Can the Jazz snatch away the 8th playoff spot in the West from Houston?

Houston vs Utah Free NBA Pick

Written by on February 22, 2016

Things are beginning to heat up at the bottom half of the playoff race in the Western Conference, with just 2 games separating the 6th seed from the 9th. There are also still a couple of teams in the chasing pack who may yet be able to make an impact. Just look at the Portland Trail Blazers (9-1 in their last 10 games) as the perfect example of a team that can come out of nowhere to take a real run at a playoff spot. The Utah Jazz are currently occupying the 9th seed in the West, but are just a half game back of the Houston Rockets in 8th. A win for the Jazz in this game could send them into a playoff position, and perhaps serve as the sort of confidence booster they need to finish the regular season on a winning run. This should be a close game with both teams bidding for those final playoff spots and a sure deal NBA betting duel to wager on.

Houston Rockets Vs Utah Jazz NBA Odds, TV and Game Info

When: Tuesday, February 23, 9 PM ESTWhere: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake CityTV: ROOTRadio: KBME and KZNSLive Stream: ROOTSportsNBA Odds: TBA

Why bet on the Houston Rockets

The Rockets (26-28) know that they need a big second half of the season if they want to be in the postseason, but you have to question whether or not this team has the heart to manage that. They have been up and down all season long, and how they respond through the first 3 games of the second half on the road may well dictate how the final weeks of the season play out. They certainly got things off to a good start with a 116-100 win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday, but this one figures to be a little tougher. The Rockets are just 12-15 on the road, but have managed to put together a winning 20-17 record against conference opponents. They have won both games against the Jazz this season, but the last one in Utah was decided by just 2 points. The Rockets are averaging 105.2 PPG, and are giving up 106.7 PPG

Why bet on the Utah Jazz

I spoke at the start of this piece about teams potentially making a good run heading down the stretch, and the Utah Jazz (27-28) look as though they may be set to do just that. They have gone 7-3 in their last 10 games, and they can take the #8 seed in the Western Conference with a win over the Rockets. That in itself should be inspiration enough for them to go out and get the win, but they will also likely be looking at a solid record on home court, where they are 18-10 this season. The Jazz have won 6-straight games in their own building, and you have to believe that they are the favorites to make it 7 in a row against a less than impressive Rockets team. The Jazz are averaging 98.1 PPG, and are giving up 96.8 PPG.

Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

These two teams ae pretty evenly matched, and the Rockets will like the fact that they have already won both games versus Utah this season. The fact of the matter, though, is that the Jazz are playing better ball right now, and I think they will edge this one.Houston Rockets 101 Utah Jazz 104