Houston Rockets (3-0 SU & ATS) vs. Utah Jazz (0-3 SU & ATS)
Monday, April 18, 10:30 PM EST
Free NBA Pick: Rockets ATS
Recommended Sportsbook: 5Dimes
James Harden and company are poised to sweep the Utah Jazz on the road tonight and, by all accounts, it’s an almost certain bet.
The Utah Jazz have been outplayed and outmuscled in this Western Conference playoff series. Heck, they’ve barely made an impact, save for game 3 in which they lost by merely three points. On that day, Harden took the game upon himself in his typical singular fashion, showing all and sundry why he’s the reigning MVP in the league. The Jazz even led for a stretch before Harden and company turned the game on its head.
Game 1 saw the Rockets reel off a 122-90 victory to cover the -6.5 closing spread on the NBA odds board with plenty of units to spare. Game 2 followed the same rich vein of form for the hosts as they crushed the Jazz 118-98 and covered the -7.0 closing spread across sports betting platforms.
Game 3 saw the Rockets hit the road and, perhaps, face their most dramatic test in a 104-101 victory. That said, the Rockets got the third win and now they’re poised to sweep the series in Utah.
NBA odds makers have rolled out a rather nominal spread for this game, opening the line with the Rockets laying just -1.5 points. Since open doors the line has been bet up to -3 on account of 68% of the bets going towards Houston. The public is heavy on the Rockets and it’s easy to see why.
The fourth-seed Rockets have controlled the series from the start over the fifth seed Jazz. They are fourth overall on the offensive side of the ball with an average of 114.7 points per game. Sixth in rebounding with 46.7 boards per game and 13th with 20.3 assists per game. They are also 11th in scoring defense with just 109.2 points allowed per game.
The Jass were sorely exposed in the first two games before putting up a fight in game 3. That they lost by a mere few points could be a source of inspiration and something for the hosts to cling on when they get underway in Salt Lake City tonight. The looming 0-3 series score however is disheartening. Fact it game 3 was a must win game and now It might be all just a little bit too late. Heck, even the head coach seems deflated, which can’t be inspiring in the locker room.
NBA Betting Verdict: There’s two ways to look at Game 3 and how it impacts betting on tonight’s game with your NBA picks. On one hand, there is the fact that it was a close game and the Jazz had plenty of chances, all of which could prove a catalyst for a win – mind you, a pointless game 4 victory in order to delay the inevitable in game 5 in Houston (let’s face it, the Rockets really should win this series). If this notion aligns with your thinking perhaps a light tickle on the hosts as the nominal dogs is the best NBA pick for you.
On the other hand, we can look at Game 3 as yet another complete and utter failure by the Jazz. The three-points on the board are immaterial when the end result is a third straight loss in the series. Down 0-3 to the Rockets must feel like an insurmountable obstacle. Just look at head coach Quinn Snyder’s demeanour. If he’s that deflated after that loss how is he ever going to rouse the Jazz for tonight’s game with any conviction of a win, never mind turning the series on its head. If this is more your line of thinking, then the Rockets as the road faves must be the choice NBA pick.