Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) goes to the basket against Washington Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas (4) and center Ian Mahinmi (28) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Washington.
Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) goes to the basket against Washington Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas (4) and center Ian Mahinmi (28) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Washington.|Nick Wass | Associated Press
NBA

NBA Thursday pick: Jazz vs Pelicans as the countdown to Zion Williamson officially begins

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

1-1 Wednesday, 66-70-1 overall.

Jazz (-5) @ Pelicans (225)

Pick: Pelicans +5

The Utah Jazz are the hottest team in the NBA coming into Thursday night with a 10-game winning streak. They’ve vaulted into third in the Western Conference after 40 games and figure to be vying for homecourt advantage in the opening round of the playoffs for almost all of the second half. So why are we taking the lowly Pelicans against Utah tonight? Well believe it or not, Utah nearly had this streak halted by the Pelicans 10 days ago in Salt Lake City. The Jazz survived a 128-126 shootout at home against a New Orleans team that has won and covered three out of four since. We’re getting a young Pelicans team that has to be gaining confidence catching five points at home when they just lost by two points to the Jazz on the road. The morale inside the Pelicans locker room must have been aided this week too by the news that No. 1 Overall Pick Zion Williamson is expected to make his season debut next week. Everyone knows the Jazz are hot, but the Pelicans have been playing some sneaky good basketball lately and we like them to at least cover this number tonight and have a good chance to end Utah’s long winning streak with Utah wrapping up a short road trip.

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