NBA Betting Friday: Utah Jazz at Philadelphia 76ers


Utah Jazz at Philadelphia 76ers
Tip off: (ESPN) 7 PM EST, Friday, Nov 16, 2012
Spread: PHI -1.5
Total: 186
M/L: PHI -125, UTA +105

Betting Odds from Bookmaker

PHILADELPHIA

The 4-4 Philadelphia 76ers are still without Andrew Bynum. Jrue Holiday has stepped up in his absence, as the Sixers still wait to come together as a full unit with their starting center intact. Holiday has averaged 18.3 points per game and 8.8 assists per game, and may be making a bid to be an NBA All-Star if it keeps up. He’s playing nearly 38 minutes a night and has a Player Efficiency Rating of 17.6, which ranks the highest of all Sixer players.

The trio of 6th man Thaddeus Young, swingman Dorell Wright and Ohio State product Evan Turner average an additional 35.2 points combined. But without Andrew Bynum, this team will come nowhere near its vast potential.

Bynum is rightfully the second best center in the NBA behind Dwight Howard, and the Sixers obtained him at a low cost, dealing Andre Iguodala, Nikola Vucevic, Mo Harkless and a first round pick. In obtaining Bynum, the Sixers may now have an inside/outside tandem with Bynum/Holiday that will rival the better tandems in the league.

Turner is also key, as he must replace Andre Iguodala’s play making in the Sixer offense and be a key isolation player late in games. Turner must continue to get to the basket and create opportunities for himself and teammates. Turner is averaging 3.4 assists per game, but could reasonably average five per game. His PER is under 12, and should be over 16. There’s room for improvement in Turner, and the Sixers.

UTAH

The 4-5 Utah Jazz are likely a team in transition. All three of their top three scorers are free agents this offseason, and both Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are sure to receive immense attention at the trade deadline.

Mo Williams leads the Jazz in scoring and is showing he still has the talent to be at least a top three option on a .500 team. He’s putting up 16.5 points per game, dishing out 7.1 assists per night, and getting over a steal per game. His PER of 16.8 ranks behind only Millsap and Jefferson, with 22.4 and 18.8 respectively.

Millsap has been one of the best undersized power forwards in the NBA over the last three seasons. This year, he’s averaging 16.1 points per game, 9.7 rebounds per night, over a steal and over a block and a half per game, while playing nearly 33 minutes per night. Jefferson has had a rough start, compared to his past production, but is still shooting 49.1 percent from the floor and has an adjusted field goal percentage of 53%.

Gordon Hayward has been particularly effective from two-point range, hitting 48.6 percent from inside the arc, and is averaging 13.9 points per game, the fourth highest on the Jazz.

Randy Foye has been an effective combo guard off the bench, while Marvin Williams and Derrick Favors average roughly 10 per game, as well.

Enes Kanter hasn’t quite made the strides in year two that many expected, and is seeing only 14 minutes per game so far. Somehow, Jamaal Tinsley is back in the NBA, and even started a game.

The Jazz still aren’t likely to make any waves in the Playoffs, and they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs last year. The real story to their season will be what happens with Jefferson and Millsap, and in the meantime, they’ll continue to win roughly half their games with a talented mismatched cast featuring too many forwards and mediocre guards.

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