NBA Free Premium Play 02/07
Pick: Utah Jazz (-6.5) (Play up to -7)
Odds: -103 / 1.97 on Pinnacle Sports OR -105 / 1.95 on Bookmaker
I took Atlanta last night in order to face Memphis and their inability to score against a good interior defensive team like the Hawks. This was what I said yesterday about Memphis:
"Memphis will be playing without Tyreke Evans and the team's offense depends on what he can produce near the basket. The Grizzlies were coming from four games in a row where they had scored over 100 points, including 50, 52, 42 and 50 points in the paint, but in their last game, they faced a Raptors team, a team that has one of the best interior defenses in the league, which only allowed Memphis to score 36 points in the paint. The Hawks' defense is struggling on the perimeter, but since Dedmon and Muscala returned from injury, they have been very good at protecting the rim. Hence, I expect Memphis to struggle offensively."
Well, now against a Jazz team with Gobert back at playing at a very high level, it seems obvious that the Grizzlies will struggle offensively again against an elite interior defense team. On the other hand, Utah is on a roll offensively with great tempo, a drive and kick approach and while getting quality shots all over the floor. Rubio is playing at an amazing level, so is Hood and Mitchell is also back at 100% after being ill. Memphis is really struggling at defending the pick n roll ball handler plays with inexperienced guards having big minutes and Atlanta took advantage of that last night, with Schroder having an efficient game with 9-15 FG and 5/0 A/TO ratio. Utah is averaging 128.5 in offensive rating over the last four games and with great inside/out numbers, they'll have a clear edge on offense, which should give them an easy win . I'm taking Utah .