Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz Preview
The Houston Rockets (14-14) and Utah Jazz (14-16) seem to have changed places since they last played on December 6, a game the Jazz won in convincing fashion 118-91.
Houston has won their last three games and five of their last ten to move up just a bit from the cellar of the Western Conference and reach the .500 mark, while the Jazz lost their most recent game and are also 5-5 in their last ten.
The Rockets needed a triple-double from James Harden and a few monster games to get to this point, and they’ll continue to ask for outstanding performances out of him especially facing Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz tonight, who lost to Orlando in Mexico City on Saturday.
In the third meeting in the season series, the Rockets will be looking to finally get one in the win column at home tonight.
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Arena: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
Channel: ATTSN-RM, ATTSN-SW
Houston Rockets Starting Lineup
If you’re looking for one single answer to why the Rockets have been able to win three straight games, you’ll only need one as all arrows point to the 6-5, bearded guard for the Rockets, James Harden. After dropping three straight, Harden put the Rockets on his back by averaging 37 points in that three-game streak and racking up triple-doubles in his last two games, one of which was a 50 point, 11 assist, 10 rebound night against the Lakers.
While Harden pretty much has done it all in the last three, he’s going to need more help if the Rockets hope to sustain this and get into position for a playoff seed by the end of the season. There are only six games between 1 and 12 in the West currently so all hope is not lost, but role players will likely need to play bigger roles moving forward.
Clint Capela seems to be playing well, but Chris Paul and Eric Gordon seem to be struggling on offense, and considering defense isn’t the team’s strong suit, that’s cause for concern.
Utah Jazz Starting Lineup
The Jazz seemed to be hitting all the right notes, but they have now lost three of their last four games, including their 96-89 loss to the Magic across the border.
Cold shooting plagued the Jazz all game as they shot just over 31 percent from the field. As a team, they got what they needed from their starters, but bench scoring was also an issue. Only Jae Crowder got close to double-digits. It was a surprise performance considering the absolute shellacking they gave the Miami Heat, 111-84 on Wednesday with six players in double figures, including recent addition Kyle Korver, who went for 16.
The Jazz may have the advantage in the season series, but going on the road and beating a surging team won’t be an easy task. They’ll need Favors and Mitchell to be their normal selves, and Rudy Gobert will need to have a bounce-back game on offense as he attempts to corral Capela.
Rockets vs. Jazz Betting Odds
The Rockets opened up as -5.5 favorites, but the spread is currently at -5. The over/under is 212 points.
There has been no movement on the moneyline and the Rockets are at -210, and Jazz are a +175.
The Rockets are 106-47 at home and 166-67 as the favorite. The Jazz will have to get over some rough odds as they have a win percentage of 30.6% as the underdog.
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DraftKings & FanDuel Fantasy Picks
To no surprise, Houston’s Harden is the stud for the Rockets tonight. He has a FanDuel salary of $11,700 and is projected for 48.49 points. His counterpart on the Jazz, Donovan Mitchell, qualifies as both a stud and fantasy value. He has a salary of $7,500 and is projected to finish with 34.38 fantasy points.
Capela is a bit out of range to be considered a fantasy value, so look to Eric Gordon. He’ll have to find his way out of the shooting slump he was in last game, but for the FanDuel salary of $4,900, he’s projected to do just that with 25.23 points.
Find all of our Fanduel and Draftkings projections here: https://www.lineups.com/nba/nba-fantasy-basketball-projections.