If you’ve been following SO/UP picks this season, you should be profitable so far. After going 5/6 Tuesday night, I improved to 11/18 on my picks this season.
Our friend Grant Afseth from Dallasbasketball.com matched me, going 5/6 as well. We invited him back to help break down Thursday night’s game between the Jazz and Hawks and Thunder and Lakers.
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Spread: Jazz -1.5 (+100) | Hawks +1.5 (-118)
Moneyline: Jazz (-110) | Hawks (-110)
Total: Under 220.5 (-110) | Over 220.5 (-110)
Injuries: Jazz G Donovan Mitchell—Day-to-day; Jazz F Royce O’Neal—Day-to-day; Jazz C Hassan Whiteside—Day-to-day
The Jazz are on a two-game win streak that includes a double-digit road win over the defending champion Bucks. Atlanta, on the other hand, is on the second night of a back-to-back that began with a road loss to the Nets. The Hawks have been right around league average offensively (107.9 PPG) and on defense (107.9). Oddly enough, through eight games their point differential is zero. Meanwhile, Utah is outscoring teams by 11.9 points per contest with one of the league’s top offenses (112.3 PPG) and toughest defenses (100.4 PPG).
Spread Pick: Jazz -1.5
It’s very difficult to bet against Utah the way they are playing right now. Utah is 5-2 ATS and is 3-1 on the road straight-up. Atlanta has yet to lose at home in three games, but the competition has not been on par with the visiting Jazz. The Hawks are 3-5 ATS. Like Utah, Atlanta has plenty of scorers capable of putting up 20+ points on any given night. This game ultimately comes down to Donovan Mitchell and Trae Young and, right now, Mitchell is playing like someone who simply won’t let his team lose.
Over/Under Pick: Under 220.5
Hawks games have gone over half of the time, but Jazz games have only hit the over twice in seven games. I expect Utah to dictate the pace of this game and hold Atlanta below its scoring average. The real concern for this game going over is if the Jazz go off for 120 points on the road, but I don’t see either team running away with the game and it stays under 220.5.
Prop: Utah First to 15 Points
The Jazz are one of the better volume three-point shooting teams in the NBA, averaging nearly 14 made threes per game, so they're capable of stringing together points very quickly. Utah is also the sixth-best first-quarter scoring team this season, so fast starts are part of their winning identity. The odds aren't particularly enticing, but Atlanta's poor starts makes me think this one hits.
Check out the latest NBA odds at SI Sportsbook
Guest picker and DallasBasketball.com writer Grant Afseth’s take:
Prop: Utah First to 25 Points
Thinking I’ll go Utah first to 25 since their odds are the same for each of the options. Utah has been an elite first quarter this season with a 20.6 net rating (4th) while the Atlanta Hawks have actually posted negative results with a -3.9 net rating (16th). Over the past five games, the Jazz have posted a 24.0 net rating (5th) in the opening period while the Hawks have worsened to a -19.0 net rating (26th) within the same stretch. Figure the greater stretch for Utah to potentially ward off a quick early run from Atlanta is the safer option, especially if you’re going to get the same odds, regardless.
Spread: Jazz -1.5
For the spread, I like the Jazz -1.5 given they’ve played some of the best basketball over the last five games and on the season overall. Utah has an 11.1 net rating (3rd) over the last five games compared to the struggling Hawks’ results of a -7.9 net rating (28th) — worse than the New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder. The Jazz have a well equipped team with Rudy Gobert as a defensive anchor to handle the Hawks’ 1-5 pick-and-rolls with Trae Young but there’s a situation where if the pull-up three-pointers and floaters in the gap are falling, he could put up a big scoring total. It will be intriguing to see if the Hawks will go small more to try to space out Gobert and to try to out-run the Jazz in the open-court. Either way, Gobert is the ultimate floor raiser with his paint protection and the Jazz have been clicking at a high-level overall with the Donovan Mitchell (36) and Mike Conley (30) backcourt coming off a combined 66-point outing against the Sacramento Kings.
Over/Under: Over 220.5
At some point, the Atlanta Hawks will need to start clicking offensively again, but I’ll take the over on the 220.5 total for this matchup. The Utah Jazz take a high volume of attempts from beyond the arc and players like Jordan Clarkson and Bojan Bogdanović have shot a combined 15-of-60 (25.0%) from deep in four road games so far. That’s going to change at some point and the Jazz already have averaged 109.5 points per game as the away team despite that level of production. The Hawks haven’t put up high-octane offensive numbers so far this season and could be the main factor preventing this matchup from reaching 221 points. However, they have averaged 117.7 points per game in three home games compared to their struggling 102.0 output on the road. Good news for the Hawks—this game is at State Farm Arena.
Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
Spread: Thunder +12.5 (-110) | Lakers -12.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Thunder (+600) | Lakers (-901)
Total: Under 216.5 (-11-) | Over 216.5 (-110)
Injuries: Thunder G Luguentz Dort—Day-to-day; Lakers F LeBron James—Day-to-day; Lakers F Anthony Davis—Day-today; Lakers C Dwight Howard—Day-to-day
Los Angeles is on a three-game winning streak after a rocky start to the season. Oklahoma City only has one win this season and it was against the Lakers last week. Los Angeles has dealt with injuries to start the season and LeBron James has missed a pair of games already. The Lakers barely have a positive point differential thanks to the third-highest scoring offense in basketball (113.4 PPG) and the fourth-worst defense (112.6 PPG). OKC has the second-lowest scoring offense (96.7 PPG) and a slightly below average defense (109.9 PPG).
Spread Pick: Thunder +12.5
The Lakers are tied for the worst ATS record (2-6) in the league. Only two of their games this season have been decided by 10 or more points—one win, one loss. They like to keep things interesting. The Thunder, meanwhile, have lost four games by double digits already and have the second-worst point differential in the NBA (-13.2). I think the Lakers exact revenge after losing to OKC just a week ago, but the spread is a little too big for my liking.
Over/Under Pick: Over 216.5
L.A. can’t defend, but they sure can score. Five of the Lakers’ eight games have hit the over this season while only two of OKC’s games have done so. It’s no coincidence the Thunder’s best offensive output this season came against Los Angeles when they scored 123 in an eight-point win. Oklahoma City doesn’t need to put up that many points again for this game to go over—just stay in the range of about 100 points and the Lakers’ offense ensures this game goes over.
Prop: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Over 22.5 Points
Remember what I said about L.A. being unable to defend? Gilgeous-Alexander is OKC’s best player and he’s coming off a 28-point game against the Clippers, who have much more capable healthy wing defenders than the Lakers do. He also poured in 27 the last time these two teams played. SGA has gone over this point total in half of his games this season and he keeps it up Thursday night.
Updated NBA odds at SI Sportsbook
DFS Value Plays Across Thursday Night Games
PG/SG Kyle Lowry, Heat (FD: $5,900 | DK: $7,700)
SG Josh Giddey, Thunder (FD: $6,000 | DK: $5,800)
SF/PF Mikal Bridges, Suns (FD: $5,200 | DK: $5,100)
PF/C John Collins, Hawks (FD: $6,900 | DK: $7,100)
PF/C Al Horford, Celtics (FD: $7,900 | DK $7,400)
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