Rockets' Offense Might Sputter Early on Road Against Jazz

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Jordan Sharp

Monday, February 26, 2018 3:41 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 3:41 PM UTC

Houston, fresh off a Sunday road win in Denver, has an equally tough road game tonight in Utah. The Rockets are favored, but could weariness play a role in their effectiveness?

Monday NBA: Rockets vs. JazzFree NBA Pick: Under 107½ 1HBest Line Offered: Pinnacle

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Houston’s chances on no rest

Not only do the Rockets have to play a rested Jazz team tonight on the road, but they also will do it after a grueling win over the Nuggets on Sunday night.

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The Rockets were still without Eric Gordon on Sunday night. If he can’t play tonight, that takes away some offense from this group

Even though the addition of Joe Johnson really helps Houston's wing depth, Utah's wing defense has been really strong this season. The Rockets have a lot of veterans, and playing this late in the season on no rest is going to be tough.

Houston is only 2-6 ATS when playing on the second night of a back-to-back, and 3-4-1 cashing the "over" on no rest. Against a team like the Jazz, who are 19-10 SU and 16-13 ATS at home, it’s going to be very hard for Houston to win.

However, this is the fourth meeting between these teams this season, and Houston has had little trouble putting away the Jazz all three times SU and ATS. The Rockets won both of their home games against the Jazz by more than 20 points, and they beat Utah by 11 in Salt Lake City in December.

Granted, they were coming off at least one day of rest in each of those three games, and Houston had three days of rest leading into beating the December meeting.

The Jazz are 12-1 SU and 8-5 ATS in their last 13 games, so either way this will be a very tough test for the Rockets.

The Sharp Pick

The value in this game lies in the first-half total. At only 107½ on the NBA odds board, it could be a fantastic "over" play with your NBA picks when you consider some facts.

The Rockets have had some lower-scoring first halves when they play on no rest. Even though it has not been as profound lately, as we get deeper into the season, Houston and its opponents are averaging 109.6 combined points per first half in games in which Houston is playing on no rest.

However, those numbers are a bit misleading because playing the pace-down Jazz will affect those number the most tonight. If you take away Houston’s game against the Warriors on no rest, that average first-half combined score falls to 107.4 in seven games.

The Jazz are allowing less than 49 points per first half this season at home, and over their last five games they have given up only 47.2 points per first half.

Considering Houston is averaging less than 56 points per first half when they play on no rest, look for this one to fall "under" the posted first-half total.

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