538 Rockets (PK) over Clippers
Since adding Robert Covington at the trade deadline and Jeff Green and DeMarre Carroll later on the Rockets have reached a consistent level of play on offense and defense that makes them legit championship contenders. They’ve opened up the floor for Westbrook to be at his best (averaging 33.6 PPG 7.6 RPG 5.5 APG while shooting 56.3% from the field and 42% from 3 over his last 10 games) while James Harden is still at his best (averaging 30.6 PPG 7.4 APG 5.4 RPG on 45% shooting from the field and 34% from 3 over his last 10 games) and there could be some added motivation for Westbrook and the Rockets as he might feel he was snubbed not being named the Western Conference player of the month and the national media making it seem like the Lakers and Clippers are the only teams to have a shot at making the Western Conference Finals. These teams have played 3 times this year with the Rockets going 2-1 SU and 3-0 ATS with a point differential of +3.6 so I disagree with the line suggesting the Clippers are the slightly better team and since the trade deadline the Rockets are scoring 123 PPG at home and holding their opponents to 110 while covering 3 out of their 4 games (covering 75% of the time at home since the trade deadline). I think another big factor will be the Rockets record when they’re rested. They’re 7-3 SU and ATS on 2 days rest and when you factor in the motivational angles and the Rockets record vs the Clippers this year it makes for a great spot to back the Rockets. The Clippers are 0-4 ATS in the last 4 meetings.