NBA Picks: Rockets vs. Jazz

Jeff Grant

Monday, January 28, 2013 1:01 PM GMT

Monday, Jan. 28, 2013 1:01 PM GMT

The Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz combined to score 240 points in their last meeting, but there’s a few reasons why they’ll have trouble going above the total on Monday night. Let’s take a closer look at this Western Conference matchup from a NBA betting perspective. 

Back on track

Houston has won three of its last four games by scoring 100 or more points in those victories, including a 119-106 triumph over the Brooklyn Nets as four-point home favorites Saturday night, while going OVER the total for the first time in five contests. The Rockets current run came immediately after a season-high seven-game losing streak. The franchise is 6-9 against the spread (ATS) in January, with the UNDER going 8-7 in that span.

Getting it done at home

Utah has compiled an impressive 15-4 overall record at EnergySolutions Arena, which includes a 9-4 mark versus Western Conference opponents. The Jazz will be trying to secure their seventh consecutive home victory in this affair, as they come off a 114-110 overtime win over the Indiana Pacers as two-point home favorites, while going OVER the posted total of 183.5. The team is 3-1 SUATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 6 points this season, with the UNDER going 3-1 in that situation.

Scoring points

Sports bettors are always going to have an interest in playing the OVER when looking over the NBA betting odds in games featuring the Rockets, considering they rank second in the NBA in averaging 104.4 points per game. Houston has been getting out in transition in its last four contests, averaging 24.0 fast-break points over that stretch. It’s still important to note that the team has fallen short of the number in two of its three games this year where the total was between 205 and 209.5 points. 

Series history 

The home team has covered the spread in four of the last five meetings in this series, while the UNDER has cashed in five of seven when the Rockets and Jazz meet in Salt Lake City. In two meetings this year, the host has won by an average of 9.5 points, which could provide some value on Utah based on the current number being offered in the market.

Life on the road out west 

The Rockets are 11-14 ATS as road underdogs of 3.5 to 6 points over the last two-plus seasons, which doesn’t have me running to the betting window when pairing that betting trend with their 2-10 SU record versus conference opponents away from the Toyota Center this year.

[gameodds]5/136426/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers look to add a play on the total to their NBA picks in this affair, as the Jazz have limited foes to an average of 95.7 points at home this season, while the Rockets haven’t gone above the century mark on the road since Jan. 5. 

NBA Pick: Under 208
comment here