2016-2017 NBA Previews – Jazz Odds
Looking for 2016 Utah Jazz Predictions? We’ve got your back. Entering the 2016-17 NBA season, the Utah Jazz are going to be everybody’s sexy pick for monumental improvement. This team has been held back the past two seasons by health and the lack of a point guard — two things the franchise hopes it has taken care of through added depth from this past offseason.
Utah Jazz Season Preview
Head Coach: Quin Snyder
2015-16 Record: 40-42
Jazz Odds to NBA Title: +10000
Jazz Odds to Win Conference: +5000
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Utah Jazz Strengths:
The Jazz won’t be considered an elite franchise by the NBA’s casual followers. Avid followers, however, recognize that this team is actually quite strong against the best of the best.
In 2015-16, Utah split season series with the eventual champion Cleveland Cavaliers, they took the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors to overtime and even though they finished under .500, they found ways to compete for a spot in the playoffs late into the year.
This summer, the team addressed the biggest hole on the roster by bringing in George Hill from the Indiana Pacers.
The Jazz recognized that they’re young enough and filled with enough prospects that their No. 12 pick would be better utilized as a trade chip than an actual asset.
Utah ultimately turned that pick into Hill, who at 30 years old, will provide leadership and experience that this team has desperately needed at the point guard position.
Speaking of offseason acquisitions, the Jazz now have added depth they didn’t have last season.
At small forward, Joe Johnson is slated to start. He’s certainly lost a step since his days with the Atlanta Hawks, but he remains one of the game’s most clutch players and a great isolation scorer.
Another pickup comes in the form of Boris Diaw.
You have to wonder which Diaw we’re going to see — the one who thrived in Gregg Popovich’s system or the one who gained weight and lost a step and a half — but he’ll be a strong locker room presence regardless and will likely step right in and be a productive part of the rotation (especially in small ball settings).
In terms of the rotation, this has become an incredibly balanced group, but the true strength still lies in the frontcourt.
Gordon Hayward will switch between the 2 and the 3, but Favors and Gobert have combined to create an incredibly athletic, intimidating defensive tandem.
The defense has defined this team over the last season and a half, and while there’s certainly offensive firepower to be found, that will remain the theme of 2016-17.
Utah Jazz Weaknesses:
Fair or not, health was Utah’s No. 1 weakness last season. Former No. 5 pick Dante Exum sat out the entire year with a torn ACL, and Alec Burks, Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors each missed at least 20 games.
The depth on the roster this season should help make up the difference if the team deals with similar misfortunes, but no team can truly hope to compete at a high level if missing multiple key cogs from the rotation.
Although the offense should be improved this season, it’s unlikely that this group completely turns it around with its recent acquisitions.
The Jazz were a bottom-three team during the 2015-16 season in terms of scoring, and they struggled to earn easy buckets, as they collected only 9.3 points per contest on the fast break.
Another reason the offense struggles to create consistent production is because it lacks a true go-to option. Gordon Hayward averaged nearly 20 points per contest, but he doesn’t have a superstar’s mentality when it comes to taking over a game.
Behind him was Favors at 16.4 points per contest, but he only played in 62 games, and nobody else reached the 15-point-per-game mark.
Utah Jazz Betting Prediction: 46-36
If you look across the web, a 46-win prediction for the Jazz is low. Vegas released its over-under for the upcoming season, and with Utah set at 47.5, the consensus is that this team is going to push — if not exceed — 50 wins.
At this point, that number seems high. It’s taking a few things into account. For starters, it’s assuming health. It’s also assuming George Hill is the answer at the 1 spot.
Furthermore, it’s assuming that the Oklahoma City Thunder are going to flop and not contend for a Northwest Division title, which if you know Russell Westbrook, could very well be false.
Utah is going to be better this season, and odds are, it will find itself in the postseason. But look for this team to be in the six, seven, eight seed range — not competing for home-court advantage when the year is coming to a close.
2016 NBA Gambling
What do you think about our 2016 Utah Jazz predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in the 2016-2017 NBA Season!
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