Sunday NBA and we will see the Houston Rockets travel to Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Free Pick to follow. The game has a start time of 1:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on ABC. Current Vegas betting odds have the Thunder listed as 1 point favorites, while the total is set at 216.5.
Analysis: The Houston Rockets have been playing good ball at the moment as they have won 9 of their last 11 games, including taking a 108-101 win over Dallas on Thursday night. For the year they are now 52-24 overall, including 24-14 on the road and they are tied with the Memphis Grizzlies for the 2nd seed in the West. Houston has gone 6-1 ATS in their last 7 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game, but just 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games in Oklahoma City. The Rockets have be a solid offensive team this year, ranking 6th in scoring (103.5 ppg), 21st in shooting, 15th in 3 point shooting and 27th in FT shooting. Defensively the Rockets have average this year, ranking 16th in points allowed (100.2 ppg), 10th in defensive FG% and 1st in 3 point defense.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are struggling right now as they come in just 1-4 in their last 5 games, which includes a bad 135-131 home loss to the Mavericks on Wednesday night and then a 100-92 loss at Memphis on Friday night. That losses now drop the thunder to 42-34 on the year overall, and has shrunk their lead over New Orleans for the 8th playoff spot in the West to just one game. OKC has gone 21-4-1 ATS in their last 26 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600, but just 8-17-1 ATS in their last 26 games following a ATS loss. The Thunder have been a good offensive team this year, ranking 7th in scoring (103.5 ppg), 18th in shooting, 23rd in 3 point shooting and 11th in FT shooting. Defensively the Thunder have been below average this year, ranking 20th in points allowed (101.2 ppg), 5th in defensive FG% and 9th in 3 point defense.
Pick: I will go with the Under here. Early start time for both teams should lead to some sluggish offense. Oklahoma City has scored 92 points or less in 3 of their last 5 games and will be facing a Houston team that has not been bad this year and has allowed 99 or less in 3 of their last 6 games. Houston also has Dwight Howard back, which helps this team on the defensive end of the floor, but bot really on offense and the Thunder has allowed just 99.3 ppg at home. The Under is 9-3 the last 12 in this series and just one of the last 10 between these teams have put up more than this total and that one was back in April 2014 when just 218 points were scored. This one should be played under 210 points.
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