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It’s a matchup of Western Conference teams looking to move up in the playoff picture in the Beehive State. The Houston Rockets are on the road as they travel to face the Utah Jazz Thursday night. Houston was dumped 103-91 on the road by Minnesota Monday night in their last game. Utah trounced San Antonio 139-105 at home in their last contest Tuesday night. The Jazz owns a 104-94 lead in the all-time regular-season series, including a 100-89 road win in the first matchup this season October 24.
Houston Rockets Try to Even Season Series
Houston was downed by the Timberwolves in their last contest on the road and try to get back in the win column here. The Rockets lost for the fifth time in their last seven games with the loss to Minnesota. Houston led by 14 at the half but couldn’t maintain that advantage. The Rockets were outscored 38-20 in the third quarter to trail by four, then gave up an 8-0 run as they were scoreless for the first 5:17 of the final quarter. Houston was held to 43.2 percent shooting in the contest, including 11 of 39 from three-point range but turned the ball over 20 times. Clint Capela led the Rockets with 24 points and eight boards in the loss. Houston is 5-8 ATS on the road this season while the over is 7-6 in those contests.
.@CapelaClint with another 💪 night despite the loss in Minnesota.
🚫 3BLK pic.twitter.com/sPYm1CTuks
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) December 4, 2018
The Rockets are struggling offensively so far this season: they are 18th in the league with 109.2 points per game. Houston is 27th in rebounding with 41 boards per game and 26th with 21.5 assists a night. The Rockets are 12th in scoring defense as they allow 109.5 points per game. James Harden leads the team with 30.6 points per game while grabbing 5.6 boards and dishing out 8.7 assists a night. Eric Gordon puts up 16.3 points per contest while Clint Capela averages 18.1 points plus 11.8 rebounds and 2.17 blocks a night. PJ Tucker, Nene Hilario, Gerald Green, Danuel House Jr., James Ennis III, Michael Carter-Williams and Chris Paul (16.6 points, 8.1 assists, 2.17 steals) are key pieces in the rotation as well. Gary Clark is soaking up the majority of the minutes that were going to the departed Carmelo Anthony. The Rockets are 21st in the league in field goal percentage, shooting 44.9 percent as a team. Houston is 2nd in the league with 14.5 threes a night while the team is 23rd by shooting 34.2 percent from long range this season.
Utah Jazz Seeking Back to Back Home Wins
Utah won for the third time in four games as they pulverized the Spurs at home Tuesday night. The Jazz now look for back to back home wins as they try climbing to the .500 mark on the season. Utah jumped to a 14 point lead after the opening quarter, extended the edge to 16 at the half and then poured it on in the second half. The Jazz shot a blistering 60.7 percent from the field and sizzled from the outside as they buried 20 of 33 three-point attempts. Utah won the rebounding battle 42-32 and forced 16 San Antonio turnovers. Donovan Mitchell led seven Jazz players in double figures with 20 points in the win. Utah is 4-5 ATS at home this season with the over 8-1 in those games.
Watch all 2️⃣0️⃣ of last night's franchise record 3-pointers ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/iZg3Hul7UH
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 5, 2018
The Jazz enter this contest 24th in the league in scoring offense with 107 points per game. Utah is in the lower half of the pack, ranking 23rd in the league in rebounding with 42.8 boards per game. The Jazz is 13th in the league in assists with 24.1 per contest. Utah currently is 7th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 107.8 points per game. Donovan Mitchell leads the Jazz with 21.3 points a game so far this season. Joe Ingles (12.5 points), Rudy Gobert (15.5 points, 12.8 boards, 2.12 blocks) and Jae Crowder (12.5 points, 4.7 rebounds) are all off to solid starts. Derrick Favors (10.4 points, seven rebounds), Dante Exum, Kyle Korver, Ricky Rubio (12.7 points, 6.4 assists), Royce O’Neale, Ekpe Udoh and rookie Grayson Allen are all important parts of coach Quin Snyder’s rotation. Utah is 10th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 46.4 percent from the floor. The Jazz are tied for 15th in the league in threes per game as they knock down 10.8 triples a night. Utah is 25th in the league in three-point shooting as they knock down 33.8 percent from beyond the arc.
- Jazz are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 1 day of rest
- Jazz are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 vs. Southwest Division opponents
- Rockets are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 vs. Northwest Division opponents
- Rockets are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
- Rockets are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Utah buried a franchise record 20 triples in the blowout win over San Antonio and the addition of Korver has paid dividends in the early going. The Jazz are healthy right now and when they’re clicking, they’re extremely dangerous. Houston is getting back to full strength but they haven’t been all that great on the road. Paul was just one for eight from the field in the loss to the Timberwolves. The Paul/Harden/Capela trio keeps the Rockets in it but the Jazz get the upper hand playing at home.
Prediction: Utah Jazz -2
Full-Game Total Pick
These two teams have been tough on the defensive end of the floor for the most part this season. The Jazz stand seventh in the league in scoring defense while Houston is 12th at the point. Houston is trying to build their wing depth at this point as they have struggled without Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. The Rockets will have a tough time trying to contend with Utah’s athleticism and their ability to shoot from the outside. Can Houston find a way to slow the Jazz’s perimeter shooting?
The under is 8-0 in the Rockets’ last 8 Thursday games, 5-0 in their last five against the Northwest Division and 5-2 in their last seven road games vs. a team with a losing home record. Utah has seen the under go 5-2 in their last 7 vs. a team with a losing straight up record. The under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings between the teams. Given the way the teams have played most of the season, this one falls just under the total.
Prediction: Under 217
Full-Game Prop Bet
We know that Houston likes to fire up a lot of three point attempts. We also know that the Rockets misfire on a lot of those opportunities, which means that there are plenty of rebounds to be had. Gobert has had double-digit boards in 23 of the Jazz’s 25 games this season and he’s grabbed at least 15 boards in five of Utah’s last eight games. Given his propensity of swallowing boards and the Rockets’ tendency to miss quite a few shots, you have to think that he can go over the number here.
Prediction: Rudy Gobert Over 12.5 Rebounds (-120)
Half-Time Side Pick
Houston held a hefty lead at the half against Minnesota on the road but saw things completely go off the rails in the second half of the game. The Rockets are still trying to sort out their rotation and it remains to be seen if GM Daryl Morey can make some moves to bolster their depth. Utah made a necessary move by getting the aging veteran sharpshooter in Korver and he’s helped the team out. The Jazz buried a franchise record 20 triples in the win over San Antonio. Utah can get hot from the outside and that gives them the upper hand at the half here.
Prediction: Utah Jazz -1
Half-Time Total Bet
While both teams can fire up three point attempts with regularity, the fact is that both teams have struggled to actually knock down their shots from out there. Utah has addressed their issues with the Korver deal but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the team look to continue juggling their rotation to find the right slots for everyone. Houston has been clanking perimeter shots with regularity all season long. The Rockets saw Paul go one of seven from beyond the arc in their loss to Minnesota. Look for defense to carry the day in this contest and the teams fall under the number at the half.
Prediction: Under 110.5
Half-Time Prop Prediction
Utah has a world of momentum after bombing the Spurs at home the other night after returning from a road swing. The Jazz now looks to build off that hot shooting night. When you bury 20 threes in a game, the basket starts to look as big as a Bigfoot tire. Utah is confident while the Rockets are still struggling. Houston is slow to rotate out on some of the perimeter shots and that helps the Jazz hit the 20 point mark first in this contest. Look for Utah to take this one.
Prediction: Utah Jazz First to 20 Points (-125)