Jazz Will Cover In Battle Of Conflicting Styles At Rockets

rockets jazz

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 1:08 AM GMT

Two conflicting styles match up Wednesday when Utah visits Houston. These two teams haven’t met since November, in which they split two games with each winning at home. Oddsmakers expect a Rockets win here, but the Jazz are a nicely-priced dog.

Utah Jazz

Utah is arguably the best defensive team in the league, or at least the toughest team to get a lot of points against as the Jazz allow just 96 per game, which ranks first in the NBA. They definitely will be challenged tonight against a Houston team that can put up points in a hurry and loves to get up and down the floor. I think there is good value in backing Utah, though, considering the fact it can really control tempo at times and should be able to get enough stops to make this game interesting.

I could talk about the Jazz's defense all day, but for brevity’s sake, they rank basically in the top three in every important defensive category. On the other side of the ball, although they go at a slow pace the Jazz are very efficient in shooting 51.1% on their two-point shots, which ranks sixth in the NBA.  This will be all about tempo, and if the Jazz can slow down the Rockets a little bit, which I think they can, they should be able to take this game to the wire and why I'm leaning them on my NBA pick.

 

Houston Rockets

Houston is coming off a very tough loss at San Antonio but looks to regain some momentum against another of the better Western Conference teams. Offensively, the Rockets have been very efficient under Mike D’Antoni, ranking second in both shooting efficiency and effective field-goal percentage. As mentioned, tonight will be all about tempo and who controls it. If Houston can get up and down, it should be able to take care of business and win this game going away, but I think they’ll find some difficulty against a grind out team like Utah.

Houston has been terrible defensively in ranking in the bottom part of the league in most categories, highlighted by allowing opponents to shoot 51.3% of their two-point shots, which ranks 27th in the league and allowing 48.3 points in the paint, which ranks the Rockets dead last. They are at home, where they play particularly well, but this is a tough matchup for them and I wouldn’t be shocked if they lost straight up.

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NBA Free Pick: Jazz +6.5Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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