Two teams coming off defeats in their latest matchups are clashing in the opening game of this Western Conference quarterfinal, when the fourth-seeded Houston Rockets (53-29), are hosting the fifth-seeded Utah Jazz (50-32), with both teams looking to bounce back tonight and open the postseason with a victory.
Date/Time: 04-14-2019, 21:30 EDT
Spread: Houston Rockets -6.5
Houston Rockets finished the regular season with a 53-29 record (40-39-3 against the spread) and were placed 4th in the West. In their last game they saw a six-game winning streak getting snapped by losing on the road against the Thunder with a 111-112 score, not beating the odds. They are led in scoring by James Harden with 36.1 ppg, adding 6.6 boards and 7.5 dimes per game. He is followed by Clint Capela with 16.6 ppg and a team high 12.7 boards per game.
Utah Jazz finished the regular season with a 50-32 record (44-36-2 against the spread) and were placed 5th in the West. They have lost two of their last three matches and in their last game they lost on the road against the Clippers with a 137-143 score in overtime, beating the odds. They are led in scoring by Donovan Mitchell with 23.8 ppg, adding 4.1 boards and 4.2 dimes per game. He is followed by Rudy Gobert with 15.9 ppg and a team high 12.9 boards per game.
In their four previous meetings in the regular season both teams were tied 2-2 wins and were 1-1 in Houston (Rockets won by 5 points and Jazz by 11). Rockets have a 31-10 home record, while the Jazz are 21-19 on the road. Rockets are better offensively, scoring 113.9 ppg to Jazz’s 111.7, while Jazz are better defensively, allowing 106.5 ppg to Rockets’ 109.1 ppg. Jazz have a better field goal percentage (46.8% to 44.9%), while both teams have identical 3-point percentage (35.6%). Jazz are better both in boards grabbed (46.4 to 42.1) and in dimes made (26 to 21.2), while Rockets are better in turnovers committed (12.7 to 14.8). Rockets are the favorite for the win but Vegas odds give them a -6.5 spread and don’t expect them to beat the odds as the Jazz will surely force a closer game than that on the road.
Utah Jazz vs Houston Rockets Game 1 Prediction: Utah Jazz +6.5 (-110)
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