Utah Jazz vs Houston Rockets: Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds (1/5/23)

Once thought of as a potential Western Conference sleeper after a blistering hot start, the Utah Jazz have been falling back down to earth after a recent offensive slump. Mainly due to lingering injuries to various players over the course of the past few weeks, breaking up any consistency that they were accumulating. The Rockets on the other hand have been a bottom dweller since day one. Can they get the upset win on their home court?

Utah Jazz vs Houston Rockets Betting Odds

Oddsmakers don’t think so as they opened the Jazz as a -6 favorite on the road. Bettors are in agreement, backing Utah up to as high as a -7 favorite. Even with their offense faltering over the course of a full game, they are still a more complete unit than what the Rockets have been pushing out. While Houston has not really been competitive since the departure of James Harden, they do have an exciting young core that are a few pieces away from being competitive.

As for the total, oddsmakers believe points will be scored at a moderate pace as they opened the total at 232.5. With the Rockets anemic style of play and coupled with the Jazz offensive woes, bettors have hit the under down to as low as 231 in some shops as of writing. Houston is also coming off of zero days rest after battling it out against the Pelicans on the road, giving the potential for tired legs and sluggish possessions.

Utah Jazz vs Houston Rockets Prediction

The Pick: Under 232.5

With that said, I will take the under at 232.5 and would buy this down to as low as 230.5 as we may be in for a very sloppy offensive display of basketball. When you couple the Jazz’s recent offensive woes along with Houston’s selfish style of play, we are due for long scoring droughts and stalled out possessions.

Especially with the Rockets shocking recently improved defensive play. Normally one of the worst Adjusted Defensive Efficiency units this season, has actually seen a massive swing in their favor over the past few games. In their last five games, they currently rank sixth in Opponent Effective Field Goal Percentage, excelling at smothering opposing looks into low quality shots.

That is exactly what they will need to do once again as the Jazz have turned their offense into an effective shooting unit while molding into today’s style of play. They take the Warriors approach with clean looks at the perimeter or cuts to the rim. While those numbers have dipped as of late, they are still effective. If the Rockets can continue their improved defensive play and turn those looks into low quality opportunities, then our under ticket will be sitting pretty.

Betting Trends

  • Under is 20-8 in Jazz last 28 road games vs a team with a losing home record
  • Under is 4-0 in Rockets last four games on zero days rest
  • Under is 11-4 in their last 15 meetings against each other

Key Matchups

Can the reeling Jazz defense hold up against the Rockets poor scoring efforts?

Jazz on-ball defense vs Houston playmaking

It’s no secret that the Rockets are one of the worst teams in the league, if not the worst. While the defense has slightly improved, their offense has remained at the bottom of the barrel all season long.

This is in large part of their offensive schemes, relying on a one-on-one style of play that has not proven to be effective. They have young athletic talent but fail to score at a consistent rate as opposing defenses can collapse on the drives to the basket.

To help our under ticket, the Jazz will need to use their length to clog the paint and force Houston to beat them from the perimeter. An area that is a concern for the Rockets, especially with them potentially missing sharpshooter Eric Gordon.

Verdict

Take the under at no lower than 230.5 in what may be a very sloppy offensive display of basketball.

Utah Jazz Starting Lineup

PG: Mike Conley
SG: Jordan Clarkson
SF: Jarred Vanderbilt
PF: Lauri Markkanen
C: Kelly Olynyk

(Team Callout)

Houston Rockets Starting Lineups

PG: Kevin Porter Jr
SG: Jalen Green
SF: Tari Eason
PF: Jabari Smith Jr
C: Alperen Sengun

(Team Callout)

Key Injuries

Utah Jazz Injuries: Collin Sexton (O)

Houston Rockets Injuries: Eric Gordon (D)

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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