Thunder vs. Jazz NBA expert prediction and odds for Thursday, Jan. 18 (Utah is dominant at home)

The Utah Jazz are one of the best home teams in the NBA this season. Can they keep that going on Thursday against the Oklahoma City
Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen.
Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen. / Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz are the hottest team in the NBA right now, winning six straight games and nine of their last 10 to move to two games over .500 on the season. 

The team has done it with some home cooking, going 15-5 at Delta Center this season. Now, the Jazz get to host the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference – the Oklahoma City Thunder – who are fresh off of two losses in Los Angeles earlier this week. 

Oklahoma City will have its whole rotation ready to go for this game, which could make things tough on the Jazz – even with how well they’ve been playing. 

Utah finds itself as a home underdog, but is that just an invitation to bet on the squad?

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Let’s break down the odds and my best bet for this game: 

Thunder vs. Jazz odds, spread and total

Thunder vs. Jazz how to watch

  • Date: Thursday, Jan. 18
  • Time: 9:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Delta Center
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports Oklahoma, Root Sports Northwest
  • Thunder record: 27-13
  • Jazz record: 22-20

Thunder vs. Jazz injury reports

Thunder injury report

  • None to report

Jazz injury report

  • Taylor Hendricks – out
  • Johnny Juzang – out
  • Micah Potter – out
  • Brice Sensabaugh – out
  • Jason Preston – out

Thunder vs. Jazz key players to watch

Oklahoma City Thunder

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: We’ve seen back-to-back down-scoring games from SGA (19 and 24 points), but now he gets a Utah team that is still just 19th in the NBA in defensive rating this season. Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 31.0 points per game this season and should bounce back in a game any time now. 

Utah Jazz

Lauri Markkanen: Make it six straight games for Lauri Markkanen where he’s scored over 20 points (averaging 27.2 points per game over that stretch) all resulting in Utah wins. The Jazz are elite at home, and so is Markkanen, posting averages of 24.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game at Delta Center this season. 

Thunder vs. Jazz prediction and pick

To be honest, Utah is the best team in the NBA at home to bet on. The Jazz are dominant against the spread, going 16-4 in 20 games.

Now, the Thunder have a tough task ahead of them as road favorites, where they are just 4-5 ATS this season.

Oklahoma City has seen the market adjust to it being one of the best teams in the NBA this season, but has the market adjusted to Utah’s run? 

I don’t think so. 

Over the last 10 games, the Jazz rank No. 3 in the NBA in net rating, a whole 4.1 points better than the Thunder, who are still No. 7 in that stat. 

This has been a tough road trip for OKC, who is playing a third game in four days. Meanwhile, the Jazz had an off day on Tuesday after their game was postponed against Golden State. 

I lean with the Jazz to cover the spread 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.