Oklahoma City (40-26) at Utah (37-28)
When: Monday, March 11th, 2019
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena,
Salt Lake City, UT
Time: 9:05 ET | TV: FS Oklahoma,
AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mtn.
Opening Odds: Utah -3.5/227.5
The No. 3 through No. 8 teams in the NBA’s Western Conference are separated by just 3.5 games and as we know, the top four teams get homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Two of those teams in the logjam will battle on Monday night as the slumping Oklahoma City Thunder visit the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake. Oklahoma City had the third seed coming out of the All-Star Break, but have won just three times in nine games since and are now No. 4 – tied with the Portland Trail Blazers. The Thunder are trying to pull even on their four-game road trip, as they’ve lost two of the first three including a 118-110 setback at the L.A. Clippers on Friday night. The Jazz and Thunder played the first game after the All-Star Break and Oklahoma City pulled off a wild 148-147 double-overtime thriller. Utah went on to win their next four games – including a big win at Denver – but have dropped two of their last three including a 10-point loss at Memphis on Friday as 4.5-point favorites. Their other loss came as 9.5-point favorites at home to New Orleans last Monday. Oklahoma City is looking for a four-game season sweep of the series after falling to Utah in the first round of the playoffs last season.
All-Star forward Paul George was fined $25,000 by the NBA for speaking his mind a little too harshly after fouling out alongside Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams on Friday. “We haven’t gotten a fair whistle all year. … Somebody’s got to look into this. It’s getting out of hand, where we somehow just walk teams to the line. And there’s nobody that gets more contact.” Despite fouling out, Westbrook still produced 32 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, but George struggled with 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting and committed five turnovers. Reserve point guard Dennis Schroder has gone ice-cold since the All-Star Break, connecting on just 11-of-52 from 3-point range. The Thunder return home for one game on Wednesday (Brooklyn) before visiting Indiana the next night.
Star guard Donovan Mitchell, who is averaging 30.5 points in the eight games since the All-Star Break, poured in 38 on 12-of-24 shooting in Friday’s 114-104 loss to Memphis. However, Mitchell and the rest of his teammates allowed the lowly Grizzlies to shoot 51.1 percent from the floor. Small forward Jae Crowder produced his third double-double of the season Friday when he recorded 11 points and 11 boards off the bench. Power forward Derrick Favors was averaging 18.4 points in the five games leading up to his three-point effort on Friday. The Jazz will be at upset-minded Phoenix on Wednesday before returning home for two.
Neither team has played particularly well lately, but the Thunder have been worse, failing to cover the spread in nine of their last 10 overall. The Jazz also don’t want to get swept by the Thunder this year.
Pick: Jazz -3.5
Thunder are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 Monday games.
Thunder are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games playing on 2 days rest.
Thunder are 11-25 ATS in their last 36 vs. NBA Northwest.
Thunder are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up loss.
Thunder are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS loss.
Thunder are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
Thunder are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
Thunder are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 vs. Western Conference.
Thunder are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
Thunder are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
Jazz are 16-5-1 ATS in their last 22 games following a ATS loss.
Jazz are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games following a straight up loss.
Jazz are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 vs. Western Conference.
Jazz are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Jazz are 5-16-1 ATS in their last 22 Monday games.
Under is 6-1 in Thunder last 7 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
Under is 6-1 in Thunder last 7 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
Over is 8-2 in Thunder last 10 Monday games.
Under is 4-1 in Thunder last 5 games following a straight up loss.
Under is 5-2 in Thunder last 7 vs. Western Conference.
Over is 5-2 in Thunder last 7 vs. NBA Northwest.
Under is 5-2 in Thunder last 7 games following a ATS loss.
Under is 46-21 in Thunder last 67 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Under is 23-11 in Thunder last 34 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Under is 5-0 in Jazz last 5 Monday games.
Under is 4-0 in Jazz last 4 games following a ATS loss.
Under is 4-1 in Jazz last 5 vs. Western Conference.
Under is 10-2 in the last 12 meetings in Utah.
Thunder are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
Under is 17-8 in the last 25 meetings.