Pro Basketball Picks: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets

Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets
Friday, 2/8/13, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  CSH
Opening Point Spread:  Houston -7.5
Current Betting Line:  Houston -7
Opening Total:  211.5
Current Total:  210.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Portland Trail Blazers are led on the offensive end by forward LaMarcus Aldridge
The Portland Trail Blazers are led on the offensive end by forward LaMarcus Aldridge

Portland had its two-game winning streak snapped last time out, as it suffered a 105-99 defeat to the Dallas Mavericks as 5.5-point road underdogs Wednesday, while going OVER the total for the fourth time in five contests.  “I think we definitely had a chance to win,” commented Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds.  He leads the team in averaging 20.7 points per game during the course of the 2012-13 NBA season.  Portland is 4-3 ATS as road underdogs of 6.5 to 9 points this season, which is important to consider when looking over the pro basketball odds page.

The Trail Blazers haven’t won three games in a row against the Rockets since 2003, while they’ve failed to win back-to-back games in Houston since a year prior to that.  Portland has 11 wins this season when trailing at halftime, which is the most such wins in the NBA this year.  Aldridge is averaging 28.0 points and 8.5 rebounds against tonight’s foe this season.

Houston suffered a 114-108 setback to the Miami Heat as 7.5-point road underdogs last time out, while going OVER the total for the third time in four contests.  “We had a tough run scoring the basketball,” commented Rockets guard James Harden.  He leads the team in averaging 25.8 points per game, which has been helped along by knocking down 431 of 504 free-throw attempts this year.  Houston is 19-8 ATS as home favorites of 6.5 to 9 points the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 5-1 in that situation this year.

The Rockets are 17-8 overall at the Toyota Center, including a 7-7 mark versus Western Conference foes.  Houston has had all five of its starters reach double figures in scoring in three of its last four games.  Offensively, the team ranks second in the NBA in scoring 105.8 points per game, which is its highest offensive output since the 1990-91 campaign.

Sports bettors will likely play the total in this affair, as the UNDER is 36-17-1 in the Trail Blazers last 54 games after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.

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