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NBA Odds & Preview Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz (2/23)

The Utah Jazz were on a genuine roll going into the All-Star break, but cooled down after that. But this is a real playoff contender, and their game against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night has some implications on the race in the Eastern Conference. They will tip it off at 9:05 PM ET

The Utah Jazz were on a genuine roll going into the All-Star break, but cooled down after that. But this is a real playoff contender, and their game against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night has some implications on the race in the Eastern Conference. They will tip it off at 9:05 PM ET, and BetAnySports customers will have an opportunity, even after the first whistle blows, to stay in the action with real-time wagers against  the NBA odds with Live Betting Extra.

The Rockets are 28-28 straight-up (24-32 ATS), while the Jazz are 27-28 SU and 28-25-2 against the basketball pointspread. So as you can see, only a half-game separates these teams in the West. Houston is holding onto the eighth spot at the moment, but they are vulnerable. On the other hand, if either of these clubs can pick up some steam, they could conceivably elevate themselves to the sixth spot, which would help them avoid both Golden State and San Antonio in the first round of the playoffs.

Utah has a six-game winning streak going at the Vivint Smart Home Arena (formerly known as the EnergySolutions Arena), while Houston is 12-15 on the road, both straight-up and against the number.

In the NBA odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, Utah is laying points:

Utah Jazz -5

Houston Rockets  +5

Over 202.5 points  -110

Under 202.5 points  -110

The scheduling difference between these teams coming into this game is quite vivid. The Rockets have played only once since coming back, and that was a 116-100 win over the lowly Phoenix Suns. They have had three days off as they get ready for this one. The Jazz have played three times since the All-Star break, Losing to Washington and Portland on the road and scoring a home win over the Boston Celtics. After a seven-game winning streak, Utah has lost three of their last four games, and have played four of the last five over the total.

The Rockets were dealt a recent blow, we suppose, when the trade they had made with the Detroit Pistons before the deadline was voided when Donatas Motiejunas failed his physical. So he and Marcus Thornton went back to Houston. Center Joel Anthony, who had come to Houston in that deal and then was traded to Philadelphia, has to go back to Detroit, so a couple of deals were voided. BetAnySports patrons know that the Rockets did not pull the trigger on a deal for Dwight Howard, who did not seem to mesh too well with James Harden, so they are relatively pat as they head down the stretch.

Utah was part of the trade rumor mill, as word was that they were seeking point guard help in the form of Jeff Teague, because they were dangerously thin at the position. They did not make a deal with the Atlanta Hawks for Teague, but Atlanta did send them Shelvin Mack, a former teammate of Gordon Hayward at Butler, and he responded with 16 points and six assists in 24 minutes off the bench. In this playoff game, even incremental gains could wind up meaning a whole lot.

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