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Jazz vs. Rockets Betting Picks, Odds & Predictions: Is the Total Too High?

Jazz vs. Rockets Betting Picks, Odds & Predictions: Is the Total Too High? article feature image

Photo credit: Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: James Harden vs. Jazz

Jazz at Rockets Picks, Betting Odds & Predictions

  • Spread: Rockets -3
  • Over/Under: 232.5
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBA TV

Odds as of Sunday afternoon and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.

The post-trade deadline Rockets have been up and down, getting an impressive win Thursday in L.A. against the Lakers and then getting absolutely blown out Friday in Phoenix.

They’re back at home and should be at full strength against a Jazz team that has been equally unpredictable this year. Where’s the edge in this one? Our experts break it all down below.

Betting Trends to Know

The Rockets are 19-24 ATS this season as favorites, and the under is 25-17 in that spot. The Jazz, after a hot start, are just 3-6-1 ATS over their last 10, and they haven’t produced a ton of value on the road this year, going 13-14 ATS.

Moore: How I’m Betting This Game

This is absolutely a test-out game for the Rockets. When they traded Clint Capela, they gambled that no team could punish them enough to outweigh the benefits to their offense. Playing five-out, smallball has just been too successful throughout the years.

The Jazz have the size … but not the skill. The Rockets will switch everything, as they did in 2018 during that great run. From that point, Rudy Gobert will have a mismatch. Unfortunately, Gobert is just not a good enough 1-on-1 player to believe he will win that matchup, on multiple levels.

He has to establish position in the post when the defense switches, and then the Jazz have to be able to get the ball to him, and then he has to be able to finish it. He has some moves. He’s not useless down there. But he’s also not good enough to punish it.

But what if he does? What if he actually wins this matchup? What if Quin Snyder actually deploys a strategy to counter what Houston is daring?

On top of it, the Jazz are the third-best team in effective field goal percentage. They shoot the lights out. So they should be able to keep up.

But the Rockets this season are 7-4 (63%) ATS on the third game in four nights, and in D’Antoni’s Rockets career, Houston is 10-7-1 (59%) ATS after losing that second night of a back-to-back coming in. Houston is 10-7-1 ATS as a favorite vs. Utah in games Harden plays in since D’Antoni arrived.

But, man, this Rockets team is just entirely different. And this Jazz team is different. Throw out the first meeting: Westbrook and Harden didn’t play, and Utah has struggled with shorthanded teams in letdown spots.

So I want to stay away from the spread, even though I lean Houston. What I do like, however, is the Rockets under team total at a bizarre 118. Utah may have strategic issues matching up with Houston, but no one puts those kinds of numbers up on Utah regularly. When Harden plays (since 2017-18 when the Rockets went ultra-ISO), the Rockets have averaged 108.7 points per game.

That’s a 10-point differential with the over! Even with Houston playing at a faster pace (second league-wide), Utah is still 19th. That number is just super soft. So I lean towards the Rockets to outpace the Jazz, but finish below 118.

Mears: What Sharp Bettors Are Saying

There has been a ton of action on this game already. For the spread, the Rockets are getting 63% of the bets but just 51% of the money. We tracked two steam moves on the Jazz at +4.5 and +4 right after the market opened last night. This morning and afternoon, we’ve seen two steam moves on the Rockets to buy them back at the lower number and one more on the Jazz.

Sharp bettors seem to be somewhat conflicted on which side to take here. What it more clear is the total, as pros have hit just the under, and we’ve seen two reverse line moves on the under as well.

Overall, 67% of the bets have been on the over, but 65% of the total money wagered has come in on the under. That’s why the total has moved down despite the majority of the public hitting the other side.

The public often likes to take Rockets overs given how explosive their offense has been in the James Harden-Mike D’Antoni era, and there’s probably a bit of recency bias as well after Houston allowed 127 points in a terrible blowout loss to the Suns on Friday.

There’s probably not too much to take away from that game, however. The Rockets actually did a decent job limiting open opportunities, but the Suns just hit everything. They posted a stupid 76.7% eFG% on those attempts, and on wide-open shots they were just as good at 75.0%. The Rockets, meanwhile, just missed everything, going 9-of-39 from beyond the arc.

That was the second leg of a tough back-to-back, though, and they looked very solid on Thursday in a road win against the Lakers. Russell Westbrook didn’t play Friday, and a bunch of their players — especially the newly-acquired Robert Covington — were likely quite tired, especially after traveling post-trade deadline.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see them rebound here, both offensively and defensively; their data this season is actually pretty interesting, showing that they haven’t really seen a drop-off without Clint Capela on the floor. They’re betting on the defense holding up — at least enough to let the smallball units wreak havoc on offense. Today will be another test for that.

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.

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