One of the most competitive series of the opening round is expected to be the No. 4 Oklahoma City Thunder against the No. 5 Utah Jazz, and so far it has lived up to that billing. The teams split a pair of games in Oklahoma City and now will head to Utah for Game 3.
The Jazz get home games the next two times out and would love to take control of the series by winning them both. However, these teams are evenly matched and it wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see a split and for this series to eventually go seven games.
The third game is a big one as each side wants to grab control. Utah will be the favorite now that it is at home but it’s hard to count out a Thunder team that has stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George leading the way in NBA basketball betting.
Game 3 of this NBA Playoff Series is on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 10 p.m. ET at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. The contest will be nationally televised on ESPN.
We'll have NBA odds at Betcris available for every game of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.
The Jazz are listed as four-point favorites to capture Game 3, as the oddsmakers believe the home court advantage is enough to tilt the scale in their favor. Oklahoma City has gotten the majority of the action early on to cover the spread.
The scoring total is listed at 207 points, which does seem a little bit high. Don’t be surprised if the “under” is taken consistently by bettors at that total.
Utah is the -180 favorite on the moneyline to win this game and take a 2-1 series lead. Oklahoma City is the +155 underdog. The money has come in pretty evenly on both sides thus far in NBA basketball wagering.
Last Time Out
The Jazz evened up the series by capturing a 102-95 victory in Game 2. Donovan Mitchell’s availability was in doubt due to injury but he ended up playing and had a starring role in the victory, Mitchell finished with 28 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter, to lead Utah to the win.
The Jazz outscored Oklahoma City 28-16 in the final quarter after entering with a deficit. It was a huge win for Utah to knot the series at 1.
Westbrook had 19 points, 13 assists and four steals while George added 18 points and 10 rebounds, but both shot poorly from the field and didn’t play well in the fourth when the Jazz made their run. Both players are capable of bouncing back with a vengeance in Game 3, and if that happens, Oklahoma City would be in good shape to re-take the series lead.
56. That’s how many rebounds Utah collected in Game 2, which was 10 more than Oklahoma City. Utah doesn’t have as many talented scorers as the Thunder but dominating on the boards and playing solid defense is the formula that leads to the team’s success.
The Jazz followed that blueprint in Game 2 and will aim to do so again next time out. Derrick Favors had 16 rebounds in Game 2 while Rudy Gobert added 15, and if they can dominate down low consistently, Utah will have a great shot at winning this series.
Oklahoma City has to rebound as a group because it can ill afford to let Utah have such a rebounding advantage once again.
Free NBA ATS Picks
Oklahoma City has the star power between Westbrook, George and Carmelo Anthony, but Utah is the more well-rounded team. Mitchell’s health is important but he looks fine moving forward.
As long as he can be the focal point on offense, the Jazz slot in nicely around him. Take Utah to win this game and come away with a narrow cover of the spread by hitting some key free throws down the stretch. The “under” is the pick as the defenses on both sides should do a good job of forcing tough shots consistently in NBA basketball betting.
NBA ATS Pick: Jazz 98, Thunder 95
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