Jazz vs. Rockets NBA expert prediction and odds for Saturday, March 23 (Back Houston at home)

Can the Rockets win their eighth straight game tonight?

Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) reacts after a made basket.
Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) reacts after a made basket. / Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets are arguably the hottest team in the NBA right now, winning seven straight games and nine of their last 10 to pull within two games of the No. 10 seed in the Western Conference. 

With the Golden State Warriors losing on Friday night to the Indiana Pacers, the Rockets have a chance to pick up another half game on Saturday when they take on the Utah Jazz.

Utah is in full tank mode, as several players – including former All-Star Lauri Markkanen – have been in and out of the lineup, dropping the team to 29-41 on the season. The Jazz are the No. 12 seed in the West, but they’re 5.5 games back of Houston for the No. 11 spot. 

With the Rockets heavily favored on Saturday, how should we bet on this matchup?

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Here’s a look at the latest odds and my best bet for this contest:  

Jazz vs. Rockets odds, spread and total

Jazz vs. Rockets how to watch 

  • Date: Saturday, March 23
  • Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Toyota Center
  • How to watch (TV): AT&T SportsNet Southwest, Root Sports Northwest
  • Jazz record: 29-41
  • Rockets record: 34-35

Jazz vs. Rockets injury reports

Jazz injury report

  • Darius Bazley – out
  • Jordan Clarkson – out
  • John Collins – questionable
  • Kenneth Lofton Jr. – out
  • Lauri Markkanen – out
  • Omer Yurtseven – questionable

Rockets injury report

  • Steven Adams – out
  • Tari Eason – out
  • Nate Hinton – out
  • Jermaine Samuels Jr. – out
  • Alperen Sengun – out
  • Cam Whitmore – out

Jazz vs. Rockets key players to watch

Utah Jazz

Keyonte George: One bright spot for the Jazz has been rookie guard Keyonte George, who is averaging 19.0 points and 4.3 assists per game in nine contests this month. Utah knows this is a rebuilding season, so George and Taylor Hendricks should be heavily involved down the stretch. 

Houston Rockets

Jabari Smith Jr.: Jabari Smith Jr. has been asked to do more in the paint with Sengun out, especially rebounding the ball. The former No. 3 overall pick is averaging 13.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this month, although he shot just 2-for-10 in his last game against the Chicago Bulls. 

Jazz vs. Rockets prediction and pick

What may be most impressive about this run by Houston is the fact that the team is doing it without two key rotation players in rookie Cam Whitmore and star Alperen Sengun. 

The Rockets have won five of their seven games on this streak by double-digits, and the team has improved to an impressive 12-5-1 against the spread as a home favorite on the season.

Houston’s play at Toyota Center has been some of the best in the NBA, going 24-11 straight up at home and ranking No. 4 in defensive rating and No. 7 in net rating at home. 

Meanwhile, the Jazz have been brutal on the road, going 9-26 straight up and 11-18-1 against the spread as road dogs. The team is also on a four-game losing streak, and it has struggled with Markkanen sitting this season (7-10 straight up). 

Even with Sengun still out, I think Houston can keep this winning streak going against a weak opponent. 

Pick: Rockets -11 (-110)

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.