Utah Continues Rough Road Trip: Utah Jazz at Philadelphia 76ers Expert Picks

Utah Jazz at Philadelphia 76ers
Jan 22, 2011 at 7:30 PM EST
Opening Line:  Philadelphia -1.5
Current Line:  Philadelphia -2
Opening Total: 198
Current Total:  198
Opening Moneyline:  Phi -125 / Uta +105
Current Moneyline:  Phi -125 / Uta +105

Iguodala is averaging 14 points per game this season

This Jazz trip has not unraveled the way the Jazz hoped it would.  They’ve dropped every game of this Eastern Conference road trip and will have their last shot at saving it tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers, which might be just the perfect remedy since they have won 5 straight against the Sixers.  Philadelphia has lost their last 2 games by a total of 4 points and more than anything are just having trouble executing in close games.

“We always do a good job of fighting back, but late in games we’ve got to know how to close out games,”  Sixers forward Andre Iguodala said.

Utah last lost big to the Celtics and have allowed 107 points per game during the three game skid that they are riding.  The Sixers have a potent enough offense and it if Utah continues to play defense as they have, Philadelphia could easily run away with this one.  Philadelphia is a very respectable 12-7 at home and Utah is a good road team at 12-9.  It should be a good game but it is the second night of a back to back on the road for Utah, so it’s easy to see why NBA Oddsmakers set the line in the favor of the Sixers.

Some betting trends:

Utah is 1-5 SU in their last 6 on the road and the total has gone OVER in 10 of their last 14 games against the SIxers.  Utah is 5-0 SU in their last 5 games against the Sixers and the total has gone OVER In 5 of their past 7 road games in Philly.  Utah is 6-1 SU in their last 7 games against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Philly is 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games and the total has gone OVER in 6 of their last 8 games.  Phillly is 2-4 SU in their last 6 games and 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games at home.  The total has gone OVER in 4 of Philly’s last 5 home games.  Philadelphia is 0-5 SU in their last 5 against the Jazz and 1-5 ATS in their lats 6 against Utah.  Philly is 1-6 ATS in the last 7 home games against Utah.

Key matchups:

Deron Williams vs. Jrue Holiday

Both of these point guards are on the bigger end of the spectrum of point guards, with Deron Williams being 6’3″ and Holiday being a lanky 6’4″  They’ll have a good battle tonight and both are somewhat similar players, even if Holiday is considerably faster.  Deron Williams makes up for his average foot speed with above average moves on the dribble, and Holiday does a great job of staying between his man and the basket.  Deron Williams is averaging a career high 22 points per game and still is at nearly 10 assists per night, and it could easily be argued that he is the top point guard in the entire league.  Holiday hopes to have a future as bright, but in fairness he wasn’t drafted quite as high as Williams, nor were the expectations anywhere near as high.

Paul Millsap vs. Elton Brand

Millsap and Brand, like the guard matchup, are similar players.  They are both undersized power forwards who play much “bigger” than their physical stature would suggest they would.  Brand is not the player he once was, but he’s still very good, and Millsap has had a number of big games this year, including a 46 point effort in a win over Miami.  Brand will look to hit the offensive glass hard, as he averages 3.2 of his 8.7 boards on the offensive end.  He doesn’t take bad shots and rarely turns the ball over.  By all estimations, he has been a pleasant surprise for the Sixers, offsetting the mild disappointment they feel with draft pick Evan Turner.

The Jazz have struggled on the road recently, but you have to wonder if the fact that they have a superior level of talent to the Sixers will eventually take over and produce a Jazz win.  NBA oddsmakers have set the line in Philadelphia’s favor, but Utah will definitely be in this one.

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