Rockets vs. Jazz Game 4 Betting Preview: Get Out the Brooms?

Rockets vs. Jazz Game 4 Betting Preview: Get Out the Brooms? article feature image

Photo credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: James Harden

Game 4 Betting Odds: Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz

  • Spread: Rockets -2.5
  • Over/Under: 214
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: TNT
  • Series Score: Rockets Lead 3-0

>> All odds as of Sunday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.

James Harden had a terrible game on Saturday, and the Rockets still escaped with a road win. What does that mean for Utah’s chances of avoiding a sweep tonight? Our analysts dive in.

Betting Trends to Know

Utah is trying to avoid being swept down 0-3 in the series to Houston. Since 2005, teams down 0-3 have gone 20-40 straight-up and 24-33-3 ATS. In the last three postseasons, teams facing elimination have performed even worse, going 3-12 straight-up. – John Ewing

In Game 3, Utah closed as a two-point home favorite. The Rockets survived a back-and-forth end in Utah to win straight-up as an underdog. Now, in Game 4, the Rockets are 2.5-point road favorites in Utah after being dogs in Game 3.

Since 2005, teams that are listed as favorites at home in Game 3 but then are listed as underdogs at home in Game 4 are 21-10 ATS, covering by 5.7 points per game. The Pacers in Game 4 were in this same spot but failed to cover the spread by a half point. – Evan Abrams

Did you know? James Harden shot 3-of-20 (15%) from the field in the Rockets’ Game 3 win in Utah. In Harden’s career, Game 3 was just the second time he attempted at least 20 shots and had a field goal percentage below 20%.

In January 2015, Harden shot 4-of-21 (19%) on the road in Boston in a Rockets win. In Harden’s next game, he was an efficient 10-of-17 (58.8%) from the field for 26 points, although the Rockets lost on the road in Detroit. – Abrams

Moore: My Thoughts on Tonight’s Game

Here’s a quick look at the Rockets after the Jazz got the worst playoff game by a star player (shooting-wise) in NBA history and a huge performance from Donovan Mitchell and still lost:

You can’t lose that game. You just can’t. And the Jazz know they’re done.

Road teams up 3-0 are 17-13-1 ATS since 2005 in the first round and 28-23-1 overall in the playoffs. Favorites up 3-0 in Game 4 are 23-17-2 ATS.

The Jazz got everything they needed for a win in Game 3 and couldn’t get the job done. Their confidence is shaken, and the Rockets are zeroed in on the Warriors. This is a formality, and you’re laying only two points with the better team with every matchup advantage.

Get your brooms. – Matt Moore

Mears: How I’m Betting Game 4

The following all happened in Game 3:

  • Rockets posted a 103.0 Offensive Rating (25th percentile)
  • Jazz won the free throw rate battle
  • Jazz shot 73.9% at the rim, while the Rockets shot 56.0%
  • Rockets won the 3-point shots battle by just 4
  • Jazz added more points in transition and off steals
  • James Harden went 3-of-20 in 39 minutes

Without knowing the outcome, you’d think those would add up to maybe not just a Jazz victory — but a blowout one. Instead, the Rockets still managed to escape with a win and take a commanding 3-0 series lead.

I’ve written in the other guides about just how tough this matchup is for the Jazz; I think they probably would be better suited playing the Warriors in the first round than Houston. The style clash is just extreme.

The Jazz play conservative defense, and that makes sense with probably the best rim protector in the world, Rudy Gobert, ready to clean things up. Unfortunately, Gobert’s biggest weakness — a rare one on that end of the floor — is defending in space when he’s pulled out of the paint. That’s a massive issue in this series, as the Rockets take 3-pointers and space the floor at literally a historic rate.

The Jazz are still an excellent team; I hope the public doesn’t lose sight of that even if this series ends in a surprising sweep. But this team just isn’t built to handle exactly what Houston does, and we saw that matchup advantage is so big it can overcome just about everything else.

As a result, I’ll be betting the Rockets moneyline, which is around -140 currently. — Bryan Mears

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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