Jazz-Rockets Betting Guide: Making the Case for Utah

Jazz-Rockets Betting Guide: Making the Case for Utah article feature image

Photos from USAToday Sports. Pictured: Donovan Mitchell and James Harden.

Betting odds: Utah Jazz at Houston Rockets

  • Spread: Rockets -2
  • Over/Under: 219.5
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET

>> All odds as of 12:30 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets

Surprisingly, the Jazz and Rockets — teams the public thought were favorites to land home-court advantage in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs — are just 1-2 to start the season.

How has the market adjusted to these teams’ early struggles? Our analysts discuss.

Locky: Why I’m Betting the Jazz Moneyline

While Houston has gotten all the attention to start the season, with high-profile national TV games and aggressive fistfights, Utah’s struggles have been a lot more under the radar — and have occurred much more inexplicably.

The Jazz are playing with a full roster and no health issues. Dante Exum is playing a little more, so maybe that affects chemistry, but it’s the exact same team as last season’s squad, coached by the same coach with the same philosophy.

And yet, they struggled to win at Sacramento (always a warning sign), blew a lead to Golden State and then got absolutely trucked by Memphis.

Considering the talent on this team and the chemistry the Jazz SHOULD have, I’ll be betting on a bounce-back performance tonight in this spot.

Accounting for home court, this is saying a Rockets team without Chris Paul (and now without James Ennis) is even on a neutral court vs. Utah, which all preseason we would have considered laughable.

Now Utah is struggling and we’re here, with Houston as a 2-point favorite?

All of Paul’s usage offensively is basically going to Eric Gordon, which is fine I guess, but a lot of the minutes created are going to Carmelo Anthony and Michael Carter-Williams.

That’s not going to help at either end. I’ll take the Jazz moneyline as Utah tries to right its ship after what’s been a rocky beginning. Let’s hope this is close to rock bottom for the Jazz in the market. — Ken Barkley

Moore: What I’m Watching for Tonight

I’m with Locky here. It’s mystifying that a Rockets team that looks very little like its former self is a favorite vs. a very good Utah team that lost to Golden State at the buzzer and against an under-the-radar Grizzlies team that executed a tremendous game plan.

The key with the Jazz is that they’re schemeable. If you manage to help and recover on Rudy Gobert in the pick and roll, you can stifle the big man’s impact.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Rudy Gobert and James Harden

As long as you stay home on Joe Ingles, you can smother Utah’s offense. That said, the Rockets don’t have the kind of athleticism, awareness or defensive personnel to do so.

Gerald Green will likely be defending Ingles for much of the game. That’s going to open up the offense. Paul would slice and dice the Jazz’s defensive coverage, but he’s out.

I’d stay with the +2 for Utah, but you might want to get in sooner rather than later; this line is already down 1.5 points at the time of this writing. — Matt Moore

Our Power Ratings and the Market Differ Tonight

I guess we’re all on the same page here. Like Locky said above, this line suggests this is around pick’em game on a neutral court.

But our power ratings, which we updated yesterday by the way, suggests this should be a pick’em game in Houston without Paul, whom we have as worth five points the spread. — Bryan Mears

Betting Trends to Know

This is a unique spot for the Rockets. Houston is off a loss on the road against the Clippers and has had three full days of rest before its next game, which is at home.

Per our Bet Labs data, Mike D’Antoni is 24-19-1 against the spread in his coaching career when he’s at home with at least three days’ rest off a loss. D’Antoni’s teams are 25-18-1 against the first-half spread in this spot.

As coach of the Rockets, D’Antoni is 2-0 straight-up, ATS and against the first-half spread in this spot, winning by double digits in the first half and full game in both contests.

Speaking of unique spots: The Rockets shot an efficient 15-of-35 (42.9%) from 3 in their road loss to the Clippers. That is the highest 3P% in a loss under D’Antoni.

The Rockets have lost three total games under D’Antoni after shooting at least 40% from 3. They are 0-3 SU and ATS in their next game, failing to cover the spread by 13.2 PPG. — Evan Abrams

Paul will miss tonight’s game as he finishes serving his two-game suspension for an on-court fight against the Lakers on Saturday.

Since last season (including the playoffs), with CP3 and James Harden both playing, the Rockets are 56-10 (85%) straight up. With one out, Houston is 21-13 (62%). — John Ewing

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.