Free NBA Pick: Jazz vs Rockets NBA Odds
Looking for Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets free NBA picks & NBA odds? NBA betting sees the Jazz taking on the Rockets on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NBA basketball matchups so stay tuned for more FREE daily NBA hoops predictions.
(40-24) Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets (44-20)
Date: Wednesday March 8
Time: 8:00 PM EST
Venue: Toyota Center – Houston, Texas
NBA Moneyline Odds: Off
NBA Betting Odds: HOU -5.5
NBA Betting Total: 216
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Wednesday night NBA sees a slew of games on tap, but few feature two teams with more contrasting styles than this one.
The Utah Jazz are a gritty defensive squad that likes to play at a slow pace in order to execute a methodical offense.
The Houston Rockets, on the other hand, let James Harden run Mike D’Antoni’s offense at a blur’s pace putting up numbers that even video game enthusiasts drool about.
D’Antoni even talked earlier this season about how he’d like to see his team average 50 three-point shots in a season.
He knows that this isn’t doable this year (although the team has hit that mark before), but it’s still a testament to the free-flowing style of play he lets his team utilize — a direct contrast to what they’ll see Wednesday night.
*All statistics, standings, records, rankings and trends are current as of this writing at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.
What you need to know about the Jazz, other than they’re a great defensive team, is that their offense isn’t as bad as the raw numbers make it look.
On the year, Utah is averaging the fewest points per game of any team in the Association. But as we mentioned, this group is actually scoring that low of points only because of its pace of play — not its lack of offensive ability.
So far this season, the Jazz are running the slowest pace of any team in the league. Yet its points per 100 possessions is typically floating around seventh in the NBA.
Combine that with a mean defensive mentality, and you have a squad ready to take down any upper-tier group it comes across.
That includes the Houston Rockets, but considering how quickly the Rox like to attack, this one will come down to which team controls the pace from start to finish.
James Harden is an NBA MVP frontrunner for a reason. Not only is he putting up ridiculous numbers, but he’s making his teammates better.
Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson were in desperate need of a change of scenery following their respective stints (which happened to coincide with one another’s) with the New Orleans Pelicans.
The two had seemingly lost their identities as money three-point shooters, but now with Harden finding them regularly, they’re back contributing at a high level.
The other reason Harden is right next to Russell Westbrook atop the MVP ladder is because he’s doing all this damage at a new position. Not only did D’Antoni give him the reins to run the offense, he made him his permanent point guard.
Against Utah, the trick is going to be scoring in the mid-range. The Jazz clog the paint better than anyone in the league, which is where Harden likes to do his damage.
Harden is also a lockdown three-point shooter in isolation, but if the Jazz put the right defender, that will make life tough as well.
Look for Harden to try both of these approaches early. But if Utah is locked in, the Target Center may become pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop central for the Rockets.
NBA Betting Trends:
- Rockets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Rockets are 23-9 ATS in their last 32 vs. Western Conference.
- Rockets are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games following a straight up loss
- Jazz are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. NBA Southwest.
- Jazz are 4-17 ATS in their last 21 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Free Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets NBA Prediction:
The Jazz should be able to keep this one close most of the way, but don’t be shocked if the Rockets run away with it during the fourth quarter.
4* Free NBA Betting Pick: Houston ATS
Give this one to the home team by double-digits.
NBA Free Score Prediction: Houston 115 – Utah 103
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