|Houston Rockets (W1) vs. Utah Jazz (W5)||HOU 1 – UTA 0||8 p.m.||TNT||WatchTNT||HOU -11.5||204.5|
NBA odds courtesy of watchonlinetv24.com
There is only one 2018 NBA Playoffs game this evening, a Game 2 matchup between the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz. If the opening contest was any indication, this appears to be a mismatch of a Western Conference semifinals series and should be over rather quickly. The top-seeded Rockets blew out the Jazz in Game 1 by a 110-96 margin, a lopsided result that showed how much superior Houston is when firing on all cylinders. Probable NBA MVP James Harden led all scorers with 41 points, while Utah was able to muster a team-high 21 points from Jae Crowder and Donovan Mitchell.NBALiveTv
The Jazz looked out of sorts without Ricky Rubio in the lineup, the point guard who helped keep the club relevant despite losing Gordon Hayward in the offseason. Rubio was a force for the Jazz during their first round series versus the Oklahoma City Thunder, averaging 16.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 1.6 steals in 35 minutes across the first five games—a stretch that included an impressive triple-double in a Game 3 victory—before going down with a hamstring injury early in Utah’s decisive Game 6 win. He missed Game 1 against Houston on Sunday and is expected to remain sidelined for Game 2—and possibly beyond—as he recovers.
The Rockets continued their stretch of explosive scoring in the postseason over the weekend. The squad has yet to be held to less than 102 points in six contests, but more impressively boasts an average total of 117 points and average margin of victory of 17 points across the last three contests—showing that the players have been doing their job defensively as well. Harden has been feasting during these playoffs, averaging 31 points, 7.3 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals in just 36 minutes per game. Four other Rockets are averaging double-digit scoring numbers—Chris Paul (18.7), Clint Capela (15.8), Eric Gordon (12.5) and Trevor Arizona (10.5)—a factor that has helped ease the burden that Harden had on his shoulders during last year’s disappointing second-round playoff exit.
NBA Playoffs game 2018 Oddsmakers are expecting Game 2 to go the same way as the first, opening Houston as an 11.5-point favorite for the contest. The Rockets easily covered the same line on Sunday as they cruised to their big win. Will they repeat that performance on Tuesday, or will the Jazz show some life and keep it closer in the second go around? Jon Price of watchonlinetv24.com has provided his pick against the spread below, but before getting to the pro handicapper’s prediction, take a look at the full schedule, tip-off start time, TV and live stream coverage information, updated odds and more for this game. You can also find the latest 2018 NBA Playoff bracket, plus Tweets and quotes relevant to Game 2 of the Rockets-Jazz series below.