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NBA PICKS APRIL 22 - HOUSTON ROCKETS VS UTAH JAZZ PICK & ANALYSIS

April 22, 2019

NBA EXPERT PICKS - FULL ANALYSIS ATTACHED

HOUSTON ROCKETS/UTAH JAZZ UNDER 214.5 POINTS: 1 UNIT (-110)

The Rockets and Jazz have been top-10 under teams all season. Both teams have been securing unders at high rates since the All-Star Break. Historical results between the Rockets and Jazz have unders hitting at high rates. The under is 2-0-1 in 3 games this series and we will be supporting the under in Game 4 tonight. The two teams have an average combined score of 211 and most recently played to a game score of 205 points in Game 3 in Utah.

The Rockets are predominantly discussed in public narratives as a high-flying offensive team because of James Harden and company’s polarizing style of play. While exciting to watch, in reality they were ranked just 11th this season in point per game (113.9) and are extremely underrated on the defensive side of the ball. The Rockets were a top-10 defensive unit this season allowing just 109.1 points per game. They are also ranked 25th in pace and are clock-killers at both ends of the court, averaging just 97.8 possessions per game. They prefer a slow tempo, half-court style approach to the game. They rely on their offensive efficiency to win games, and force opponents to set up their offense and match their shooting percentages. Limited easy points and fast breaks. As a result, the Rockets were the 7th best under team this year, with the total falling below the number in 54.4% of their games. This cover rate has risen significantly down the stretch and into playoffs as the under has hit in 16 of their last 23 games (69.5%). The total has gone under in 8 of their last 11 games on the road (72.7%).

The Jazz were a mediocre offensive team all season averaging a 17th ranked 111.7 points per game and a 19th ranked 112.6 points per game at home. They have relied on their top-5 defensive unit all season to make the playoffs. They ranked 4th in points allowed per game (106.4) and 2nd in overall defensive efficiency allowing 105.7 points per 100 possessions. The Jazz offense has been abysmal in all 3 games and are averaging 96.3 points per game. Utah has topped 100 points just once with a measly 101. They are shooting just 40.1% from the field and have a brutal 25.5% clip from beyond the arc. The Jazz are holding James Harden to ‘just’ 27 points per game (-9 points below his season average) and held him to just 3-20 from the field in Game 3 in Utah.

The total has fallen under in 5 of the last 7 meetings between the Rockets and Jazz (71.4%), and in 5 of the last 6 games between them when played in Utah (83.3%). The total has gone under in 8 of the Jazz’s last 11 games at home (72.7%).