Utah Jazz (48-34) vs Houston Rockets (65-17)Date : 04/29/2018
Time : 3:30 PM
Location : Toyota Center
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Utah Jazz vs Houston Rockets
The #1 seed Houston Rockets are set to host the first game of the Western Conference Semifinals against the #5 seed Utah Jazz. Both teams made it past the 2017 1st round as well, but one of these teams will be seeking to advance to the Western Conference Finals. The Utah Jazz was able to beat OKC in game 6 to win the series 4-2 while Houston beat up on Minnesota as they won in 5 games.
Utah Jazz's Latest Performance :
The Utah Jazz have continuously shut up critics as people still believe this team is not good which may be accredited to their slow pace as they like to play slow. The Jazz was able to make the 2nd round of the playoffs in 2017 behind Gordon Hayward but with him leaving this past offseason and the Thunder making some moves for superstars no one saw this team getting out of the first round. The Jazz might have found a future MVP in this past draft as Donovan Mitchell has picked this team up and carried them through the playoffs as he is leading the team with 28.5 PPG. Mitchell set the all-time rookie record for points in a playoff game as he finished game 6 with 38 points. The Jazz are hoping that Mitchell’s running mate in Ricky Rubio is able to suit up for this game as Rubio left game 6 after just 7 minutes of play with a hamstring injury. Rubio has been great for the Jazz in the playoffs as he developed a scoring game and he showed that in the 1st round as he averaged 14 PPG and also gave the Jazz 7.3 RPG and 7.0 APG. The Jazz have also been able to unleash Joe Ingles in the first round who led the Jazz in 3PM as he averaged over 3 per game. The Jazz have the defense to disrupt the Rockets and if they can continuously let Mitchell get his buckets they might have a chance of making this a long series for Houston.
Houston Rockets's Latest Performance :
Houston Hitting On All Cylinders
The Houston Rockets have been asserting their dominance in the NBA all season long as they finished the regular season with the best record, but you have to look past your regular season success and prove you’re worthy to stick around in the playoffs. Houston was able to beat up on the Timberwolves in 5 games as they were led by their superstar, James Harden. Harden is on his way to obtaining his 1st MVP award but more importantly his first NBA championship, and he has taken full control of this team besides his running mate in Chris Paul. Harden averaged 29 PPG, 7.4 APG, and 2.4 SPG which were all team highs but Harden’s presence on the court has defenses playing out beyond the three-point line. With the Rockets being one of the best 3 point shooting teams in the NBA they force the defense to give them no room outside the arc which opens their inside game especially from Clint Capela. Capela enjoyed a really good first round as he averaged 15.8 PPG and 14.2 RPG as he was a force on the inside. Capela also did a really good job on the defensive end as he was tasked with guarding the Timberwolves star in Karl-Anthony Towns and he did a really effective job as he held him to 15.2 PPG which is well below his season average of 21.3 PPG. Capela will need to have another big series this round as he will go against Rudy Gobert who plays a similar game to Capela.
How Utah Jazz & Houston Rockets Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Utah is 45-43 ATS, 22-22 ATS on the road.
Houston is 44-42-1 ATS, 19-24-1 ATS at home.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Houston ended the 1st round as the 3rd ranked scoring offense and outscored Utah’s 7th ranked offense by 4.9 PPG. (UTA- 105.5 PPG, HOU- 110.4 PPG)
Utah ended the 1st round as the 5th ranked scoring defense and held their opponent to .4 PPG less than Houston’s 6th ranked scoring defense. (UTA- 101.2 PPG, HOU- 101.6)
The Rockets swept the season series, 4-0.
Against The Spread Selection: Utah Jazz +10.5
My reason for the pick :
This line might move up if Ricky Rubio is determined out for this game and I will still back it as the Jazz have been hitting on a different level since the end of the all-star break. The Jazz have a good coach in Quin Snyder and he will go to the drawing board and see what Minnesota did right and did wrong and implement his own game plan into this game. This spread is too large for me to back the Rockets as I think the Jazz will come out with fire as they love proving people wrong. Jazz cover the spread.
Betting trends for Utah Jazz:
- Utah is 29-22 ATS after a win this season.
- The over is 24-19-1 on the road this season.
Betting trends for Houston Rockets:
- Houston is 10-11 ATS in playoff games since 2015.
- The under is 34-22-1 against Western Conference teams this season.