Utah (33-18) at Houston (33-19)
When: Sunday, February 9th, 2020
Where: Toyota Center,
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: NBA TV
Opening Odds: Houston -3.5/233
The inconsistent play from the Houston Rockets continues and they’ll try and bounce back from an ugly loss Friday when they host the Utah Jazz on Sunday night at Toyota Center. Houston is still trying to figure out how to play small-ball and it worked brilliantly in a 121-111 triumph at the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday for their fourth consecutive victory, but not much would go right the next night. The Rockets were scorched by the Phoenix Suns 127-91 and were outscored 46-26 in the first quarter and ended up giving 14 minutes of playing time to center Isaiah Hartenstein in the loss after playing most of the last few games with no body on the court taller than 6’7″. The Jazz are exactly a half-game ahead of Houston for the all-important No. 4 seed in the Western Conference and escaped with a 117-114 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night. The win snapped a five-game losing streak but it didn’t come without controversy. Utah’s Rudy Gobert blocked All-Star Damian Lillard at the rim, though Lillard and the Blazers believed it should have been called goaltending, with Gobert even admitting so. The teams have played just once this season, with Houston earning a 126-117 win at Utah on Jan. 27 behind Eric Gordon’s career-high 50 points. The Rockets have won seven of the past eight meetings.
The Jazz have been a disaster over the last couple of weeks after a stretch in which they won 19 of 21 games. A big issue for the Jazz has been their defense, which has allowed 115.8 points per game over their last six contests, but still rank sixth in the category overall, allowing just 107.0 points per outing. With Houston going with smaller lineups, Gobert should get his looks on the inside. Gobert recorded 16 points and 14 rebounds in the win over Portland, while fellow All-Star Donovan Mitchell added 16 points. Houston is one of the worst in terms of opponent rebounds at 46.7 per game (26th) while the Jazz are among the best at 43.1 (5th).
Russell Westbrook scored 41 points in the win over the Lakers on Thursday before sitting out to rest on the second night of the back-to-back. Westbrook is averaging 34.1 points per game with 8.4 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 2.0 steals and shooting 50.5% from the field in his last seven games. Newcomer Robert Covington made his first start after coming off the bench on Thursday and delivered nine points and five rebounds in 25 minutes but went 1-of-7 from 3-point range after draining 4-of-7 in L.A. The Rockets missed 22 more shots than the Suns Friday and were outrebounded by 22 as well. Houston will host the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.
The small-ball does seem to be working for Houston, as they’re 5-1 since they implemented it. The only loss was with Westbrook out of the lineup. He’ll be back in there tonight and the Rockets should outshoot their way to a victory and cover.
Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free NBA Picks page for Sunday. He is 56-48-3 (54%) on the season after a 9-5 run!
Pick: Rockets -4
Jazz are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games following a straight up win.
Jazz are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Sunday games.
Jazz are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games.
Jazz are 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
Jazz are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
Jazz are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
Jazz are 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
Jazz are 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
Jazz are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games playing on 1 days rest.
Jazz are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Jazz are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Rockets are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing more than 125 points in their previous game.
Rockets are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Rockets are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points.
Rockets are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Sunday games.
Over is 7-1 in Jazz last 8 road games.
Over is 10-2 in Jazz last 12 games following a ATS loss.
Over is 4-1 in Jazz last 5 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
Under is 4-1 in Jazz last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Under is 4-1 in Jazz last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Over is 18-6 in Jazz last 24 Sunday games.
Over is 5-2 in Jazz last 7 games following a straight up win.
Over is 5-2 in Jazz last 7 games as an underdog.
Over is 5-2 in Jazz last 7 games as a road underdog.
Over is 20-8 in Jazz last 28 games playing on 1 days rest.
Under is 7-3 in Jazz last 10 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Over is 9-4 in Jazz last 13 overall.
Under is 6-1 in Rockets last 7 games after allowing more than 125 points in their previous game.
Under is 7-3 in Rockets last 10 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Under is 9-4 in Rockets last 13 games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points.
Under is 9-4 in Rockets last 13 Sunday games.
Jazz are 2-5-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings.
Under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings.
Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Houston.