The NBA Playoffs continue on Friday night and we will see the Houston Rockets travel to the Staples Center to take on the Los Angeles Clippers in game 3 of their best-of-seven series. Free Pick to follow. The game has a start time of 10:30 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on ESPN. Current Vegas betting odds have Los Angeles listed as 4 point favorites, while the total is set at 217.
Analysis: The Houston Rockets played a weak Dallas squad in Round 1 and they won that series in 5 games. The may have been a bit overconfident after that series win as they lost game 1 of this series to a shorthanded Clippers squad. The Rockets did get back on track with a win on Wednesday night, in a game that the Clippers played without Chris Paul again. Houston has gone 26-16 on the road this year. Houston has gone 15-6 ATS in their last 21 games playing on 1 days rest, but just 2-8 ATS the last 10 in the series. The Rockets have scored 104.8 ppg on 44.8% shooting overall and 34.0% from long range on the road this year. Defensively they have not been so good away from home, where they have allowed 104.0 ppg on 45.4% shooting overall and 35.0% shooting from long range.
The Clippers were in a 7 game war in round 1 vs the Spurs and one player that it seemed to take it's toll on is Chris Paul, who missed the first 2 games of this series. The Clippers still shocked the Rockets without him in game 1 and in game two they led for much of the game before running out of gas in the 4th quarter. If this team had any depth at all they would be the best team in the league. Now the scene shifts to LA, where the Clippers are 32-13 on the year. The Clipps have gone 4-1 ATS in their last 5 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game, but just 7-16 ATS the last 23 at home in this series. The Clippers have scored 106.2 ppg on 47.1% shooting overall and 37.3% from long range at home this year. Defensively they have been decent at home, allowing just 98.7 ppg on 45.2% shooting overall and 33.4% shooting from long range.
Pick: I am looking for the Clippers to take this one. They blewout the Rockets in game 1 and they held the lead in for much of game two before running out of gas in the end, so they are more than capable of taking this game by more than 4. The Rockets are a team that have absolutely no defense, especially on the road where they have allowed 104 ppg, while the Clippers have allowed just 98.7 ppg on their home floor this year. Houston's defense will be their undoing in this game.
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