Houston Rockets (71-19) at Utah Jazz (53-38)
NBA Basketball: Sunday, May 6, 2018 at 8:00 pm (Vivint Smart Home Arena)
The Line: Utah Jazz +6 -- Over/Under: 208.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz meet Sunday in game four of the Western Conference playoffs at the Vivint Smart Home Arena.
The Houston Rockets can all but end this series by winning another road game and taking a 3-1 lead. The Houston Rockets are averaging 110.4 points on 44.5 percent shooting and allowing 101.5 points on 46.6 percent shooting. James Harden is averaging 30.4 points and 8.4 assists while Chris Paul is averaging 18.8 points and six assists. Clint Capela is the third double-digit scorer and Eric Gordon is grabbing 2.5 rebounds. The Houston Rockets are shooting 35.1 percent from beyond the arc and 77.8 percent from the free throw line. The Houston Rockets are allowing 40.6 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 43.6 rebounds per game. The Houston Rockets have won four of their last seven road games.
The Utah Jazz need a victory here to tie things up at 2-2 before heading back to Houston for game five. The Utah Jazz are averaging 104.1 points on 46.1 percent shooting and allowing 104.2 points on 43.5 percent shooting. Donovan Mitchell is averaging 24.3 points and 3.9 assists while Joe Ingles is averaging 14.8 points and 3.9 rebounds. Rudy Gobert is the third double-digit scorer and Jae Crowder is grabbing 4.8 rebounds. The Utah Jazz are shooting 36.6 percent from beyond the arc and 67 percent from the free throw line. The Utah Jazz are allowing 36.3 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 45.4 rebounds per game. The Utah Jazz have won seven of their last eight home games.
The Rockets are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 Sunday games, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Jazz are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 Sunday games, 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games playing on 1 days rest and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Rockets are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Utah, 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings and the favorite is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
I never like to put a ton of stock into one game in a seven game series, as things change from contest to contest. However, when the Houston Rockets are making shots, the Jazz will struggle to keep up, as there's just not enough offense to go around. Mitchell is really the only guy on the Jazz who can consistently create his own shot, putting this team really in a hole against a squad where everybody can make threes. The Utah Jazz have now failed to cover seven of their last nine games when an underdog. Utah should be better defensively given that it's the bread and butter of this team. But the Rockets can't afford to make this a long series, as they need as much rest as possible with the Warriors likely meeting them soon. I'll predict the Rockets come out hungry again and close the deal.