NBA Friday night and we will see the Utah Jazz travel east to take on the Philadelphia 76ers. The game is scheduled for a 10:35 pm start time and it will be televised live on ESPN. Currently the odds have Philadelphia favored by 1 point with the total sitting at 186 points for the contest. Check out Sportsbook Spy to find out what side the Public is taking on all of today's games.
Free Analysis: Fortunately there are 82 games in an NBA season, so when a team puts up a clunker it has plenty of time to get it out of the way. Philadelphia fell victim to the then-winless Detroit Pistons Wednesday night in a 94-76 loss, its second in a row since winning three straight. The Sixers scored just 17 points in each of the first two quarters and were led by Lavoy Allen's 14 points off the bench. Jrue Holiday was the only other scorer in double figures for the 76ers with 12 points. The 76ers clearly could use Bynum's size and scoring ability since they rank among the least productive teams in the paint at 33.5 points per game. Coach Doug Collins has started either 6-foot-9 Lavoy Allen or journeyman Kwame Brown at center in Bynum's place. Neither has contributed very much, with Allen averaging 5.6 points and Brown 3.5. Collins' team was held to 28 points under the basket, shot a season-worst 29.8 percent and was outrebounded 57-38 in Wednesday's 94-76 home loss. The 76ers, who were second in the NBA in scoring this preseason with 102.7 ppg, are currently second-to-last in scoring with 88.0 ppg. However, the Sixers are fifth in the NBA in scoring defense (91.1 ppg). Philadelphia is 0-2 on the homestand and has dropped three straight and seven of its past eight games in the City of Brotherly Love dating back to last season. It is in the midst of playing eight of nine games at home.
Utah will resume its four-game East Coast road trip Friday and has split the first two tests of the trek. After outlasting Toronto, 140-133, in triple overtime on Monday, the Jazz dropped a 98-93 decision against Boston two nights later. Paul Millsap led the charge with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while former Celtic Al Jefferson recorded another double-double with 13 points and 14 boards. Gordon Hayward, Mo Williams and Derrick Favors scored 14 points apiece for the Jazz, who made 40.2 percent from the field and sank 7-of-15 3-pointers. Williams came up empty in the clutch and missed all five of his shots in the fourth quarter. With 14 points versus Boston, Derrick Favors has scored in double figures in five of his last six contests. The third overall pick of the 2010 draft, Favors recorded 20 points (a career high at the time) and added 11 rebounds in Utah's 102-99 victory over Philadelphia on Dec. 30. Leading scorer Mo Williams connected on just 2 of 11 field goals over the final 24 minutes on Wednesday. After visiting Philadelphia, Utah concludes the trip at winless Washington on Saturday. Millsap is doing his part, averaging 17.8 points on the road after totaling 54 with 21 rebounds while hitting 20 of 37 from the field in the first two games of this trip.
Free Pick: I will look to the Under in this one. The Sixers are having major problems scoring this year, averaging just 88 ppg overall and 86 ppg at home. In their last game they put up just 76 points on a Detroit squad that is 22nd in the league in scoring defense (98.7 ppg). Utah isn't much better on defense (24th), but they shouldn't have much problems stooping this weak Sixers attack. The Sixers can't score, but they do play good defense, ranking 5th in points allowed (91.1 ppg) and they should be able to keep Utah from going wild in this one. The Sixers will try and make this a slow daown game and that should help keep the scoring low.
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