Free 2018 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: Rockets vs Jazz Prediction (Game 4)
The NBA is host to two games on Sunday. Both matchups will be Game 4’s with the home team down one game. The Golden State Warriors could take a 3-1 lead in New Orleans, while the Utah Jazz look to tie up the series at 2-2 against Houston. Utah and Houston will meet at 8:00 PM ET on TNT. Here is my best bet for May 6. Odds can be found at BetOnline.
Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz Predictions
The Rockets finished the season at 65-17, which was good enough to clinch the top seed in the Western Conference. Houston met Minnesota in the first round and were able to beat them in five games. Utah was 48-34 at the end of the season and were the fifth-seed in the Western Conference. The Jazz played the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round and beat them in six games.
Houston hosted Game 1 and held their dominant standards in the win. Houston rolled to a 110-96 victory. Donovan Mitchell and Jae Crowder each scored 21 points in the loss. James Harden took control with a 41 point night. Clint Capela had a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Utah responded to Game 1’s loss with a great performance in Houston. The Rockets fell to the Jazz in Game 2 by a score of 116-108. Mitchell had 17 points and 11 assists. Joe Ingles led the Jazz in scoring with 27. Harden had 32 points and 11 assists. Chris Paul put up 23 as well in the loss.
Game 3 bounced back to Utah, but this time it was the Rockets winning on the opponent’s home court. Harden and Eric Gordan each scored 25 points in route to a 113-92 win. Harden added 12 assists to get another double-double. Royce O’Neale led the Jazz in points with 17. Mitchell was only able to put up 10 points.
Houston has no reported injuries for Game 4. Thabo Sefolosha will miss the rest of the season for Utah with an MCL injury. Ricky Rubio has a hamstring strain and is likely to miss Game 4.
Houston Rockets -5 (-110) at Utah Jazz +5 (-110) Betting Odds
The odds have Houston listed as a five-point favorite, which is a reasonable number for any top seeded team. I believe though that if you are laying five points on a road team the payout should be more in your favor. That is not the case here, which makes the Rockets less desirable of a pick. Houston has been a five-point favorite since it opened so I do not expect any more movement unless any news comes out between now and game time.
The Rockets were the best team in the entire NBA this season, but in the playoffs none of that matters. Utah knows that if they cannot get the win in Game 4, that coming back from a 3-1 series lead will be almost impossible. I believe Utah will be playing with a lot of emotion and the home crowd will help fire them up. Utah was able to win Game 2 on the road, so they know they can compete with Houston. I am taking the Jazz with the points.