NBA Picks: Houston Rockets vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Houston Rockets vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Thursday, 12/12/13, 10:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Portland -4
Current Betting Line:  Portland -3
Opening Total:  212
Current Total:  214.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Portland Trail Blazers have won five of their last six games
The Portland Trail Blazers have won five of their last six games

Houston has won back-to-back games, including a 98-88 victory over the Orlando Magic as 13.5-point home favorites Sunday, while going UNDER the betting total for a third consecutive contest.  The Rockets have four probable starters averaging in double figures, with shooting guard James Harden leading the way in scoring 24.6 points a contest, which is important to consider when making your NBA betting picks.  The team is 5-4 SU on the road this season, including a 4-3 mark versus Western Conference foes.  Houston is 7-13 SUATS as road underdogs of 3.5 to 6 points the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 11-9 in that situation.

The Rockets have registered consecutive 116-point outings at Portland, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NBA betting lines.  Houston has outscored opponents a combined 59-30 in the first quarter in the last two games, while it set a season high in rebounding last time out against the Magic.  Offensively, the team leads the league in averaging 107.5 points per game, which is just above the 106.0 it finished with a season ago.

Portland has won five of its last six games, including a 105-94 victory over the Utah Jazz as seven-point road favorites Monday, while going UNDER the betting total for the first time in seven contests.  The Trail Blazers are getting tremendous production out of forward LaMarcus Aldridge once again, as he comes in averaging 23.2 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.  Point guard Damian Lillard is also a major player on the offensive end—leading the team in averaging 5.6 assists per game.  Portland is 17-5 SU and 14-8 ATS in December the last two-plus seasons.

The Trail Blazers’ 18-4 record is their best 22-game start since going 20-2 to begin the 1990-91 campaign.  Portland has been able to space things out on the offensive end due to its resurgent shooting from the three-point area, with Wesley Matthews leading the way in hitting 57-of-118 shots from beyond the arc.

Sports bettors will likely back the Rockets due to their 5-0-1 ATS mark in their last six trips to Portland.

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