Jazz vs. Thunder Game 1 Prediction
The Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder will open their Western Conference Quarterfinals series tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET. Will Game 1 turn into a defensive struggle between the two teams?
513 Utah Jazz at 514 Oklahoma City Thunder
Sunday, April 15, 2018
TV: TNT, 6:30 p.m. ET
Public Betting Information
According to oddsmakers from online sportsbook YouWager, the Thunder are 4-point home favorites to beat the Jazz while the over/under sits at 206 points. As of this writing, 66% of the betting tickets wagered at online sportsbooks are on the Thunder to cover the spread. Meanwhile, 59% of the betting tickets are on the over.
Mitchell struggles for Jazz in final game before postseason
Donovan Mitchell couldn't get his shots to drop on Wednesday, going 6-of-23 from the field for 17 points, six boards, five assists, two steals and one 3-pointer. A victory would have made Utah the Northwest Division champs and handed them the No. 3 seed, but instead those honors went to the Blazers. This snaps a six-game win streak for the Jazz, but Mitchell has proven repeatedly that one bad game won't affect his confidence -- expect him to come out firing when Utah squares off vs. Oklahoma City in the first round of the playoffs.
Dante Exum (left leg) was also quiet in his 20 minutes off the bench on Wednesday, scoring six points on 2-of-6 FGs and 2-of-2 FTs with three assists and one rebound. Exum left early on Tuesday due to soreness in his lower left leg, but the fact that Utah let him play in a back-to-back situation confirms it's nothing serious. He's given the Jazz a nice change-of-pace addition to the second unit but has yet to provide reliable value.
Thunder's depth to be tested due to injuries
Alex Abrines (concussion) will not play against the Jazz on Saturday. He's still in the protocol and he didn't take on contact at practice on Saturday. Coach Billy Donovan didn't add much on Abrines at practice, but going through some work at practice should mean he's somewhat close.
Corey Brewer (knee) is listed as questionable for Sunday against the Jazz. He only did a little bit of practice on Saturday and wasn't able to practice on Friday. Brewer does plan to play in this game, and there's no talk of a setback. For now, it sounds like he's between questionable and probable for the home game.
The Jazz are just 1-4 against the spread in their last five games in Oklahoma City and have dropped five of their last seven games against the number in the last seven meetings in this series. That said, the underdog is 5-2 at the betting window in the last seven meetings.
The home team has covered the spread in 18 of the last 26 meetings between these two teams.
The under has been a great bet in this series and I'm banking on that trend continuing tonight in this matchup. The under is 21-7 in the last 28 meetings between these two teams and has cashed in 10 of the last 14 meetings in Oklahoma. Meanwhile, the under is 8-2 in the Thunder's last 10 games overall, is 8-3 in their last 11 games versus Western Conference foes and 7-1 in their last eight games after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
NBA Prediction: Jazz/Thunder under 206