Going 'Over' With Rockets-Jazz For Thursday’s NBA Picks

Jason Lake

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 6:48 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 6:48 PM UTC

The Utah Jazz look like an "under" team on paper, but they have the "over" at 16-9 this year. That should be the right NBA pick for Thursday’s game versus the Houston Rockets.

Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Dec. 5: 7-6 ATS, 4-2 Totals

Houston (15-8 SU, 10-13 ATS) at Utah (11-7 SU, 10-8 ATS)Thursday, 10:30 p.m. ET (TNT)Free NBA Pick: OverBest Line: BetOnline

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We’re not going to lie: At first blush, Thursday’s TNT matchup between the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz looks like a good spot to put the UNDER in our NBA picks. Neither team has performed very well on offense this year. And we got paid a couple weeks back when the Los Angeles Lakers beat Utah 90-83 (way UNDER 221). Seems legit.

As you can see, we’re recommending the OVER instead. The first lines have just hit the board as I write this, and Utah have opened at –2.5 with a total of 218.5. The Jazz project as 1.5-point faves at FiveThirtyEight, so if you want some betting value, go for the OVER instead.

Put the Chris Back in Christmas

Well, the first time they met this year, the UNDER cashed in. It was way back on Oct. 24, the fourth game of the season for both clubs; Utah won that game, 100-89 (UNDER 217) as 1-point home faves. Neither team shot the ball well from anywhere on the court. Calling it “bowling-shoe ugly” would be an insult to bowling shoes.

Things have changed since October. Chris Paul (plus-1.7 BPM) didn’t play that game for Houston, one of five he’s missed this year as he tries to get his hamstrings in working order. But Carmelo Anthony (minus-6.4 BPM) did play for Houston. He’s not with the team anymore. It’ll be a different Rockets team we see on Thursday, one with more offensive flow – and less defense from Paul (minus-0.5 DBPM) than usual.

Korver 3

The Jazz have changed, too. They re-acquainted themselves with Kyle Korver (minus-2.2 BPM) last week, sending Alec Burks (minus-3.9 BPM) and a pair of second-round picks to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for one of the league’s most famous 3-point specialists. Korver has nailed 46.4 percent of his threes this season; the OVER is 2-1 in the three games Korver has played for Utah thus far.

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Salt Lake City welcomes back Kyle Korver to the @utahjazz!

WATCH on @NBATV pic.twitter.com/OsUf5L6P4Q

— NBA (@NBA) December 5, 2018

Neither the Rockets nor the Jazz play Wednesday, and Houston didn’t play Tuesday, either, so both teams should be well-rested for this matchup – and Paul’s tender hamstrings should be a bit more accommodating. Both teams are also relatively healthy for a change. It’s too early to say they’ve got all their problems sorted out, but Utah sure looked good beating the San Antonio Spurs 139-105 (OVER 216) on Tuesday. And the Rockets have the OVER at 8-1 in their past nine games, making it 9-4 overall since they sent Anthony home.

May the sphere be with you.

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