Youthful Kings Open Against Tough Jazz D

Our free NBA pick for today features the Jazz vs. Kings. Although we advise leaning Sacramento against the spread, the best bet involves the over-under in the contest. Review, score prediction, and analysis here:

Line Movement:

The public is hammering the Jazz early, moving the line to -8.5 from a -7.5 opener within hours. Nearly 80 percent of tickets across the top online betting sites are backing Utah as of publication. The total opened at 208, but is slowly sliding south, currently settled between 206 and 207 depending on the shop. The action is split 40/60 in favor of the UNDER.

Consensus:

Oddsmakers expect the Kings to finish cellar dwellers again in the Western Conference, Vegas dangling a 25.5 over-under win-total. Loaded with young players, the roster will need two or three years of maturation to compete according to head coach Dave Joerger. The front office demands youth play the majority of minutes. It will be a roller-coaster season.

Sacramento’s youngsters can’t schedule a tougher opener than the Jazz. Utah, which went 5-0 in the preseason, just whipped the Kings 132-93 in the final game of the exhibition period. The defense stuffed Sacramento early, taking a 71-35 lead into the half. Talk about pure annihilation.

Bettors should expect a much closer outcome tonight. Low-scoring production is a hallmark of recent head-to-head battles against the Jazz. Since Joerger took over as head coach, Sacramento has cracked the century mark once in seven meetings during regulation time. The Kings, averaging 94.6 points per game, shoot 44.6 percent from the floor in the matchup.

Utah, meanwhile, looked like a different animal in the preseason, leading the NBA in points per game (123.8), offensive rating (113.4), and 3-point percentage (42.1).

Pick:

You can bet head coach Quin Snyder will emphasize the team’s bread-and-butter defense once the regular season tips off. Pick UNDER 207 as your best bet.