Bet Clippers +120 vs. Rockets for NBA Picks

Darin Zank

Saturday, March 29, 2014 2:57 PM GMT

The LA Clippers have owned the Houston Rockets as of late, winning eight of the last nine meetings between the Western Conference playoff contenders. LA will try to continue that dominance when the teams meet for a big game in Houston.

The Line
As of early Saturday morning most books listed Houston at right around -2.5 for this game, with a total that started at 215, then got bumped to 216.

 
The Situation
Houston has won five in a row, and 12 in a row at home, after handing Philadelphia its 26th consecutive defeat Thursday night 120-98.  The Rockets shot 49 percent from the field, held Philly to under 40 percent shooting and covered the spread as 20-point favorites.

 Houston has now shot 52 percent from the floor during its five-game winning streak. 

On the visiting side of this bout LA has won 14 of its last 16 games, after winning in Dallas Thursday night 109-103. The Clippers trailed by 11 in the fourth quarter, but rallied for the victory. LA shot 46 percent from the floor, made 11 of 26 shots from 3-point land and 22 of 25 free-throws.

So the Clippers, at 51-22, own the three seed in the West at the moment; they're 2.5 games behind the second-place Thunder, but also only one game ahead of the 49-22 Rockets.


Clippers-Rockets Recent History
The Clippers have won eight of the last nine meetings with the Rockets, and three meetings already this season, by scores of 137-118 and 107-94 back in November, and 101-93 in February, covering the spread all three games.

LA shot a combined 48 percent from the field in those three games, while Houston shot 46 percent. 

Also, while these are the two highest-scoring teams in the league this season, two of their three meetings have stayed UNDER on the totals.


Clippers-Rockets By the Numbers
LA leads the league in scoring at 107 PPG, shooting 48 percent from the field, 35 percent from long range but only 73 percent from the line.

The Clippers also rank sixth in FG defense, holding foes to 44 percent shooting.

Houston ranks second in the league in scoring at 107 PPG, shooting 48 percent from the floor, 36 percent from beyond the arc but only 70 percent from the stripe. Also, the Rockets rank fifth in FG defense, limiting opponents to 44 percent shooting.

By the numbers we'd have to say these two teams are very similar.


Clippers-Rockets Betting Trends
LA is 40-32 ATS this season, 22-14 ATS on the road. 

The Clippers are also 37-35 on the OVER/UNDERS, as their games have averaged 208 points.

Houston is 37-32 ATS this season, 20-14 ATS at home.

Also, the Rockets are 36-33 on the totals, as their games have averaged 209 points.

Take a look at live NBA Championship Futures

Clippers-Rockets Injury Update
Houston G Patrick Beverly, who had averaged 14 points over his previous five games, suffered a knee injury Thursday night, and may be lost for the season. Also, Dwight Howard had missed some recent action with a sore ankle, returned to play the last two games, but is still listed as questionable for Saturday. 

For LA Danny Grander tweaked a hammy Thursday night and is listed a questionable for Saturday night. Also, JJ Redick has been out since early February with a back problem. The Clippers are 17-5 SU, 11-10-1 ATS since he went down.


Clippers-Rockets Free Pick
We don't see much of a difference between these two teams, other than the fact that LA has held an edge on Houston for the last two-plus seasons. Statistically speaking they're very similar, and they're only separated by a game in the standings. Ultimately, we like the underdog Clippers in this game. Also, since we like to gamble, we'll take LA on the moneyline, getting +120 at several shops, including SBR Sportsbook, for our free NBA pick for Saturday.

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