Rockets Vs. Jazz Expert Picks | NBA Playoffs Betting Odds Game 3
Houston Rockets Vs. Utah Jazz Betting Preview
After the two first games of the series, the Utah Jazz seems to have no business matching the Houston Rockets in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Jazz is expecting home court can be a good enough boost to help them get back into this series. Let’s overreact for a second. The Rockets have looked like the best team in the NBA during the playoffs. I know we are two weeks in, but they look scary good. When the playoffs started, Houston was +1200 to win the NBA title, and now their odds are +650. That’s an implied probability of 14% at this point.
If you want to take Houston, this is the time. They are playing at such an excellent level is hard to think anybody can match with them. I know that the Golden State Warriors will be their matchup in the second round, but I see the Rockets with more than just a puncher’s chance in that series. Houston’s defense has come together over the last two months and now is back to the Championship level they had last season.
Enough overreaction. The Rockets need to handle the Jazz first, but it hasn’t looked like it could be a problem at all. In fact, the problem is on Utah’s side, which has no answer for James Harden. The MVP candidate has average 30.5 points per game in the first two meetings in the series while shooting 43.5 from three-point land.
The scary part about Houston is Harden hasn’t had to do anything out of the extraordinary, and his team is averaging 120.0 points per game in this postseason. “I don’t know what else we could ask of him,” Coach Mike D’Antoni said. “Just, he gets tired every once in a while, so he is human. But the year that he’s had has been ridiculous.” The Jazz had no answers for him. Utah is +550 in the NBA series price to come back from a 0-2 hole and win four of the next five games.
That’s a 15% chance. To be fair, it seems like the betting sites still believe there is a side of Utah that we haven’t seen and they are about to show it in the next couple of games. I’m not riding this bandwagon. The series has all the layers to be either a sweep or a five-game series at the most. The spread for Saturday Night has the Jazz 2.5-point favorite to punch back. Houston couldn’t care less about playing in Salt Lake. The Rockets have won five of their last six games at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. They just want to end this series as soon as possible to be healthy and rested for the Warriors. What’s the play? Rockets +2.5.
Spread: Jazz -2.5
Money line: Houston +120 vs. Utah -140
Game Total: 216
Date: Saturday, April 20, 2018
Game time: 10:30 PM ET
Venue: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
Series: Houston 2-0
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