Best in the West
Jazz vs Hornets Betting preview: The Utah Jazz (17-5) travel to Charlotte (10-12) for a two-game series against the Hornets. The Jazz are one of the hottest teams in the NBA and has taken the league by storm as they sit in first place in the Western Conference. The Jazz currently have the best record in the NBA.
The Hornets have a lot to be happy about even though they are below .500. The Hornets surprised many around the NBA when signing small forward Gordon Hayward to a four-year $120 million contract this offseason.
Hayward was an All-Star caliber player back in his days in Utah, but when signing with the Boston Celtics he was never able to carve out a definite role and suffered a severe ankle injury. Hayward leads the Hornets with 22.9 points per game and it will be interesting to see what he does against the team that drafted him.
What’s Powering the Jazz?
A major reason for the Utah Jazz success is guard Donovan Mitchell. The “Spida” as fans call him leads the Jazz in scoring averaging 23.3 points per game. Mitchell paired with one of if not the most dominant Center in the league Rudy Gobert team up for an incredible duo.
Like Gordon Hayward, Gobert agreed to a monster contract extension this offseason signing a five-year $205 million deal and so far Gobert is averaging a double-double with 13.3 points per game and 13.4 rebounds per game. The Hornets matchup well with Mitchell as they are a team filled with quality guards. Look for the Jazz to focus on getting the ball to Gobert and him being a mismatch down low.
Rookie of the Year?
LaMelo Ball might have been in the shadow of his brothers Lonzo and LiAngelo’s spotlight, but now that he is officially in the NBA it is clear that he is an incredibly talented player. The youngest of the Ball brothers traveled overseas before being eligible for the NBA and a major concern was if their talent overseas was challenging Ball or when he came to the NBA if he would be locked down.
Ball fell to the third pick in the draft behind Timberwolves Anthony Edwards and James Wiseman. With the absence of Terry Rozier due to injury, Ball has been able to start two out of nineteen games this season, but his production off the bench has been good. Ball currently is the front runner for NBA Rookie of the Year scoring 12.7 points per game, 5.9 rebounds per game, and 6.0 assists per game.
The younger Ball brother is destined for greatness and at just 19 has accomplished a triple-double and has made a serious impact on the Hornets.
Last Five Games
The Utah Jazz have won 10 of their last 11 games.
Jazz -7.5 (-110)
Hornets +7.5 (-110)
Prediction: Jazz -7.5
The Utah Jazz has shown that they are a much different and better basketball team this year. The Hornets are also a young talented team, but right now they don’t stand a chance of stopping Mitchell and Gobert. I look forward to seeing how LaMelo Ball and Donovan Mitchell play against each other as they are two of the NBA’s next generation of great guards.
This might seem like a little bit of a large spread but the Jazz is on fire this season. I will note that the Jazz will be coming off a night game the night before, but should still be able to get things done. Take Jazz -7.5.