Rockets vs. Jazz Preview + Free Pick April 23rd, 2008
By: Our Staff
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NBA Basketball Betting – Jazz Looking To Finish Off Rockets Quickly
After losing both of their series-opening games, the Houston Rockets, (55-29 SU, 47-35-2 ATS, 35-48-1 O/U), are in serious trouble as they take on the Utah Jazz, (56-28 SU, 48-36 ATS, 43-40-1 O/U) at home tonight where they posted the league’s best home record in the Our best Sportsbooks, (37-4) and are nearly unbeatable.
“We know we can play up there, we know we can win up there,” McGrady said. “The playoffs are a totally different game. We can’t rely on what we did in what, November or October. It’s a totally different team, playing with a different confidence.”
Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan cautioned his team to not be overconfident because they are back in the comfortable confines of home, noting that the Rockets weren’t exactly going to roll over.
“I think these guys are all intelligent enough to know that we have to come and play. There’s not going to be anybody that’s going to give us anything,” he said. “They were ready to play the other night. They came at us.”
The Jazz will concentrate all of their defensive efforts on McGrady while making someone other than Houston’s all-star swingman, who has scored just one, fourth-quarter point in two games, beat them late in the game.
“We wanted to take as much away from Mac as possible because he’s such a great scorer and everything goes through him,” Utah guard Deron Williams said. “To get that one (win) is crucial – and that’s what we’ve got to try to avoid with them – allowing them to get that first win.”
Rockets head coach Rick Adelman, said his team needs to help out McGrady, who is 0-6 in the first round of the playoffs,
“We have to find ways to help him out in the fourth quarter, get him better opportunities. They turned their defense up on him in the fourth quarter and extended it out and tried to make other people make plays,” Houston coach Rick Adelman said. “Right now, we’re at a disadvantage.”
Houston could have starting point guard Rafer Alston back in the lineup tonight after missing a week with a strained right hamstring.
Here is a look at tonight’s key trends, followed by my analysis and NBA Gambling Free Picks:
The Rockets are 4-1 ATS in their last five games playing on two days rest.
The Rockets are 23-8-3 ATS in their last 34 Thursday games.
The Jazz are 7-0 ATS in their last seven Conference Quarterfinals games.
The Jazz are 5-0 ATS in their last five games as a favorite.
The Under is 4-0 in Rockets last four playoff games as an underdog.
The Under is 6-1 in Rockets last seven overall.
The Under is 8-2 in Jazz last ten games vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600.
The Under is 11-3-1 in Jazz last 15 vs. NBA Southwest.
The Under is 10-4 in the last 14 meetings in Utah.
The Underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.
The Road team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.
Analysis: The Jazz won Game 1 by 11 points and Game 2 by six points. Simply put, Game 3, Utah’s first playoff game at home this postseason, will be an unequivocal blowout. Take the Jazz at home to cover the spread with a huge double-digit victory.
NBA Free Picks: Jazz -8 ½ Points/Over 181 Total Points
10:30 PM EST NBA Odds
Houston Rockets +8½ -110
Utah Jazz -8½ -110
Over 181 -110
Under 181 -110
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