Hornets vs. Jazz NBA expert prediction and odds for Thursday, Feb. 22 (Utah is elite at home)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Charlotte Hornets-Utah Jazz matchup in the NBA on Thursday.
Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (23) follows through.
Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (23) follows through. / Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Two teams on the outside of the playoff picture begin the second half of their NBA season on Thursday night in Utah. 

The Charlotte Hornets (13th in the East) take on the Utah Jazz (No. 11 in the West) and oddsmakers are expecting this to be a blowout in favor of Utah, favoring the team by nearly 10 points. 

Charlotte has been banged up all season, and it’s unclear if LaMelo Ball will return for the team in this matchup. The Hornets have struggled on the road, and now they run into one of the best home teams (especially to bet on) in the NBA this season

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Let’s break down the odds and my best bet for this matchup on Thursday: 

Hornets vs. Jazz odds, spread and total

Hornets vs. Jazz how to watch

  • Date: Thursday, Feb. 22
  • Time: 9:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Delta Center
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports Southeast, Root Sports Northwest
  • Hornets record: 13-41
  • Jazz record: 26-30

Hornets vs. Jazz injury reports

Hornets injury report 

  • Not submitted yet

Jazz injury report

  • No injuries to report

Hornets vs. Jazz key players to watch

Charlotte Hornets

Tre Mann: Since being traded to the Hornets from the Oklahoma City Thunder, Mann has shown why he was a first-round pick back in the 2021 NBA Draft. He’s averaging 13.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists in three games with Charlotte. 

Utah Jazz

Keyonte George: Are the Jazz looking to develop players more than make the playoffs at this point in the season? Utah has moved Keyonte George back into the starting lineup – replacing Kris Dunn. The first-round pick is averaging 11.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game, but he’s struggled with his shot – 39.1 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from 3. 

Hornets vs. Jazz prediction and pick

There are 10 instances this season where the Jazz have been favored at home, and the team is an impressive 7-3 ATS in those games.

Meanwhile, the Hornets are struggling mightily on the road, going 5-20 straight up and 8-17 ATS as road underdogs, the second-worst mark in the NBA.

The Hornets rank dead last in the NBA in net rating and defensive rating, a great sign for a Utah team that is in the bottom 10 in the league in defense. This could end up being a high-scoring game, but I can’t trust Charlotte to cover this number, especially if Ball ends up getting ruled out. 

The Hornets are in full tank mode, while the Jazz are in striking distance of a play-in tournament spot in the West. Trust Utah to handle business (once again) at home.  

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.