NBA Picks February 22: Rockets and Jazz battle for playoff positioning

Entering the final quarter of the NBA season and much is to be determined in terms of playoff positioning. Several good matchups are in store for Saturday, February 22 with the Rockets versus Jazz headlining play.

Houston Rockets versus Utah Jazz

In this Western Conference battle, the fifth-seeded Rockets takes on the fourth-seeded Jazz.  Houston is 15-12 on the road, while Utah is 20-5 at home. The Jazz hole a narrow +24 to +22 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot” versus “average up” on the Team Strength Oscillator. When considering the over/under for this one, keep in mind that the teams are trending on opposite sides of the line according to the Totals Predictor. Utah is the more stable team at +24 to +13 on the Team Volatility Oscillator, meaning they are performing more consistently according to their favorite/underdog status. So far the teams have split the two meetings this season, both winning on the road. That trend will end in this game with the Jazz earning a home victory.

Sacramento Kings versus Los Angeles Clippers

In Los Angeles, the Clippers hold the third seed in the Western Conference and have a 22-5 home record. They host the Kings, who have struggled to 10-18 on the road. Los Angeles has a +22 to +13 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and both teams have “average down” status. Best to avoid the over/under in this game since the teams are trending on opposite sides of the line. Both teams have won on the road in the season series. Take note that the Clippers are more consistently performing based on the Team Volatility Oscillator. There is little chance for the Kings to compete for all four quarters in this one. Go with the Clippers to win, pulling away in the fourth quarter.

Philadelphia 76ers versus Milwaukee Bucks

The 76ers head to Milwaukee with the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference to take on the number one seed Bucks. Philadelphia plays like the best team in the NBA at home, however, are terrible on the road at just 9-19. The Bucks dominate at home with a 25-3 mark. Milwaukee has a +28 to +20 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator, while both teams are playing well at “burning hot” and “burning hot down” statuses on the Team Strength Oscillator. The over/under is not a wise play in this one and the teams are both very stable, at +29 and +38 respectively on the Team Volatility Oscillator. Both teams won rather easily at home in the prior two meetings. The 76ers have plenty of ability to make a game of this, but their road woes are likely to continue. The Bucks should win this one.

Dallas Mavericks versus Atlanta Hawks

The Mavericks look to improve their seventh seeding in the Western Conference against the Hawks who are just 9-17 at home and 15-41 overall. Dallas is 18-8 on the road and has a +15 to +4 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator. Neither team has played particularly great lately at “average” and “ice cold down” on the Team Strength Oscillator. Dallas won the first meeting between the teams by 23 points at home and expect a high scoring one here, so betting the “over” is a wise play. Atlanta is among the most stable teams in the league, at +28 on the Team Volatility Oscillator. As a home underdog, this is more reason to lean towards the Mavericks. Dallas should win this one rather easily.

Phoenix Suns versus Chicago Bulls

The Suns take an 11-18 road record into Chicago to face the Bulls, who have also struggled and are just 11-16 at home. The Suns have been playing in games trending under the line, but the Bulls have been involved in very high scoring games, so the “over” looks like a good bet. Neither team has been trending well, as their “ice cold up” and “dead” statuses indicate. Phoenix has a +8 to +4 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator and the Bulls are the more stable team at +23 to +5. Chicago should be a slight home favorite so give them the edge to take down the Suns in this first meeting between the teams this season.

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