Bucks +8 vs. Rockets: Free NBA Picks

Joe Catalano

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 4:19 PM GMT

After pulling out a hard fought victory over Dallas, the Milwaukee Bucks (27-28) must now face the Houston Rockets (31-27) and superstar James Harden. Houston hasn’t played since Saturday, and we’ll see if the time off works to Rockets advantage or they come out with some rust.

Tip-off is scheduled for Wednesday, 8:00 pm ET at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

NBA odds makers currently list the Rockets as 8 point betting favorites and the total for the game is 219.5.

Last night, Milwaukee defeated Dallas 95-90, but that game was expected to produce a lot of points at 210.5 but didn’t. Will this game follow suit or will James Harden go on a scoring spree?

Trends Could Matter Here

Most teams don’t get 3 days off at a time and the Rockets have taken advantage of it when it’s occurred on their schedule. They’re 5-1 ATS with 3 days or more of rest. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Bucks are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games on 0 days of rest.

Will these NBA betting trends hold for tonight’s matchup?

Click here for free picks on this game's total.

Playing To the Level of Their Opponent

This was the case for Houston on Saturday as they were defeated by the Washington Wizards, 105-103. Washington is a much better club with John Wall back in the lineup, but Houston shouldn’t be allowing the Wiz to shoot for 51.3% and also allowing underachiever, Emeka Okafor, to put a double-double up on them, and for young upstarts like Bradley Beal to be lighting them up for 20 plus points.

The Rockets are in the number 8 spot in the Western Conference and after Kobe Bryant made the guarantee of making the playoffs, they should be worried.

Linsanity or Insanity?

Houston might be thinking that giving Jeremy Lin such a big contract might have been a mistake.

After all, this is a Harvard graduate that came out of nowhere to play well for the New York Knicks, but hasn’t played well over an extended period of time.

Let’s look at this thing practically. Jeremy Lin is an average point guard that’s flashy, but turnover-prone. In his last 2 games, Lin is averaging a mere 7.5 points on 6 of 20 shooting from the field with 3.5 turnovers per game.

That won’t cut it against the backcourt of Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings. Jennings is very athletic and can score while Ellis can be lethal from the outside at times. Lin is grossly overmatched and it might come back to bite the Rockets in this game.

Colonel Sanders

Sanders has put up 3 straight double-doubles and is becoming more of a major force as the season goes on. He’s a major reason why the Bucks are 5th in the league in rebounding and are gradually reaching the .500 plateau.

Sanders is known primarily for his blocking ability, but he’s put that on hold and has proven that he can score and rebound. I don’t see any reason why Sanders can’t put up a 4th straight double-double against a team that most recently lost to Washington and hasn’t played since Saturday.

Houston will also need to look out for Monta Ellis. Against the Mavs, Ellis got his shooting touch back and accounted for 6 steals against an aging Mavericks club.

Head to Head Trends

Over is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings

Underdog is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings

[gameodds]5/219631/43/us[/gameodds]

Outcome

I love the Bucks in this spot. They’re gathering some major momentum with the play of Larry Sanders and Ersan Illyasova and the addition of J.J. Redick while Houston is basically a one man show and is coming off of a poor loss and has had time to think about it.

Free NBA Pick: Milwaukee +8 at 5 Dimes