Jazz vs Rockets – NBA Game 5 Pick for May 8th

by Rick Rockwell
on May 8, 2018

With the series shifting back to Houston, it’s hard to believe that there will be a Game 6. Bookmakers feel the same way as they have Houston at -1100 for winning the game. The Rockets had a “so-so” performance in Game 4, but were still able to pound the Jazz 100-87. Returning home, where the Rockets have gone 38-8 this year, Houston is in a great position to close out the series and rest up until their likely matchup against the Warriors.

Utah got their one win of the series, which was Game 2, when the Rockets appeared to sleepwalk during the game. Since that loss, Houston has outscored Utah 223 to 179. The Rockets are 23-4 at home against the Northwest division and 7-2 at home in the playoffs. The more you dig into their home stats, the more you become convinced they will win. So, the question then becomes – how much will they win by?

Right now, most books have the Rockets favored by 12 points. Considering that Houston has outscored Utah by an average of 16 points per game in their victories, I would say 12 is a nice number and that’s what we’re going to take with this game. Although I like the Under as well, I feel the spread will have a better chance of hitting in a closeout game than the total, especially since Utah has been erratic with their shooting and scoring.

In game 4, Harden had his lowest point total of the series at 24 points. Fortunately, the Rockets were able to get big games from other players like Chris Paul who led the way with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Houston’s big man Clint Capela finished with 12 points, 15 rebounds and 6 big blocks. He’s been a solid contributor this series and I expect another great game from him tonight. I also expect Harden to surpass 30 points in Game 5 as he’s a beast at home. In games 1 and 2, both in Houston, Harden averaged 36.5 ppg, 7 rpg, and 9 apg. I believe he will come close to those numbers tonight.

In Game 4, the Rockets shot 26.1% from beyond the arc as they only connected on 10-of-38 three-point attempts.  Their 42% from the floor was also a bit on the low side. I expect both of these numbers to improve when they return home for Game 5.

Let’s be honest here, the Jazz are in trouble. They need to just make plans for vacation because they’re not defeating the Rockets in this closeout game. Utah has had a nice postseason run, but their time is up. In Game 4, the Jazz were near even in rebounds (53 to 54), 3 point % (24.1 to 26.3), FG % (38.6 to 42), turnovers (17-13) and fouls (21 to 21). And yet, they still lost by 13. Additionally, both teams were close in fast-break points as the Jazz had 6 and Houston had 8. Utah had more points in the paint, and more free throw attempts, but still couldn’t find a way to win the game. Unless Houston has a really bad performance, it doesn’t matter what Utah does because the Jazz has no chance.

Utah is 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games against the NBA Southwest, 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games against the Rockets, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 overall games and 2-4 ATS in their last 6 road games. Houston is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games, 19-7 ATS versus the Northwest Division, and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 home games against the Jazz.

Most bettors and pundits are predicting a blowout win for the Rockets. I also feel this will happen. The Under is appealing, but I feel the spread has a better chance of hitting.

Bet: Rockets -12 (-105)

Pick: Rockets -12

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Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site.

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