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NBA Playoff Prediction: Utah Jazz vs Houston Rockets

by Scott Burgess on Friday, May 2nd, 2008

The Houston Rockets have a chance to force a Game 7 tonight with a road win in Utah against the Jazz. The Jazz lead the Western Conference best of seven series 3-2 and the odds are in their favor as they finished the regular season with the best home record, 38-5 SU. Oddsmakers at SBGglobal.com have the Jazz as 7 ½-point favs over the Rockets with the over/under set at 180. Get your NBA Playoff Prediction in now at SBGglobal.com

The Rockets won Game 5 in dominating fashion winning 95-69 at home. Tracy McGrady had 29pts and 5 assists while Luis Scala had 18pts and 12 rebounds. A big reason for their recent success in the return of Rafer Alston, he had 14pts, 6 assists and 2 steals. At one point during the game the Rockets had a 26pt lead thanks to their defense that held the Jazz to 36% shooting from the field. They made 6 of 18 3-pointers and 15 of 19 from the free throw line. For a team that won 22 straight, winning three in a row seems like a piece of cake. The Rockets have averaged 87 PPG, 41% from the field and 33% from beyond the arch in five games against the Jazz. McGrady had his left knee wrapped during a light practice Thursday in Houston. He said the soreness that kept him out of 12 games midway through the season has returned, although he won’t let this keep him out of tonight’s game. The Rockets are 1-1 SU on the road in Utah, both were very close games.

The Jazz have everything going for themselves tonight, they’ve never lost back to back games this season and they’ve only lost five home games all season. Despite being spanked in Game 5, they aren’t going to let Game 6 slip away. Their starting five had an off night, Carlos Boozer had a 19pts making just 8 of 18 from the field while as a team they made 27 of 74 from the field and 2 of 9 from the arch. For a team that finished ranked 5th in scoring (106 PPG) this was a bad night, or good defensive night for Houston. The Jazz have averaged 86 PPG during this series, making 44% from the field and 32% from beyond the arch. The Jazz have gone 58-for-146 over the past two games, making only two of 23 3-pointers. On Tuesday, the Jazz were 27-for-74 and committed 18 turnovers while scoring the fewest points they have all season.

Recent Trends to Consider

  • Rockets are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing less than 75 points in their previous game.
  • Rockets are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 playoff games as an underdog of 5.0-10.5.
  • Rockets are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games playing on 2 days rest.
  • Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
  • Under is 11-5 in the last 16 meetings in Utah.
  • Rockets are 4-9 ATS in the last 13 meetings.
  • Underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
  • Road team is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.

GAME: Houston Rockets (57-30) at Utah Jazz (57-30)
DATE/TIME: Friday, May 02 – 10:30 PM EST
LINE: SBGglobal.com   TOTAL: 180
PICK: Houston +7 ½

The Bottom Line: While I don’t doubt the Jazz will win, I think the Rockets will cash in on the spread. Tracy McGrady and Rafer Alston are going to bring everything they got and more! Get your NBA Playoff Prediction in now at SBGglobal.com and receive a 10% sign-up bonus on your initial deposit.

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