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Utah Jazz Predictions: 2010 NBA Future Lines

Utah Jazz Betting Odds – NBA Basketball Futures – Gambling Picks

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Oklahoma City Thunder

Sportsbook.com Jazz Odds to win NBA title – 40/1
Key players added – Al Jefferson, Raja Bell, Earl Watson, Francisco Elson
Key players lost – Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver

With Carlos Boozer walking in free agency, the Jazz have a tremendous hole to fill. Boozer gave Utah four straight double-double seasons, and he’ll be missed both offensively and on the glass. Utah ranked 12th in rebounding last season, so there’s a reasonable chance it will decline in that department in 2010-11.

The void left by Boozer will be difficult to fill, but the Jazz are hoping Andrei Kirilenko can help. Kirilenko simply hasn’t been the player he was in 2003-2005, but he shot well last season (50.6 percent from the field) and, perhaps most importantly, is entering a contract year. That’s usually the best motivation in the NBA, so there’s certainly a chance “AK-47” could challenge his career highs (16.5 points, 8.1 rebounds per game). He’ll definitely get the minutes to do it.

Utah also has one of the best point guards in the league. Deron Williams will almost certainly be expected to contribute more on offense, though he wasn’t exactly dragging his feet. Williams posted 18.7 points and 10.5 assists per game last year. His scoring will surely rise, but don’t be shocked to see a drop in field goal percentage; teams will be able to defend him might tighter now that Boozer is gone. Online Sports Betting at Sportsbook

The frontcourt will be thin until Mehmet Okur returns. The center—second on the Jazz in rebounding last season—ruptured his Achilles last in the year and could be out until January. Utah smartly went out and got Al Jefferson from the Timberwolves. Jefferson has three double-digit rebounding seasons in his six year career, and he averaged 9.3 per game for Minny last year. He’s a safe bet to lead Utah on the glass.

An interesting addition is Raja Bell, who appeared in just six games last season. Bell is an explosive scoring threat who will likely be the sixth man. Paired with Williams and C.J. Miles, Utah should feature a pretty formidable back court.

Ultimately, the loss of Boozer may not have hurt the Jazz as much as was expected. Acquiring Jefferson was a shrewd move, and signing Bell in free agency was a nice surprise. Throw in a highly motivated Kirilenko and the return of Okur in the New Year, and Utah actually boasts pretty solid depth.

Regardless, the Jazz don’t look any better than they were last season. It’s hard to imagine them rising or falling very much in 2010-11. Roughly 50 wins and another playoff appearance are likely.

Surprising stat: Al Jefferson has missed 85 games in his six-year career.
Strengths: Plenty of depth, a dangerous backcourt.
Weaknesses: Besides swapping Boozer for Jefferson, little has changed. If Utah could get over the hump before, how can it now?
Playoffs? A sluggish start could bury them in the West. Otherwise, pencil them in.
Win total projection for 2010-11: 48-52 games



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About Ian Van Den Hurk

Ian Van Den Hurk has covered amateur and pro sports for years, including a successful run handicapping anything from football to mixed martial arts. Looking for more sports betting tips and expert sports handicapping articles from Ian V? We've got your back...