Utah Jazz (47-36 SU, 38-42-3 ATS) vs. Houston Rockets (66-17 SU, 41-41-1 ATS)
Time: Sunday, April 29th, 2018 3:30 PM EDT
Where: Toyota Center Houston, TX
by Keith, Professional NBA Handicapper, Predictem
Odds Utah +490, Houston -670
Point Spread: Houston -10.5
Total Line: 206
The Utah Jazz will venture off to the Houston Rockets for Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals. The game is set to tip-off at the Toyota Center on Sunday, April 29th, 2018 at 3:30 PM ET. Clutch City has dominated the series as a whole. The Rockets have won the last four meetings between both parties. In the last meeting between both teams in February, the Rockets defeated the Jazz by a score of 96-85. The two teams enter in off 4-1 and 4-2 defeats of their respective opponents in the first round of playoff action.
The Rockets defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference Quarterfinals when they won three of their four wins at home. It only took five games for Houston to dispatch the Wolves. The Jazz enters off an upset of the Oklahoma City Thunder where the Jazz was able to be rid of OKC in just six games. From a seeding perspective, the Rockets are the top seed in the West while the Jazz are the five seed.
Many key betting trends are worth focusing on in Game One. First off, the Rockets are 37-7 SU in Houston. Utah is just 21-23 SU on the road outside of Salt Lake City. At home, however, Houston is 19-24 against the spread which reflects a tendency for their home court presence to be overvalued. Utah stands at 22-22 against the spread on the road.
Utah has the blueprint to be an effective and difficult opponent for the Rockets. The Jazz own edges in the defense, rebounding, and bench categories complemented by a more methodical field goal percentage. This team plays a rugged style of basketball and makes smart shots which is the perfect antidote to quell the onslaught of the Houston offense.
The Rockets feature a catalytic attack that can score at will. When you combine Houston’s offensive prowess with their established home-court advantages, the Rockets are a savory selection here in Game One. The point spread in itself indicates that the Rockets are anticipated to cruise by Utah and that in itself opens the door for Jazz takers to take advantage of a likely lofty number. Nevertheless, Houston is a team many analysts are foaming at the mouth about, and the talent in their ranks is quite frightening for any to take on.
From the get-go, there has been a lean on the Rockets reflected in the market rise by two points since the open. Nevertheless, we have seen 100% of the consensus like the Jazz in public forums. Over/Under markets, we have seen the figure drop by 3.5 points to reflect steam on the Under.
There is an old saying that offense wins the game, but defense wins championships. The Utah Jazz embodies that adage. Houston as a top seed is prone to overlays by virtue of the fact they are a public favorite with a lofty prognostication. Coupling that with Utah’s difficulties on the road and Houston’s home court successes raises that tendency. However, Utah will enter this game with a chip on their shoulder. After all, the Jazz just defeated an opponent they were supposed to lose to, and they did so on their terms. Employing a methodical and in-your-face style of defense, Houstons finesse offense will not have the same success it had against Minnesotas youthful bunch. There is plenty of wiggle room here for Utah to come in under the number. The Jazz will come out swinging in Game One hoping that it will send a message that they are here to play. Take the points.
KEITHs PICK: Utah +10.5 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!