(5) Utah Jazz vs. (1) Houston Rockets, 5-2-18 – Pick & Preview




(5) Utah Jazz vs. (1) Houston Rockets, 5-2-18 – Pick & Preview

Utah Jazz (48-34) vs Houston Rockets (65-17)

Date : 05/02/2018
Time : 8:00 PM
Location : Toyota Center

Pick, Prediction, & Preview:

Utah Jazz vs Houston Rockets

The 1 seed Houston Rockets return back to the Toyota Center for an 8:00 PM opening tip in game 2 of a best of 7 series in the Western Conference Semifinals. The Houston Rockets beat up on the Utah Jazz in the first game as they won 110-96.

Utah Jazz's Latest Performance :

No Rubio, Big Problem

The Utah Jazz had some high points during the first round of the playoffs where they looked like championship contenders as they were hitting big shots, playing lockdown defense, and had their home crowd fired up but as we see this Utah Jazz team has some problems without their floor general in Ricky Rubio on the court. Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell developed great chemistry throughout the course of the 2018 season and it proved true as Mitchell and Rubio’s backup in Royce O’Neale didn’t exhibit any desire of playing together. Ricky Rubio may not light up the stat sheet like every other point guard as he averaged 14 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and 7.0 APG but his ability to create for other players is what makes him so good. Donovan Mitchell didn’t have his typical 30+ point performance as he was only able to drop 21 points which is a big difference in this series as the Jazz need to keep pace with the Rockets scoring abilities. Jae Crowder had a big game off the bench as he was also able to drop 21 points which is a much-needed scoring boost for the Jazz as they don’t possess any scoring threats off the bench. The Jazz need to be better at defending the three-point line in this series if they want a shot at winning as they let the Rockets shoot 53.1% from behind the arc, and to compare that with the Jazz shooting they only shot 31.8%.

Houston Rockets's Latest Performance :

Harden Motivated

The Houston Rockets continue to show us why they should be the favorites to win their first NBA title since 1995 as they dominated the first round and followed that up with a big win in the first game of round 2. The Rockets are led by the to be soon MVP James Harden as he has been in another gear for the playoffs as he is tired of seeing his team falling short every year. Harden had an MVP like performance in the first game as he dropped 41 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, and dished out 7 assists as well as shot 58% from three-point land. The Rockets were able to receive a good amount of production from the other starters as P.J. Tucker, Clint Capela, and Chris Paul all dropped 15+ points. The Rockets were able to get roll past the Jazz by 14 points without the sixth man of the year doing very much damage as Eric Gordon could not find his shot in 31 minutes of work as he went 0 for 6 from the field. The Rockets also made it apparent that their bench was going to shrink for the later rounds of the playoffs as veterans Gerald Green only saw 1 minute of action and Joe Johnson did not receive a single minute of play. The Rockets may want to give these guys more minutes though as both veterans have had their fair share of postseason play and know what needs to be done off the bench to push the Rockets to the top.

How Utah Jazz & Houston Rockets Matchup.

Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:

Utah is 45-44 ATS, 22-23 ATS on the road.

Houston is 45-42-1 ATS, 20-24-1 ATS at the 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 PPG).

The Rockets swept the season series, 4-0.

The Rockets are up in the playoff series, 1-0.

 

Against The Spread Selection: Houston Rockets -11

My reason for the pick :

I never liked backing a spread in the double-digits especially in the playoffs but I can’t trust this Jazz team to compete without their point guard in Ricky Rubio on the floor as they don’t have any sense of flow on offense other than giving Donovan Mitchell the ball. The Rockets may not receive a 41 point performance from James Harden but they also will receive more than 8 points from Trevor Ariza, Eric Gordon, and Gerald Green. Rockets roll in game 2.

Betting trends for Utah Jazz:

  • Utah is 15-21 ATS after a loss this season.

  • The over is 24-20-1 on the road this season.

Betting trends for Houston Rockets:

  • Houston is 32-26 ATS against Western Conference opponents this season.

  • The under is 41-27-1 after a win this season.

Anthony

I am a sports enthusiast and watch every sport from the NFL to the NHL with everything in between. I have followed sports since I was a young kid and have studied deep into statistics for teams, and players. I am always looking for transactions within sports and find in an interest in every game. Playing every sport growing up has led me to understand every game and look for certain trends and stats.