Houston Rockets (71-19 SU, 46-43-1 ATS) vs. Utah Jazz (53-48 SU, 47-44 ATS)
Time: Sunday, May 6th, 2018 8:00 PM EDT
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena Salt Lake City, UT
by Keith, Professional NBA Handicapper, Predictem
Odds Houston -225, Utah +185
Point Spread: Utah +5
Total Line: 208.5
The Utah Jazz will host the Houston Rockets for Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals. The game is set to tip-off at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah on Sunday, May 6th, 2018 at 8:00 PM EDT. The NBA board at Intertops list the Rockets as -6 point road favorites.
The game will be televised for national audiences on TNT. Game Three was a demonstration why the Rockets are the top seed in the West. After the Jazz went into Houston and pulled an outright upset of the Rockets on their home court, Houston would respond with an impeccable victory. Houston would own the Jazz and emerge victorious by a score of 113-92. Houston would pull off a 21-point thumping to reply to Utahs 116-108 win in Clutch City in Game Two. Overall, Houston has won six of their last seven meetings overall against Utah.
The vaunted Jazz defense did not look like much of a threat in Game Three, as Houston shot over 50% from the field overall. A staple of Utah’s success is their academic shot selection to complement their rugged and blue-collar approach toward defense.
There are several betting trends to focus on in Four. To begin, the Rockets are 33-11 SU in games outside of Houston. Utah is a proficient 31-14 SU in Salt Lake City. In meetings between the two sides, Houston remains 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings. The Over is 7-4 ATS in the last eleven meetings between both teams.
Home court remains a poignant matter in this playoff series. If Utah were to fall, they would be faced with having to win the remaining road games to have a shot at winning the series against the top dogs of the West. A win here equalizes the series and turns the Western Conference Semifinals into a best of three in essence. Given the fact Utah in need of a win here, you can expect the Jazz throw everything they have at the Rockets. This sense of desperation will make the Jazz a viable option in Game Four.
Houston seems impervious to playing in the rigors of a less than accommodating environment. We saw a similar scenario unfold in the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Minnesota Timberwolves. After Rockets dropped one game in the series, Houston would win out to advance forward in the playoffs. A popular presumption as that they will do so here yet again.
From out of the chute, there has been little evidence of a lean on either side as shown in little movement in the point spread. The opening numbers have varied. In some markets, we have seen the Jazz open as a 5.5-point pup, but the consensus number across the board is the present offering of five points. In Over/Under markets, we have seen the figure also remain stagnant to reflect little indication of action on either the Over or Under.
What jumps out at us here is the little difference in the offering when comparing Game Three to Game Four. What this says to us is that the market is reluctant to believe Houston will once again produce a qualitative victory like what we saw in their last effort. This is significant given the fact that the Rockets looked like a superior side in Game Three. When you couple this narrative with the fact that Houston is prone to overlays by the fact they are the top seed in the West, there is likely upset potential in this contest when you factor in the premium inflicted upon takers in this market. Nevertheless, we’ll play it safe and take the points.
KEITHs PICK: Utah +5 at 5Dimes to get the best line on this game and guys if you don’t have an account here, now is the time to save money during the NBA playoffs and all season long in MLB!