Provided Courtesy of BangTheBook, Read More.
The basketball world lost Kobe Bryant on Sunday. While the fans all over the world mourns the tragic death of one of the best player ever, the show must go on, and we’ll see six games around the Association on Monday night including the first meeting of the season between the Houston Rockets (28-17; 21-24 ATS) and Utah Jazz (32-13; 24-19-2 ATS). The Rockets have dominated the Jazz lately, winning six of their previous seven encounters and six of their last eight meetings in Salt Lake City.
Houston will miss Russell Westbrook (rest), while James Harden (thigh) is listed as doubtful. Utah is coming in full strength.
The Jazz opened as heavy 12-point favorites with the total at 223.0 points per the odds at BetDSI Sportsbook. It’s no strange to see the Jazz as firm favorites here, considering Westbrook’s absence and Harden’s doubtful status, but the Rockets have been listed as underdogs of 12 or more points only twice over the last four years.
What’s at Stake?
The Rockets are losing the pace with the top-4 seeds in the West. They are four games behind the second-seeded Jazz who are 3.5 games behind the Lakers. Still, there are plenty of games to be played for the rest of the regular season.
Houston is coming off a 117-110 defeat at the Denver Nuggets last night, playing without James Harden. The Rockets have dropped five of their last seven games overall and are 0-4 SU and ATS on the second day of their last five back-to-back sets. On the other side, the Jazz are rolling on a four-game winning streak. They are 14-1 SU and 12-2-1 ATS over the last 15 games overall.
The Rockets will have a mountain to climb in Salt Lake City. Playing without Russell Westbrook (26.0 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 7.4 APG) and James Harden (36.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 7.3 APG) will be a huge test for this Houston team, as the Jazz are undoubtedly the hottest team in the league. Eric Gordon (14.7 PPG, 36.4 FG%) and Clint Capela (14.2 PPG, 13.9 RPG) will lead the way Monday night, but the Rockets will be in a big problem, especially on the offensive end.
Houston scores 113.9 points per 100 possessions (2nd in the league), while Utah allows only 106.8 points per 100 possessions (8th). The Jazz are 6th in the league in opponent 3-point percentage (34.1%), and the Rockets take the most 3-pointers per 100 possessions (41.6). Even with Harden and Westbrook on the sidelines, the Rockets will continue to shoot from deep frequently, but that won’t be enough against the Jazz who are surprisingly terrific on the offensive end, too.
Utah scores 112.2 points per 100 possessions (7th) on 47.4% shooting from the field (4th) and 38.8% from beyond the arc (1st). Donovan Mitchell (24.7 PPG, 45.9 FG%) continues to drive Utah’s offense, while Rudy Gobert (15.7 PPG, 14.5 RPG) is a brutal force in the paint on both sides of the ball. Also, the Jazz possess great depth and can count on all their players.
The Jazz shouldn’t have any problems to beat the banged-up Rockets, but a 12-point spread could be too much. Utah is 4-0 SU 3-1 ATS in its last four showings as a double-digit fave. However, the Rockets will be fired up to prove their worth when missing two superstars, so I don’t feel comfortable with this huge spread. If you like to bet teasers, the Jazz are a nice pick, for sure.
Therefore, I suggest you take the over on the totals. The Rockets love to play at a fast pace, recording 103.6 possessions per 48 minutes which are the second-most in the NBA. They will shoot as many threes as they can, and if the Rockets find their shooting rhythm, they will post some serious numbers on the scoreboard. On the other side, the Jazz average 98.8 possessions per 48 minutes (20th in the league), but they will have a difficult job to slow down the Rockets. However, the Jazz execute offensively so well that I think they will drop a bunch of baskets on the short-handed Rockets.
The post Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz NBA Expert Betting Picks 1/27/20 appeared first on BangTheBook.