The Oklahoma City Thunder looked finished in Game 5, down by 25 points in the third quarter. Many already began wondering if the super trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony would break up after losing a first-round series against the Utah Jazz.
Then Westbrook got hot. The reigning MVP scored 33 points in the second half and 45 overall to lead his team back from a seemingly insurmountable deficit. Now the Thunder go on the road with a chance to tie up the series.
Utah, meanwhile, has maintained a solid grip on this matchup from the outset. But now they must dig deep and try to rebound from surrendering what should’ve been a series-clinching victory.
Keep reading as I cover both teams’ chances of winning along with the odds on this game. Also note that you can bet on the Thunder vs. Jazz at GTBets.
Oklahoma City Utah Odds – Game 6 First Round Playoffs Series, April 27 at 10:35pm
- Oklahoma City +5.5 (-109) / +200 moneyline
- Utah -5.5 (-113)/ -244 moneyline
- Over 206 (-109)
- Under 206 (-109)
Why the Oklahoma City Thunder will Cover +5.5
Russell Westbrook won the league MVP last season after becoming just the second player to record a triple-double. He bettered this mark in the 2017-18 season by becoming the only player to average a triple-double in two seasons.
There’s no question that Westbrook is the star of Oklahoma City. And he backed this up by leading his team to victory when they were down by 25 points midway through the third quarter.
“It was win or go home,” he said. “Regardless of what is going on in the game, you have to give yourself a chance to win, and I thought our guys did a good job of that tonight. They did an amazing job of sticking together.”
Gone were the distractions that Westbrook had been immersed in throughout the series, including his personal vendetta to shut down Ricky Rubio. This led to a particularly bad Game 4, and he was assessed a technical during an ugly loss.
All seems forgiven after he scored 45 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and dished out seven assists. He also got plenty of help from Paul George, who scored 34 points and grabbed eight rebounds. George feels that the reason why his team came back from such a huge deficit is that they never gave up.
“We just never quit,” he said. “We never quit. I can’t pinpoint one thing we did wrong. We just never got down on ourselves, regardless of the lead they built and the shots they were making. We could surge back and we did.”
But one missing star for Oklahoma City is definitely Carmelo Anthony, who only scored seven points on 2-for-6 shooting. Anthony was subbed out midway through the third quarter with the Thunder down 71-53. He didn’t see the court again until Oklahoma City was winning 88-87.
Anthony played just 26 minutes in total, which is a far cry from Westbrook and George playing almost entire game. Assuming Oklahoma City can get all three of their stars on the same page and playing well, then they have a good chance to cover their spread and possibly even win a tough road game.
Oklahoma City ATS Record: 2-3 in first-round playoffs series; 0-2 on the road
Why Utah Jazz Will Cover +5.5
Jae Crowder was particularly good in this contest, scoring a playoff career-high 27 points. Donovan Mitchell added 23 points, while Joe Ingles chipped in 16.
The Jazz played well enough offensively to have closed out the series. But they didn’t get it done on the other end the court. Utah’s Post players, Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors, got into foul trouble in the second half. And the Jazz never looked the same after that as they gave up basket after basket.
“We stopped playing defense,” Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell said. “We stopped getting back. Our offense got stagnant. They made adjustments and we didn’t make the right adjustments back. We will watch the film and figure out what went wrong, but from my analysis right after the game, we just stopped getting back in transition and they just fed off of that.”
Gobert, a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, picked up his fifth foul early in the third quarter. This robbed Utah of their shot-blocking presence and made team defense more difficult.
“It’s a different feeling when you don’t have big fella back there,” Mitchell said. “It’s hard that we put all the pressure on him. We have had success but eventually it’s not going to work and we have to play better defense as guards ourselves.”
To be realistic, the Jazz could’ve won the series in five games and should be preparing to face the Houston Rockets. But as it stands, they must win at least one more game within the next two contests.
This is very possible as long as they keep Gobert on the court. That said, the Jazz just need to stay out of foul trouble and keep doing what they already are.
Jazz ATS Record: 3-2 in first-round playoffs series; 2-0 at home
Final Thoughts on Utah and Oklahoma City Odds
The Oklahoma City Thunder are coming off an emotional win, where Westbrook and George really stepped up. Now they head out on the road to face a Jazz team that’s been out-playing them throughout much of the series.
Utah doesn’t have the headlining stars that the Thunder do. But they’ve really come together this season to exceed expectations. They were on their way to blowing out Oklahoma City in Game 5. I don’t see this being too much outside the bounds of happening in Game 6.
Final Score Prediction: Utah wins 104-97 – the Jazz cover their -5.5 spread