Utah Jazz (50-32) at Houston Rockets (53-29)
NBA: Sunday, April 14, 2019 9:30 PM ET (Toyota Center)
Spread: Rockets -6.5 Over/Under: 214
Fanduel NBA Picks Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz
A first-round playoff matchup pins the Rockets against the Jazz at the Toyota Center. Both these teams struggled a little at the beginning of the season, but fought through it and end up producing great seasons records. The Rockets were the team that eliminated the Jazz in last year’s playoffs, so expect the Rockets to look for a repeat performance and the Jazz to look for their revenge.
The Houston Rockets had a tremendous season winning over 50 games with a record of 53-29. That 53-29 record earned them the 4th spot in the playoffs and a second matchup with the Utah Jazz. Last year the Rockets took out the Jazz in the second round of the playoffs pretty easily with a 4-1 series win. As we look at the squads today there is no real difference from last year.
The Rockets have one of the best frontcourts in the NBA with the dynamic duo of Chris Paul and James Harden. Together they average close to 52 and 16 assist per game. These two players have the ball in their hands the majority of the game and these are the players the Jazz will need to stop in order to get a win. James Harden is the leader in points per game with 36.1, the Rockets will look for him to carry their offense much like he has been doing all season. The Rockets win games at a high level when Harden is taking and making shots, they struggle when he is unable to find his shot. The Rockets are a fast-paced team that looks for fast and easy scoring opportunities which usually leads to a lot of three-pointers. When the Rockets are making their threes you can pretty much call it a game. Now, If the Rockets want to win this game their main guys Paul and Harden will have to be on their game. They have to come out ready to play and they have to look for good shots throughout the course of the game. If Harden starts to settle for contested shots, they may find it a lot more difficult to win this game. Also, they will have to rebound the ball. Utah is one of the best rebounding teams and if the Rockets start to give them second chances the Jazz will convert.
The Jazz have been surging as of late and they really gave it their all after the All-Star break and that landed them with a 50-32 record and the 5th spot in the playoffs. The Jazz will certainly be looking for their revenge against a Rockets team that took away their hopes of a championship last year after beating a stacked Oklahoma City Thunder team. The Jazz squad is pretty much the same as last year, but they have learned to play better as a team and the young Donovan Mitchell has become more of a leader.
The Jazz are led by Donovan Mitchell, he averages close to 24 points per game and he is their first scoring option. The one thing I like about the Jazz is they may have a leading scorer in Donovan Mitchell and they do rely on him to play good and be the leader, but the Jazz is just an all-around team, each player has a role and they play that role to perfection. They play as a unit and they look to get the best shots every time down the floor and they really don’t care who takes the shot as long as it is a good one, and that has a lot to do with why they are ranked 8th in assist per game with 26. Along with that this Jazz unit feeds off each other’s energy and it leads to high volume rebounding and defense. Utah is ranked 4th in points allowed per game and 9th in rebounds per game. Utah is just an all-around good team and they fight and claw on both sides of the basketball. This team knows how to play together and they know how to push each other and I believe that gives them an advantage. If the Jazz want to win the game tonight they will have to focus on team play and defending Harden.
Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Houston’s last 8 games at home
Houston is 1-3-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Utah
Houston is 10-3 SU in its last 13 games when playing Utah
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Utah’s last 7 games when playing Houston
Utah is 4-12 SU in its last 16 games when playing on the road against Houston
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Utah’s last 9 games when playing on the road against Houston
Draftkings NBA Scores Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets
Both of these teams play vastly different types of games. The Rockets play isolation basketball and look for quick threes while the Jazz move the ball and take their time finding the right shot. I think the Jazz will win this game, I guarantee they have been watching tape on Harden and they will come out ready to defend him. Expect it to be a close one, but for the Jazz to pick up the win.
Pick: Jazz +6.5