Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Tip off: 8:05 PM EST
Spread: OKC -9
M/L: OKC -450, HOU +370
The Rockets are now 2-4 and rank last in the Southwest division. They were badly embarassed by the Clippers Wednesday night in a game that aired on NBA TV. In that game, they managed only 89 points, while giving up 117 to the revamped Clippers. They allowed the Clips to shoot 57.3% from the floor, and Blake Griffin put up 22 on 10 of 15 shooting, while Chris Paul contributed 20 and 10 assists, in typical fashion for the perennial All-Star. Houston is going to have to get more from just about everyone except Kyle Lowry, who may be poised to make his first NBA All Star appearance this year. Lowry is posting career highs in all major statistical categories, shooting 43.8% from the floor and scoring 15.3 ppg, 10.0 apg, and 6.2 rpg. He also has had three near triple doubles, falling one assist shy against the Lakers and 3 rebounds shy against the Magic, while also needing only 2 assists and a rebound vs the Spurs.
The Thunder have predictably been one of the best teams in the NBA this season and started out the year red hot, winning their first five games. Since then, however, they dropped back to back contests against Dallas and Portland and will seek to get back on track against a Rockets team that is going to have a lot of trouble matching their firepower. Kevin Durant is averaging 26.1 points per game, while Russell Westbrook and James Harden each chip in 17. Other than those three, however, no other Thunder players are making significant contributions and OKC is going to have to acquire some depth and bench scoring to have a legit shot at a title.
Houston Betting Trends:
Houston is 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games and are 2-4 SU in their last 6. The Rockets are 1-6 SU in their last 7 on the road and they are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 on the road. The total has gone OVER in 4 of their last 5 road games and the Rockets are 20-5 SU in their last 25 against OKC. The Rockets are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 againts OKC and the total has gone OVER in 4 of Houston’s last 5 matches against OKC. The total has also gone OVER in 4 of the last 6 road games agaisnt OKC while the Rockets are 10-4 SU in their last 14 against OKC. The Rockets are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games on the road against OKC.
OKC Betting Trends:
OKC is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games and 5-2 SU in their last 7 games. The Thunder are 19-6 SU in their last 25 at home and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games. The total has gone OVER in 4 of the last 5 against Houston and the Thunder are 5-20 SU in their last 25 against the Rockets. The Thunder are 4-1 SU in their last 5 against Houston and they are 4-10 SU in their last 14 at home against Houston. The Total ahs gone OVER in 4 of the Thunder’s last 6 games against the Rockets.
Key Matchup: Russell Westbrook / James Harden / Thabo Sefolosha vs. Kyle Lowry / Kevin Martin
If it looks like it is 3 on 2; it is. The Rockets lack backcourt depth and Westbrook and Harden have been very good. Expect Harden to give Kevin Martin all he can possibly handle. Martin is allergic to playing defense to begin with, and Harden is a gunner. Keep an eye on the battle between Kyle Lowry and Russell Westbrook. Both figure to be All Stars this season and it should be an interesting battle between a very underrated player and a very overrated player. I’m not saying Westbrook isn’t good — hardly — just that the chasm between he and Lowry is hardly a chasm at all, but more of a hairline fracture. Lowry is that good.
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