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Pelicans, Jazz Tip Off NBA Restart In Orlando

The back of Zion Williamson in his New Orleans Pelicans jersey

The NBA season finally resumes Thursday when the Pelicans take on the Jazz at Walt Disney World. Rookie phenom Zion Williamson is a game-time decision as New Orleans looks to begin a late postseason push, while Utah is adjusting to life without second-leading scorer Bojan Bogdanovic.

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Utah Jazz vs New Orleans Pelicans
  • Date/Time: July 30, 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: HP Field House
  • TV Coverage: TNT
  • Opening Odds: Pick’em | O/U 223 (Line History)
  • Jazz vs Pelicans Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Money has consistently come in on the Pelicans since oddsmakers opened this game as a pick‘em over a month ago. New Orleans had been bet up to as high as -3 before the line moved back to -2.5 as of last night. If this line holds, it’ll mark the first time the Pelicans have been favored over Utah in the last 10 meetings.

Utah News & Notes

The Jazz could still finish anywhere from second to seventh in the West, but the players don’t seem motivated by seeding without home-court advantage at stake. “It’s just more important that we take each opponent seriously — no matter who it is — and try to put the best brand of basketball on the floor,” veteran guard Mike Conley told reporters.

Tuning up for the playoffs will be of much greater concern for Utah coach Quin Snyder as he looks to fill the void left by Bojan Bogdanovic’s season-ending wrist surgery in May. Sixth man Joe Ingles is expected to take Bogdanovic’s spot in the starting five, but Snyder experimented with multiple looks during the Jazz’s three exhibition games, including a big-man lineup featuring both Rudy Gobert and Tony Bradley.

Many expect the Jazz to play more uptempo in the absence of Bogdanovic, who averaged more than 20 points per game this season. “We look really good when we push the ball,” said Ingles, noting Utah has been toying with four-guard lineups as well.

New Orleans News & Notes

After leaving the NBA bubble July 16 due to a family emergency, Williamson returned Friday and served a four-day quarantine before resuming practice Tuesday. The power forward is officially listed as a game-time decision, but with New Orleans going into action 3.5 games behind Memphis for the final playoff spot in the West, it’s tough to imagine Williamson sitting out. The Pels are 10-9 with Williamson in their lineup this season and just 18-27 without him.

New Orleans looks to carry momentum from its 3-0 performance in exhibition action when it averaged 114 points per outing and outscored opponents by an average of more than 22 points per game. In the Pelicans’ final scrimmage on Monday, J.J. Redick scored 20 points in a five-minute span against the Bucks, going 4-for-5 from behind the arc. “It just feels like you can’t miss. Please give me the ball on every possession and I’m going to try to shoot,” said Redick, who was eight of 15 from distance during the exhibition slate.

Betting Pick: OVER 224

There should be no shortage of early energy, the Jazz are expected to play faster than usual and the Pelicans have gone OVER in 22 of their last 32 games.

Shark Bites
  • The Jazz are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog.
  • The OVER is 22-10 in the Pelicans’ last 32 games.
  • The Jazz are 9-4-1 ATS in their last 14 games against the Pelicans.