The Grizzlies went into LAC and handled their business last night, with both Conley and Gasol contributing 20-plus point despite being listed with some injury concerns. We took the loss, but will try to bounce back today and start a new winning streak.
It was a relatively quiet night in the NBA, given the early season chaos that has abounded. With the exception of the Clippers, every favorite won last night, including the Timberwolves moving to 6-3 with a win over hapless Mavs and the Pelicans getting back to .500 with a win in Chicago (though it took an extra five minutes).
The highlight of the night was the “remember us??” third quarter blitz from Golden State. They used a 43-22 period to bury the Nuggets in Denver and provide yet another less-than-subtle reminder, there is nothing wrong with the Champs, and frankly, no one is even in their weight class to punch for the belt…
Today’s NBA Pick:
Utah Jazz at Houston Rockets -6.5
This is more of a pick against the number than an assessment of each of the team’s relative position and expectations for the 2017-2018 season. I’m not a buyer in Utah stock. I think they are too offensively limited in a dynamic Western Conference and will struggle to make the Playoffs. I think Houston, though not a legitimate challenger, is probably the closest thing we have to a team that could make for an interesting series with the Warriors.
But the trends from an ATS perspective tilt this game heavily in Utah’s favor. The Jazz are 8-2 ATS in their last ten road games. Houston is just 3-10 ATS at home in their last 13 contests. The Rockets are 7-2 SU in their last seven games against Utah, and I would expect them to win tonight, but I am not willing to lay more than a half-dozen tonight. Houston has been scoring, but they aren’t the offensive juggernaut of 2016-2017 so far this season. They rank just ninth in Offensive Efficiency, a far cry from last year’s “if it weren’t for the Dubs, we could be considered one of the best offensive teams in NBA history” performance. Defensively, the Jazz rank 3rd in efficiency, and they defend the arc well. Don’t be surprised if Houston shoots well, but not exceptionally so tonight. It isn’t ALL luck as many pundits like to suppose; you CAN defend the perimeter with more focused success, and Quinn Synder’s clubs generally do.
This should be a pretty good basketball game. I won’t go Utah on the moneyline, especially given their 0-3 SU road mark this season. But I don’t like a blowout either. Houston is just 1-2 SU at home, with a negative 8.8 ppg mark ATS.
Today’s NBA Pick: UTAH JAZZ +6.5