The Houston Rockets blew the doors off the Utah Jazz in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series and are solidly favoured at Sports Interaction to take a 2-0 lead on Wednesday night.
The Houston Rockets certainly aren’t looking past the Utah Jazz, even following an easy 122-90 win in Game 1 of their series, but it would behoove Houston to finish this series off as quickly as possible for two reasons. First, the Golden State Warriors look like they are going to have little trouble sweeping the Los Angeles Clippers. Thus, the Rockets don’t want to be dragged into a long series while the Warriors, who would be the next opponent, are home resting.
Second, you never know when injury might strike injury-prone Rockets point guard Chris Paul. The fewer games Houston has to play, all the better. The Warriors know how important Paul is to Houston as they trailed the Rockets 3-2 in last year’s West Finals. Paul missed the final two due to injury and Golden State rallied.
NBA Playoffs Point Spread and Betting Analysis
On the updated Sports Interaction series line, Houston is -588 and Utah +350. The Rockets are +500 second-favourites to win the West with the Jazz at +3500.
The favourite has covered nine of the past 14 between these teams. The total has gone under in four of the previous five.
The Jazz simply don’t match up well with Houston, losing last year’s playoff series in five games to the Rockets and then getting trashed by 32 points in Game 1 on Sunday. Utah shot just 39 per cent overall (reserves were at 15.4 per cent) and 7-for-27 from deep. The bench was terrible with just 18 points. One of those guys, Kyle Korver, was a game-time call with right knee soreness. He played but might as well not have, going 0-for-2 with four fouls in 10 minutes. Jae Crowder was 1-for-9.
Star centre Rudy Gobert had a nice game with 22 points and 12 rebounds but the Jazz were outscored by 23 points with him on the court. Utah also turned it over 19 times. The Jazz are 10-4 ATS in their past 14 on the road.
The Jazz couldn’t slow James Harden much in Game 1 as the league’s leading regular-season scorer had 29 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. He led seven players in double-figure points – Houston got 35 points from its bench. The Rockets also continued their stellar defensive play. Since the All-Star break, the Rockets have ranked No. 2 in the NBA in defensive efficiency with only Utah better.
Game 1 was Houston’s 30th win this season by double-digit points and 13th by at least 20. The team is 43-6 when leading after three quarters. Houston is 6-0-1 ATS in its past seven at home.