Bet of the Day – Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz, Feb. 5, 2011

Oklahoma City Thunder (+1.5) at Utah Jazz (-1.5), Over/Under 205.5

The Thunder won by 7 in the last match up between these teams in November. Oklahoma City has won 2 straight and now plays their 4th tough game in a row. Utah sits 3 games behind the Thunder in the Northwest division. They won last night in Denver and will be looking for revenge tonight at home.

Oklahoma City (32-17) have been a mediocre road team this year. They are 7-2 in the division. The Thunder average 45.8% shooting with 50 rebounds and 8 steals per game on offense. On defense, they allow 46.7% shooting with 50 rebounds and 7 steals per game. Oklahoma is an average defensive team and doesn’t shoot great on the road. Durant and the Thunder will need a big effort to win in Utah tonight.

Utah (30-21) is working out of a slump. A nice road win last night could kick-start the team. The Jazz average 46.2% shooting with 48 rebounds and 8 steals per game on offense. On defense, they allow 45.2% shooting with 50 rebounds and 7 steals per game. Deron Williams was back in the lineup last night and has played well against the Thunder in the past. Utah is banged up but expect a good effort at home tonight.

The Sagarin Ratings have Oklahoma City 93.09 and Utah 91.21. With the 3,58 home advantage, the fair line is Utah -1.7.

My NBA model has Utah 103.5 over Oklahoma City 101.62 for 205.12 total points. Utah is a better shooting team. The Thunder get to the free throw line effectively and shoot 82.9%. The Jazz are a better defensive team. Oklahoma is vulnerable to the 3-point shot. The key variance contributor is Oklahoma City’s defensive shooting percentage allowed. They have to keep Utah at or below their shooting average to win and cover tonight.

Tonight I am taking the home team minus the points. Here’s why. Utah was beat at home by 7 last time out against the Thunder. Utah won and covered last night. The Jazz have the advantage at point guard. Oklahoma City is a mediocre road team who is vulnerable on defense. I modeled the game at Utah -1.88. Bet Utah Jazz -1.5.

Follow me on Twitter for all my picks. Good Luck!

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