-4 overall, and they are 9-5 against the spread.
In the last meeting between these two, the Jazz pulled away in the third quarter for a 16-point win over New Orleans.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Pelicans-Jazz odds in the rematch.
NBA Odds: Pelicans-Jazz Odds
New Orleans Pelicans +7 (-115)
Utah Jazz -7 (-105)
Over 216.5 Points (-115)
Under 216.5 Points (-105)
Why The Pelicans Could Cover The Spread
In their last matchup, the Pelicans were killed by two things: Rudy Gobert’s offensive rebounds and the Jazz’s sharpshooting.
New Orleans gave up six offensive rebounds to the French big man, who recorded 22 points, 10 points above his season average.
This is unlikely to occur again. The Pelicans have been the best team in the league at cleaning the defensive glass, allowing the fewest offensive rebounds per game.
The Pelicans need to focus on guarding the perimeter if they want to have any chance winning this game.
New Orleans has guarded the paint fairly well this season. They’ve allowed the fifth-least field goals made in the league this season. Their problem lies beyond the three-point line.
Shooters have lit up the Pels time and time again. Opposing teams have made more three-pointers against the Pelicans than any team in the NBA.
The only chance New Orleans has at winning this game is funneling Jazz shooters into the arms of Adams and Williamson. If they can prevent too many open looks and chase guys away from the three-point line, they’ll stick around in this game.
Why The Jazz Could Cover The Spread
This is a dream matchup for Utah’s offense.
Utah shoots the fourth most three-pointers in the league, and they connect at the league’s third-highest rate. The mismatch was on full display in their last matchup, with the Jazz connecting on a whopping 21 three-pointers to pull away from New Orleans.
The Jazz might not get 21 threes again, but they don’t need that many to win this game.
Utah’s defense has been elite all season. In their last five matchups, opponents have broken 100 points only twice. The most points they’ve given up over that span is 105.
In a day and age where teams regularly break 110, this is an impressive feat.
Unlike New Orleans, Utah has excelled at locking down both the paint and the perimeter. The Jazz have held opponents to the third-lowest field-goal percentage in the league and the fifth lowest three-point percentage.
Against a New Orleans offense that has struggled to put points on the board, it seems unlikely that the Pelicans will give the Jazz a fight.
If New Orleans goes through another cold stretch like they did in the last matchup, this game will get out of hand.
Final Pelicans-Jazz Prediction & Pick
The Jazz’s strengths in this contest match up perfectly with the Pelicans’ weaknesses. I can’t see this New Orleans offense breaking a defense that has locked down superior opponents. I’ll take the Jazz to repeat Tuesday’s performance and get another double-digit win to cover the seven-point spread.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: UTA 113, NOP 99